Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Nick Johanson, along with Robert Larson. We are COWORKERS and we are filmmakers.
How long have you worked together?
R - 5 years? N - Yeh, we started working together at a company that produces commercials. R - We shared an office and would often brainstorm ideas while working on other projects. N - From there, we started producing our own projects and here we are… five magical years later.
What are some of your influences?
N - We’re influenced by a lot of stuff. The “masters” are always going to be there, like Hitchcock and Kubrick, but we can also pull from what we grew up on like The Goonies and Back to the Future. R - To add to that, documentaries and commercials are key influences as well.
How does today’s technology play a part in your style?
R - With the ability to take in as much info as you want, sites like Pinterest have allowed us to constantly be researching while also being a reliable source of inspiration. It’s like a melting pot of media! N - (laughs) Exactly.
What project(s) are you the most proud of?
N - One of my favorite projects is the short film we did for NERF called "Super Soaker". I remember thinking, while we were filming, that it was going to be good... I could just feel it. The Kahlua work we did was pretty cool too. R - Yeh, for the limitations we were givin, the Kahlua work was cool because we were able to make it our own. It was behind the scenes coverage, but we had creative freedom from start to finish.
Within your art, what are you the most insecure about?
N - The biggest insecurity I’ve had to overcome is the need of sharing our work. At first, I would find myself in the mindset of “it’s not good enough”, “people won’t like this” so I wouldn’t share anything. I eventually realized that though we might receive a some negative feedback every now and then; we’ll at least learn from that and grow in the process. R - There’s always a sense of pressure when delivering a final product to the client. There’s a certain level of expectations, on both sides, so we strive to do the best we can while also exceeding what the client may have expected.
How do you use one another to get through obstacles that show up during the creative process?
N - Working together, as long as we have, has made us comfortable in how we do things. I think we’re a good team in the sense that we pick each other up in spots that one of us may not be good at... R - Like our time management. We need to work on that.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in doing what you do?
R - I think creating stuff in general is one of the keys to finding any amount of success in this business. Whether it's for fun or for profit, you have to keep creating. N - Exactly, keep working and keep sharing.
Aside from the audience, what benefits are there to sharing your work?
N - I think sharing your work allows you to learn what works and what doesn't. It opens you up to critique, which can be very helpful in finding your voice. R - Yeh, sharing helps enhance your craft. You find things in the process that you may not have noticed if you had only shown it to yourself.
Last Question: What is your favorite cereal?
R - What comes to mind first is Honey Nut Cheerios. N - I knew that was going to be your favorite. I, myself, like Cinnamon Toast Crunch... with Fruit Loops being a close second.