Interview with Kijek/Adamski: We Cut Corners ‘Pirate’s Life’

Polish directing duo Kijek/Adamski (aka Katarzyna Kijek and Przemysław Adamski) have made lovely music videos using yarn and paper shredders. Their music video for We Cut CornersPirate’s Life is “As simple as it looks. The whole video is hand drawn frame by frame – markers on paper.”

We caught up with Kijek/Adamski to find out more about the video and exactly how many marker fumes produced this fluid gem.

Please tell us a little about yourselves.

We are creating/directing duo based in Warsaw, Poland. We met years ago in high school. We both studied graphics but mostly apart in two different cities. Our interest in creating moving images were increasing over time and at some point we decided it is very practical to team up.

In the meantime Przemek (Adamski) made his first music video (Pink Freud Dziwny jest ten kraj), which happened to be the best Polish music video of 2007 and that award somehow determined our later work. Later we made (amongst others) music videos for Oi Va Voi Everytime a.k.a. the shredding machine music video and Grand Central for Tomasz Stańko Quintet – both were featured on Motionographer some time ago.

Representative spectrum of our recent work can be found at

How did the project come about? Did you approach the band or they approached you?

We Cut Corners found us via internet (of course).

We were asked to direct the video in April this year. The band’s foresight (which, by the way, isn’t that common when it comes to thinking about music videos) encouraged us to take on a time-consuming technique. We were really happy about this work comfort, because we found the simple drawing to be the most suitable for so restrainedly arranged song.

How long did it take? How many people worked on it?

It took approximately two months. Only our duo worked at this project.

How did you get the lovely water displacement effects?

As a research we did some shots at the swimming pool using waterproof camera case – mostly with amateur 600 fps camcorder to check different possibilities of water movement and refractions.

Later in the preparing process we made simple simulation with transparent materials and imported footage in Cinema 4D and we used it as a base for drawings, but in the final output frames were largely improvised in the progressive cell animation.

Of course faces were rotoscoped in order to preserve lips synchs.

How many markers did you end up using? Were there a lot of fumes?

We used 91 different markers. We can’t actually count fumes but there were constant concentration of this lovely scent that seemed to be a perfect anesthesia against all sorts of pains generated by longlasting lack of movement.

I love the photos of the pad soaked in marker ink on your blog. Maybe an idea for another music video?

Thank you. We had this idea for a moment, but we will have to wait for someone at least twice as foreseeing as We Cut Corners to make it happen. Nevertheless we intend to publish alternative version of “Pirate’s Life” soon and it will be visually related to those pads.

Thank you so much! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.