This is Dolph. Content Creators. Film Makers. Funny Guys.

Dolph from Gentlemen Films are claiming their own space in the industry as content creators, working alongside agencies in the traditional commercial space. Jesse and Dan, the duo behind Dolph, are without a doubt up for any challenge and with their wide range of expertise the two jump at any brief, from ye olde standard commercial, content film, VR experience or music video.

But exactly where does an all-service content team fit in and should agencies still be using the screaming/scared emoji when referring to them? Stand back, iDidTht is on the case!

Skyping with Dolph *No acid was taken during this Skype call

Every single Skype call we’ve ever made starts off with ‘Hey, how are you? Can you hear me?!’ But this one was slightly different… ‘Hey how…OHMYGOD WHAT IS GOING ON?’ Guys, Dolph literally created a whole mise-en-scène for a Skype call! Look, we have no idea what it all means but there were plants and cones and cakes and it was without a doubt, much like the content they create, a totally visceral experience!

Jesse and Dan grew up together and even now live together (not in that corner between the plants, but an actual house), which makes for great late night work sessions, although a few of them include videos discussing aliens over a plate of hot curry (more of that on the Dolph Facebook page). After the two spent their school years creating animations on Powerpoint, they went their separate academic ways with Dan studying film and Jesse advertising. But like Chicken Tikka Masala and rice, the duo belong together. After they found themselves collaborating on various projects they finally made it business-card-official under the name Dolph, previously Dolph & Lundgren, a homage to the Swedish B-action movie star, but too time-consuming to repeatedly explain to clients. Gentlemen Films founder Greg Rom was paying attention to the journey Dolph were on and finally popped the question.

Work by Dolph

Many of their projects are completed by themselves from start to finish but even when they collaborate with other creatives or agencies, the Dolph stamp of cool is always visible. Here are a few of iDidTht’s favourites.

BK ‘Know That’

Visa Checkout ‘Footloose’

UDo ‘Colon Test’

Dan: Our personal favourite is probably the BK music video.
Jesse: We funded that project ourselves, it cost about R20 000. Dan came up with this beautiful treatment of shooting it in black and white with very contrasting images and adding the white animation over the video, which ultimately becomes the canvas.
iDidTht: The tension that the visuals create makes it feel like you’re telling two stories. You get so much more, we love it!
Dan: So if anyone reading this wants to pay us to do that, that would be nice.

Don’t Touch Me on My Content

Now that more and more of these content creation boutiques are opening their doors to service brands directly, agencies could easily feel threatened or unsure of how to utilise them. But Dolph thinks that this is simply a knee-jerk reaction and instead of seeing content creators as competition, which can only limit creativity, the real opportunity here is to rather collaborate. Ultimately Dolph offers a varied range of services to agencies.

Jesse: Because I come from an advertising background where I was a copywriter I understand the commercial space, so when we work with agencies, we are not there to rip their ideas to shreds.
Dan: Yes, agencies generally already have scripts that they’ve researched extensively and worked with the client on and we then join the process as either directors, editors, animators or whatever. The first thing we like to do is try to get insight into where all their ideas originated from, so we have a better understanding of how to treat them.

‘We want to go viral’ – said every brand ever.

Jesse and Dan have a firm grasp of what kind of content works online and even what the cool kids, dare we say, millennials love (gasp) and therefore know how brands should be positioning themselves to resonate with their audience. Their work, in short, is damn cool and although most of us run for the nearest exit when brands casually request to go viral, these two would probably jump at the challenge.

Jesse: When we do get to create content for brands it’s very exciting because we have an opportunity to explore and show off the kind of work that is possible online, whether it’s a simple gif, a promo or a video ad. We are also able to take different elements and combine them. We love this kind of work because it usually gives us a bit more freedom and because we’re a one-stop shop it’s all usually possible within budget. It’s also a bonus if we get to create the entire project ourselves from start to finish.
iDidTht: All possible within budget? Come on guys!
Dan: Haha, when creating content you don’t need more money, you need a better strategy.
Jesse: If you can’t come up with solutions for R10, you can’t do it for R100.
iDidTht: Although more is always nicer…
Jesse: Yeah, we like to eat.

Q: OK, show us what it is like working with

Q: What happens when you don’t work with

Q: Dolph’s reaction when you choose to work with Dolph

In order of preference, break down your dream brief?

  1. The client has 1 billion Rands budget.
  2. The client is smart enough to let us do what we want creatively.
  3. Reasonable deadline + reasonable people = reasonable Dolph.
  4. Jolly Jammers at the crafts table.
  5. Anything juice related (we love the idea of juice).
  6. Micro-budget, impossible deadline, half an hour pre-prod and conference calls with clients based in North Korea, but they’re all Kanye West fans.

We assume the last one is a joke, but with these guys, you just never know…

iDidTht: Who would play the two of you in the movie entitled Dolph?
Dan: Viggo Mortensen would play Jesse.
Jesse: Dan would be played by that guy who had a drug overdose. He was in Stand by Me. What’s his name?
iDidTht: Let’s Google…River Phoenix?
Jesse & Dan: Yes!
iDidTht: No guys, it has to be John Cusack! He looks exactly like Dan!

iDidTht: What’s on your ‘continue watching’ on Netflix?
J and D: Forensic Files! *Inaudible screaming* It’s amazing!
Jesse: It’s this b-grade Crime and Investigation Channel show with this shitty voiceover. There are like 900 episodes of people murdering each other and they recreate the scenes.
Jesse: That’s our ritual, we cook a really good meal and watch people kill each other.
iDidTht: Hmm, we might just stick to Chef’s Table…

Need animators, editors, sound designers, directors or just want a one-stop shop offering the whole full-service shebang? Call Gentlemen Films and ask for Dolph…on Skype though, you won’t regret it!

View Giant Films

Contact Dolph at Gentlemen Films

View Gentlemen Films on iDidTht
Ingrid Engelbrecht

Produced by the iDidTht Content Studio
Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder

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