PEOPLEText: Mayumi Kaneko

Future Farmers is based in San Francisco. They’ve been working for various new media and you can see some of their works on Shift. Most of you reading this may already know about them.

They’re now producing their works while staying in Japan and made this month’s cover for Shift.


Please introduce yourselves

Amy: Amy Franceschini from San Francisco, USA.

Sascha: Sascha Merg from Hamburg, Germany.

How did you guys meet?

Amy: How did we meet?

Sascha: I think Amy wrote me e-mail. I worked with a guy that worked with Amy and he gave her my e-mail address, and then she dropped me a mail and ask me to come to San Francisco.

Amy: I wrote him e-mail and said that “I want you to come see how we work on Star Wars project”, but you have to promise that we make a fun project.

Sascha: But at the beginning it was just like interactive previews. And I thought she wanted to make some movies with me. I hoped she knows I don’t have any idea of movies but I’m gonna go, anyway.

Amy: When he came to San Francisco, he came to my studio and I gave him a place to stay. When we were like working for a week, my roommate said “You know, Sascha thinks that you still gonna go to the farm. He thinks like he needs clothes like a farmer.

Sascha: This place with horses that kind of stuff. It’s not businessy at all in this agency. I like it a lot.

Did you work together for Nutrishnia and Star Wars then?

Amy: We did tons of works for Star Wars. For that, like 3 months of work.

Sascha: We did lots of games but they really didn’t want cool stuff.

Amy: Because the film makers are used to a passive audience, and we’re doing very interactive things, and they said “Oh! take out the interactivity”. They shouldn’t have to click, you know.

Sascha: We wanted them to explore things. We’re totally different things I guess. People were very conservative, I think.

Amy: They were scared of the medium.

Sascha: They are not open minded. I mean, not as much as we are. We’re crazy, I guess.

How do you choose which projects you work for?

Amy: Every day we get e-mail and telephone calls. Work for e-commerce site like boo.com is really boring but makes lots of money. If we wanna make tons of money doing stupid design. But people like Swatch or Adobe, we’ve just finished these web galleries for Adobe, they called. Like we just tried to take the most interesting projects, if it sounds kind of like interesting for me, we’re super honest, really. You know like this is what we do, we want you to use shockwave, I wanna use database integration, and tell them like if we could do a project on our own, this is what we wanna do. And if they go for it, we do it.

Sascha: We’re pretty lucky too.

Amy: Yeah, usually we’re really excited. And Swatch came to San Francisco and visited all these design agencies and they came to us and like, immediately they said “We want you to do the job!” and we’re like “wow!” because that was the first time we met, you know. Usually they go away. This was super fun to work.

Sascha: I think so.

Amy: Like a best client, they like “go! go! more! more!”

Sascha : They believe us whatever we do.

Amy: Other clients kind of like “well, well…..” but Swatch was like “Yeah! We think you should do it even crazier, if you want.”

Sascha: And they say like “What do you think?”

Amy: We showed them like three versions and they go for the weirdest one. Which was like most of the time, clients like, when we show some clients, we sometimes take a bet like “Which one do you think they’re gonna choose?” and like they’re gonna take that one for sure.” You know. But Swatch was like “That one!” That’s so nice. They’re like a dream client.

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