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Khimoo is a big boy
10 years old

Khimoo has been here a decade! It's partytime, but why show an old phone and a bunch of calling cards in the celebration heading? It's boring for some, but holds a lot of sentimental value to those who have an idea. This is about our small decade long history.

2020/10/06 Khimoo 10th Anniversary
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Post by Stobe Harju
Stobe Harju

The First


new Phone &

Business Cards

Crazy high hopes &
low profile


Khimoo was founded by a simple idea. After I had worked on Alan Wake and left Nitro FX, the path was clear. I wanted to work on more fiction and feature as well as games. Imaginaerum was about to be announced after Nightwish main guy Tuomas Holopainen told me they wanted to make something big. Imaginaerum happened and I needed to have a solid ground for business.

I really didn't give a damn. I just felt like flying from there on.

Khimoo was born on October 6th 2010 with the help of my late dad who helped me set up all the paperwork for the company. My dad had founded several companies during his lifetime, but I have a feeling, this one was his dearest yet. Especially, since the newly founded start-up carried the names of his grand daughters Khira and Moona, becoming Khimoo.   

It felt like freedom. I could dictate my own working hours, who I'd wanted to work and collaborate with and how I wanted the world to see my newly founded company, Khimoo. It was for me to decide what to do with it, but also be responsible for those choices alone. I really didn't give a damn. I just felt like flying from there on. Khimoo was originally a very low profile company with just the means of invoicing my directorial work.

Imaginaerum First


Quantum Break second


Promising offers third

I never thought Khimoo would become anything more than just me on invoicing productions as a director. Then Imaginaerum gave me the idea that I can produce bigger things... really BIG THINGS and it got a whole lot bigger. 

In the middle of the movie project, I got approached by Remedy again after Alan Wake. They wanted me to be their Drama director for their NBT (The-Next-Big-Thing >> the game devs are weird in a good way). The NBT was Quantum Break and it still sounds like a time defying candy bar and makes me giggle. That bar was however wrapped with a budget of... a Marvel movie and wasn't exactly an overnight gig. After 3,5 years I woke up in a hotel room in Los Angeles and told myself "Oh shit! I'm still doing it".

Before the end of Quantum Break though I had many interesting offers for feature films as a director. One of them being a crazy remake of a title I love, and still to date can't reveal because I've signed so many NDA's.

At the time I had to refuse those offers and door was shut and stayed that way. That made me realise I needed to work with more people in order to run several productions at once. And believe me when I say, I'm still trying to learn how to do it. Yet, that was my first 5 years with Khimoo.

Game over.


2016 started  and Quantum Break ended.

I had been away from the film work for too long and I wanted to rethink the entire company logic. That was the first time I felt Khimoo should be more than just means for sending an invoice. 

I was fucking bitter after turning down many offers for feature films during the making of the big video game, but only being mad at myself. Working with Quantum Break was the best time of my career. I got to work with talent like Sam Lake, Shawn Ashmore, Lance Reddick, Aiden Gillen, Courtney Hope and Amelia Rose Blaire plus the ever talented Remedy team. However, I felt like I had to multiply to keep doing the things I love. On top of that, I wanted to take good care of my family. 

Because of that Khimoo had to change and the change was not going to be an overnighter.

I started a break, living with my savings and worked on my house for the entire year.

I worked hard to get even some of the smaller projects working and as soon as I raised my voice to other production companies in the means of collaborating, I was told I was always welcomed in their directorial roster.

The people who know me better, also know that I am not making any irrational choices to leave my company, my dream, behind. I started a break, living with my savings and worked on my house for the entire year.

I laid bricks on my house parking lot and as I was doing that with blistering hands it changed me. Renovating and building became the dearest hobby to me (besides basketball and gaming). It helped me meditate on what I wanted with my career and my life. Family always came first, but I also wanted to build something that my heart told me to. 

Continued Below
Happy to see you've reached this far.

It took a while

being able

to start taking risks


It all became clearer. i wanted to work on things I adore. Making movies, being part of game development from the get go and working on challenging ideas for high-end commercials became something to pursue. 

I just didn't know how to use what I had and what I had learned.

Months and months of studying new animation and film techniques brought me to try and expand. I had already worked at big studios during Imaginaerum and Quantum Break, the kinds of places where they shot the Marvel franchise films, Avatar, many Steven Spielberg films and other huge movies. I knew where I had to try to get with Khimoo, but I just didn't know how to use what I had and what I had learned. You know (this is bragging), there are four signatures of directors on one of the steps at Digital Domain out of respect. Jon Favreau, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, and most notable, Stobe Harju... There! I got mentioned in the same sentence with these amateurs. Anyway, this gave me a personal boost of doing something significant and finally think about my self .

I joined an animation company as a creative director for one year and my goal was to expand the company overseas with the help of my connections. It was also clear that they wanted to expand on live-action stuff and I had to use my connections. We established people working in London, Montreal and Los Angeles. Most were through my connections and I spent months overseas from Finland. Some of these people still are precious to me and I hope I'll never stop working with people like James Halpern (producer of Battlestar Galactica), Benoit Beaulieu (Turbo Kid), Mathieu Belanger (Nut Cracker) and the Oscar nominee director and the lead actress for my movie, Imaginaerum, Marianne Farley.

However, after a year we realized it wasn't doable with the lack of patience and business sense there was in the team I joined. The animation company with endless ambition unfortunately ran out of money... and soon ambition. I moved on. Back to Khimoo.


Turning point

soul search

and partnership

I decided to go on my own path again, but felt the year wasn't wasted. It was actually my biggest learning period getting to know how it's never granted to keep what you love. Which for most people I know is money, unfortunately. 

I understood that you can't earn unless you know what you're doing. You don't know what you're doing until you are good at it. You are not good at it unless you love it enough to be enthusiastic to learn more. I decided to start calling people and go to events where I felt I was wanted. I started pitching the work of Khimoo. Not just my own work. I wasn't sure what the fuck I was doing as Khimoo's work was MY WORK.

Project after project things started getting bigger and there was no way I was going to make the same mistake again. Khimoo needed to grow. If not with employees, by working with partners I trusted. My good friends Janne Pitkänen and James Halpern became part of that process and here we are still today in that stage. We made a business plan and I included Janne to be basically full time at Khimoo, because we had built crazy stuff together for years. Our mutual partner-trial project was just around the corner.



by Nightwish &

My dad's passing
Universe won't give you anything unless it takes something away.

So here we were. Finishing up the biggest music video Finland had ever seen. We made Noise by Nightwish happen alongside their album release. And of course, the universe won't give you anything unless it takes something away.

My father, Pekka Harju, the co-founder of Khimoo passed away after a long illness. I decided to take a several months long break because of how devastated I was. Yeah it took a while, but it only made clear to me who my friends were. Janne carried on with projects, James suppoered me and when I was finally back by Khimoo's 10th Anniversary, I started to write this article.

It occurred to me I felt like my entire life was wrapped around Khimoo and I felt like I owed the people in its close range to keep building it further. Building on these memories, the fun, the awestruck times and love for the work.

It's still that same company whose fresh owner decided to spend the first company investments on business cards and an iPhone 4. This time though, the business cards are gone and there's something a whole lot nicer. Also, I have a much nicer phone now.