I had the priviledge of doing an interview with Brian Garrison, one of the writers and the animator for the cartoon, Sea of Idiots.
Sea of Idiots
Created by: Brian Garrison & David Jessup
Written by: David Jessup, Brian Garrison & Tom Devenport with additional material by Justin Foster
Animation: Brian Garrison
Eric: My name’s Eric and I run a site called http://www.CartoonLearning.com. The site basically exists to help people learn the ins and outs of animation. I just happened to stumble on your site a while back, http://www.seaofidiots.com/ , and I have to say that I loved the show! Thanks for being gracious enough to take the time to do an interview with me. My audience will really appreciate it, too, I’m sure.
Eric: So, any chance we’ll see your show on TV anytime soon? Is that the goal you guys are working towards?
Brian: That is the ideal, but if we can build an audience online and do it ourselves we would ultimately have a lot more creative control. Why, do you know somebody?
Eric: Where are you from?
Brian: Dave and I are both originally from SW Florida, where the show is set, but we relocated Dallas in the last few years. Tom is from Earth.
Eric: I know I love making cartoons, seeing these fake little drawings come to life, full of personality. Would you describe making cartoons as fun, work, or other?
Brian: All of the above, depending on the day.
Eric: What programs (and versions) have you used?
Brian: You mean like a 12-step program? I haven’t been able to actually complete one, yet. Oh wait, scratch that. Anime Studio Pro.
Eric: What’s your favorite animation program (and why, if you’ve used more than one)?
Brian: See above.
Eric: Do your characters on the show resemble your real life personalities?
Brian: To a certain degree. They’re based on us, but there is a fair amount of exaggeration and embellishment. Why? Did someone say something?
Eric: Based on your humor, I’d guess you’re about 30 years old. Am I close?
Brian: Your assumption would be accurate, plus or minus a decade or two.
Eric: How long have you been doing cartoons?
Brian: We started doing shorts a couple of years ago. The first half-hour episode of SoI was produced in 2008.
Eric: Was it hard to learn?
Brian: I consider myself a bit of a hack at the actual animation, so no, I guess.
Eric: Start to finish, how long did it take to create all the assets for your first show?
Brian: Including the writing, dialogue recording and editing, asset creation, and animation, about 6 months.
Eric: How long does it take to make one each segment of your show? Say, about 3 minutes worth, or so. (Once the assets are created. Just, putting it all together.)
Brian: I can crank out 3 minutes of animation in a couple of days. The writing takes a bit longer.
Eric: Were you good artists growing up, or do you find that vector based animation makes it fairly easy?
Brian: I don’t actually do vector based animation. I create all of the assets in Photoshop, in which I am pretty advanced, and bring them into ASP as PNG’s. I’m not much of a freehand artist, but I can paint a pretty picture in Photoshop.
(Eric: Interesting. I know I was a bit overwhelmed, at first, by trying to create objects and shapes in Anime Studio. There’s hope for anyone out there that doesn’t want to take the time to learn it!)
Eric: I’m writing some articles to help my viewers learn how to make money off their cartoons through private ad sales, advertising networks, etc. I didn’t notice any ads on your site, tough. How do you keep the show going?
Brian: Sheer force of will and lots of green tea.
Eric: Here’s the burning question for most of my audience. They want to dream big, so I have to ask: Do you make any money off of it?
Brian: We’ve only been online for a couple of months, and this early in the game we really don’t want to annoy visitors to the site with a bunch of ads. After all, we already annoy them in a number of other ways. Ads and stuff will come later.
Eric: I, on the other hand…
Eric: How many views have you had of your show? Don’t forget to subtract my hundred thousand views. Sorry about the bandwidth, watching it over and over again.
Brian: Thanks for being one of the 7 people who watch the show. I stopped keeping track of stats a while back. I think it’s in the 50,000 range.
Eric: 50,000-ish. Awesome! And… your welcome. Hey…maybe one of my 7 viewers will give you guys a big TV deal!
Eric: Long term goals? Additional series?
Brian: The long term goal is to keep on keepin’ on. SoI is actually on a short hiatus while we work on another series that we came up with. More to come on that in the near future.
Eric: I appreciate the interview, and be sure to thank Darren…uhhh… I mean Dave…for me. I have to say that my favorite line so far is, “That’s a solid point.” I won’t say what episode it’s in. I’ll let the viewers search for it. Thanks, Brian!
Be sure to check out their show at www.seaofidiots.com. I hope you love it as much as I do, and I hope it inspires you to continue in your cartoon making (as much the movie Commando inspires some people to work out). Is that considered a throwback if you’ve just watched the video?