While I was working at Wildbrain, my friend and co-worker Amanda introduced me to the GoSuperego Comedy Podcast. It's mainly two guys, Matt and Jeremy, with a bunch of their friends and guests doing improv characters. Check them out on itunes. I love their stuff and I literally fell out of my chair laughing a few times, but mostly because the chair was screwy. Two of their characters, Milton and Dupree, really had me laughing. It's supposed to be 2 Vaudeville guys who tell offbeat bad jokes and then cheerfully insult each other. Most of the time it seems to be Matt and Jeremy trying to crack each other up. At the end of the Superego second season, they were asking if any animators were interested in animating to their podcast. I emailed Matt in early September and he sent me 4 of the Milton and Dupree sketches. I wrote them out in longhand and then figured out which bits I wanted to use. I edited them together using Audacity and Garageband into a 2 minute piece. Right at the beginning I knew that I wanted to do something visual to add to it and that didn't reveal any of the jokes. I decided to keep them on a vaudeville stage but to change the scenery to something completely unrelated or random for each joke. Like a Butcher Shop. Just so people would say "Why are they in a Butcher Shop?" I don't know. I also was consciously trying to storyboard so that the animation would be relatively simple. I took out any walk ins and had to figure out ways to cut from scene to scene without it being too jumpy or resorting to fade in and fade outs.
I did a rough design of Milton and Dupree and then started drawing a storyboard in Flash to the soundtrack. While I was doing sketches of the bgs I also came up with some new textures with ink and sponges, that I vectorized in Illustrator. I built the Bgs in Flash and started assembling the individual scenes. I also volunteered Pete to help me. He took my crappy rough character designs and really tweaked and redesigned them into great final designs. He did some nice mouth positions too.
I also wanted to do some of the character animation for this piece so Pete and I split up the 8 scenes. I have done lots of animation of doors opening and the curtain open/close for this piece but I hadn't done a lot of character animation before. I learned a lot about animating in flash and lip syncing. Pete gave me good advice on how to smooth stuff out. We finished the shots just before Thanksgiving and our buddy Michael D'Ambrosio edited it together for us.
It was great working with Matt and the Superego crew, they just let us do whatever we wanted and they are very polite, too. I was happy that they didn't mind that I cut bits together from 4 of their sketches.
My favorite part of this whole piece is the laugh that Pete animated in the Mountain scene. It's a real spontaneous laugh and not an "acted" laugh. It's great to work with such fun audio. Even after listening to the audio a few hundred times, this whole piece still cracks me up.
you can see the final piece here or on the superego website, or download it on itunes.