Interview No. 156
Interview By: @GoryBlizzard
Today's guest is going to be The Interviewer himself, whose main account is The-Great-One, and who has another account indicated later in this interview. Now, it doesn't take a genius to realize that The Interviewer cannot interview himself, so he has called for some some outside help, which he found in me, GoryBlizzard. For those of you that are not aware, The Interviewer is undergoing a trial run in which on occasion, previous guests may switch sides and do the interviewing themselves. This has the potential to yield some very interesting questions and answers going forward. Those of you curious to read my own interview, it was on September 12, 2012 during when I was a chat moderator on here, and you can read it here. Let's all welcome, The Interviewer/The-Great-One/Dohn--whatever you want to call him.
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A: In 2004 I frequented a site called Video Game Directors Cut. It made sprite movies and was ran by Randy Solem. I watched his Rise of the Mushroom Kingdom series. Part 4 could only be seen on a site called Newgrounds. So I came over here to watch it. I started to see what else was on this site and in 2006 when I signed up for Newgrounds I wanted to leave a review on the first movie I saw on here entitled EVA5 The Rei Puppet Show. I've been here ever since.
Q: You started The Interviewer on February 8, 2009. What were some of the strongest factors that compelled you to create a collection of interviews of well-known Newgrounds members? In retrospect, was it a good idea? Is there anything you would have done differently?
A: I used to read the NG Mag. Another site where you could play demos of upcoming flash games and other cool stuff. My favorite though were the interviews done with other creators. I am kicking myself for not archiving those while I had the chance. Once the NG Mag was no more, I was thinking back to those interviews and thought, they were done by regular Newgrounds members. If they can do it, then why can't I? I started the project in 2008 on my own profile and hated it. I picked it back up in 2009, made Tom Fulp the first guest and went from there. I thought it was a good idea back then and I still think it is a good idea now to have this collection of knowledge and information about the different creators and their craft here on Newgrounds. What draws them to this site.
What would I do differently though? I can't say for sure. I think I would have paced myself better. A lot of the older interviews were posted when I was done with them. I probably should have put myself on a schedule earlier and taken more time with each one.
Q: You seem to fancy yourself as a writer. One thing that isn't completely clear to me is this: do you write professionally? If not, what's your day job? If you went to college, did you major in English, journalism or anything related?
A: I do not write professionally. I hope to change that within the next couple of months though. I did not go to college, I have no degrees. Creative writing is more my strong suit. I only got interested in journalism when I started to do The Interviewer and take it more seriously over the years. As for my day job, I am a manager at a deli. A less than successful Jew am I, but my day job helped me get my own house so that's nice.
Q: You have made it clear that you are not a big fan of interviewing people multiple times. You have expressed this sentiment in a recent thread where you solicited suggestions for this project. Direct quote from you: "Check the list first. If I interviewed them already, chances are I won't again." Yet, for anyone who goes through that list, it is apparent that there have been some repeat interviews, most notably Tom (4 times), JAZZA, Murray/Bahamut, Oney, Bosa, SardonicSamurai, scriptwelder, Sexual-Lobster, ZekeySpaceyLizard, MasterAardvark (all 2 times each) and two separate editions of BBS regs. What goes on in your head when you decide that a previous interviewee is worthy of another interview?
A: I normally don't like to do repeat interviews, because as someone pointed out and as you have here as well, I have interviewed Tom more times that I probably should have. If I keep having the same guest multiple times over and over and over again, then it becomes redundant. Some of these people I interviewed once and then they won a Tank Trophy, and Tom asked me to interview the winners. Others like Oney, Bosa, and SardonicSamurai, were older interviews. I didn't like my style back then and I wanted to speak with them again as I improved my craft. Then there is Sexual-Lobster and scriptwelder who released newer works and I wanted to talk to them again about their newer projects. One person was interviewed as part of two different groups. SpiffyMasta was interviewed for and The Newgrounds Police Department and The Elite Guard Barracks. That one blew my mind when I was making the Guest Index.
Q: Before eddsworld's passing, you conducted an interview with him. After a previous interviewee passes away, gets their name changed or their account deleted, do you just put an addendum on top followed by the original interview? In Edd's case, I note you added some comments on the bottom as well. How does it feel like looking back at an interview that you conducted with someone that is no longer with us?
A: When Tom made the announcement it hit me pretty hard. I didn't know edd that well. He was on my list and I knew that he was beloved. It was why I chose him to be the 60th Interview. He died eight months after I posted that interview, it was less than a year. I was thankful that he able to share his words on his work, and I hope that he inspires future generations. I would have been more thankful for him to still be with us though.
If a person changes their username (a.k.a. Bahamut) then I will go to the interview and update it. I've been cleaning up The Interviewer recently and have had to make some changes as I went. With one notorious user named Travis no longer being part of the site, unless he's still lurking under his old username.
Q: If you scroll through the In Memoriam page, there is a list of some known Newgrounds users that are no longer with us. (Note: Cerealbox Clock/Zach Finley, who has been dead since May 2004 and whose username was thecerealkiller, also belongs on that page. Original announcement.) If you had the chance, who would you interview and why?
A: Randy Solem. The man who brought me to Newgrounds. That was a missed opportunity that I wish I jumped at when I had the chance. There is a saying that I like which I would like others to take with them and it is "You are never promised tomorrow".
Q: On top of your main account and The Interviewer, you also have Dohn. You have had it for a long time but haven't done much, yet there is some recent activity. What do you want the public to know about some of your goals for it, going forward, on top of what's publicly stated?
A: It is in the works. I wanted to do some different kinds of interviews on there where I interview a Newgrounds member who has touched the site in one way or another, or just have a conversation with them. It is where some of my stories and other articles will be posted. If people were fans of my threads in the Video Game Forum, then they will continue and be expanded on through this page.
Q: You have amassed an impressive collection of interviews. In your experience, quantity notwithstanding, are you happy with the quality? Do you think the interviewees and general public are generally happy with them? Do you often hear back from interviewees for second chances after you've already posted the interview?
A: The general public are definitely happy, my only big critic is TurkeyOnAStick. He still reads whenever I highlight an artist from the Art Portal though. I take his criticism to heart and try to improve. Once I put the interview out I am not one to go back years later and change the wording. Once it is there it is there. My quality has improved over the years and I hope to improve it more. My older interviews were quite cringe, but I am still pretty happy with them... we all start somewhere and if you don't take the first step you will make no progress.
The only one who has wanted a second chance so far has been Ryanson. I'm not entirely sure why though.
Q: Do you have any aspects of your interviewing style that you like or dislike? Would you say that you are your own harshest critic and that you constantly fine-tune it?
A: My style is pretty dry. I've been trying to be a bit more humorous though. At this point though, guests are really happy to get that letter in their inbox and afterwards they end up having fun with it. What I dislike and what I've been trying to fix over time and have been doing so is that I don't know how to use a thesaurus. Seriously, my style in the older interviews was just the same question just slightly worded differently yet somehow using the same words. It was elegantly written bullshit. The interviewees still liked it and the readers still liked it. Jesus tap dancing Christ though I did not.
Q: Which interview was your most favorite and why?
A: AlmightyHans. It took the most work to do. Each interview has its own research paper and sadly I used to throw away the research paper when I was done. A lot of it was shorthand notes on something I wanted to remember to write the actual question. Everyone usually was contained to one, maybe two pages. Hans interview took up five pages. I don't write front and back.
Putting the interview together took an hour to do. It was all worth it in the end though. Hans story is a beautiful and even tragic tale. Any creative person out there who doesn't feel they're up to scratch and might even want to give up should read his story.
Q: Which interview was your least favorite and why?
A: TheShadling. He was one of my most requested interviews. I worked my ass off on that interview and I was trolled. The readers got a great laugh out of it, so in the end I was happy about that. TheShadling though was such an enigma though that I was hoping to learn more from him. That was not the case though. Can't say I didn't know what to expect, but it wasn't... that. Everyone liked it, so that's all that matters in the end.
Q: Would you say you have changed your interviewing style much, if at all, over the years?
A: My overall style is pretty dry. Yes I have though changed my style. I put a lot more dedication into it. The only way to get better is to build up more and more.
Q: Outside of writing, what do you get the most pleasure out of in life?
A: Every writer reads. I am no exception. Ultimately though music is my driving force and caffeine is my fuel.
Q: What can we expect from The-Great-One/The Interviewer/Dohn in the future?
A: The Interviewer is back in full force, so new interviews will be up every Wednesday. With Dohn, more interviews and conversations with the members of Newgrounds. As for me personally, I am hoping to start a podcast with Ben Tibbetts. That's still way WAY in pre-development (in other words we talked about it and that's it). I am also looking to make a web show that's been in developmental hell for over ten years now.
Throughout my lifetime, I have interviewed only a small handful of people. After all these years on Newgrounds, to interview The Interviewer was definitely a big assignment, but one I was willing and knowledgeable enough to take on. My journalism teacher in high school definitely taught me a few things I'll never forget. Journalists don't only exist to hold people with fame and power accountable or to answer questions that might be of public interest, but they themselves must be willing to be exposed from time to time. Exposure doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing, as this interview shows. It's fair to say that we all look forward to many more interviews going forward. Maybe another previous guest will also soon have the same opportunity that I did: to do a reverse interview. I waited 7 years, but it was well worth it.