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TheInterviewer's News

Posted by TheInterviewer - January 2nd, 2013


[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 110
Interview By:
Members of Newgrounds

Today's guest is once again Tom Fulp. He has been interviewed on three different occasions, by myself. Today though is a different day, for I decided to give the power of The Interviewer into the hands of the Newgrounds Members. I allowed them to ask Tom questions in a thread and asked Tom not to enter the thread. I even sent the questions off to him as I normally would, so up until this point, the questions have been anonymous. I supervised the thread and chose which questions passed and which ones didn't. For the most part, some really good questions did come through. Also keep in mind that this was posted months after the questions were asked and answered, so for the Unknown person, chances are either their account or posts were deleted. So please welcome once again Tom Fulp as interviewed by the Newgrounds Members.

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Ryanson: What was the hardest thing about getting Newgrounds off the ground?

A: Newgrounds had such a gradual rise that nothing comes to mind as the ONE thing that was hardest to get off the ground. I would say that as an ongoing issue, the hardest thing about NG is moving it into the future when it has roots in so many legacy features. We are years into a plan to make the content on NG mobile-friendly and available on multiple platforms. For example we are wrapping up software that does best-ever SWF to MP4 conversions and we prepared the Project System so that it could serve out multiple formats for the same content. More than a decade of content will be working its way through that conversion process so that it can be available on platforms that don't support SWF.
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II2none: Any plans to make a new IP or revitalize old ones?

A: JohnnyUtah and I are working on a new console game as well as Cathode Raybots, a web game we plan to release in January. As for old IP, I can't make any promises but I always hope to revisit Pico 2.
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Zachary: Tom, you're the founder of Newgrounds, but can you see why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

A: Because it has cinnamon swirls in every bite?
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Amaranthus: Is Stamper gay?

A: Would it matter if he was?
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Ryanson: What does an average day in the life consist of for you?

A: Wake up between 5-6am. Hang out with kids. Check on NG. Go for run. Drink protein and eat eggs. Shower. Try to be at work by 9am. Attempt to make a game while juggling all the NG stuff. Go home at 6pm. Hang out with kids. Eat dinner. Check on NG. Go to bed.
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Amaranthus: Did you ever feel frustrated because some user on NG was heavily spamming and/ or insulting you?

A: The users who annoy me the most are typically smart guys in college who aspire to build something like NG but instead of doing that, they sit around and criticize us for our failings and inability to get things done sooner. It's a SMALL TEAM and we work really hard to try and make people happy. When you get shitty attitudes in return it makes you want to walk away and move on to something that doesn't involve people.
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Amaranthus: Do you ever plan on giving credit to the current flash groups NG has?

A: It's gotten harder for crews / krews / groups to get collections. If you see something special happening and we seem to be missing it, let me know.
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Entice: What's your favorite and least favorite part of Newgrounds?

A: My favorite part is when a bunch of people come together and make something awesome that wouldn't have existed if they hadn't met on NG. My least favorite part is when someone leaves for YouTube but only comes back to post links to their YouTube on our front page Artist News section.
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Narcissy: Can we please have optional backgrounds?

A: I want user pages, submission pages and collections to have the ability to set unique backgrounds. In terms of letting users select what backgrounds they see while browsing NG, that isn't as high priority.
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Luis: When will you bring back rebelious smoking Tank Girl with saggy boobs? I miss her.

A: Will try to fit her in somewhere some day.
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Ryanson: If you had NEVER made Newgrounds, what would you be doing now?

A: If I kept doing what I was doing, I would be doing web development for other big companies. Or maybe Dan and I would have met on some other website, made Alien Hominid and still formed the Behemoth. Or maybe I would have lucked out and gotten into the game business some other way.
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Sekhem: When will newgrounds get hashtag support?

A: We have tags, do you really need hashtags? I'm curious to know where you feel the need to use them. We are developing feeds based on @username in blog comments and forum posts, so you can say stuff to specific people and it will show up in their personal feed. I'm up for discussing hashtags.
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DeftAndEvil: What are some of the visions for NG's creativity (both short-term and long-term) since NG has seemed to stagnate and languish, especially in regard to "intelligent,""groundbreaking," or even "provocative" works?

A: We're working on better collaborative tools and wider platform support. If the budget picks up we'll be able to sponsor more works. This past year had some of the most impressive movies ever, so the whole question is based on a bad assertion. I would love to see MORE great movies though and hopefully more people will realize how fun it is to make and release web games.
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tonypar16: How many PMs do you receive every day/per week? Do you read them all?

A: I get around 50 per day nowadays and I do read them all.
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Ryanson: What were the inspirations behind your more famous characters? Pico, Nene, Darnell, Samurai Asshole, Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers, etc.?

A: Pico started off with just trying to make something that was "cute but not for kids" but the real inspiration came when Columbine happened right when I was trying to figure out what Pico's game would be around. Samurai Asshole was just me wanting to make a brawler. The character in Alien Hominid was created by Dan and I was wanting to make a Metal Slug style game when he showed it to me, so that's what we did with him! Castle Crashers evolved out of a combination of Dad 'n Me and a game we wanted to make about four adventurers, who became four knights. It was gonna be a platformer but became a brawler.
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Unknown: What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

A: Be productive at whatever it is you like to do. Don't let other people drag you down. Be nice to people. Go for a run and work your core, you'll sleep better and have a better attitude.
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Mr. Percie: When the hell are you going to give us Pico School 2? Is it being released for xbox and steam?

A: I still hope to tackle Pico 2 some day as a 3D (as in polygons, not glasses) game. It may be a free web game but could also end up being something people pay for, due to the sheer amount of time and resources put into it.
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Unknown: Is the money you get from Newgrounds enough to feed your family and yourself?

A: Newgrounds makes enough to feed the people who work for Newgrounds and to pay a considerable amount to the people who contribute to Newgrounds (relative to what NG makes, at least), but NG does not feed me and my family. For the past few years my salary has come from the Behemoth, so keep buying Castle Crashers please.
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Ryanson: Who was your hero growing up?

A: If a company can be a hero, I was a big SNK / Neo Geo fan. I was also really into special effects so maybe James Cameron since I had a big book about the effects in Terminator 2. Also, Optimus Prime.
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DeftAndEvil: Are there any plans for another Newgrounds Writing Anthology? The Anthology has been released, but the average NG'er has the attention span and literary cognizance of a fourth-grader (no offense; feel free to debate this). Do you see any prospect in what is considered to have a "higher" standard (although it is not necessarily a "higher" medium)? Do you see NG embracing this?

A: It would be great if there was another Writing Anthology but that ultimately comes down to the community, as they pulled that together themselves! I still hope to introduce the Writing Portal (or Lit Portal, still on the fence) and integrate writers into more of the movies and games on NG.
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Unknown: What is your least favorite thing about the current design?

A: I question whether we should have a more fluid design that adjusts in response to screen size. I wish we didn't have to fit ads into the layout.
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MikeyS9607: Did you have a hand in any of the art/programming of this redesign?

A: I didn't personally do any of the art and programming, I just made mockups and writeups and bothered people to do things.
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Sandremss128: Do you care about the users that want a real Newgrounds related chat?

A: Yes. The real chat has always depended on the launch of our social server and that is still coming. We just hired Brendon, the guy who was originally working on it with PsychoGoldfish years ago for multiplayer games.
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Sandremss128: Do you think that the current featureless chat suffices and meets the quality standards of this site?

A: It gets the job done for now.
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Ryanson: Did you ever expect the userbase for Newgrounds to be as... fucked up as it is, for lack of a better way to phrase it?

A: The userbase is a big mix of people. There are tons and tons of amazing people who you might not see in the forums but they are big parts of the community regardless. There are also fine people in the forums.
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FBIpolux: Whatever happend to Bizzaro Tom?

A: He went back to Bizzaro World.
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tyler2513: Did you ever see Newgrounds becoming what it is now when you were starting out?

A: I wanted to make it a big fun place but I never imagined it getting THIS big. A lot of the essence of NG still comes back to my childhood joy of going to the arcade; you never knew what new games might be there and sometimes something new would blow your mind. I want visiting NG every day to be like going to the arcade in the 80s.
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DeftAndEvil: What are your current plans for the Writing Forum? What are some of the "tangibles" that would warrant a creation of a Lit Portal? (Increased output of decent literary works? Increased literary insight among members? Increased involvement in other NG media (via scripts, screenplays, or storyboards)? Financial potential; or, the success of the Anthology?)

A: The Writing Portal doesn't really need any tangibles for me, it just needs to find a good place in the schedule where it won't feel like too much added burden for the programming team to maintain.
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big-jonny-13: How much time and effort do you put into running and maintaining the site and everything about it? Would you say it's typical to a 40 hour work week, or is it 24/7?

A: For the majority of NG's existence it was a full-time sort of deal that wrapped itself into every free minute. Now I have kids and it's a more typical 40 hour work week, plus check-ins at odd hours in the evening / morning / middle of the night.
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tyler2513: How often do you watch movies or play games here on Newgrounds nowadays?

A: I check out stuff every day.
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Sandremss128: What are your plans to increase the user base over the coming years?

A: We just launched NG Social which will hopefully get more people checking in regularly to see what their friends are up to in addition to the artists they follow. We've also been helping MMORPGs integrate with our account system, which has been driving a lot of new sign-ups. Next up is the NG Passport system, which will let players on other websites keep the medals, scores and shared items they get from games using our API. This will drive more people to create accounts, at which point we can encourage them to check out the rest of what NG has to offer.
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DeftAndEvil: What is one to do when a man steals bread to feed his family? If this is too heart-wrenching and you are unable to come up with an answer, then what is your favorite book?

A: Did he threaten someone with a weapon or did he just sneak out of a store with it? I NEED DETAILS! And I don't really have a favorite book but I recently enjoyed the SILO series and Ready Player One. Now I'm reading Atopia.
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big-jonny-13: Out of everyone that you've worked with over the years with the site, who would you say has been your most valuable co-worker and why? It can be either one individual, or multiple people.

A: I don't want to rank the staff but I will say that Ross gets the all-time prize for programming the automated version of the Portal back in the day.
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I-smel: Is it annoying that content creators get good to the point that they move away from Newgrounds?

A: Yes. It doesn't feel necessary to move away completely but life gets busy and people need to make a living. NG is still the best place to get discovered but we need to be the best place to get paid if we want more people to stick around past their college years. Being a revolving door helps make a path for the next generation, as long as the next generation shows up. I'd love to balance it all.
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tyler2513: Do you have any future plans to change systems such as the reviewing, whistle blowing, ect?

A: We still need to get the whistle back up and running, it has been lower priority because we have moderators now who have been doing a great job without it. We talk a lot about a massive voting overhaul but that goes back and forth a bit.
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egg82: How did you get started being a game dev? Meaning what was your inspiration and how and where did you start learning?

A: I just always loved games and I spent a lot of time studying details while Wade and his friends played games. I really loved going to the arcade and playing games like Double Dragon and Rampage. I started learning programming with BASIC while I was in high school, then just worked my way up from there.
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MikeyS9607: When is the Lit portal coming out?

A: No ETA at the moment. I hope we can do it in 2013.
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Ryanson: Can you see yourself, 5 or 10 years in the future? What would have become of you? What would have become of Newgrounds?

A: Five years from now I expect to have another console game released and I expect Newgrounds to still be evolving. NG will likely be around for the rest of my lifetime, regardless of how successful it is.
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I-smel: When you had the choice of selling shares of Newgrounds to help fund what the site was doing, what kind of things helped you make the decision not to?

A: I worry about being unhappy having to answer to people. I also know that if NG took investment, it would ultimately be expected to sell.
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tyler2513: What is your general thoughts of the BBS and it's users?

A: I'd like the BBS to feel more integrated with what is happening on the rest of the site, with more discussion about game development, animation, etc.
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TheCupcakeArmy: Anything you can tell us about Battleblock Theater?

A: It's getting close to announcing a release date!
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Spretznaz Are we going to see any improvements to the search system in the noticeable future?

A: Hard to say how soon improvements to search may arrive. I'd love to just use a Google API that allows us to skin Google results into a page of NG but they charge money for that.
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I-smel: Was the new Supporter Upgrade inspired by Penny-Arcade's kickstarter or what? (Penny Arcade made a Kickstarter to take all the ads off their site and be funded by users instead)

A: No, we were actually working on it well before that. The Penny-Arcade Kickstarter was still inspirational though. I would love to have enough user support to be ad-free.
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egg82: What users do you miss the most? What people do you enjoy having now?

A: I don't really think of people as GONE, people just get busy with other stuff. I enjoy seeing guys like RicePirate and DeathInk who really embrace the wholeness of NG. There are other people I want to name but the more I name, the more I'll offend people I don't name. I really like users who get involved in organizing the community to make cool stuff. Also I-Smel for actually blogging about game development.
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Unknown: When are you returning to the UK?

A: I have a feeling it will be a few years but I'm excited to go back. I just have to prioritize trips now because I feel selfish being away from the kids.
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wreckr: Do you have anything up your sleeve to combat the growing animation community on YouTube? Maybe a way to bring them onto Newgrounds?

A: All we can do is strive to be the best we can. YouTube offers more money and more views to established animators. We still offer more views to unknown animators and people do make money on NG. We just have to keep improving and keep caring. We're a lot more personally available than anyone at YouTube.
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Otto: Will there ever be another Beard?

A: I wouldn't rule it out.
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I have to say that there were a lot of great questions asked. Some straight from a retired interviewer, that being Ryanson. Which if my nagging won't bring him back, perhaps you guys can nag him to come back. All in all though, Tom is just as polite with the many other members of Newgrounds as he was when I interviewed him. Tom truly is a very chill guy, it makes me wonder what he looks like angry. The members of Newgrounds had a lot of interesting questions to ask him about the site and there seems to be a lot more coming to Newgrounds in the future.
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Posted by TheInterviewer - November 19th, 2012


[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 109
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest was recently named the winner of the 2012 Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation. Although he did participate in the 2010 and 2011 Tournament of Flash Artists as well. His works in those tournaments has truly shown his abilities, from titles such as, Cookies, deceit, and such, Flipped., and Animals of the Metropolis. He is a gifted animator, and we are privileged to welcome, Emrox.

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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: I can't remember where I found newgrounds, but I remember it being 'just another flash site' back around 05. The first time I ever submitted anything to NG was a little under six years ago under the pseudonym martinswerld (sic). The submission was a music video for the novelty song "Fish heads" from 1980-something as I was incapable of producing original humor at the time (and still am today!) The blammed submission can be found here.

Devastated, I spent the next few years frequenting one site after another. One of the more notable sites was TheGameHomepage.com, where I got my first game sponsored, which eventually led me back to newgrounds. Along my journey across the various flash portals I met a lot of different people, including Ganon95.newgrounds.com, who I still talk to today. In the two years I spent hopping from one community to another I continued to practice and make little flash projects, none of which were ever released.
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Q: I remember seeing you here on Newgrounds under the name Elfman-Rox. Why the change in your username?

A: It seemed like the hyphen and childish spelling of 'rocks' was a bit too hard to remember, so I got a name change within the last year as I recall. The signature elf-hat stuck, though, hence the christmas colors. Maybe I'll change that someday; red and cyan has always looked nicer.
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Q: At what age did you become interested in animation?

A: When I was nine my Dad took a course in flash animation for work, and he got home he taught me and my two brothers the basics of Macromedia Flash 8. I was instantly fascinated with what you could create with such a simple medium, and I began studying animation as an independent project in fourth grade. That was sometime in October 2005, which means I've been animating for over seven years now (whoa.) When I was in middle school I read a lot about famous guys like Mozart who was writing symphonies since he was, like, two, and I figured that if I was going to be super-famous at anything it'd have to be something I was doing since I was a kid. From then on, my passion in animation from a young age has always been inspirational to me.
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Q: I'm A Pc: Deleted Clips Collab would be the first collaboration you would participate in Newgrounds. How did you come to find it and what was it like to work with and see these other animators works?

A: As someone with little experience on NG, I was eager to get my name out there and collaborate. I didn't really care what I was signing up for, I just liked the idea of a bunch of people contributing to one large project. I was still sorta afraid of other people's thoughts of me, so you'll notice that all of the audio clips in my parts are pitched down to hide my little-kid-on-the-internet voice. For a while I was trying really hard to make myself seem super professional, but over the years I've learned to address people online with a less serious attitude. When it came out I thought my entries were some of the worst of the bunch, but in retrospect, I think my bit was a little bit better than most of those guys'.
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Q: One of my favorite earliest works by you is entitled 60 Seconds of Awesome. The title truly does not lie. You state that you made 10 Seconds of Awesome, but started to make more and more. How long did it take you to make each one and why did you stop at 60 seconds?

A: How long did it take? God, I can't remember. Probably a night or two for every ten seconds. Those were all part of a series that was uploaded to my deviantArt account, but I never really got into the site after my first account got banned. God, that place is cold and unforgiving. No talented artist should start on deviantArt, because the chances of getting the recognition you deserve on there is about a million to one. There was a seventh and eighth installment to the series, but after number seven I was completely out of ideas. One thing worth mentioning, though, is that "10 seconds of pure awesome" was my first attempt at drawing/animating with outline-free shapes, which eventually became my favorite way to differentiate the backgrounds from the characters.
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Q: When HappyHarry was here, we talked about the shock value of setting up one event, but doing something completely different. Harry states he loves anticlimaxes and antijokes. You make this apparent in The Playground Song. Harry states that...

"it's not that I'm setting out to gross out people, or even make them laugh necessarily (though that is a welcomed side effect), I really just want to surprise them with something crazy and I love playing on people's abilities to second guess an ending."

Would you agree with this or do you have a different way of looking at this style of humor in terms of set-up and execution?

A: I agree pretty entirely. I devised a whole theory on comedy as being "something unexpected." Even dry humor, which is actually so expected that it isn't expected at all (which is why young children don't seem to "get" the dry stuff). This is why there is no mathematical equation or scientific formula for producing something funny. As soon as the viewer comes to recognize and expect your formula, your jokes stop being funny, so you have to keep it varied. You have to anticipate what the audience will think and flip it around on them. I could write a whole essay on this stuff (and I might!)
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Q: Po is an interesting look at video games. How some people don't have the patience or time to play them. One reviewer though says that you should make it into a flash game. When will we be seeing the game Po?

A: I made po already. It's in the preloader of the movie, although it probably would have made more sense to put it at the end. Po was created just as a short jab at how Pong is a simulation of a simulation, but is still one of the most recognized games of all time. Then I chose to make a simulation of a simulation of a simulation. Take that, RC Pro-Am.
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Q: Malcolm. How did you come across this song? What made you want to animate it? You also state that you feel it is overrated, could you tell us why you think that in more detail?

A: I made Malcolm a little bit after The Playground Song, which was my first front-paged submission as well as the first to win any daily awards. Once I had a taste of the fame, I made a few generic movies I'm not too proud of. "Malcolm" was a funny song that I decided to animate simply because it was a funny song, and those score well. Also Malcolm has a nose in some scenes and doesn't in other scenes, another reason I cringe every time I watch it.
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Q: You would participate in the 2010 Tournament of Flash Artists on AlbinoBlackSheep, the 2011 Tournament of Flash Artists here on Newgrounds, and the 2012 Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation here on Newgrounds in which you would be the winner of. When last year's winner Dave Bruno was here we talked about the tournament. We also spoke with the founder of the tournament Adam Witt. How did you come across this tournament and what encouraged you to participate in them?

A: I can't remember when or where I found the tournament, but I've always been a pretty competitive person, so when I discovered I could compete at one of the few things I'm good at I was pretty psyched to put my animation abilities to the test. The round 1 theme in 2010 was "create a sequel to a previous tofa entry," so I ended up searching through just about every entry from every year trying to find room for originality. Although I never came up with a good idea for that round, I learned a lot about the history of the tournament, which encouraged me to come back year after year.
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Q: A trip to the hospital would be a part of the 2011 TOFA. The subject was game show. Could you tell us how you came about this interpretation and how you were able to get it done in this amount of time?

A: For my entry I did a parody of the gameshow "cash cab," which for those of you who don't know is a very gimmicky sort of show that you should never watch with friends. I can't remember how I came up with it, but I do remember pretending I was sick to get an extra day to work on it. It was pretty rushed, and I think the overall quality suffered as a result. So yeah, no one watch that video. It's bad.
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Q: Cookies, deceit, and such is my favorite by you. Another entry for TOFA 2011 under the subject "Wrongfully Accused". I remember seeing this one during the tournament and was amazed at how you turned this simple children's game into a crime drama of sorts. Where did the idea for this come from and what was the process you took into getting it out?

A: Ah, now here's one I'm pretty proud of. When coming up with an idea for the theme, I noticed that the game 'Who Stole the Cookie' was entirely based on incorrect accusations, so I immediately had a million different ideas on how I could twist the game into something funnier. This was the most doable of those ideas, 'cause I didn't have to lip-sync any of it (heeheeheeheeheeheehee.)
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Q: Your first entry in the 2012 Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation would be under the subject of Time Travel. With that we come to Flipped.. This is pretty interesting if I do say so, with the sands of time being flipped and thus the entire move plays backwards. You said you weren't going to do a time machine bit because that would have gotten old. So how did you come about an hourglass and the reversing of time through it?

A: This was actually an idea that I threw away during the open round of TOFA 2010- "Backwards Day." The idea matched the theme well, and I'd improved significantly since then, so why not, right? I didn't really have a plan when I started this as I think you might be able to tell by the lack of a decent ending, so that should be a lesson to all of you storytellers. Don't write a story based on the presentation, and don't be afraid to hold onto a good idea until you have a better idea of how to support it.
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Q: Your next entry in the 2012 NATA would be based off the subject The Elephant in the Room. Animals of the Metropolis talks of an assassin who is an elephant. One line from it that I like is "once he's entered the room, your fate is sealed." This literal interpretation of this phrase is pure writing bliss. How did you come up with this beautiful interpretation and do you ever plan on possibly expanding on this idea?

A: I'd hate to give you another "I can't remember" (I think this makes five), but I completely forgot where this idea came from. I don't think I'll ever be expanding on this story specifically, but I really liked the style and tone of the piece. Maybe I'll revisit it someday, but as of now I don't have any plans to.
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Q: Your next entry in the 2012 NATA would be -partners in crime-. The theme being that of A True Companion. Where did you get the idea of a man and a mouse robbing people from?

A: I think this one was inspired by that movie "Tower Heist." The movie itself wasn't that great, but it inspire me to make something of a similar genre. A lot of these ideas just come straight from the theme, though, which may explain why I can't seem to recall where my interpretation of the subjects came from.
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Q: The Final Fork in the Road. Transit. There seems to be a bit more to this. Something that can be heavily interpreted. You could have done a hilarious movie of a road trip and two friends, but you give us a serious subject... with what seems to be an assassin. What can you tell us about this movie? Also how did it feel to win the 2012 NATA?

A: This movie is a little pretentious, I'll admit. In fact, this is one of my least favorite entries. While it appears that there may be some sort of deeper meaning or message, the parallel images are really only there to tell the story. I'd like to think it's visually appealing though, and the palette was fun to make. It felt great to win NATA, but I kinda feel like there were other entrants that deserved to win more than I did. In fact, there were some really good animators that just couldn't make the deadlines and lost, such as CatFat, VieRickend, coughing-dog, and Fungasm.
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Q: ast*risk is still a game I don't quite understand or even understand how to get its other endings. Perhaps you can help fill in the blanks. This is an art game, so perhaps you could explain it to myself and others who don't seem to grasp the message.

A: I've always disliked art games on NG with their cryptic messages and slow, tedious gameplay. So my brother and I made this parody game to show how easy it is to confuse people into thinking their having fun instead of making a fun game. I'm sure a couple of 'em really do have some super-inspiring messages behind the boring repetitive gameplay, but a lot of the time it seems like the authors behind art games were just being vague and pretentious just because they wanted people to pay attention to their game. Some people saw right through it, while some people wasted hours trying to find endings 1 and 3. But in my defense I wasted four days making it, so it probably evens out.
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Q: What can we expect from Emrox in the future?

A: One of my NATA entries has been finished for two months now, but I still have to figure out how to convert it to mp4 properly. So yeah, that's coming pretty soon I hope. After that, I'm gonna be going back to funny toons for a while. NATA was a fun experience where I got to try out a bunch of different genres of writing, but I think I still prefer humor.
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Emrox is certainly quite the interesting individual. His comedic works are quite hilarious, but I think he doubts himself with his more serious works such as Animals of the Metropolis. His writing is brilliant in these aspects, it is no wonder that he did win this tournament. Truly one of Newgrounds finest.
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Posted by TheInterviewer - October 15th, 2012


[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 108
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest is one of the main men behind the scenes here at Newgrounds. He is the one to go to if you're having troubles with your account. See a mischievous troublemaker, or are being abused, then he is the man to go to. He is the Newgrounds Administrator. The brother of Tom Fulp, he is none other than Wade Fulp.

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Q: How did you become a part of Newgrounds?

A: Growing up Tom and I spent a lot of time working on things together. Growing up we made a lot of home movies, starting with an old video camera that connected into a portable VHS VCR. Our father was always into electronics so we ended up getting newer video cameras, some tape to tape editing equipment, and later a computer based editing system. All of this was tape to tape, rather than digital. We grew up in an analog world when it came to audio and video. In our late teens Tom was doing a lot of 2D computer animation on an Amiga and I had set up a local BBS call Chaotic Order. Tom was also taking programming classes at his high school so he started making games for my BBS. Our local BBS got fairly popular in the area, but then started to die down at the Internet took off. Tom had started a personal web page which was hosted by our ISP. I let him use my share of storage as his site grew, as I wasn't doing much with it other than hosting a few images here and there. Eventually Tom moved away to college and the site started to take off. I was an avid fan of his website and was active on the forums and chat room. Eventually things started to grow so fast it was hard, or impossible, for Tom to handle it all on his own and still try and make Flash. Once there was money coming in he was able to hire me away from my job at a retail store. I was the store manager of New York Camera and Video in Quakertown, PA. We sold new and used photography and video equipment, had a professional film lab, rentals, etc. After working in that world for many years I was ready for a change, even if it meant commuting down into the city. It was a bit of a gamble as the future of a website is unknown.
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Q: Tom is your younger brother. What can you tell us about growing up with Tom?

A: Growing up with Tom was fun most of the time. We had our spats here and there like normal brothers. We played a lot of video games together, made videos, roamed around the neighborhood, etc. Tom was always much more into reading about video games than I was. I loved to play them, but he always had tons of magazines and was always up on what was coming out next.
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Q: You are labeled on the staff page of Newgrounds as an Administrator. What can you tell us about your job criteria?

A: Most of my time is dealing with user issues, such as helping users get into their accounts, removing content, dealing with troublemakers, etc. I over see a lot of the moderators and get involved with recruiting new ones with the help of our current mod team. I get a lot of IM's from various mods that have questions or need assistance with issues they come across. There are a lot of people that spam Newgrounds and use hundreds or thousands of accounts to pull that off,
so we're constantly tracking them down and cleaning up the mess they make. I also help feature content when needed, something I did a lot more of in the past when Tom was tied up with his Behemoth projects.
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Q: You have an interest in photography with many of your Oh Snap! threads. When and how did you get into photography? What kind of cameras do you use?

A: I've always enjoyed photography. My earliest experience withphotography was when I was in the 7th or 8th grade and had to take a lot of photographs of plants growing for a science project. I used my father's Canon FTb 35mm SLR camera with a macro lens and a ring flash. You had to manually set everything, so it was challenging and fun. After that I didn't do much with photography until I started working at New York Camera and Video. I was hired there originally to help build turn key computer based video editing systems. We were an Amiga dealer and a NewTek Video Toaster dealer. So I spent a lot of hours tearing into Amiga computers installing various components, or doing repairs. Back then the insides of computers had a lot of sharp wires on the back of the circuit boards, so I often had sliced up and bloody hands. I was only working part time so the store offered to give me more hours working on the sales floor. I started helping in the video department, which was my strength, but eventually learned the entire store. Over the years I learned a lot about photography to the point the professionals would come to me to find out what kind of equipment they needed to accomplish their goals. I got a lot of good deals on used equipment and had a lot of fun playing around with it. I have a nice assortment of Canon FD equipment, which is all manual focus. I also picked up some medium format equipment, such as a Rolleiflex TLR, a Hasselblad, and a Pentax 67. Eventually digital took over and shooting film got to be a hassle and an expense, especially once I started working for Newgrounds and no longer had easy access to a professional film lab with a generous discount. These days I take a lot of photos with my iPhone and a Canon SX200 IS. I haven't had the spare money to splurge on a DSLR, but hope to in the future. They are only getting better the longer I wait.
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Q: When the Art Portal was released it was stated that photography would not be allowed at said point in time, but that might change down the line. Are you for photography being acceptable in the Art Portal and at what point in time do you think it will be accepted?

A: It would be fun to have a photography section, but there are a lot of challenges with that. For one, we would probably see more photo uploads than art, which would require more storage space. Also you run into copyright issues as we would certainly have people submitting other people's photographs. Photographers often aggressively protect
their copyrights and there are a lot of laws on the books that allow them to do that. So we could open ourselves up to more lawsuits by allowing users to submit photography. For now users will have to share their photography on their user page.
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Q: Many people like to collect things. Besides cameras, you collect flashlights, knives, and old-fashioned straight razors. Why drew you to these practical items?

A: When I was young, single, and working full time I had more disposable income. If I knew then what I know now I would have saved much more of my money. However, I was dumb, and collected a lot of things. I had been into knives ever since I was about 12 or 13. I loved to play outdoors and in the woods, so I was always hacking and slashing my way through things. I used to buy a lot of junk knives from catalogs like Smokey Mountain Knife works. For $50 you could acquire 10-20 knives. So a common theme for my birthdays and Christmas was a list of knives cheap knives. As I grew older, and had more of my own money to spend, I refined my tastes and bought less knives, but better quality and more suited for real world use. Working in retail you are constantly opening packages, so razor knife, or a good pocket knife, is a must. I like to collect things that are practical and can be used in my daily life.

As far as flashlights, I didn't really collect them growing up. Growing up I just had your regular plastic house hold flashlight to take out into the night. As I grew older I picked up a Maglite and that was sufficient at the time. At some point I came across Surefire flashlights, who specialize in making flashlights for law enforcement, firemen, military, etc. When I saw
they offered a very small flashlight that put out 60 lumens, twice the output of my big old Maglite, I had to have it. However, it burned up two 3v camera batteries in about 20 minutes. So it wasn't something I used a lot. Years later I saw a small LED flashlight online that was putting out 135 lumens from a single 3v battery, and had a longer running time than my Surefire! So I ordered one and when I got it I was amazed. It was like magic! LED technology took a big leap at this time as far as output, efficiency, and closer to a white light. LED flashlights before this were always fairly dim, and often very green
or blue. So I found the LED technology interesting. It wasn't long until they made more improvements, coming out with better LED's that had more output, used less power, ran cooler, were even whiter with less color tint. One way to try out the latest and greatest LED was to buy a new flashlight that used it. Many of these flashlights are fairly inexpensive so my collection grew. I found them to be very practical as I could carry a small flashlight if I was going out for a walk at night. Being able to put a small flashlight in your pocket that could put out 200+ lumens just wasn't something that was available for most of my life. What excited me was seeing how far the technology was coming and how it would replace our home lighting needs in the near future, allowing us to save a lot of electricity. In addition to the new LEDs there were a slew of new flashlight manufacturers, many of them from China, making all kinds of interesting flashlight designs. Some of them were designed to throw the light from the LED as far as possible. It became a competition between manufacturers to see who could make the longest throwing flashlight. Who would have thought you could light up an object 800-1,000 feet away, or more, with a single LED? It was impressive and a lot of fun to have a flashlight capable of that, but could also fit in your pocket.

I haven't been buying much in the way of flashlights or knives lately, but these days I have a flashlight that can output over 700 lumens from an LED, or dim down to 0.07 lumens for use in total darkness where you don't want to blind yourself. As far a straight razors, this was a spin off from my knife collecting. At some point I decided to learn about knife sharpening, and got very good at it. The type of edge I could put on a knife was more for show than for practical use. Then I realized I could take my sharpening skills to the world of straight razors. Usually barbers would have a sharpening service maintain their straight razors when their leather strop would no longer bring back the edge. I needed no such service, I was the service. So I picked up some old and used straight razors and restored them to shaving condition. It was fun to learn a skill that isn't commonly used today.
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Q: What is Danger Mouse?
A:
Danger Mouse was a cartoon that Tom and I used to watch on Nickelodeon. Google it.
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Q: At one early point in time Newgrounds did have a chat system. Newgrounds now has an official chat, but how did we get from there to here? What problems arose in the original chat that were remedied for the new chat?

A: Early in the history of Newgrounds there was an IRC fan chat. I was actively involved in chatting there and helping to moderate it. It was originally created by a fan, but later I made a new chat room, or channel as it's call on IRC, so we would have full control. We then linked to this chat from our newgrounds.com/chat page. It was never terribly active, similar to the current NG Chat. Over time it became a hang out for the same group of users who became bitter and acted like elitists. They weren't welcoming to new chatters, and even got to the point where they weren't welcoming to NG staff. It was at this point we felt it was time to cut ties with the IRC chat until we could develop our own chat. Chat has never attracted many users so we have never made it much of a priority. Maybe if we saw more interest and more people using it we would pay more attention to it.
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Q: Photoshop Bedn! is quite possibly the most famous Photoshop thread on Newgrounds. When and how did you meet Josh Bend? What made you want to create this thread and what have been both of your reactions to it?

A: Josh was an avid Newgrounds fan. He was active on the forums, the site, and active at contacting the staff. He lived in the area so he always wanted to come meet us, hang out, etc. Eventually I arranged for him to come visit me when I was working at the camera store. After I left the camera store I returned to work 1 day a week on Saturdays just to make a little extra money. Josh hang around the store for awhile while I was busy helping customers. At some point when I was
free I posed for a picture with him and told him I would post it up on the site. The Photoshop Bedn topic was born.
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Q: illwillpress has gotten some bad press over the years here on Newgrounds, so bad that a forum rule was put into place to not knock established Newgrounds groups such as illwillpress or the Clock Crew. You are one of the many to defend him. Some say it was because you regard Newgrounds traffic as higher and therefore put him over the unknown artist. What is your response to this?

A: I will defend any Flash artist. illwillpress never did anything to deserve the abuse he got other than becoming popular. It was all rather stupid that a bunch of jealous idiots felt the need to attack him every time he released a new Flash that they felt wasn't good enough. No one was stopping other artists from becoming popular, and many artists went on to become just as popular or more popular.
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Q: This is it. would be sirtom93's prank upon the Newgrounds forum. Your single post "Leave this topic, authorities are being contacted." would send hilarity and chills down the different members spines. Could you tell us the events of that day and what was going on behind the scenes?

A: I don't know why you call it a prank, as he was apprehended by the authorities and was found to be headed to his school with gasoline, knives, and whatever else he had posted to the forums. My post was to alert our other moderators and staff not to delete the topic as we were actively working with the authorities who were also monitoring
that topic as we were collecting information to track the guy down. I had received an IM from TigerKitty and deckheadtottie about the post on the forums. I got on and looked it over. I started pulling up sirtom's information to try and figure out where he was, who he was, etc. As the pieces came in I was relaying the information to TigerKitty and deckheadtottie and they were relaying it to the authorities. Rig had already contacted the authorities, but I don't think he had much information to relay to them other than some guy was claiming to be planning an attack on his school. Once we had some more information we were able to get his name to the authorities and we even tracked down his school and warned them. I believe deckheadtottie contacted the school directly to warn them. The authorities were able to get to him on his way into school thanks to everyone's quick action. I have to give the main credit to TigerKitty and deckheadtottie as they were the ones to contact me so I could get them the information they needed to give to their authorities.
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Q: Secret Service - Warning to all! was a thread of you telling the members not to make threats to the President. Can you tell us how these events usually happen and have you been contacted by the Secret Service since the thread was made?

A: People need to realize you can't joke around and make threats against the President. If someone reports it to the Secret Service they are obligated to follow up on it, and this has happened several times in our history. You may ask, how does the Secret Service find out? Easy, a Newgrounds user contacts them and reports it. Then I magically get a phone call on my home phone line from the Secret Service asking for details about the user who made the threat. Then
the Secret Service shows up to that user's home and takes their computers away and investigates them to determine if there is a threat. I don't want anyone to go through that over a joke, so I did what I could to warn the users. If they do it anyway, they can deal with the consequences.
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Q: How much mail do you get on a daily basis? Do you read it all?

A: It has varied over the years. We no longer use our email and do everything with the PM system. This isn't the most efficient way to deal with problems the users want to report to us, so we do our best with it. I try to read all my PM's, unless I can tell from the subject it's going to be a waste of time. The most annoying thing is users who can't provide me with the details I need to help them in their initial PM. Like "Can you change my username?" or "I want some of my Flash
deleted, can you do that?' and so on. The back and forth is frustrating. Or I'll write back "What did you need removed" and
they'll reply "Nevermind, someone else got it." and so on.
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Q: When Malachy was here we talked about Rage's gift to you: Abusive reviews. This thread lasted a long time, but was finally put to rest. Could you tell us in your own words the problems that the thread suffered as it went on?

A: I think it got to the point that people were reporting reviews that weren't truly abusive and it was causing the list of flagged reviews to get filled with non-abusive reviews which frustrated the review mods.
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Q: At one point in time you recruited people to keep an eye on the Flash Portal. Now the portal is split into Movies and Games and there are Portal Moderators. Who are the Portal Moderators and what do they do exactly?

A: Before we had Portal Moderators we had Genre Moderators. These users had been helping us by going through Flash movies and games and assigning them Genre's, tags, and ratings. Since these people were very familiar with our content it made sense to transition most of them over to Portal Moderators. We keep a log of what they un-publish so we can easily undo any mistakes. Basically they will un-publish Flash that violates our terms, or has a problem that the artist needs to correct.
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Q: You are simply one man and so the moderators do help you out. However that doesn't mean they should be the only ones. In your thread Warning about illegal images and No more nude images! you encourage people the moderators and staff immediately if they see something wrong. What would be the proper way for someone to go about informing you or the moderators of something like this whether it be a thread, art piece, movie, or game?

A: Simply sending a PM to the appropriate mod or staff member with a link to the content in question, and a brief description of the problem, is all that is needed. When reporting stolen content it's best to link to who it was stolen from when possible.
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Q: Google+ Hangout is a place for Newgrounds members to hang out and talk with one another. There have been past incarnations with the Stickam Chat. What is the purpose of using these other programs, when we already have a forum and a chat. Why not put energy into making a chat similar to the other chat rooms?

A: It would be a big project to create something like Google Hangouts or Stickam on Newgrounds. It is just something we don't have the resources or interest to do at this time. So if people want to cam up and interact with each other, these are popular ways to do that.
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Q: When Newgrounds first started out, it was something new and fresh, alongside many other things on the Internet. The Internet has now since grown and adapted. Do you feel Newgrounds has done the same or is there more that could be done?

A: There is always more that can be done, but we aren't backed by a giant corporation with unlimited funding. Once we developed something new and fresh it wasn't hard for someone to hire a huge team and throw lots of money at it to duplicate our ideas.
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Q: What is the biggest problem you usually face when dealing with the different Newgrounds members problems?

A: As I stated above, many people contact me and do not include the information I need to help them.
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Q: What can we expect from Wade Fulp in the future?

A: Probably more of the same.
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Wade Fulp is certainly an interesting person of the Newgrounds community. He does his job to keep everything in line whether he has to be a professional formal person who can help you, to babysitting a bunch of three year olds and telling them no. He is kind and courteous and always there to help when he can.
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Posted by TheInterviewer - October 7th, 2012


[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 107
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest, is the seer into your eyes. She is known for doing the wall background for the Newgrounds Shop Page. She has also done portraits of the different Newgrounds members here, worked with other artists in collaborations, and has been helpful in showing new artists the ropes not only here on Newgrounds, but in the real world as well. Her kindness knows no bounds and her art has no limits. I am pleased to welcome... CosmicDeath.

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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: My boyfriend at the time, Sean, introduced me to NG to keep me busy instead of dancing around him while he tried to code games. He had noticed an art contest that Poxpower was running in the Art Forum and sent me the link. I was really impressed and it brought me out of an art slump.
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Q: When and how did you get into art and animation?

A: I got into drawing as a child. I had friends, but I never felt like I interacted with them as well as they did with each other - so I just focused on stuff I could do on my own. Sadly, I can't animate worth a DAMN. I think I made something in a flash class at college once, but it sucked a big bag of dicks.
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Q: Did you study art at Northolt High School?

A: I took standard art classes set as part of the curriculum, but I actually didn't show up to school very much aside from those art classes. Northolt is a dive. If you're traveling through NW Greater London, don't get off the tube at Northolt station because you'll get your shit pushed in.
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Q: When did you enter Lincoln College? What did you learn there?

A: I attended Lincoln College from 2005-2006 on a condensed foundation course, and I had some awesome tutors. But one in particular was Roy, a Fine Artist that graduated from the Royal College of Arts in London. He taught us much more refined life drawing techniques than I'd experienced before. And he was hella strict. I have fond memories of a couple shed tears by milder-mannered students.

Roy: You helped ignite a desire for excellence in myself, and though I haven't achieved what I want yet - and may never achieve it - I will continue to strive for it because people like you have opened my eyes and my imagination. But best of all, you've taught me skills to depict the future I want for myself. Now it's down to me.
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Q: What drew you to learn Fine Art at the University of Lincoln?

A: After Lincoln College, where I'd completed two years worth of coursework in a single year, I felt I was ready for a University level course. I worked on a joint honours BA in Fine Art & Illustration at the University of Lincoln, but Fine Art started seeming more and more like a big pile of bullwinkle. I guess I'd grown less tolerant of the conceptual side of art and was surrounded by people who were very good at talking-the-talk, when all I wanted to do was paint stuff that looked awesome. So I dropped Fine Art and concentrated on Illustration. Huzzah!
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Q: You were a co-founder of a group of Lincoln art students. What was this group called and how did it form? Also would you say that this group helped you in working with different Newgrounds Collaborations?

A: It was called StArt. There were many co-founders; the main person that brought us together was Lauren, a graduate art student that put up flyers to gain interest at local art campuses. It drew the rest of us in while we were in college and university. The experience of it was way different from the experience of collaborations though NG, online. In person there are a lot of high-fives, umming and ahhing, and awkward pauses where people wait for you to give in to their ideas whilst politely resisting the ideas you've laid out in turn. Online, you can just assume that the pauses between IMs is the other person peeing or getting a delicious sandwich.
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Q: What can you tell us about your relationship with Newgrounds member Timmy?

A: *whisper sputters* It's a secrets *sputters spittle* pss pspspgkll;
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Q: What brought you from the United Kingdom to the United States?

A: I moved to Texas for Sean (aka Weasel). He's a great guy, and we were together for about three years, but unfortunately we wanted different things in life. People have asked me if I regret moving for a relationship that didn't pan out, and my answer is no. I don't know if I'm trying to rationalize it, but I look back on the highs and lows of my life and feel grateful to have experienced it all and be who and where I am now. I would probably make some changes here and there, some minor tweaks, but not at the cost of any heartache in case it made me less compassionate. And I seriously can't afford to go losing compassion, I'm pretty sure I didn't start out with a deep bucket of it.
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Q: One of your favorite books is Clive Barker's "Imajica". What can you tell us about this book and why do you like it? Also would you say this book has any subconscious inspirations in your artwork?

A: Haha, yesss! Imajica is absolutely my favourite story; shortly followed by Weaveworld, also by Clive Barker. In my observation, there are several stories Barker has written where the main characters hold greater potential or power than they are immediately aware of in the beginning of their journey. They have pasts unknown to them, or secrets that are buried to save themselves from the dangerous burden of knowledge. I am in love with this character concept. It inspires me, and makes me dream of a life where anyone could be walking around, a stranger to themselves - lost and wandering through life with the wings of backstory waiting impatiently to unfurl, but living in agony through backbreaking ignorance. It is so exciting during character development as they are awakened to their true selves with painful consequences.

It's not just the characters, it is also the world around them/us. The realities we can't see, but which are hinted at by the superstitious, feared and exalted by the religious, misunderstood or ignored by the masses... It's similar to many of Neil Gaiman's premisses. I strongly encourage you to go check these guys out. BAD ASS.

Oh yeah, and it inspires my dreams/daydreams more than my art - to answer your question, haha.
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Q: What is The Future Fire?

A: FutureFire.net is a sci-fi e-zine where authors can post their new, previously unpublished science fiction short stories to share with others. There are artists that illustrate images to accompany many of the stories, as which I've participated twice. I'd like to see more artists contribute, and for the site to grow, but personally, I think I'm more a fantasy than a sci-fi fiend.
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Q: What was the Art Contest: Heavy Metal mag cover? What can you tell us about your entry?

A: That was the first contest I ever entered, and the thing that brought me to Newgrounds! I am a sucker for drawing nekkid ladies, but I was timid when I joined in case I drew anything that would get me banned from the site. I was new and didn't realise that there is a constant flow of phalluses coursing through NG's veins. Also, I traced most of that drawing from a photo I took of myself, taking care to enhance the breasts to a nice backache-inducing size. I was swiftly corrected on the rules of tracing (even from your own source images) and haven't done it since. My submission was nothing to write home about, but I'm glad I took part 'cause I wouldn't be sitting here talking with you otherwise. Go NG!
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Q: While browsing the Art Forum it appears you have had a run in with different art thieves over time. What can you tell us about these thieves and what should other artists be on the lookout for if they suspect a thief?

A: That must have been a while ago, 'cause I can't really remember. But I'd say, if you see differences in drawing style, lineweight, and general colour palette/colouring style between submissions, be cautious. Also, it seems like people who steal artwork and post it as their own, don't seem to understand that WE HAVE THE INTERNET TOO - they often post really epic artwork for the thrill of getting lots of attention, but that only makes it easier to track down the artist who actually created it.
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Q: The Eye Topic is a thread where people posted their pictures of eyes. I like your piece quite a lot. You have a way of capturing eyes in your art. You state...

"When I was younger, I used to draw a lot of eyes - they are fascinating and so important to render well giving a face life and emotion. The gateway to the soul and all that jazz."

You still tend to focus on eyes a lot. What is it about a creature's eyes that you find fascinating. In other words could you give us more elaboration on this subject?

A: I think realistic emotion or feeling is one of the hardest things to depict and replicate in drawn characters, and a lot of that is in the eyes. The behavioural aspect of oculesics gives more insight into why and how this is so important. But for now let's just say that eyes create an emotional link to the viewer, even when they aren't attempting eye contact.
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Q: The Art Portal was released on June 3rd, 2009. What were your first impressions of it and what do you think of the Art Portal overall? Is there anything you would change or improve?

A: Whelp, I thought it was just dandy. Sadly I don't get a lot of time to check out submissions unless they are Front Paged. Tell you what, though - I'm glad we have good Art Portal mods. It can be tricky navigating the Art Portal, but they manage to weed out the shifty crap that could land NG in bother. Thanks guys!
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Q: You like many artists on here would have an art thread. Yours is entitled CosmicDeath's Digi-sketchbook. What do you believe the purpose of an art thread to be? Should Newgrounds artists have one?

A: Damn, I forgot I had that thread. Looking back on it, it seems the purpose would be to post cocks. Lots and lots of cocks. Maybe we artists should save the Art Forum for general art discussions rather than as a showcase arena. Isn't that what the Art Portal is for? *me-no-know*
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Q: When GoryBlizzard was here, we talked about the Newgrounds Stickam Chat. He didn't really have much to say about it, but perhaps you can tell us about it. What was the experiences like in Stickam?

A: Stickam is where I spoke to a lot of Newgrounders for the very first time. It was a slaughterhouse for anyone foolish enough to disclose their feelings, haha! There are a lot of people from NG that I would never have met in person if it hadn't been for NG's Stickam Chat. I first spoke to Timmy there, for example.
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Q: Your first submission to the Art Portal would be Blue Brain (poster). Who was this poster for and what can you tell us about the process in making it?

A: I was just dicking about to make something for a Planet-K advertisement poster, but ended up having technical issues with no one wanting to shell out for the commercial use of the poster's font. So I took the graphics I'd made and put them on a funky background and submitted it to the Art Portal. The graphics were remade from open-source medical stock images that I reshaped, drew over, and then put through a process of PS filters to get the desired style. Someone lovely put it on a mousepad for me.
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Q: You are one of the few artists I see step out of their comfort zones in a way. You have made two wristbands in time, one being an Edgey Band and the other being a Tribal Band. Why wristbands?

A: I like thick leather cuffs, haha. I also do other stuff; check out my crafts and humble photography at http://jemacmillan.carbonmade.com/projects/32605 84#1
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Q: You have done a number of portraits for Newgrounds members. They include Timmy, FBIpolux, jmalouin7, Captain-Ben, and cast. How did you come about drawing these gentlemen?

A: I've drawn some other people too, like Poxpower and Jazza. I guess I just didn't post them on the Art Portal. It started with me wanting to get better at drawing faces, so I asked people I liked if I could draw them. Now people are asking me to draw them, but I took up full time employment and can't seem to get into anything that requires that much attention and care for the time being.
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Q: How did you come to be a part of the Newgrounds Art Forum Memory Collab? What was the experience like and are you happy with the final product Memory Game Collab?

A: It was a neat project, and ran through really quickly. My contribution was relatively small; I just wanted to draw boobs and zombies!
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Q: I thought I'd seen it all, and then came The Cupcake Collab thread which would lead to the movie of the same name The Cupcake Collab. What drew you to this thread and what drew you to make an undead cupcake named Cupcakey?

A: I wanted to support Renaenae and the collaborations she was pulling together in the Art Forum. I was staring (drooling) at picture of cupcakes for inspiration (orgasm), and I noticed how the folded edge of the baking sleeve kinda looked like teeth. Teeth biting, cupcakes biting back, etc etc. Cupcakes are delicious.
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Q: What is the Operation Holiday Flood?

A: It was another collaboration led by Renaenae. She's a legend at rounding up artists and forming a decent, fun project. People were paired with one another and made efforts to work together to create images to accompany "12 Days of Christmas". They were posted one at a time, in the correct order, over 12 days leading up to Christmas; and the thumbnails, when viewed together on searching for the shared tag word brought up a complete image with the artists' signatures and a theme background including the title of the project. It was a bit of a complicated effort but totally worth it.
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Q: At the time of this interview, you're art can be seen as the wall background for the Newgrounds Shop page. I have to say it is quite possibly my absolute favorite by you. It can be seen when a Newgrounds Holiday background isn't up. When keepwalking was here he said Tom contacted him and told him what he wanted. Did Tom contact you as well and what were his descriptions for what he wanted?

A: Bob contacted me and asked if I'd like to create one of the skins for the redesign. Most of the colours were already picked by other artists, but thankfully grey was still available (I lubbs me some grey). As for it being your favourite, that's probably because it was touched up by the magical hands of Stamper. It didn't have nearly as many beautiful starbursts or cosmic swirls when I sent it in, but I think he went and did a few tweaks here and there to make things work better with the feel of the site. My first skin attempt was rejected because it was too distracting from site content and bordering on being too mature, so I dialled it back. Maybe I dialled it back too much? Haha, I dunno. Thanks though!
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Q: What is in your opinion, the definition of art?

A: Ooph... Lemme knock back a few drinks and ask me again later. When I'm passed out.
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Q: What advice would you have to give to those who are looking to go from doodling to masterpieces?

A: I used to just scream, "Practice!" Now I make the assertion that I was wrong for thinking that everyone can paint the Mona fuckin' Lisa if they just try hard enough. Not everyone can be a brilliant artist. Hell, I'm not even a brilliant artist. But I think there are varying degrees from which innate visual talents can blossom. I think some of it is simply having an eye and imagination for it, and the ability to problem solve that communication between your imagination and a platform through which you display what you see in your head to others. Practice just seems to work to hone and expand your methods of communication.

It isn't all doom and gloom though. If you want to start anywhere, start with your drawing and perception skills. Draw any and everything around you and then put it away and don't look at it for a few weeks. Keep drawing things in the meantime. You should spend at least 85% of your time actually looking at the thing you're trying to copy. Be productive and don't slack off. By the time you come back, you should notice an improvement from those older drawings - the key is noticing HOW you've improved. Look at what you are doing better. Look at what you see wrong with your old drawings and steer even further away from those same mistakes. Strive for perfection in capturing the things around you in real life. The more you can capture what you see with your eyes, the easier it will be to depict things from your imagination. If you don't notice an improvement from your old drawings, maybe you are just not concentrating enough, or maybe you should keep your day job, or maybe I'm an asshole.
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Q: What can we expect from CosmicDeath in the future?

A: You can expect I'll be making a sandwich after this interview.
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CosmicDeath is not only a fantastic artist, but one of the nicest people I have gotten the chance to speak with. The way she draws eyes has appealed to me. From the Newgrounds Shop Wall to her own pieces. Even how she draws different Newgrounds members eyes, as if she is truly capturing their souls into a painting. Nothing short of just beautiful.
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Posted by TheInterviewer - September 30th, 2012


[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 106
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest has been long overdue. As a professional animator he has done works for The Ricky Gervais Show, The Incredible Hulk, and Alvin and the Chipmunks. As a Newgrounds member he has brought classics such as The Liar, Liar 2, and Liar 3, Karo and Abo, and Neenja: Way Of The Harut, which was nominated for a Newgrounds Tank Award for Best Movies. He has received multiple awards here on Newgrounds with his works and he continues to make many people here laugh to this day, he is Sykohyko.

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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: I had just finished my first short called "Sweet Mother Of Vartan" and was emailing it to friends. One of my friends replied to my email telling me I should upload it to newgrounds. I uploaded it and went to sleep expecting to see a few views and comments in the morning. I woke up to over 50,000 views and hundreds of comments. I instantly fell in love with the idea of reaching such a wide audience from my computer.
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Q: When did you get into art and animation?

A: I started drawing when I was 2 and my parents could tell from my drawings that I was going to be an artist. They enrolled me in my first art class at age 8 and I've been learning and improving ever since.
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Q: You're first movie on Newgrounds would be entitled Sweet Mother of Vartan. A boxing story with some comedy and drama tied to it. What inspired you to make this and how did you go about making it?

A: After working professionally for a few years I started wanting to do my own thing. After all as an artist you want to express your creativity in your own way. So I started trying to come up with ideas. I had been drawing these characters for a while in my sketchbook, but I needed a setting. Since I love boxing I decided to go with that as the setting. Every night after work I would meet up with 2 friends of mine George Kaprelian and Angelo Vilar, and we would board and design the characters. After we finished all that, I began animating in flash and took it to completion.
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Q: Vyron would be a trailer for an upcoming project. However we haven't any of Vyron on Newgrounds except for that trailer. Why is that? Will we see Vyron in the future?

A: Vyron was just a "test trailer" I did just to test myself and see if I could pull off an epic looking feature quality animation in flash. Even that short teaser took me months to do so doing anything more wouldn't be realistic for one person to pull off. It could be something to attempt in the future if I can get to a level where I have a crew or something.
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Q: The Liar, Liar 2, and Liar 3, I believe to be your best works in terms of animation and storytelling. Where did this story come from and what was the process in bringing it to life?

A: The Liar is based on an old Armenian story. I've always loved epics, fables and fantasy worlds and Armenia is full of them. I know I mostly do comedy, but I'm more into that stuff. It's just harder to achieve the kind of quality those stories deserve. Even the Liar is disappointing to me as far as quality goes. Again something I plan to attempt in the future.
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Q: You introduce us to Karo and Abo in the movie Smugheads. Are these characters inspired by anything from your own life? If not then what inspired you to make these two?

A: Yes definitely. Abo is a mix of a lot of people I know both personally and through social websites. If some one has an opinion that I find funny I will use it through Abo, and I'll use Karo to voice my own opinion. Visually they are both based on family and friends.
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Q: Neenja: Way Of The Harut, Neenja 2, Neenja 3, and Neenja 4. Would all be nominated together for The Newgrounds Tank Award for Best Movie of 2010. For those who don't know, who is Harut? Why make him a ninja? How did you write this series?

A: Neenja started with a funny drawing I did of Harut wearing a Ninja mask with his nose sticking out. Since I wanted to do something Epic, Neenja was perfect for it. My writing process for Neenja was more of an outline of where I wanted the story to go, and then the details would be worked out in the story boarding. I still have Neenja 5 and 6 I would like to complete, but again its hard to squeeze that kind of quality into a schedule that includes full time work.
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Q: Abo's Facebook Adventure is a fun little parody on Facebook using Karo and Abo. Where did the inspiration for this come from and what was the process in animating it?

A: I just found it funny to see how much info people were putting on facebook from everything they eat, drink, think. So I thought it would be funny to have Abo did the same and kept going even after passing out. Karo again would be my voice on the topic.
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Q: Thought I'd Seen It All is quite possibly one of the funniest Karo and Abo shorts I've seen of your works. The pacing, timing, and dialogue are all done wonderfully. How did this family end up on vacation and what made you want to show a witness instead of what all was happening to the family throughout it?

A: I wanted to introduce the parrot into the series, so I had the family take a trip to Hawaii where Harut was able to find one. The scene at the end was more about Abo breaking through the wall and running for freedom. I thought it would be funny if the guy settling into the room next door had just witness the family downstairs. Originally he was just suppose to be settling in talking business on his phone.
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Q: MOOLT-The Facebook Effect would be another step in parodying Facebook, although it seemed to shoot for more just straight up comedy than really Facebook. What was the process in creating this?

A: Well every short I do is always based on an idea I get from my surroundings. A few times the lights went out in our neigborhood and my sister would have a mental breakdown without access to facebook. So I let the idea cook in my head for a few days until I had a rough idea of where I wanted to go with it. Then I boarded it, recorded dialogue, and animated.
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Q: The Abo Theory has been your latest upload to Newgrounds, being almost a year old. Where did the idea for The Abo Theory come from and why the sudden drop from Newgrounds?

A: The Abo theory is based on a joke my dad keeps telling over and over and over again. I thought it was perfect for Abo. I actually started attending Animation Mentor about a year and a half ago, so all of my personal work was put on hold. I finished school this week so I'll be getting back into it soon.
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Q: At one point you had a video entitled Genocide. It was a memorial video for the 1.5 million Armenians who were murdered in 1915 when the Ottoman Empire tried to exterminate the Armenians. It was also dedicated to your grandfathers. What all can you tell us about this movie? Your Armenian background and why you decided to take it down?

A: I actually didn't take it down. The music I had used was a Peter Gabriel song, and youtube took down the video because of copyright issues. The genocide affected both of my grandfathers. Both of them lost there entire families and grew up orphans. My last name is actually Manukyan because my Grandfather from my dads side was later adopted by a man name Michael Manukyan. That video was a special one I spent a lot of time on so I'm pretty upset that it was taken down.
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Q: You have also done animation for big movies and TV shows such as Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Incredible Hulk, and The Ricky Gervais Show. Am I correct on this? If so then could you please tell us how you got to do work on these and what the experience was like?

A: I've worked professionally since 2000 after graduating from high school. Most of my work has been on 2d tv shows, but I've always strived to get into full feature animation and in 2007 I found out Rhythm and Hues was starting a training program. I sent them my reel of my 2d work and some 3d work I had done at home and got accepted into the program. After the program I was hired as a Jr. Animator on Alvin and The Chipmunks and then again as a Animator on The Hulk.
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Q: For those getting into animation. What advice would you have to give them?

A: Whether your just getting into it or have been at it for a while, keep finding ways to improve. Never get comfortable no matter how good get. I had been animating for over ten years when I decided to go back to school and relearn from the bottom up. It was probably one of the best decisions I made.
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Q: What can we expect from Sykohyko in the future?

A: I'm planning on developing the Abo and Karo family and pushing the characters. I have a few ideas of where I'd like to take them but you'll have to wait and see.
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Sykohyko is one of those rare animators, who comes along and puts their heart and soul into their creations. Not to say others don't put in effort, all do, but Sykohyko is one of the few who I have seen to truly branch his characters and storylines to unprecedented levels. Each animation flows smoothly and has wonderful timing and pacing. It truly was a treat to interview him and maybe one day we'll see a full-length feature from him.
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Posted by TheInterviewer - September 23rd, 2012


[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 105
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest is known far and wide throughout Newgrounds as well as the rest of the Internet. His video game parodies have achieved him critical acclaim with his works with Metal Gear Awesome, PSP Squirrels, and Girlchan in Paradise. His other works include his voice acting ranging from Gameoverse, to the Press Start series, and to the video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. He is well recognized on YouTube for his two series being Sequelitis and Game Grumps. Today we welcome with open arms, Egoraptor.

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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: I don't even remember how I found it, but I've been around since The Teletubbies assassin stuff. Before the portal. It was all strange and unlike television, like it felt subversive, and fresh. Like you couldn't get anything like this anywhere else. I think once the Portal existed I joined 'cause I wanted to review stuff, but secretly because I wanted to submit stuff. It took a while for me to finally do it, but I did!
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Q: When did you get into animation?

A: I guess I was always into it... I made flipbooks when I was in my single digits. I think my first flipbook was from a cereal box, and I was just fucking amazed that you could do the stuff I saw on TV in this little booklet. I immediately grabbed a stack of post-it notes and flipbooked everywhere. Even in my text books... some of my sketchbooks have a flipbook in the corner. It was nuts.
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Q: At what age were you introduced to video games and what video game inducted you so to speak?

A: I had video games since as long as I can remember. My Dad had an NES he got from buying a car and I used to ask him to beat the hard parts for me in Mario. He had a dingy basement we'd play Dr. Mario in all the time. I guess my whole life I just grew up playing them, but really, it wasn't until I saw a cosplay group of Jet Grind Radio where I was like "Woah." Like, this is a thing. This isn't just something my friends and I talked about. Something inside me clicked and I saved my money and bought a Dreamcast at a pawn shop, and Jet Grind Radio at Target. It was coincidentally the only Dreamcast game they had left. I was convinced it was destiny, or something. Once I started playing it, I just felt like something was right. I started thinking more and more about video games from that point on and didn't really look back.
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Q: Your first movie would be the start of a groundbreaking series on the Internet and that would be Metal Gear Awesome. Where did the inspiration come for this and what all can you tell me about the process of bringing it together?

A: Well when I was younger I had a lot of self confidence issues (still do), but I always thought the thing I liked to do wasn't what I could make a living out of. I built up enough courage to say, you know what, I think I can make it at this voice acting thing, so I started practicing and doing lines for peoples' cartoons on Newgrounds. I got really addicted to doing a (really bad) Snake impression and I did it for a handful of movies, but then it "dried up" so to speak and I didn't get anymore roles. But I wanted more roles, so I wrote my own script. I wrote it in about 4 or 5 minutes, just banging on the keyboard a bunch of nonsense of how I remember the first hour or so of the game went. I did all the voices and felt satisfied, but for some reason got Kira Buckland to do the voice of Meryl... I guess I just really wanted her to sound feminine and didn't want to use my own voice for her. I think having had her do the voices for me drove me to want to make something out of it, so I mixed it together and trudged through Flash since all my friends were using it. I had no fucking clue what I was doing, but I managed, I guess. I just drew it all bad on purpose 'cause I guess that was the "style" of it, or something. I took a lot of inspiration from Homestar Runner's "The Yellow Dello" because it had a lot of off-model stuff, and I liked that. I thought it was funny. It took me a long time to finish because I kept putting it off, but once I finished it, all my friends urged me to release it on Newgrounds. I was really against it, I thought it would get blammed. It didn't really stack up to any other work on the site I liked, and I thought my humor was a little bit esoteric. Like who the fuck else would think this is funny but me and maybe a handful of other people? But the next day I got an IM, I think it was from Anigen, who told me it was on frontpage, and I was like, uh, what?
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Q: Most of your movies are parodies, with the awesome tag. Thus adding your bizarre sense of humor. The pacing is fast and the timing is perfect. When it comes to writing a script for your Awesome Parodies, where do you begin and when do you know where to stop?

A: It's just a mess. I just think of something that makes me laugh and I just go. I stop when I feel like I delivered the joke enough. Metal Gear Awesome is special because it's just a timeline of the game, so it's not just a one-off joke. Sometimes I'll come up with an idea playing the game, or driving somewhere, or in the shower, I dunno. I just have to write it down right when I come up with it or else I'll forget it. lol I guess the ultimate answer is that I feel it out. It it seems like it works, I just do it, and see if it works.
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Q: When did you meet Ed Glaser and how did you become a part of the Press Start series?

A: I don't remember exactly how our friendship started. I think he e-mailed me and asked me to be a voice for his film as the talking tree. I thought I did a good job but looking back it's atrocious. I couldn't pull off a deep voice to save my life. I guess he liked something about me 'cause he asked me again and again to do voices for his cartoons, and they're really pretty well written, so I kept doing it. I think what I like most about working on them is that he gives me a lot of freedom and often gives me different characters each time, so I don't stagnate. A lot of my favorite voices I have, I used in Press Start Adventures.
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Q: Out of all your video game parodies, one of my all-time favorites has to be PSP Squirrels. Where did the inspiration for this come from? Also do you believe that emotions play a big role in making a parody?

A: Thanks man, I like that one too. When I was younger I wanted to ad-lib and practice voice acting to crack up my friends or whatever. AIM let you hit like, F9 or something, and then record a 10 second audio clip and send it in the chat window. I'm so sad they got rid of it because it was so amazingly fun. Anyway, sometimes I had some idea I wanted to run with that'd last longer than 10 seconds, so I'd open up a program and just run with it. PSP Squirrels was one of the billion of those I did, and I thought it was one of the best. Something about it called for me to put visuals to it, probably because it was based on such a visually memorable commercial. As far as emotions affecting me... I guess maybe. I don't consciously think about that stuff, like, when I hear an artist like "I tried to personify my anger in this piece" I don't really understand that. Whenever I try that it feels forced, because when I draw I don't really remain angry, or anything. lol. I start out angry and then I kinda forget about it and focus on drawing. I guess to me it's more about vision. There's something I want to convey, and I strive to do it.
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Q: Girlchan in Paradise is in my opinion a very interesting parody on anime while at the same time being something cleverly written to still be an engaging little story. There was a lot that has gone into this series. Where did the idea come from? How did you form this team and what was the process all of you took into working on this series?

A: Girlchan stemmed from a skype conference in which we totally just made fun of anime. The first episode was pretty much verbatim the conversation.
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Q: Out of all your works, one of my all-time favorites has to be 3rd Grade Transformers. The writing, the pacing, the characters, the dialogue, the animation, everything about it is perfect. It is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen on Newgrounds. What is your history with Transformers and your thoughts on the Michael Bay movies? How did the writing start for this? What was the process you took in animating it?

A: Hahaha wow, that's literally the first time I've ever heard that. Thanks man. I grew up watching Beast Wars and that's really my only childhood interaction with them, but I LOVED Beast Wars and I had a lot of toys from it. Whenever I visited the Newgrounds office Mindchamber's desk was covered in Transformers and it brought back a warm feeling in me, like it was so much fun to look at them and play with them and transform them. We all saw Transformers Revenge of the Fallen together at the office and afterwards we decided to do another Blamformers collab in-office. Most of them got canned but mine and Johnny Utah's were some of the only survivors. I just like, watched that movie and was like, wow, this is written by a 5 year old. The idea was instantaneous. HappyHarry really made it shine. I came up to his desk and said "I need like a school play old lady piano version of the transformers theme for my collab part" and in like 10 minutes, he barfed up these amazing like 5 or 6 different renditions of it, complete with flubs and crescendos and I was like... this is better than I could've ever imagined. Animating it was easy, because there was only one background. When I cut to the audience members, I had gotten so used to not doing backgrounds that I just made it black. Like I did NOT want to draw another background.
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Q: Gameoverse is an interesting series you would be giving your contributions to. What can you tell me about working with RubberNinja. Also what input did you have in this series?

A: I love Game O Verse and I still say it's some of my best voicework ever. Ross has an uncanny talent at picking the best lines out of a bunch of takes. Like, without fail. He bounces scripts back and forth with me to tell him if I like them or not, but I always respect that it's his project and my advice is just that, advice.
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Q: You would get to work with Ed Gould on his movie WTFuture. How did it feel getting to work with Ed and what are your thoughts on his passing?

A: Yeah Edd dying was a big bummer, he was a really cool dude and I think his situation humbled him to superhuman levels. He just asked me to do a voice and I did it, 'cause I really dug his comedy. We didn't talk much, but you can imagine I wish that went a little differently all things considered.
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Q: Open Letter to Game Devs is an interesting and fast parody. Would this parody soon lead to the hilarious yet informative video game show Sequelitis? Also what all can you tell us about Sequelitis?

A: A little bit maybe, I like being critical of games in a subversive way. People seem to always just be like "ohh this game has bad graphics" or "they took out item mapping" or some shit but nobody is critical of the stuff that really makes a game bad.
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Q: When AlmightyHans was here we talked about a collaboration entitled Contact. How did you get involved in this project and how did it feel working with these other artists?

A: It was just something silly Hans put together while we were all visiting the Newgrounds Office. I don't remember who wrote it aside from Hans but it was mostly just me doing a voice for it and laughing at the results. It really was funny.
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Q: Alright, let me see if I got this. Egorapture is a movie telling people to stop bitching about others supposedly copying you? If not then could you give us some more background on this movie?

A: Hahaha well I think Spazkid was a bit tired of people telling him he was copying me. I think his style is really distinct and I thought his concept for the cartoon was funny since I've seen it happen a lot of times for other artists as well. I really don't get it sometimes. I didn't invent funny faces and yelling.
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Q: How did you become involved in Ed Glaser's Space Ninja series?

A: Ed just asks me to do voices all the time. I like him so I have no problem saying yes, haha.
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Q: As a voice actor what tips do you have to give to those who are looking to share their voices with the world?

A: Just do it, get it out there, record a demo, send it to folk. If you have nothing to show, nobody's going to care that you can do a great impression of Peter Griffin.
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Q: You would be the voice of Dr. Bruce Banner in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. For those who don't know who Dr. Banner is, could you please tell them, also how did you come across getting this voice and what was it like to do it?

A: Banner is the alter ego of The Hulk. I got the role from entering an online voice contest they were having. I almost deleted the congratulations email... "You won!" How many times do you get that emailed to you a day in the form of spam? It was interesting, they flew me out to LA for the first time in my life and I got to record in a studio for the first time. I'm sure I was a wreck, they sent me the disc with all of my assets on it and I refuse to listen to it.
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Q: You have also did voice work for the video game remake of Death Rally, as the character John Gore. How did you get this opportunity and what was it like working with these people? Also who is John Gore and how did you find the voice for him?

A: John Gore is a nice little piece of my voice past. These dudes over at Mountain Sheep were swell enough to ask me if I'd like to voice their surly main character. I totally said yes, I mean look at that game, it's beautiful, and it's an iPhone game! Finding the voice was easy. They wanted some kind of variant of my Awesome Snake voice, and that's one of my favorites to do. Funny story, doing Minigore was the first time I ever completely lost my voice. I went to bed that night and looked in the mirror, opened my mouth and nothing came out. I was pretty scared.
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Q: When did you meet Doug Walker, also known as the Nostalgia Critic?

A: I met him at Shadocon in Tampa, Florida. Good times we've had that Doug and I. Good times.
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Q: What can we expect from Egoraptor in the future?

A: Lots of cartoons and definitely more Game Grumps, that's for sure. Sequelitis galore... and hopefully some new long-form animations if I can ever muster up the courage to tackle those.
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Despite this funny face yelling man's bizarre sense of humor, his animating, his timing, his pacing, all of these are perfect in many ways. His voice acting is quite top notch as well. Egoraptor like all who have crossed paths with The Interviewer was interesting to interview, but at the same time he comes off as just very plain. He is just like you or me. Yeah many others who have been interviewed have shown us their human sides, but Egoraptor seems to have two sides to him... one we see here and one we see through his works.
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Posted by TheInterviewer - September 16th, 2012


[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 104
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest has been with us once before. Truthfully he was here when The Interviewer was just starting out. Since his last time here he has composed songs such as Winter at the Castle, The American Child, and has participated in the Represent A Country 7 [Contest] with his entry I'm Saving Her Life. He has also composed music for the Newgrounds collaboration entitled Redhand. Within this time he has been working on his project "Quest of Eve". He is once again Bosa.

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Q: We spoke about your musical creations. One thing we did not talk about though is how you discovered music and what inspired you to make it?

A: When I was three years old, I had a toy piano which I played with constantly every day. I so much enjoyed it that when I turned seven, I started playing on a larger keyboard and playing music that sounded good to me. I also seen a film about a blind boy who learned how to play piano and later became one of the leading pianists in the nation. That movie is what inspired me to really begin playing deeper into music.
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Q: One song that I did not bring up would be entitled The Cottage. You said it was based off a book you wrote. What can you tell us about the book and how the song correlates with it?

A: Going back in time, aren't we? Well, it wasn't much of a book. It was more of a short story depicting a young woodcutter who lived out near the forest. He soon encounters a witch and must soon defeat her with the help of an imprisoned fairy. I focused the story towards a children audience. I actually vaguely remember expanding on the song a long time ago, but it's been so long that I've forgotten most of my innovative composition ideas from years ago.
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Q: What was the Wise Words Competition?

A: It was an attempt to express the intellect and creative minds of Newgrounds by seeing who could come up with their own most profound and original quote. It was quite extraordinary to see what people came up with off the top of their heads, but the contest itself didn't expand quite as much as I would have liked. Still, I wouldn't mind hosting such a contest again in the future.
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Q: When I speak with different musicians, one question I have for them is "what is in your opinion the definition of music". You had an interesting way of describing music. When asking for musicians for Quest of Eve you stated...

"When it comes time to create music, we intend to look beyond what we are expecting; to break through to the other side or to simply outdo what we first had in mind. What I've come to realize over this new age of music is that when we create a story, the music we choose will captivate the listeners and instill the inner beauty of our creations."

Do you still agree with this statement? Whatever your answer could you expand on it?

A: Yes. Basically, to put what I said in layman's terms: our goal as musicians should be to go beyond our own talent, or what we believe are our limitations. We must not restrict ourselves to what resources we possess or compositional ideas we have, instead we must take what we got and go beyond what we expect to accomplish. If you have a plan in mind for a song, and when you go to create that song, you should go way beyond your original plan and create something that instills your inimitable creations into the hearts of your listeners.
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Q: When looking through your works, I never brought up your bluegrass works. The Babb Boys and The Working Man are two of them. How did you acquire the fascination with bluegrass?

A: I live in Tennessee. I grew up with bluegrass gospel, and I still love it. 'Nuff said.
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Q: You also have a taste for the Celtic music as well. With Cronnin's Hornpipe, Miss Dumphy's Hornpipe, and one of my favorites by you, Rolling Waves. When were you introduced to the Celtic music and what about it appeals to you?

A: Where I live, we have a celtic festival once a year. I've only been to it once in my whole life, but the music and instruments that I was subjected to astounded me. The armor and weapons were cool, but the instruments (this is where I first witnessed someone playing a dulcimer in front of me) amazed me. The reason I was able to easily replicate the celtic instruments in my songs was because of that festival.
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Q: The Beanstalk is truly an epic and serene piece. Where did the inspiration for this come from and what was the process in writing it?

A: I honestly don't remember much. I kinda wish I kept some documents or wrote down my creative thoughts back then; it's hard for me to remember things from so long ago. However, based on what little I do remember, I think I was inspired by King's Quest. In the game, you get to a point to where you must climb a beanstalk and slay a giant with a sling and stone (like David and Goliath). On the other hand, I may have been inspired by a story I used to read as a child called 'Jack and the Beanstalk.' I believe the latter is what I was inspired by the most, but my memory fails me these days unfortunately.
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Q: We now come to a song that is a bit touchy and if you do not wish to answer I can understand. Pure of Heart. Who is Rachel, what can you tell us about her, and what came to be of this song?

A: I can't say much about Rachel, but this song was written for her. I can say that she loved it however. I've been told that 'Pure of Heart' and 'Your Prelude' are two of my most adored songs. It seems that when my songs are based upon real love, I get a better response. Quite intriguing.
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Q: Winter at the Castle would be a new style for you. What new things did you experiment here that you haven't done in the past?

A: Angelic choir and disney-like music. I sorta introduced a medieval style in 'Princess Marion,' and in 'Winter at the Castle,' I expanded on that style. I really experimented on harp effects and boys choir, not to mention what more I could do with bells and metals. In 'A Young Mind,' you might say that I was experimenting heavily on bells, so I suppose I used that experimentation in this song as well.
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Q: An uplifting fanfare of birth and life. We come to The American Child. I have reviewed it once already giving my thoughts and stating that it had hints to another song of yours The Last Game. What can you tell me about both of these songs? Am I seeing a subconscious correlation or am I imagining things. If so can you fill in the blanks?

A: Again, we go back in time. I actually didn't notice the similarities at first. I suppose that there is a subconscious memory of my past creations that may reappear from time to time in my more recent productions. I based 'American Child' on the feelings of a new life joining us in America. There is nothing more beautiful to me than knowing that life still continues to be born in a world that hates life. I do know for a fact what I based 'The Last Game' on however. I based that song on the NFL Superbowl I was watching (the same with Casted Life). Sorry if I disappointed you with such elementary inspiration.
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Q: What is Represent A Country 7 [Contest] and what can you tell us about your entry I'm Saving Her Life?

A: It's a contest where you must represent a country of your choice and win by popular vote. You must create a song that will define the brilliance and intellectual superiority of your country. I chose the USA for obvious reasons, but also because I wanted to present the best country with the best music, haha. I based the song I made on some contemporary movies and video games that youth enjoy. Games like Mass Effect and Call of Duty, movies like Star Trek and Black Hawk Down both played a heavy role in its creation.
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Q: You are one who got to participate with a lot of creative people of Newgrounds in the movie Redhand. How did you come across this project and what was it like working on it?

A: With Quest of Eve, I was able to meet a lot of talented flash artists. One of them began working on their own project and of course my music for Quest of Eve was well known by the team. It was a matter of time before I began helping others on their own projects. I don't remember much, but I can say that 'Redhand' was a remarkable flash production and I truly enjoyed working on it.
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Q: When we last spoke, Boutista Entertainment was just born and Quest of Eve was just getting on its feet. Where are both of these now?

A: I know you understand that I'm not saying anything about Quest of Eve at this moment, but I am entitled to say that Boutista Entertainment will be known as Kingdom Crown Entertainment in the future.
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Q: Not all of your music can be found here on Newgrounds. Some of it is on Reverbnation. What can you tell us about Reverbnation?

A: I don't spend a lot of time on the site, so I'm not too familiar with the more recent features. But back in the day, I remember joining up simply because I may have been able to gain a profit from it. Also, me and MaestroRage were pretty tight back then and we both shared our own ideas -- Reverbnation was suggested to me by him.
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Q: What can we expect from Bosa in the future?

A: You're definitely going to see more cinematic music. A lot of my future titles may be moving away from my style from long ago, but I hope that I'll make some good decisions when it comes to music. I may change it up from time to time, but Neo-Orchestral is going to be my more prominent genre.
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Bosa was one of the musicians who introduced me to Newgrounds. With the varieties of his works he is certainly a fascinating fellow with a story to tell. He chooses to tell his stories through music and bears that you listen a while to the notes that he has brought to you. It was a pleasure to interview him again and to see him still hard at work on his creations truly does inspire me, and I hope it inspires the other creators here as well.
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Posted by TheInterviewer - September 12th, 2012


[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 103
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest is an interesting fellow. He been with Newgrounds for over 8 Years now and throughout that time he has become a forum regular and a regular of many chat services that Newgrounds has participated in. With the release of the Newgrounds Chat, he has become a Chat Moderator. He has an interesting story to tell of his experiences and life, he is GoryBlizzard.

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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: I found NG through a friend at school and checked it out in March 2000--I was only in 4th grade back then. I would find myself back here on and off over the next 3 years to watch an occasional movie or play the occasional game, and this wasn't all that often. In October 2003, I started to develop a real addiction here and I started to actively seek out more games and movies on NG like a lot of other people in my school. I lurked the BBS for a while, and on November 21, 2003, I made a decision to join NG with QueerThugSmasher as my username. That didn't last long though, because I signed back in on December 24, 2003 and decided to change my username to GoryBlizzard instead. I have no plans to change my name ever again since GoryBlizzard has been my main online alias for a while.
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Q: Your first post to the Newgrounds forum would be within the thread Morons should be Shot. What drew you to that thread?

A: Nothing significant. At the time, I was just 13, and on that day, I felt exhausted and even highly inebriated because I had a few drinks right after coming home from school. I was in the middle of writing a diary entry on Diaryland and I was googling images of guns to use in that post because I was in one of those moods where I felt like shooting someone. Anything even remotely shooting-related would have caught my attention at the time, and it just happened to be that thread. I posted that same image to the blog that I posted in the thread. Looking back at it now, I feel no pride--just regret. That first post should remain nothing more than a distant memory.
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Q: When did you start drinking and why?

A: Time to go 17 years back in time all the way to 1995. I started drinking alcohol when I was 5 at a barbecue in my grandparents' backyard and only out of curiosity, with plenty of adults around. In my then-childish mind, I thought that if all the big old people around me are drinking beer, maybe if I had some, they would treat me with more respect. I asked my dad to open a can of Budweiser for me, and he did. Now, you'd think that at least one person would have a problem with a 5-year-old kid drinking a can of beer, but astonishingly, nobody came up to try to take my beer away. I vaguely remember this blonde lady talking about how cute it was to see me drinking, but that's it. I felt like I could handle the taste just fine.

For the rest of my childhood, I would have an occasional beer with my lunch or dinner whenever my parents bought a pack, and on some days I drank way too much. I started to become curious about liquor at one point, and when I was 8, I asked my mom if it was okay to have a little bit of their Stolichnaya vodka. Well, she did give me a little bit--not even a shot, and my palate just couldn't tolerate it well, but I continued to drink beer. I was 11 when I gave vodka another chance and my experience then wasn't as bad as last time, and later on I just started to drink it more and more. Eventually I started to drink different types of whiskey and rum as well. Before I knew it, I had a real drinking problem, and at such a young age too.

Most of the liquor I've drank throughout my life was around 80 to 101 proof, on average. I was never really into extremely high-proof liquor such as Bacardi 151, Devil's Springs vodka or higher. I'm also not big into absinthe or Sambuca. Starting to drink at an early age really sucks, because I'm paying the price with the way my health is now--just being constantly afraid of seizures and taking levetiracetam ER every 12 hours to suppress them. I hope to eventually be off my medication so that I can start drinking booze again, but that may take a long time--at least 7 years. I don't want my drinking days to be over permanently, but when I drink again, I'm only going to do it in extreme moderation.
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Q: When Newgrounds member Livecorpse committed suicide Tom announced it in the thread LiveCorpse Suicide. You commented on this matter. I want to go through each thing one by one, first off how well did you know Livecorpse?

A: On a personal level, I didn't get to know Livecorpse very well. I talked to him on AIM a few times to give him some movie ideas, and he wasn't all that nice to me. The very first post I ever made was in one of his threads, and like everyone else, I had no idea what would eventually happen to him. The whole incident was tragic all around, and it happened less than a month after thecerealkiller died. I remember that being a big deal too at the time.
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Q: This is a bit touchy to talk about so if you don't wish to answer then that's fine. In your post about Livecorpse's suicide attempt, you to spoke of your own suicide attempts. It's not an easy thing to think about or even to attempt, it can be a scary ordeal. How many times did you try to take your own life and why? Also what made you decide not to?

A: My previous suicide attempts are too touchy to even think about, let alone talk about. I wish I could go back in time, knowing everything that I know now, and undo the damage I did to myself.
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Q: Still in the same thread you state that "there's no such thing as Heaven or Hell. It doesn't matter how you die when the fact of the matter is, in the end, you're dead." Where is your stance on religion? Are you an atheist, agnostic? Were you raised in a religious household and how did you come to drop your faith so to speak?

A: I'm an atheist, much to the chagrin of many of my extended family members. A few months after I was born, I was baptized as a Catholic, but that was my paternal grandmother's idea--she's still alive as of this writing and has always been highly religious. My parents were both raised in religious households, hated it and did me the favor of not raising me like their own parents did. So in short, no, I wasn't raised in a religious household. Just like a lot of other people, there were plenty of hardships in my life, but at least I can say that I never had to worry about waking up early every Sunday morning to go to church, being told to say prayers every night and so on. There's simply no empirical evidence that any higher being exists and until I'm proven wrong, I will stick to that. I consider myself highly tolerant of people with different religious backgrounds--in general, religion isn't really a big deal for me.
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Q: You've been on Newgrounds since 2003. So you were around during a lot of interesting things happening on Newgrounds. Going through multiple redesigns and tweaks. What do you think of this redesign compared to the past redesigns?

A: I like this redesign quite a bit. I'm not sure why, but it's easy enough to navigate and I like that brown appears to be the main color (a departure from the preceding designs--all of which were black). Anything that is shit or reminds me of shit is good. I will say though that I miss the design from late 2004 to very early January 2006, before they replaced the header--that was my favorite one, and it looked especially good when the header was Halloween-themed. The 2007 redesign was also very good and it lasted much longer than I expected. As much as I like the current design, I'm not sure enough people are on the same page. A total redesign may have been too much to absorb too quickly for a lot of people. Stuff on the previous design could have been changed to reflect changing times and features could have been added without completely changing the basic layout.
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Q: You were around during a time when the flash sites were practically at war with one another. AlbinoBlackSheep and Ebaumsworld being two. What can you tell us about this little historical nugget from your perspective?

A: Ebaumsworld was the site a lot of people here loved to hate (mainly for their content theft + watermarking), and I'll admit that I was no different. ABS wasn't well-regarded either, and in fact they stole a lot of NG's bandwidth at the time, which riled up the admins here. I never supported either of those sites to begin with, and of course I'm not going to start now. The YTMND raid on Ebaumsworld over that Lindsay Lohan pic in January 2006 sticks out in my mind because it was a good example of how pissed off people can get over stolen content. I never partook in the raid, but I watched from the sidelines.
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Q: You are a member of the club here on Newgrounds for fans of Heavy Metal music, aptly named Metal Hell. When were you introduced to the Metal genre? How did you come to join this club?

A: I actually grew up mainly listening to classical music, but I liked some of the more popular metal bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Rush. Since my early childhood, I was a casual metal listener, but I never fully got into the genre until July 2004 when someone else on another forum posted a long list of recommended power metal bands, which I then thought I'd check out. I looked up Sonata Arctica and Rhapsody (later and now known as Rhapsody of Fire), and that pretty much changed the rest of my musical life. From there, I went on to explore the rest of power metal, as well as death metal, black metal, progressive metal, doom metal and so on. I was 14 back then, 22 now and it's nothing short of startling that my musical taste has changed so little over so long. Much of what I enjoyed listening to back then, I still love now, even as I continue to discover new bands. Just metal itself is a never-ending journey for me. It's not the only genre I listen to (I still love classical, plus prog rock, some guilty pleasures here and there), but frankly I rarely listen to much else. I gave nu-metal/aggressive rock/mallcore a chance, but none of it ever appealed to me for the most part.

I lurked Metal Hell for a while just to familiarize myself with the people that post there. I officially joined it on January 12, 2005 when I was still 14, almost 15. I haven't posted there much in a long time, and have taken long breaks in between posting from the very beginning, but that's because I'm busy with a lot of other things and haven't seen all that many breathtaking developments in the metal world lately. Since that time, I've met a lot of my favorite musicians (Ken Owen from Carcass, Muhammed Suicmez from Necrophagist and all of Suffocation to name some examples), went to some amazing shows, and frankly, it's a shame that I can't afford to go to more. I still treasure a lot of my memories from the shows I've already been to, and sometimes take out my old tickets to remind myself, "Fuck, that was such an amazing night." On top of that, I've also increased my metal T-shirt and CD collection. As I'm writing this, I'm listening to Hyperdrive by Devin Townsend. If anyone reading this is looking for a good song to have sex to, there you go.
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Q: First off, who is this person? Second, many Newgrounds members are afraid to show their faces or would rather hold a bit of mystery to themselves, but not you. What makes you fearless to show yourself?

A: Wow...well, yeah, that's me all right. 2007 me though, not the 2012 me that almost everyone here is accustomed to by now. I was 17 back then and in the beginning stages of growing my hair long. Earlier that same month, I made the decision that I wanted to have long hair and was fucking sick of short hair, period. As time went by, my wish came true. Now I don't really look anything like I did during that time--I have much longer hair and a goatee now, plus sunglasses obviously, but lately I've been thinking about having another haircut since the way I look now turns off a lot of prospective employers. I just can't rule that out.

Also, I was indeed afraid to show myself on NG for a long time--I certainly didn't even consider doing it until March 2006. As time went on, I became more comfortable showing myself, but almost always in sunglasses which I wear most of the time IRL anyway (except when I'm asleep, in the shower or at a job interview). People often ask me why I wear sunglasses all the time, and the fact is because my eyes hurt and feel more sensitive when they're not on. Wearing sunglasses constantly greatly facilitates my ability to get things done. I don't care that I look like Neo, Slash, Howard Stern, MJ or whatever...I hear that a lot too.
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Q: The Newgrounds Stickam Group Chat! would become a regular place for you to be at. A lot of drama and fun stories has been said to go on through there. What can you share with us from there?

A: We don't do much in Stickam except sit around for hours at a time, waiting for random people to come in and do flips.

I know this answer is going to disappoint a lot of people, but it's just the way it is. Sorry.
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Q: One thing that happened in Stickam was that you shared some pictures with them. They would later be used in the thread rate my room newgrounds by GiantDouche. Why did you decide to take pictures of yourself naked and share them with Stickam? Also what are your thoughts on this thread?

A: I regret everything about that whole period of time. I regret taking those pics of myself to begin with and I regret sharing them. Back when I used to get drunk a lot, I would often take many more naked pictures of myself than I usually would. Now I no longer drink at all, so there you go.
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Q: The Newgrounds Chat has been out for a good long time now. How did you become a Chat Moderator and what can you tell us about the job?

A: The chat was originally launched on April 1st. At first, I thought it would disappear right after April Fool's Day, and was surprised to still see it on the site on April 2nd. Since Stickam had already pretty much died by that point, I figured I'd start going to the NG Chat with more regularity during the day. Asandir and Bahamut were the most active mods back then. Both of them and the rest of the mods seemed competent, but they also missed a lot and I frequently found myself quietly working behind the scenes getting people banned or deleted based on chat conduct.

On May 23rd, Wade made a rare appearance in the room and announced to the room that he made me a chat mod. After talking to Wade briefly on AIM, the first thing I did was look over the ban list, which looked big at the time, and now it's more than twice as big as it was back then thanks to new troublemakers, and a large number of people circumventing their bans with alts. Since being modded, I've put a lot of time into cleaning up the chat as much as humanly possible--disrupting spammers, chronic RPers, underage users and generally disruptive idiots. Every day brings new challenges, but overall, I like to think that the chat is cleaner and more welcoming.

A lot of people have indicated since the chat's inception that they would love to become chat mods themselves. So for future mods, know this: there's a lot more to modding than you may realize. The two most important traits in chat mods (and all other mods) are level-headedness and reasonable intelligence. I'm not saying that most chat users are stupid (frankly, many are, but the same can be said for a lot of BBS users too), but many just don't have the right balance of these traits. As a chat mod, I've already dealt with just about everything. There are days when I don't have to ban anyone and others when I have to deal with a large number of lowlives. It is what it is and I'm constantly prepared for just about situation to come up. I've seen people devote 20+ accounts in a single day just for spamming the chat, and users as young as 6 or 7 in there. Once in a while, I have no problem recommending certain users for modship, but the number of people I've recommended to date remains very, very small.

There's no doubt that many people think I'm a strict mod, but overall I'm fair, and much more approachable than many people seem to think. If there's anything I want people to know, just don't fear me for no reason. Every time I ban someone, I take a screenshot or keep a relevant chat log for reference in case I need to spit it back at them, or if other mods or admins are interested in seeing them. People that PM me regarding their bans, acknowledging their wrongdoing and asking for second chances usually get them. My main objective is to make sure that people that come into the chat can have a decent or intelligent conversation without worrying about too much spam or clutter--that's not too much to ask, right? It doesn't matter if you're new or old. Usually when people try to have fun by way of RPing or just too much fucking around, the flow of the conversation gets ruined for everyone else discussing something serious. One thing I hear a lot is that I don't let people have fun...well, that's not really true. I only destroy your fun if it clearly gets in the way of other people's fun, and while you may not be aware of the serious collateral effects of what you're doing, I certainly am. If discussion isn't fun to you, and spam, RPing, randomness and general nonsense is fun, you're in the wrong place.
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Q: You and I were talking before this interview and you brought up that you have epilepsy. For those who don't know what that is, could you tell them what it is and how you have coped with it these years?

A: A lot of people probably already know that epilepsy is associated with seizures. That's absolutely true.

There are many different types of epilepsy out there. Usually if you have at least two unprovoked seizures of any type, that's how you know you have some form of epilepsy. The type I have is Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy, or JME for short. I've had it since I was 14, but I didn't get the formal diagnosis until I was 22. JME is characterized by myoclonic seizures (basically when your body shakes involuntarily--it tends to happen a lot in the morning for many people) and tonic-clonic/grand mal seizures. A tonic-clonic seizure is exactly what most people think of when they hear the word "seizure": groaning, convulsing and going into unconsciousness for a while. I've had 9 tonic-clonic seizures so far. Every time I emerge from my postictal state, I feel confused with temporary amnesia, a fever that lasts less than an hour, a sore/bloody tongue as a result of biting it during the seizure, and petechiae (red/purple spots as a result of bursting capillaries) all over my face. It's really no fun at all waking up from a seizure.

I've had myoclonic seizures since I was 14. Often times, while I was in the shower or about to get up, my body would shake involuntarily, but my consciousness wouldn't be affected in any way. If I happened to be holding something during a myoclonic seizure, chances are high that I would probably drop it. This has happened a ton of times, with drinks, my phone and numerous other things...and like I said, mainly during the morning. I was also highly susceptible to myoclonic seizures after drinking way too fucking much. I even had one once while having sex...yeah, that's probably too much information for some people, but it's the truth. Over so many years, I never thought myoclonic seizures were that big of a deal, and didn't even mention them to my doctor. I didn't even recognize them as actual seizures for so long. I now know it was stupid of me to just ignore them.

The first time I ever had a tonic-clonic seizure was on the afternoon of July 25, 2010. I just remember getting swiped into the subway system, coming on the train, then I woke up lying down on a stretcher inside an ambulance all fucking confused. I really thought I was dreaming at the time, so I looked at my watch and reality started to sink in: this was no dream--this is really fucking happening. I started to think right then and there that I must have had a seizure, but why? Shortly after I was wheeled into the extremely crowded emergency room, after the nurse put the IV in, the doctor introduced herself and asked me, "Do you know why you're here?" I said, "Well, I'm guessing I had a seizure on the train," which she then said was right. She tried to convince me to get a lumbar puncture, and that seemed highly unnecessary...just a way to get more money off me. I was discharged from the hospital in the evening and spent a lot of time at home reflecting on the day's events, such as when will my next seizure be?

Well, I got my answer on December 5, 2010. That's right--I had another tonic-clonic seizure after drinking heavily and tripping on shrooms the night before. My brother was the only other one home and he called 911 to get me help. The cops and paramedics came into my apartment and I refused to be taken to the hospital, not wanting to deal with another high bill. The lead paramedic there tried to scare me into going to the hospital asking me to choose between a high hospital bill, or a $10,000 funeral bill. Yeah, that still didn't work. I remained firm in my decision and lucky me, because I didn't have another tonic-clonic seizure again for the entire year of 2011. However, on February 15, 2012, just 3 days after my 22nd birthday, I had another one. I saw a neurologist the day after my first seizure in July 2010 and went back to him after this most recent one. I also had a brain MRI without contrast in July 2010, which came back as normal with the only abnormality being a small arachnoid cyst. After this latest seizure, and given my medical history, he decided that it was time for me to be put on anticonvulsants, and he chose Keppra (levetiracetam) for me. It's generally well-tolerated and he started me off with 1,000 mg/day (each pill was 500 mg).

Despite now being on levetiracetam, I had a breakthrough tonic-clonic seizure on March 3rd and another on March 13th...which prompted him to increase my dose to 1,500 mg/day. My next one after that didn't happen until exactly 2 months later, on May 13th, then another on May 21st. I switched to another neurologist, who increased my daily dose to 2,000 mg/day. I'll skip through all of the others. My most recent seizure was on August 3rd and since then, I've been on 3,000 mg/day of levetiracetam ER. So far, so good. I'm just hoping I won't have to take Depakote (valproic acid) in the future, because although it's highly effective for my type of epilepsy, the side effects include weight gain, tremors, drowsiness and headaches. It's not nearly as well tolerated as levetiracetam.

I know not a lot of people here can relate to having any form of epilepsy, but I think it's important to educate people about it, and to show support for people that have it. It's really not easy to deal with, especially if you're young. I quit drinking alcohol because of it, and most people know how much people around my age love to drink. Epilepsy is always at the front of my mind, and why wouldn't it be? I have to take my meds once every 12 hours, and I can't put myself in situations that would be deadly in the event that I have a seizure.
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Q: What parts of Newgrounds do you like the most and why? What parts of Newgrounds do you dislike the most and why?

A: The community represents both the best and worst parts of NG for me. There are some really cool people here that I love talking to now, and a lot of previously cool people I used to talk to a long time ago that I now miss. There are also a lot of people here that are nothing but trouble, and they don't deserve any attention from me.
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Q: If you could change anything on Newgrounds, what would it be?

A: I would make sure that chat mods, like almost all other mods, have gold auras and the natural perks that come with them. I would also see to it that unverified users can't use the chat, and for the store to accept PayPal. There's more, but that's all I feel like saying for now.
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Q: You have been here for nearly 9 years now. What experiences have you had since you've been here? What friends have you made? What have you learned?

A: I've seen a lot both good and bad, and I try to learn something new here every day. I started hosting and assisting with NYC meets annually beginning in 2010 (with initial planning in late 2009), and I hang out with certain NGers either individually or in small groups on occasion throughout every year. I've also attended meets both big and small in Chicago, Boston, Baltimore and Point Pleasant Beach. I've been previously invited to the NG office for Pico Day, and while I've been unable to make it so far, I definitely plan on going at some point in the future. All of my friends know who they are, especially if I talk to them on AIM, Facebook or Skype a lot, and the same can be said for a good number of people on Stickam and G+ too.
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Q: What can we expect from GoryBlizzard in the future?

A: I'll continue to be a noticeable presence well into the foreseeable future. On the creative end, you may end up seeing some quality written work from me once the Writing Portal comes out. I'll start off by uploading some old stories and poetry I wrote a long time ago--completely unedited, just to remind myself how I've changed over the course of many years. Since I'm continuing to suffer from artistic regression, you probably won't see any future animations or art from me--the last time I even tried producing either was many years ago. I won't completely rule out future attempts, but don't count on it...I'm fucking old already. It's hard for older people to learn art if they didn't already pick up the talent when they were younger. I'm also thinking about hosting meets in other parts of NY and possibly other states, but that all depends on to what extent my financial situation improves.
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GoryBlizzard is an interesting individual, there is no doubting this whatsoever. From his adolescence to where he is today, he has certainly shown what effect this site has on people. What this connection can do for one another. All I know is from research to posting, GoryBlizzard is not only a smart person, but a friend to many here - and it is easy to see why.
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Posted by TheInterviewer - September 9th, 2012


[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 102
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest has gifted us with some beautiful scenes of cities and futuristic wonders. From Central Park, to River Bridge, and COTT: Tower. He has also shown his talents in animation with The Last Fight and The Last Fight: Final Ep. He is also responsible for the site's background that you are currently seeing at this time. He is keepwalking.

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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: Well, I can say I found Newgrounds by accident. I was watching one particular flash animation "Shoo Fly" on another website, but it didn't have any music so the author included a link to the full version hosted here at Newgrounds. Then my curiosity did the rest. The main reason I joined was because I found, and still find Newgrounds one of the few websites that is so much dedicated to animation and games(and now illustration). It's truly one of the best websites to showcase your work, even if you are a begginer, or a profesional.

So having that in mind I decided to share with the community some bits of my humble flash animations, and even if some of the comments were harsh at the beggining, others were very supportive. It is a great place to get good feedback, and learn from your mistakes.
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Q: When did you become introduced to art and what inspired you to create art?

A: I remember I started drawing as a hobby when I was 12 years old and started making war ships such as frigates and galleons. I can say that many of the problems I had back in my childhood pushed me to draw almost every day so this way I could keep myself away from bad stuff. Year by year I seeked more and more for my own charachters, landscapes, and stories. Eventually I healed up those injures and found inspiration in better things.
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Q: Your first steps into the Art Forum would be with a thread entitled My new comic. What was your story here and why did you just stop working on it?

A: I was really curious about how people would react to one of my drawings here at Newgrounds, so I picked 2 comic sheets that were already inked and edited. The response from the users was great so that gave me a little more support to continue it. I stopped working on it becuase I found out comic wasn't my strongest style.
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Q: XeNt - Anger and Xent - Love would be your first two movies here on Newgrounds. What can you tell me about the inspiration for both of these and what it was like to work on them?

A: Oh god!, not those movies haha!. On the first place those were done the same week I broke up with my girlfriend so I decided to portray a mixture of feelings on different short movies, the result was terrible in my opinion haha!, but at that moment I was really enjoying making them. I'm still surprised by the score and the amount of views they have...
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Q: We now come to another duo by you, The Last Fight and The Last Fight: Final Ep. This mini-series would begin with a thread. How did we go from there to here?

A: I was exited about making a fight animation, so I decided to spend some time studying some fight scenes from different sources, I also wanted to add a strong plot to the hole series, didnt want to throw some random punches here and there.

Those movies took many months of hard work and concentration, specially the first one, since it was drawn with pencil frame by frame and then each frame edited in flash. I ended up making a semi-animated comic instead of a full animated movie. I concentrated so much on the story and the edition that I forgot to animate properly. Still proud of both works.
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Q: We now come to what I believe is your best work, Luminiscense. We have a love story, that is to be continued. You said a lot of work went into this and it shows. Where did the idea for this movie come from and when can we expect to see the next part?

A: Luminicesne is indeed one of my best works. My idea here was to show how fragile things are in this world, and how can some events change our lives in a matter of seconds. I wanted to focus more in the final result of this movie, and make something unique even if it took me 1 year to finish it.

It was a great project that gave me the chance to learn how to tell a story with suspense and drama at the same time. Even if I still discover some mistakes(wich some of them were pointed out 1000 times by you guys), I am really happy of the final result. Seting up the style of the drawings, the enviorments, and the general esthetic of the movie were some of the things I most enjoyed, aswell as working with Chris and Jessi for the charachter voices.

The story is to be continued but I have posponed indefinetly due to my new work, wich is consuming most the time I had for animation. Hopefully I will find a way to have more time and make the next chapter.
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Q: We now come to your artwork. The first piece I want to talk about is Central Park. You have an interesting style of showing off different structures and cities. As if we are in a perpetual sunset. You seem to enjoy playing with lighting and lights more than anything else. Would you agree to this or can you define your style or expand on this?

A: Central park was the second of a series of speedpaintings I was creating back in 2009 when I bought my first wacom tablet. I was just experimenting with light values and perspective more than anything else, imagine using a pencil or a pen for your entire life, and then having to transit to this device wich shows the result on a screen, I had to test lots of things before making full illustrations, and those speedpaintings were the result.

I also choosed to make cities because I used to make lots of them when I was a little kid, so why not bring some good memories. You got me there with the "Sunset" thing hehe, I have a weakness for sunsets, and I tend to avoid them in my works but I end up using them most of the time. The final impression is something I really value when I work, you will notice this in most of my paintings...
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Q: Looking at minerva and DRONE42 you have two different ways of drawing people. What can you tell us about drawing humans and these two different approaches?

A: Minerva was like a second chance I gave to my comic/manga style, I didn't make more of these for the same reason I stoped making comic drawings a couple of years ago, I wasn't satisfied with the final result.

On the other hand Drone 42 was the first charachter work I made with my strongest style, that look good in most of the aspects. I figured out that painting was working better than drawing, and that Drone 42 showed much more original results than Minerva. Maybe in the future I will give a third chance to my comic style again...
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Q: When the Newgrounds redesign came, we got fancy wall backgrounds for the different pages. The original basic wall was Tank Girl by Egoraptor. It would soon be changed to a bustling orange city. How were you approached to do the wall for Newgrounds? Also why did you go with this look?

A: When Tom told me what he wanted for the main wall of the site he showed me a picture of a city shown from a birds eye point of view. I liked his idea of a futuristic city and the point of view of the reference picture was pretty accurate, but I decided to make the city from a lower perspective mainly because it was going resmble better the old banner of the website and keep the identity of the comunity at the same time.

The color scheme was also a decition of Tom, and I completly agreed with him. The city, if you take a closer look, has a mixture of old, modern, and industrial looking buildings, some of them even have a military look aswell.
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Q: In your own opinion, what would you say is the definition of art?

A: Art is the language of your soul.
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Q: What can we expect from keepwalking in the future?

A: Many many more artwork and publishing coming!
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keepwalking is truly a wonderful artist who has given us beautiful paintings and told us wonderful stories over time. I can only hope that he will continue to do more in the future. His background wall does seem to reflect Newgrounds old slogan which is "The Problems of the Future - Today!" in which case that is certainly quite kick ass.
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Posted by TheInterviewer - September 2nd, 2012


[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 101
Interview By:
The-Great-One

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[ Part 1 ] + [ Part 2 ]
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Q: One of my favorites by you has to be When in Doubt. You said it was something to show your band mates. What was the process in writing and making this song? Also what did your band mates think of it?

A: The writing process for When In Doubt was actually quite a bit different for me than it was previously, as it's really the first metal/rock song that I included drums in. The drum track, as is blatantly obvious, was basically nothing more than a click track, as I was using a drum preset on the pedal I was using at the time (Digitech GNX3000, which is now deceased unfortunately... RIP), but it helped to fill in the song a little bit, which allowed me to give the song a bit more of a consistent theme.

In this case, I was shooting for some what of a eerie/suspenseful sound, which was something new for me, and personally, I think it turned out pretty well... save the boring drums.

And my band mates at the time, well, really, it ended up only being a drummer, because the other people who were going to be involved ended up bailing out... Well, the drummer loved it. I've jammed on and off with him for a couple years, and I'm generally the creative force behind the jams, I write music, bring it over, and we record or jam on top of it. I have 2 songs up currently that I wrote with him on the spot, being "The Unknown" and "Dreamcatcher".

I've actually been through a lot of potential band mates, none of them ever seem to work out, so I generally just do things solo now, save a collab here and there.
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Q: Your first Classical piece to be submitted would be Castle. Why the urge to play around in Classical a bit?

A: Well, as mentioned before, I really do enjoy a lot of different types/styles of music, and classical is a big one for me, I love classic Beethoven, Bach, Chopin. I have an entire section in my personal playlist dedicated to classical piano pieces. So I guess it was inevitable that I'd eventually try write my own.

I'm also extremely fond of the piano as an instrument, I love the sounds it makes, I love how it makes them, and I love how diverse it can be. It's a beautiful instrument, and really the only reason I didn't learn piano growing up is because my family didn't have one that I could learn on. However, I now practice piano nearly every day in hopes that I can write better and better classical pieces and maybe even work my way up to play some of my favorite classics.

I also tend to include piano and orchestral elements in nearly everything I do, part of that could be my love for classical music, and I guess part of it could be due to my time in an orchestra in the past. Either way, I think classical instruments go well with pretty much everything. So it would only benefit me to learn to use them properly on their own as well.
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Q: Who is your friend Abi? What was it like working with her in some cover songs?

A: Abi is actually a friend I met through another friend who I met in Highschool. The two are recently engaged and I spend nearly every Friday over at their place now for a retro gaming night, playing board games and oldschool video games.

Abi is actually classically trained on both the piano and vocals, and she was interested in doing the covers you mentioned, and I figured why not. For me, it was a bit of a break from my usual style, as none of the songs we covered are anything alike what I usually write, so it was a new experience for me. And despite her training, she has never actually written a song, or recorded before, so when I had her over to record the vocal parts (She also played the piano for "Into The West"), it was a new experience for her as well, as I had to coach her through the actual recording process. And as you can probably hear, she was quite nervous, as any first time recorder is.

In the end, it was a lot of fun, I got some experience out of my norm, and she recorded for the very first time.
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Q: You seem to me as a drifting bard. For you would now jump into Trance with your song -Wait-. A fun little song and quite good for your first step into Trance. Why make this jump next?

A: Yes, yes I am. Really, it was only natural, as I've mentioned time and time again, I listen to practically everything, trance is no exception.

Really, I just like to keep things interesting, I don't like the notion of being a "one trick pony" so to speak. I may not be amazing in any one genre of music, but I like to think I'm pretty decent at a bunch instead. While metal/punk/rock was where I started, now, I don't think I'd say I'm specifically a metal artist, I try to divide my time between all sorts of different genres, just because it's what makes me happy, constantly trying new things, being able to come up with a song in multiple genres.

I really enjoy being able to sit down and think, "I'd like to write an upbeat trance tune" or, "Today sucked, I'm gonna write an angry metal song", and just.. go. It gives me countless ways to express myself, and really, that's what music is all about, is expression.

I've also recently taken a liking to what I call "Melodic Dubstep", I don't know if there's an official term for it or not, but either way, sometime in the near future, after I'm finished my album, I hope to start putting up songs along that line as well.
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Q: Darker Than Black is an anime you would draw inspiration from for the song -Yin-. What about this scene and show brought out this song from you?

A: Darker Than Black was something my sister originally introduced me to, and for whatever reason, I have a great fondness for stoic characters, and Yin was such a character.

So not long after watching both seasons of the anime, I decided to try writing a song to a picture, extract the emotions I felt from the picture and make them audible. And seeing as it was fresh in my mind, I chose to write a song based on the picture of Yin, leaning on a piano in a seemingly empty (Save the piano) and darkened room.

Really, the picture really captured Yin's character perfectly to me, a blind girl, somewhere between human and artificial being, with a fairly depressing past. I don't want to spoil the show for those who have yet to watch it (Because you should... go watch it), so I won't go into much more detail... But the picture screamed all kinds of melancholy to me, which fit just perfectly with her character in the show. The piano was a bonus, in fact, the song she plays in the anime I am currently learning to play on my own piano.

But I digress, the feeling really was that of a lost soul struggling to find her place in the world, and most expressive form she had, was a song she played on a piano, and this really struck a chord with me. And personally, "Yin" is one of the songs I am most proud of, not only because it, to me, captures the feeling of the picture, but because it really does tell a story. Close your eyes, give it a listen, and write your story.

And to this day, Yin remains one of my favorite characters, and you'll often see me sporting her in my avatar/icon/signature on the Newgrounds forums.
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Q: -This Is Why We're Here- is a small return to Heavy Metal. What can you tell us about this song and how you went about writing and playing it?

A: Yeah, "This Is Why We're Here" was my first time using EZDrummer, and as a result, in my opinion, is where my metal music started to really take off in terms of quality.

I can't stress enough how much drums influence and form a song, especially when speaking about metal, it's the driving force, and used properly, it can turn a below average song into and above average one. This song was the first time I had used this to my advantage. Not to say that I think the song without the drums would be awful, but it wouldn't be what it is without the more active drums keeping the track flowing.

This was also one of the songs that came as the result of the many jam sessions I had with the drummer I spoke of earlier. The version on Newgrounds has my version of the drums on it, not his, but the song itself was a direct result of my jams with him.

It is also one of the first (If not the first) metal songs in which I utilize a key change. It's something I've been trying to do more often, as it can really add to a song when done right.
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Q: As a drifting bard you tend to have trouble staying in one spot for long, because we now move to Drum N Bass with the song -Dropped It, Sorry-. You said you were looking to make something more gritty and you certainly succeeded at that. Why go into Drum N Bass though when you could have done this with Heavy Metal?

A: Around the time that I uploaded "Dropped It, Sorry", I was actually struggling with my identity as a musician, I was disheartened that my metal songs were getting very little attention while my covers (28 Days Later in particular) and non metal songs seemed to experience so much more traffic. I actually went through a phase where I decided I would not bother writing metal anymore, it was so bad that at one point, I was so down that I nearly sold my guitars.

I did get over it, fortunately, I got it through my head that I shouldn't worry about the stats and just do what I want to do, and that ended up working a lot better for me in the end. I had also decided that my album, instead of only featuring a single genre like most artists, would feature 3 different genres, and possibly a couple that were mixed.

Now, I generally just write what I feel like writing in the genre I feel like writing it, and try not to over think how people will receive it, instead worrying about what I think of it. It's a lot less stressful when you write music for yourself and damn the consequences. And I think a lot of people would prefer musicians write for themselves anyways, instead of trying to cater to a crowd that will always have haters in it no matter how hard you try. Write for yourself, bring it out from your very soul, and someone somewhere will inevitably enjoy it.
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Q: What can you tell me about K-ON?

A: K-ON... Oh, K-ON... It's a great show, and even more so if you happen to be a musician. It's a slice of life style anime centered around a group of highschool girls who form a "light music club". There's no big dramatic plot line, not overarching conflict. It's just them enjoying highschool life while they can and working towards playing the big stage.

Aside from the show being horrendously adorable and quite funny at times, the struggle to move forward as musicians really struck a chord with me (Hur hur). Mostly because they started from nothing, you watched them grow and develop their skills, it wasn't one of those shows where you tune in and find everyone is already a pro. Being able to watch them grow as musicians and experience a lot of the kinds of mishaps and excitement that real musicians do made it greatly entertaining for me.

So much so, that I ended up covering 3 of the songs from the show: "Touched By An Angel", "Don't Say Lazy", and "No Thank You".

I'm a real sucker for pretty much anything that's more or less a motivational musician story, which I guess shouldn't come as a surprise.
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Q: Your best work in Heavy Metal has to be -Stay Thy Hand-. You said a lot of time was spent on this song, so tell us the process from beginning to end.

A: "Stay Thy Hand" was the first time I had really put a lot of time into the drums for a metal song. While "When In Doubt" was the first time I had really started working on drums, "Stay Thy Hand" was the first time I had worked on drums, but then gone the extra mile to really seat them in the song.

I had also made a conscious decision with "Stay Thy Hand" to include a somewhat out of character break in the song, as well as utilize typical metal chugging, not as the breakdown, but as a main feature of the chorus.

On top of that, I had for the first time made use of "selective chugging" to give the breakdown a bit more kick. If you notice at 2:02 when the breakdown starts, it doesn't really sound all that powerful, there are a couple reasons for this, the first being that I'm only chugging on the octave, there is essentially only 1 note (In two different octaves) being hit on the guitar. The bass is using a broken up rhythm, and the drums are hitting a china. As opposed to 2:14, after the quick break, it sounds quite a bit heavier. The guitar is now hitting the same note as before as well as a 7th on the scale, the bass is now a steady consistent rhythm following the guitar, and the drums are now hitting a crash instead of a china.

It's small things like that-that I've been trying more and more to incorporate into my music. While by themselves, they seem insignificant, in the greater scheme of things, when all put together, it can make quite an impact.

On top of that, "Stay Thy Hand" is the first song where I've ever given the bass guitar the spot light, as you'll notice at 2:26, the melody is coming from the bass, not the guitar. That's also something I wish to do more of, is letting other instruments shine through instead of relying on the guitar at all times.

And while it's probably not noticeable at all, the "verse" (The first thing you hear after the acoustic intro), as I'll call it, makes use of a 5/4 time signature, which was also a first for me. This was not a conscious decision, oddly enough, I had just played the riff before recording, and thought it sounded cool... So I had tried to record it, and just couldn't get it to fit right. Which I later found out is because it wasn't in 4/4 time, but instead... 5/4. The rest of the song however, is in 4/4.
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Q: Your best work in Trance has to be -Tick Tock-. Where did the inspiration come for this and what was the process in making it?

A: As implied by the name of the track, "Tick Tock" was actually inspired by a clock.

To be more exact, and more in depth, it was inspired by a song I had played on Osu!, which is a rhythm based music game, free for download on PC. I had been playing the game, and when people create beatmaps for the game, they are given the option to add custom sounds to the notes you hit while playing the game. The particular beatmap I was playing had the beginning of the song playing a "tick tock" type sound whenever you hit a note to the rhythm of the song. And I thought that sounded really cool, and wanted to try it for myself.

So.. I opened up FL Studio and started searching for a way to make my own "Tick Tock", and settled on using a side stick sample that comes with FL Studio, and pitch shifting it a bit to give it a tick tock sort of sound. And of course I couldn't just leave it at that, so I started mucking around on my keyboard to come up with a trance song to put around it, that would hopefully compliment the theme.

To go further, I also decided to, for the first time, actually include an arpeggio that plays through the majority of the song in the form of a sort of bell, which I had hand crafted in the Native Instruments VST Massive.

I also decided to break up the traditional template I had been using for trance and include a section where the bass took the spotlight, much as I did with "Stay Thy Hand". And it turns out this was a good decision, as people really seemed to love that section, and I've even had people ask me how I made the bass (Which I had also hand crafted in Massive).

Overall, I did a lot of new things with "Tick Tock" that I hadn't done before, and it helped me learn a bit about how to really push my music forward. Although I guess every song in the end is a learning experience, just depends on how far forward I push into new territory and ideas.
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Q: When I interviewed the Audio Portal. You answered some of my questions in the open thread. Do you wish to expand on your answers?

A: Ha! I wasn't very informative back then, was I?

In any case, I'd just add that my definition of music is more an expression of your soul and experiences through life, you can't have music without emotion in my opinion. It's the same as any other form of art, you can't really do it and do well unless you're passionate about it. The best music comes from people who are willing to let it all out for the world to see.

And how I write music when I don't really have anything to inspire me... My answer there really isn't too far off. I generally just don't bother writing when I don't have any inspiration, but when I really want to get something down regardless of inspiration, what I do really isn't too far off from just mashing my face on my keyboard/fretboard until something nice comes out, and then I go from there.

Sometimes inspiration can strike when you hit a certain sequence of notes at random.
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Q: When asked if musicians listen to their own music you had this to say...

"That said... I do listen to my own stuff every once in a while, but the majority of the time I do, it's generally because I want to come back to it and see what I could change to make it better"

What is it about each song that seems unfinished to you?

A: I'm a perfectionist, and my own worst critic, as many musicians are. It's pretty rare that I listen to my own music to enjoy it, because most of the time when I'm listening to my own music, all I can think about is what I could've done better or different.

Sometimes it'll be a certain sequence of notes, I'll hear fret noise, I'll hear a note I missed, or a slight hiccup in the timing, or I'll think something is too loud or not loud enough. I've noticed that I worry over a lot of things that no one else ever notices in my music, but that doesn't stop me from re-recording it until I'm satisfied... and if I notice something else later, I'll worry over that too, even if no one else even heard it.

There was one time, where I re-uploaded a song to newgrounds just because I wanted to fix the velocity of a single note.

In my mind, no song is ever finished, it can always be improved, which I guess is both a blessing and a curse.
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Q: What can we expect from Back-From-Purgatory in the future?

A: Well, my album, "To The End Of The World" will be out later this year, and aside from that, as you mentioned, I'm kind of a drifting bard, so I can't really say what could happen in the future, as I'll likely just do whatever strikes my fancy at the time.

Hopefully though, it'll be more music that people can really enjoy!
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Throughout this interview I reference Back-From-Purgatory as a drifting bard, and I stand by this statement. He simply drifts from one genre to the next, rarely ever staying in one spot. His range in his talents are both fun and diverse, with each song offering something new to it. He is truly an underrated musician here on Newgrounds and one who has had a lot to offer to us during his time here and hopefully a lot more to offer in the future. If you one day see Hip Hop and Jazz appear within his repertoire, don't be surprised, just embrace the delight your ears are about to receive.
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[ Part 1 ] + [ Part 2 ]
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