Interview No. 149
Interview By: @The-Great-One
Today's guest is one whose animations have graced the front page and gone beyond the realm of Newgrounds in terms of their humor, their artistry, and their overall appeal. From works entitled Pokemon Hunter to his latest work Yoshi Stranding (Death Stranding parody), to addressing topics such as in The Artist. He is a talent not unknown to Newgrounds. I am pleased to welcome, @NCH.
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A: If I can really recall my very first time finding the newgrounds site was probably when I was during my first year in high school (secondary school for asia context) which I saw the very first animation on newgrounds on Osama Bin laden tailiban song parody that was loaded by a friend on the school computer lab classroom.
Joining wasn't anytime soon as I usually just use NG as a guest... it was probably after like 5 years later(from the first time I saw NG) when I start to make my first animation I decide to start uploading to newgrounds.
Q: When and where were you born?
A: born in Singapore back in 85 where its the perfect year to be born, you get to experience both the old and new modernizations of the world.
Q: What did your parents do for a living?
A: Nothing really Exceptional to be honest, Dad was mainly a blue-collar worker during his prime, and mainly work in the factoy servicing/mechanics/repair jobs and eventually due to retrenchment, work as a grab driver these days, while my mom mainly was a house wife during my infancy and eventually took on oddjobs and eventually school caretaker these days.
A: Boy...Singapore is basically a pretty mix bag, but I think and honestly say, the positives of the country outweights the negatives. While my time growing up in the country was also nothing really exceptional as I wasn't the brightest kid nor do really well in his studies, mainly during my time education was "brutal" and in the sense of "chinese upbringing" where your asian parents expect you to get As, my parents are sorta leaning to that, but I think they "gave up" on me after they know I'm not going to do any good as I climb higher in education haha.... but they still let me do what I want and respected my choices as I got older.
Other than the mandatory conscription of millitary at the age of 18, which to me is really a pain in the ass and something I kinda have removed from memory(no good memories, just pain and suffering and depression) Life in Singapore is pretty good... theres low crime, the govt ensures the system is run smoothly, too smoothly, lots of oppturnities given to us as we climb up the education level. Tho I didn't really climb that high, I was given an oppturnity to work out on things that are not acadamically inclined, like attending a technical education school instead(thats kinda where I learnt the basics of using flash)
But overall I think living in singapore is considered pretty good and my experience has being favourable, abiet you gotta swallow alot of tough govt's policies and their regimental control over their own citizens heh...but well, no country is perfect I guess.
Q: When Edd Gould was here we talked about his cancer. You too have had a battle with cancer and you two shared stories and I'm sure laughs as well. When were you diagnosed with cancer and what can you tell us about talking with Edd?
A: I developed cancer back when I was around 24? or 25, I cannot remember, but it was around near the end of 2010. I basically was working in a small art studio that kinda don't really know what they're doing as a business and did alot of odd end jobs not in my area of expertise. Basically I had to do alot of random stuff during my time at the studio and working conditions was kinda brutal to me and eventually my health. I basically worked in the studio for almost 3years? but basically near the end of my time working in the studio I developed 3rd stage Hodgkins lymphoma and also contacted tubercolosis too. Life turn upsidedown literally and also ever since I got cancer and left the company, they also closed down subsiquently ever since what happen to me. I don't hold any remorse from the company cause I can say they technically gave me the experience and some good oppturnities to experience stuff that I probably would not get to do. but yeah, it was a very dark time for me at that point.
well I guess I was lucky and I eventually won the fight against cancer and also cured my tubercolosis too. that took me a span of almost 2years I think.
Regarding about Edd, I was in his contacts before I had cancer and we chatted now and then as friends, I honestly cannot recall much of it cause it was such a long time ago during the days of MSN messanger and I guess during my time with cancer it has become regressed memories that my brain end up just not wanting to really remember the details... but I can say my last few chats with Edd was wishing each other to get over our illness.
Q: Your username is NCH. It stands for No Creative Human. Could you elaborate more on this definition?
A: LOL... no thats just a cynical input thats not official at all. NCH is actually my IRL Name, just in Initials lol.... I just tend to be cynical with abbriviating the initials in jest or sarcasm. Tho.... "No Creative Human" is kinda a self-critiscm on my side as I kinda don't really have the "creative power" to come up with original stuff as if you notice almost all my animation submissions are base on other intellectual properties making parodies out of them and I don't really have any developed original IP under my belt till now.
Q: At what age did you become interested in animation?
A: I was interested in animation at a very young age ever since I saw cartoons when I was a kid but I didn't grasp how they work until eventually when I realize how they are done and soon eventually when I was like age 9 or 10? or during the age when digimon and pokemon was the hype. I discovered that you can make animations in microsoft powerpoint and I eventually did simple animation stuff using microsoft powerpoint and carried that habit over to high school where I would spend hours in the school com lab making powerpoint animations and powerpoint point-and-click game adventures. I never save those files properly as they're haphazardly saved in floppy disk lol and were never preserved properly, so I can never review these legacy works I've done when I was a kid.
Only when I was around 18 or 19 when I actually touched on Macromedia Flash, flash5 to be exact, which they thought us in technical school, just how to use the software, but no animation techniques. But cause of my interest in animation I've nurtured when I was a kid, I start to self-thought myself on animation by copying and following other flash animations that I enjoyed watching. And I kept doing it till to where I am now.
Q: The first movie I ever saw by you was also your first submission to Newgrounds. It is entitled Safety At work.. It is funny, but also serves an important message. It was made for a Safety at Work Competition at the Institute of Technical Education West, you ended up taking first place. What brought you to this college and what drew you to this competition?
A: I briefly mention on how I entered this college in my earlier answers but basically I didn't do well academically so my options was to go to a technical school and pick up technical skills. the course I entered was Information technology and they gave us a multitude of diff IT courses from programming to film making, graphic design to 3D modeling to networking to animation, all basic stuff. you can guess where I didnt do well in the networking and programming courses but exceled in the media-base courses heh.
The compeition was just some safety compeition that after my IT teacher see me having interest in animation suggest I try it out, so yeah, thats how I got into it. basically I was kinda the only guy in the entire cohord to really have that level of interest in doing animation...so I was pinpoint out to try out the compeition LOL.
Q: What can you tell us about the Monster Hunter series. Also what advice do you have to those who wish to do a series here on Newgrounds and abroad?
A: The monster hunter series was kinda back then my attempt to try to follow in the footsteps of an animator by the name Carbot, who he back then started out doing silly short skits on the Starcraft game. At the beginning I wanted to be the "carbot of monsterhunter" but when I began my very first animation, I kinda realize I'm puting alot of time and also level of details into my skits, they're kinda not snappy and fast like how carbot handles his very first season of his starcraft episodes, So I eventually realize my series would probably not be on the level of what carbot is doing, but I just start to do what I think I can do with the series. so every episode start to grow and develop along with some running jokes and plot points. I kinda develop this long series without any planning ahead anyway.
my MH series eventually start to lose structure and style as I start to realize I don't want to lock myself to be known for only this series, as how carbot eventually, well to put it bluntly, only does animation on the properties for blizzard these days and his style being the same since back then and now, abiet more better in animation. Eventually I start to kill off the contiuity and style of my MH series everytime a new game comes out. I change up formats for every new game series, Basically I did not want to continue the same art style for every MH series and always work on something new or unique. during "season3" of my MH series, which was MHgen, I start to plan out scenes that I want to pay homage too, like a scene where I re-create the T-rex car chase scene through the forest of the jurassic park movie into a scene in MH. basically I start to do experimental animations and homages when theres the oppturnity to make use of them in the skits just to change up my style or direction of the series.
Eventually when MHWorld comes in, I start to change up the series alot, while these days its still using the same characters/reusing assets, I tend to try to do unique stuff to it just to change up the style or format, eventually I developed another series call "Monstie shots" which was something more towards the "I will try out a totally new style with new assets" experimental animation for the MHWorld series of games.
my advise on series is basically, do you really want to be labeled as "_______ guy" or the guy who is only know to do only this particular series. As I kinda unfortunately sealed my image as the "monster hunter guy" that people subscribe to my channel just for my MH content, I had being puting out other series to show that, yeah I can do other series so hope you guys give them a chance and watch these too, which to certain degress works out but still the stigma of me being an animator for MH is of a concern as my final goal actually wanting to create original IP... thats why, if I've to do monster hunter content, then I rather experiment and try out diff animation styles or themes using MH then, instead of just keeping it to the same standard style. ironically it comes back to this, when back then I wanted to be the "carbot of monsterhunter" I now am trying to move away from that stigma.
Q: Your short entitled Foreign Plants talks about the longest drought in Singapore. How long did this drought last? What foreign plants were protected and what inspired you to make this as a response to this event?
A: ah its just a stupid jab at current affairs in singapore, back then one of my "plans" was to do "local animation content" that "made fun" of "local current affairs" in our countries, but after that attempt and something else I decide I do not want to focus on the local audience and stop eventually. the "Foreign plant" joke is basically, Singapore has a state of the art Garden call Gardens by the bay, they had these super greenhouse structure where they housed alot of "foreign plants" in there which they are "safe" from the long drought while the rest of the "local plants" here suffer...its.... kinda a political jab at the local population resentment of the govt treating foriegn talent better than the local people but with context to the long drought situation singapore faced............ it has nothing to do with actual plants LOL.
Q: The Artist is a wonderful look into the world where businesses try to take advantage of the creator by cheapening their labor. It is a process that still tends to go on to this day. You say this is a visual exaggeration from a personal experience. Could you elaborate further? Also after almost six years since this animation would you say its relevancy is still strong or have businesses and corporations started to respect the creator's abilities more?
A: I think this was more done in my experience in the art studio I guess... this was also part of the "plans" to do "local animation content" back then, I think the visual exxagration is just going through my experience with a cynical animation look into it, I kinda don't really have much thought into this, I was probably just inspired by some current cynical animations and dark humor to show the plight of an artist when I worked on this. Fun fact, the people the artist encountered were planned to have their own animation clips, which the 2nd animation, the salaryman was for. if I still actually continued, I be making animation clips of everyone the artist has encountered during his trip back home...... but I never went through with that, plans dropped after salaryman.
Q: /v/-rage 2008 vs 2017 Remake comparison shows your growth over time. Who is 3-AngledBlue? How did you come across this comic? What made you want to remake it nearly 10 years later? What is the process in turning a comic into an animation? Is it merely a storyboard to work from or is there more to break down?
A: thats during the days of 4chan I guess. shitpost comics and stuff. that comic and many meme-reaction images all came from 3-angledblue, which I dunnoe much about him, he come and goes, his last known work was doing an animation skit on one of the gamegrumps audio recording. I only "contacted" him through deviantart note showing him the /v/rage animation to him and he liked it.
also during that era I kinda was doing content for 4chan I guess, you can say I wanted to be involved in creating and developing their memes and stuff into more valued stuff, hence the 4chan city and other nonsense. /v/rage was one of it that I hastily animate it, back then I was still self learning animation so I just took /v/rage as another attempt to try out frame by frame stuff, abiet very roughly. yeah the process is basically just using the comic as a storyboard to put it very bluntly.
Also, remaking /v/rage was just one of my major projects I want to do to "diversify" away from my MH animations as mention above. every year I attempt something major so /v/rage was one of that projects I decide to put myself onto for that particular year.
Q: My favorite by you has to be Pokemon Hunter. The detail and design all the way down to the music is absolutely amazing. I never get tired of watching it. Where did the concept come from?
A: its kinda base off a japanese flash animator that I was currently in love with his style. as remember that I tend to copy and follow people's style I currently love and move on when a new style catches my eye, pokemon hunter was just during that time my love of that style of animation and wanted to copy/follow the style to see if I can pull it off.
Q: One of your latest works I believe to be your absolute best. Where two worlds meet and a product of creativity, fun, and clever storytelling all come together in Yoshi Stranding (Death Stranding parody). A combination of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and Death Stranding. What made you want to bring these two worlds together? Will we see more like this in the future?
A: As usual, Yoshi stranding, like /v/rage was also a major project I did to diversify away from MH, that was the major project for last year. I think its just mainly I only had the DS trailers to work with and just look into those and see what I can implement the other game's aspect into those trailers. And nah, there won't really be any followup as its just a "major project" I want to do to diversify from MH, thats all to it. I've not played death stranding too, so even in order to make anything more out of that.... I kinda have to play the game first? lol
Q: What is in your opinion, the definition of animation?
A: eh...probably the act of actually able to convert that thought in your mind into a visual medium and seeing it actually come to "life" visually where everyone saw what you see in your brain I guess LOL.
basically the medium to convert the images inside your brain for people to see it lol...
Q: You have honed your craft, your skills have improved. You have learned much in this world. What advice can you give to aspiring artists and animators out there?
A: if you are studying, respect and focus on your fundamentals and basics I guess. I come from a non-art background. my craft is totally self-thought, I grasp and shoot in the dark when I first started out animation and it took me over 15years to get to where I am without any form of teaching from an expert. so if you already are going through art fundamentals and so on, you're already ahead of me by 10years.... lol... I think this is being told to death by many artist and animators already heh.... but yeah... have good fundamentals and foundation I guess...
But I guess for my case, I just follow and get inspired from people and try to re-create their style and learn from it, and readapt the style learnt to something unique, really put all your time into it, animation was a hobby of mine that I kept doing and put alot of time into. I just probably got lucky that the shots I fired in the dark eventually hit something and I got better at it............ just it may not work for everyone.
Q: What can we expect from NCH in the future?
A: Original content.... when I finally am able to come up with one, and is scuessful and that I can be proud of it. but for now, just MH stuff and other animations to hone my skills and see what develops....
NCH has always been a fascinating animator to me. When I first saw "Safety At work" and then later on saw "Pokemon Hunter", a part of me couldn't believe it was the same animator. NCH has trouble with original content, which I believe we are all guilty of in some or many aspects. He would make a wonderful producer, gathering writers and musicians behind him. His portfolio more than stands for itself. He is a talent that should not be ignored, but celebrated.