NOTE! THE FOLLOWING USER IS NOW REFERRED AS @SpamClamberton. HOWEVER IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THIS INTERVIEW THAT YOU KNOW HIS PREVIOUS USERNAME WHICH WAS MasterAardvark.
Interview No. 35
Interview By: @The-Great-One
Today's guest is one of the many creative bizarre minds of Newgrounds. With creations such as The Pigpen, -Last Resort-, and Shoe- "Egg" he has given us renditions of his twisted thoughts through his colorful presentations to his dark and humorous stories. He is none other than Felix Colgrave a.k.a @MasterAardvark.
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A: I found it when I was about 14, and a group of my friends got really into Knox's Klayworld series on here. They instructed me to go watch it and from there I browsed the site. I made an account so I could review and vote on things, but once I thought my work was of a standard worth posting here I made a new account.
Q: Your first flash submission was entitled Yoghurt. It is an interesting little comedy if I do say so. What was the process in creating this flash and looking back on it are you still proud of it?
A: I suppose I am still proud of it in a way, though I'd probably cringe if someone went around saying it was the best thing I'd ever done. As for the process, I wasn't really comfortable in my animation skin yet and so I just hashed some bad ideas together, which made it really painful to make. While I don't think a good animation has to make sense, the elements in this don't really compliment each other at all.
Q: a very relevant statement is a very weird flash movie that truly proves the point of 'the cake is a lie.' You stated that your computer had a virus so therefore this was filler. Was it meant to be something more?
A: Nope. This was really just an animation experiment that I gave a background and a cake. I'd just finished making Last Resort, but due to some complicated issue I won't go into I couldn't submit it. So I made this because I was damned if I wasn't submitting something.
Q: The Travelling Sandwich would be the first flash to garner you an award. The Daily 4th Place. A bizarre flash and I have but two questions, what was the process in creating it and does it have a meaning?
A: The Travelling Sandwich came from a sketchbook doodle of a sandwich where drips of mayonnaise grew into legs. The main reason I made it was because I really wanted to see how it would walk. So there wasn't a meaning to it as such, it was just a really fun experimental piece. Somewhere along the line I'd love to do more things like it.
Q: -Last Resort- is one of your more disturbing flash movies. A nightmare beyond belief. You being the sole writer I must ask how this spawned within your mind?
A: Long story. I spent a lot of my childhood, from about the age of 9 to 15, in a choir. In my final year the choir was invited by the South Korean government to represent Australia in an arts festival. We were put up in an empty university (it was summer holidays over there) along with all the other groups from around the world. There were some amazing talents there... and then there were the Country Cousins from the U.S. They were meant to be traditional Smokey Mountain clog dancers, but everything they did was like a bad highschool dance and all the music was all pop songs. The group had only one boy, and there was something terrifying about watching this big tall creature dramatically leap around the stage with these girls. He was both terrifying and hilarious.
Anyway, the toilet in my room was broken, and all of the building's public toilets were completely open fronted. Everyone walking down the corridor could see you. And so me and the friend I shared a room with went to use the public toilets at night when no one was around. On the way we joked about our favourite Country Cousin being in the toilets too, and then turning into something from the exorcist. We talked mainly about him chasing us by running along the tops of the doors and screeching at us, and from there the rest of the Last Resort story grew.
Q: Shoe- "egg" is quite possibly the most twisted music video I've ever seen. I imagine there is quite the interesting story behind this one. I want to know the writing process of this as well as the animation. Putting them together with a song to tell a story. How is it done?
A: Well the band didn't really tell me what to do, they just left me to it. And so I thought the best thing to do would be to match the look of any of their other promotional art, like this EP cover. Bright, scatterlogical and spastic. And so I just jumped into it, and made bright, scatterlogical and spastic. I tried to follow the lyrics to the extent that each shot vaguely mirrored the line said at the time, but it quickly evolved into it's own story. I really had no idea what I was doing, but I know the band well enough to know that they'd probably like it better that way.
Q: We now come to what I believe to be your best flash movie. An interesting story about greed, addiction, and betrayal. That is The Pigpen. Out of all your other flash movies I love the writing in this one the most, could you tell us all how you were inspired to create such a flash movie? Also how did you feel about winning the Daily Feature?
A: Well I have this piggy bank I got when I was a little kid, but the hole in the bottom is slightly too small to get Australian 50 cent coins out. And so I filled it up with every 50 cent coin I found on the ground or something (never out of my own money) until it finally became completely full in 2009. I wanted to think of a cool way to break it open and so I sat down and drew diagrams of ways to kill a piggybank. One of them was death by lethal injection, and I had a piggybank with a syringe sticking out of the slot. From there I got the idea of pigs doing coins as drugs, and I really wanted to do something exploring a seedy drug underground with otherwise innocent pigs in back alleys 'doing coins'.
As I was planning it, I suddenly realised if they were buying coins from a dealer, what were they paying him with? I had already wanted the dealer to be a person, and what people get most out of pigs is meat. And from there I had this really exciting concept- what if one day the only way to buy drugs became through killing someone? It was a fun sociological concept, and I ran with it.
While it was very satisfying, I think I was expecting Pigpen to get a Daily award the moment I read the first reviews. What excited me more was the fact that for a brief period of time it suddenly cropped up in the big 'Featured Game' window at the top of the front page. That made me feel rather special.
I still haven't broken open that piggy bank by the way.
Q: The 48hr Film-fest entry is another flash movie with wonderful writing. Although short, that is kind of the point with only 48 hours to work on. How hard is it to work within this sort of time limit?
A: Very. I worked without sleep from the moment I got home with my little bit of paper saying what my theme was, until the moment I drove back into town and handed in the file with 20 minutes to spare. I was completely running on soup and obscure brands of energy drink. The best thing about it was that it makes you realise how much time animation takes minus the having a life part, and I think it's something more animators should try. Still, I'm never doing that again.
Q: The writing process can be a difficult one, especially if you're writing something to be put through the visual medium. What are the basic steps you take as a writer when writing your animations?
A: Generally I'll scribble out 30 seconds of storyboard, get bored, animate that bit and make the rest up. It's not a responsible way to animate but then again I'm not a responsible person in anything I do. The first basic step I take as a writer is do whatever.
Q: As an animator, what advice can you give to other animators on creating and perfecting the visual medium?
A: I'd hardly call myself a great animator for people to learn from. I suppose the best thing I could tell people to do would be to storyboard each individual pose before animating, to keep your characters fluid, however this isn't something I myself have done in the past. In the last few months I've finally gotten around to getting tablet software to work on my computer, and now that I have way more control over the flow of my art, I've been trying this. It looks way better. Only I think it'll be a long long time before I finish anything using this technique. I'm lazy and I've got too many unfinished things to do first.
Q: What can we expect from MasterAardvark in the future?
A: Possibly more dicks. Maybe some music too. Or not. Don't get your hopes up on anything.
This guy reminds me of a previous person I interviewed. You may remember him by the name ZekeySpaceyLizard. A humble artist who just enjoys drawing and bringing his creations to life. Despite his humble attitude, MasterAardvark is truly a brilliant animator and one that I hope will continue to grace us with his creations.