Interview No. 78
Interview By: @The-Great-One
Today's guest is one that has been requested by others and who others were surprised not to see on The Interviewer's list. He has been rampant throughout the Flash Portal due to his short time here with works such as Twilight: Hairy Moon, subject_b, and Dot Dot Dot - Animated. He is also a very prominent voice actor lending his voice to many others works. He is none other than, @RicePirate.
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A: I was trying to show a friend of mine Metal Gear Awesome on Youtube. Instead, we'd stumbled upon Egoraptor's animated plea for assholes to stop uploading his videos from Newgrounds to Youtube. I promptly visited Newgrounds and quickly discovered a good number of online cartoons that I'd enjoyed over the years had, in fact, been created specifically for Newgrounds.
I joined so I could write a review for Girlchan in Paradise Ep2. It was the first thing I did on Newgrounds.
Q: Your first flash on Newgrounds is entitled Castlefailure SotN. Why a video game parody for your first flash and looking back on it are you still proud of it?
A: Well, as you probably gathered, the bulk of my initial exposure to Newgrounds was the work of Egoraptor. So the Awesome series was likely my inspiration. The SotN Librarian-gag was something I'd wanted to riff off for quite some time. So I decided to stop "thinking about it" and just make it.
I am still proud of it. Not because it's good, but because it was the first flash animation I'd completed, and it would flip a switch in my mind that I could actually see my ideas through to completion. They wouldn't necessarily be masterpieces, but they were created ... and not just doodles in a journal or a joke in my head.
Q: Twilight: Hairy Moon would give you some popularity here on Newgrounds. I'll admit it was the first flash I saw on here made by you. What made you want to parody Twilight and out of all of the subjects of obscurity in these movies, why the shorts?
A: My sister is 16 years younger than me, and I see her maybe 4 days a year. Like most young girls her age, she was a pretty big Twilight fan. She wanted to take my wife and I to see the new movie, so we did. I'm very tolerant of shitty/sub-par things (movies, meals, etc), but I'd never wanted my money back from a movie as much as after I saw the second Twilight film. Among all the ridiculous nonsensical bullshit that movie vomited onto the audience, the fact that these elephant-sized werebehemoth's came out of the woods wearing pristine designer denim cutoffs without a spec of dirt on their freshly waxed bodies ... just stuck out to me, I guess.
Q: Red Ronin: 24 HRC is an interesting collab where you got to work with artists such as redminus and RedHarvest. Whose idea was this and what was it like to work with all of these artists?
A: The original 24-hour collab was RedHarvest's idea. I'm sure there were others before it, but the first of our "series" began with Harvest and the idea of a Neo-Western theme. The second 24-hour collab was Red Ronin (with a loose samurai theme), again Harvest came up with the theme, however this time, I actually compiled the project and "coded" it. The title 24HRC (which I grew to like) came about strictly due to the Newgrounds title character-limit.
The 24HRC collabs were a wonderful way to meet and work with a wide range of talented artists. While we retained a small core group (Pegosho, Redminus, RedHarvest, Ockeroid, TheBoogley, Bubbowrap, Turtleco, myself and others), new artists were always welcome to join. Many of us didn't always have the time to dedicate to one larger project, so a fairly open-ended collab that only required 24 hours was a great opportunity to work on something, as bizarre or random as it may have seemed to the audience. I learned a lot from these experienced animators, and made some invaluable connections.
Q: What was The Roll Call Collab supposed to be?
A: While I personally believe collabs are a solid way to meet new artists and get your hands bloody ... the nature of most of collabs is failure: namely, failure of completion. The Roll Call collab was a fairly ambitious project that seemed simple enough on the surface ... that, over time, lost its momentum and eventually stagnated.
The short of it: It was a bunch of random "characters" being announced in a standard roll call.
Q: We now come to the flash movie that would truly put your name on the spot and it is one that I'm quite curious about as I'm sure others are as well and that is Dot Dot Dot - Animated. It is your first flash to hit the Triple Crown, winning the Daily Feature, Weekly 1st Place, and Review Crew Pick awards. You use the voice of D-Mac-Double, reading Axman13's review of the game Super PSTW Action RPG. There is a lot to be said about this flash movie. What does Axman13 think about the flash movie? Also what inspired you to create this flash movie and what are your thoughts on the success of it?
A: From what I've heard, Axman13 was fine with it.
The inspiration was D-Mac's track. I thought it was hilarious, classy, and well played. One night I had eaten too much salsa and I couldn't sleep on account of stomach pains. I'd always wanted to try my hand at kinetic typography, so I gave it whirl and completed it the next day. O Fortuna was the first song that came to mind and it happened to time out almost perfectly. I bank the success of DotDotDot completely on D-Mac's performance. The success of the video was a fortuitous fluke, and to this day I am most proud of it only because it brought a good chunk of traffic to Newgrounds, to Rhete's game, and most of all to D-Mac's voice talent.
A: At some point, the Dub Collab had been abandoned. Seeing as half the project was already completed, I was frustrated that the collab leader would bail out after so much effort had been invested by so many people. So I picked up the pieces and finished it off. The response was (understandably and expectedly) mixed.
Renenae, an artist and forum moderator, had taken note of this series of events. And over a series of discussions centered around "abandoned projects", the Newgrounds Worm came up. Apparently, the project had made great progress and was near completion, but like many collabs hit a wall before reaching the finish line. I told her I'd be happy to help. So, after a year of stasis (I think it was year ... or more?), the wheels were back in motion. I got in touch with BoMToons and basically just asked him, "What's left?"
To be honest, I wasn't really all that involved. I was more like the last little screw in the entire spaceship.
Q: What is Creaturing: Art with (and for) Kids? What is its purpose and how far has it come?
A: I've already written so much more than anyone will want to read, so I'll save some space with this one. The Creaturing project has been explained here.
The purpose is to inspire children to create and to be inspired by them. It's come leaps and bounds, considering it started as a single seed of an idea. I give all credit to the amazing artists that have participated and the kids that provided the source material. To see the progress, check it out here.
Q: My favorite flash by you has to be your Clock Day entry subject_b. This is truly a bizarre flash like most other Clock Day entries, but it is one that can be interpreted in different ways. It is best to hear from the horse's mouth, so what can you tell us about this flash as well as the process you went into making it?
A: Well, it was Clock Day. So that was the starting point. The origin or purpose behind something so seemingly random as a Strawberry Clock intrigued me, so I just kind of let that lead me forward. I made the first frame, found a song I thought shared the mood, then storyboarded the rest to the music.
I figured the story was pretty linear with only a few loose ends. It's the events that lead up to the situation that are open to interpretation. I was hoping the that the audience could share in the "piecing-it-together" that the protagonist was going through, room by room. I'm glad you liked it.
Q: Looking at your flash submissions you are more of a prominent voice actor than you are an animator. When it comes to voice acting, what inspired you? What is your setup?
A: I studied acting, but I run a graphic design company, so the time necessary for rehearsals and performances doesn't exist anymore. I got into voice acting as a logical way to continue "performing", but without the heavy time commitment. Unfortunately, most of my professional voicing work is pretty standard Narration based projects, while my passion is Character voicing. Newgrounds continues to offer me numerous opportunities to practice the craft of a genre I haven't had much professional experience with.
Most of my professional gigs are recorded in Manhattan, at Edge Studio. My home setup is simple, just my MacBookPro, a Blue SnoBall mic, and a generic pop-filter. However, a serious upgrade is on the way in the near future.
Q: When it comes to voice acting do you have any advice to those wanting to lend their voices to the masses?
A: Listen. Imitate. Experiment. There's no substitute for spending time behind the mic. Some folks assume that voice acting is simply a matter of talking into a mic ... that's one small part of it.
Also, when an animator releases a project, and it's obvious they know nothing about the exporting sound options (to ensure a decent quality of sound), don't be a bitch and take it up the ass ... say something. You'll be doing everyone a favor.
Q: What can we expect from RicePirate in the future?
A: You can expect that I won't stop making stuff. Good stuff, shitty stuff. You can expect that I will always try to improve, I'll be drawing more, and I will one day overcome the shadow Dot Dot Dot had cast across my entire body of work.
DOTDOTDOT 2 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Twilight: Hairy Moon is what introduced RicePirate to me and to be honest I didn't even know he did Dot Dot Dot - Animated until after watching it. As an animator he is quite good there is no doubting that, but his voice acting overshadows this by far. I can certainly see why others have suggested him.