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Interview No. 140
Interview By: The-Great-One
Today's guest is the winner of The 2015 Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation. He has graced us with works such as Ten Facts, Surviving the Future, The Ice Cream Man, and Little Snails. I am pleased to welcome, TheSilleGuy.
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A: As a child I would frequently watch flash animations on the internet because I already had a big interest in cartoons. Some of the first flash animations I remember watching was "There she is!", "I love death" and several episodes of Eddsworld. These flash animations were however embedded on several Swedish sites, and so I did not really visit Newgrounds that much. It wasn't until I seriously started getting into animation that I created an account in 2012.
Q: At what age did you become interested in drawing?
A: I have been interested in drawing for as long as I remember. I can recall sitting inside, alone in kindergarten drawing animals while the other kids where outside playing football. If you want an exact age then I was maybe 1 or 2 years old.
Q: Informative Man is about a man who goes around answering people's questions in a strange, but hilarious fashion. Whose idea was this and will we see more Informative Man in the future?
A: The original consept for Informative man was that he was supposed to be on some kind of infomercial on TV, but this evolved into a deranged kids show where he answers questions. I honestly think he is a very interesting character, and for a while I really wanted to make a sequel to the video. I really don't know when I'll have the time to make one though.
Q: DuckTales - Treasure Hunt is a parody of DuckTales. I love how the voices don't even come close to matching the original characters and the ending is priceless. When did you become introduced to DuckTales and what made you want to make a parody of it?
A: Oh man! Ducktales was one of my favorite shows as a kid! It was on every Saturday morning on TV and loved watching it. I wanted to make a parody because I thought it would be fun to do a weird little skit version of it. I thought it would be funny if the voices where super exaggerated or just not accurate at all to the original cartoon and I guess it payed off.
Q: One of the last times I asked this question was when I interviewed Sexual-Lobster. Your movie The Ice Cream Man... what the fuck did I just watch? Where did you get the idea for this and the song?
A: It's kind of a funny story. I wanted to do a cartoon and I was frustrated by the fact that I had no ideas. Then all of the sudden I remember randomly rapping to myself and I had a very weird ice cream man rap song out of nowhere. Then I just kind of wrote the rest of the sketch around the rap.
Q: You would contribute your voice to many entries for the Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation. However you would compete during the 2015 Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation and go on to win it. Why did you want to contribute to other animator's entries and compete yourself? How did it feel when you were announced as the winner of NATA 2015?
A: A friend of mine competed in NATA the year before and that inspired me to want to participate as well. I couldn't in 2014 because I was at that point already working on another animation, so I participated in 2015 instead. Since some fellow animator friends also participated I decided to help them out with voice acting. One of them, MCakeri, I've been friends with for a long time and we skyped together while working on our respective animations.
As for how I felt when I won: It's kind of indescribable. I had been working on Little snails, non stop for two weeks straight and I was stressed out of my mind. I was sure I was going to lose because I thought Dylans video was far superior to my own. You could guess how I felt when I won.
Q: Your first entry in NATA 2015 was entitled Telling the Truth. How did you come up with this idea for the Open Round Theme and how were you feeling about moving up the bracket?
A: At the beginning of NATA I wanted to do some more "meaningful" videos with kind of message to them, and I thought about how with the theme "10 amazing facts" reminded me of the internet and how there are so many inaccurate facts on it. I thought it would be interesting to have someone constantly telling lies and then have someone else not question them and this eventually would lead to the liar dying. It was not that popular though and I almost got left out of the competition. Because of that I felt like I was going to lose the next round.
Q: Surviving the Future would be your entry in the Novice Round. Could you tell our readers the theme for this round and how you came up with the idea for it?
A: The theme for the second round was "How I survived ______". Because of how my last video didn't turn out that well I wanted to do something completely different. Instead of doing something with a message of some sort I just wanted to do more of a cute adventure video. There's not much of a story to how I came up with the idea, I kind of just wanted to do a video about the future since the beginning of the round.
Q: My favorite animation by you is your entry in the Pro Round entitled Up in the Sky. The story for this was just absolutely beautiful. It actually made me a little teary eyed. What was the theme for this round and how did you come up with this beautiful story?
A: Haha, that's very nice of you to say! The third rounds theme was "A tragic misunderstanding" and very soon after I read the title I brainstormed an idea. I had recently read the Wikipedia article for the S. A. Andreés Arctic balloon expedition of 1897. Back in the late 1800s Norway and Denmark had explored most of the arctic. Sweden was left behind, and so a man named S. A. Andrée wanted to be the first person to reach the north pole by balloon. Andreé however ignored many of the problems with going to the north pole in a balloon, and so the mission failed and he and his two crew members died.
I thought the story was very interesting but I wanted to simplify it so it could fit into a NATA video. Originally it was going to be a man and his two crew members like what had happened, then it was a story about a man and his wife and eventually it was about two siblings. I really like how the story turned out and I really want to do more dramatic stuff like it in the future.
Q: Your entry for the final round is entitled Little Snails. I thought this was an endearing and funny movie. What was the theme for the final round? Also how did you come up with the creativity for backpacks being the snail shells?
A: "Against impossible odds" was the fourth and final theme for NATA. My video little snails went through A LOT of changes during the two days I wrote it. At first it was about humans and not snails at all, and it was going to end with the villain throwing the little girl of a cliff with her rising behind him as a giant glowing magic entity and destroying him. The "little-girl beats-the-bad-guy-to-protect-her-sister" theme was prevalent throughout the idea process but it was for a while only about humans.
It wasn't until later I sort of just spontaneously thought it could be about under water snails that it changed, and this was again changed to land snails in the final version. As for the shells as backpacks, it was just something i just thought about, it's not really any story to it, I just thought it was a cute design choice.
Q: You have one song on Newgrounds entitled Knights. It feels like being inside a techno castle with robotic knights. How come you haven't made any more music? Will we see more music from you?
A: I have actually been doing quite a bit of music since I made "Knights", though I don't think any of it is good enough to upload yet. I don't feel like I know enough about music or music theory yet. (I mostly ask people to make music for me.) That being said, I do have many ideas for songs and if I get more experience with it I will definitely upload some stuff. Otherwise it will mostly be crappy joke songs.
Q: What advice do you have to give to aspiring animators?
A: Try going outside your comfort zone! One thing I did for NATA was that I tried to do things I've never done before, and it payed off. If you don't take risks you won't evolve or get better.
Q: What can we expect from TheSilleGuy in the future?
A: I actually started work on an animation a couple days ago. It's pretty short so it will most likely be done in a month or two. I'm also developing a webcomic with two of my friends. Don't know when it will be up but hopefully soon. Finally I'm also working on a pretty big project, a short film. It will be my first animation with a budget and it will be pretty long. I have just started writing the script so it's gonna take a while to finish it.
TheSilleGuy seems to me to be another TomaMoto or RicePirate. Always willing to expand past his comfort zone. Always willing to give a helping hand, lend his voice to something, whatever he can do to help someone else's creation grow. I mostly focused on TheSilleGuy's works in this interview, but most of the other movies on his page is simply him helping others. Make no mistake though, when TheSilleGuy stands alone he is truly an animation force to be reckoned.