Hi Brett, would you mind introducing yourself and the Tinman Creative Studios to the readers of Gamobu.eu?
My name is Brett Jubinville. I’m one of the owners of Tinman Creative Studios in Toronto, Canada. We’re a small animation studio that focuses predominantly on 2D frame-by-frame animation. Although we are also starting to branch into stop-motion and puppeteering as well.
How did you come up with the idea of ‘Super Science Friends’?
I came up with Super Science Friends when my girlfriend left me alone for the weekend and I ate too much pizza and played too many video games. I was sitting on the couch sketching random characters when I sketched what would later become the Soviet Space Ghoul. That night I couldn’t sleep (probably because of all the pizza), and so I started thinking about that drawing I had done. I got up and spent the rest of the night coming up with the show Super Science Friends. Aside from a few characters that have since been tweaked or added, most of what I came up with that night is still present in the current show.
How many episodes do you plan to produce?
We currently have 6 episodes planned out, although we would love to do a 13 episode run. The Kickstarter we’re running right now is for the pilot episode.
You’ve almost hit your financial target on Kickstarter which is a great achievement. Would the amount of financing acquired affect the number of episodes produced?
We’re thrilled we’ve been able to find our audience with our Kickstarter, and that we’re almost at our goal! If we end up going past our goal, we’ll definitely put any additional money we have into the next episode.
Which streaming channel are you going to use to distribuite the series?
We will probably post the final episode on YouTube. Though we may also use Vimeo. Our goal with the pilot isn’t necessarily to monetize it, it’s more to get it out into the world as see what kind of response it receives, so the more places it can be seen, the better.
With all you have achieved with regards to producing a product of such a high standard, you must have a strong team behind you. How many people are working on this project?
We currently have about 15 artists, and they’re all terrific. Nearly everyone has worked on Super Science Friends at one time or another, however we’ll probably be producing the pilot with a fairly small crew. There might be 4 or 5 people on it at any given time. When I designed the characters, I designed them to be economical, so we could get the best looking animation possible, without it being too complex.
A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to interview Andrzej Zamoyski cofounder of Futuretro Studios and we asked him his opinion about crowdfunding: ‘I think one problem is that inexperienced teams will promise the world and assume their enthusiasm will be enough to carry them through.’ Do you agree with this statement?
This has been our first crowd-funding endeavour, and it’s definitely an interesting process. I do think you have to be really careful about what you promise, both as a final product and for the rewards. Since we’re really intent on continuing on with Super Science Friends, the Kickstarter will allow us to animate over 6 months instead of a couple of years as a “back burner” project. It was going to get completed one way or another, it was just a matter of “when”.
Is ‘Super Science Friends’ just an animation project or is it also a marketing tool to promote Tinman Creative Studios?
I would like to think that if we decided to do a publicity stunt, we’d have more sense than doing a project about scientists fighting nazis. This is really just an idea we always thought was cool, and everyone we told about it said “You have to make that!”, so we are. That said, we are thrilled with the attention it’s brought to our little studio.
‘Super Science Friends’ is a project that’s being funded by the web. Does it differentiate from a project commissioned by a TV channel for instance?
The fact that the financing is coming from us personally, as well as from Kickstarter gives us total creative control, which would be different from a TV channel. The networks we pitched the idea to a couple years ago all had things they wanted to change about it. Removing the nazi element from the show was the first thing everyone told us would have to be done, but because so many of the scientists in our show did their work around the time of World War II, it was a compromise we weren’t willing to make. It really is the unsellable show, at least to more mainstream broadcasters. We’re happy to have the opportunity to see it come to life on our own (and with our generous donors!)
Manga and anime digital piracy is calculated to be at a loss of $20 million per year to the Japanese government that was compelled to create new norms to control this problem. Are there any ways to stop piracy?
There’s no way to stop piracy, although I am a firm believer in avoiding solutions that punish the people who pay for the products. DRM for example makes it all the more difficult to purchase and use media on your devices, so in a lot of cases I think it’s just easier for people to pirate it. Companies like Netflix have found the solution, which is just make it easier for people to pay for it, rather than steal it. Sadly, a lot of companies do the opposite which can be really frustrating for actual paying customers.
In your opinion what is the future for animation series? TV, Mobile, Streaming websites, apps?
The future of all media is “I want to watch something. I want to watch it now. I want to watch it on whatever device I happen to holding/sitting in front of.” That’s the ultimate end-game, it’s just a matter of how long it takes to get that sorted out and animation is no exception. The idea of tuning in at 9:00am on Saturday morning will disappear even more than it already has in the next 5 to 10 years. Social media will play a large role in what is considered “popular”, and the highest quality content (whether it’s what looks the best, what sounds the best, or what is the funniest or most interesting) will rise to the top. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when the entire world has had more access to quality entertainment than today. At least not until tomorrow…
Thanks again for your interest and for the interview!
Thank you Brett for your time!