What should I do with all of this useless information in my head?
Though I would be flattered to think anyone cared about the depths of trivia I think about, the bottom line is that even most nerds let their eyes gloss over if I start to talk about the adaptation of Shakespeare into Saturday morning cartoon shows. Could I write a book on animated television show writing? Yes. Should I? Maybe.
They say great wisdom is knowing when to use great power.
So what do you do? When I can't talk to people on the street about cartoon writing, and there isn't exactly an M.A. in animated dramaturgy... When I can't go from zero to animated TV show writer, what is one to do? Chris and I started a podcast.
Writers Get Animated is part-theory, part-improv. In it, we try to explore all of writing's little nuances in cartoon shows. Everything from the most emotional moments of Futurama, to the best-constructed fart jokes. Usually the fart jokes are more fun to talk about. The podcast is only a thinly-veiled attempt to meet people in Big Animation. In addition to academic breakdowns (aka English-majoring-the-crap-out-of-things), we also just have fun.
It Writes Itself! is an improv game we developed to showcase our creative (and ridiculous) talents. Chris and I spin some metaphorical wheels (they're in an app), and then spend 7 minutes developing a pitch for a crossover concept between two properties and an added gimmicky cliche. For example: Popeye and Akira as teenagers. In this concept, Popeye fills the roll of the titular Akira. He has a jet ski instead of motorcycles and eats some bad spinach that turns him into the monster. Ultimately, it is Popeye's untamed tweenage rage that prevents him from controlling his temper.
There's also a healthy portion of commentary in there, though. We dish on diversity in animation, how cliffhangers work, and what 'tone' means in animated television writing. Hopefully many more meaningful topics. Though like with any podcast, we have more fun along the way than we should.
Here's a primer in Writers Get Animated:
- 022 - Modern Day Fables: Zootopia
- 017 - Of McStuffins and Puffins
- 009 - A Tale of Two Scoobies
- 016 - Minority Report
...okay, the last one doesn't work as a call to action.