Fueled By death cast



Fueled By Death Cast Ep. 138 - CHRIS PRYNOSKI

TITMOUSE ANIMATION - CHRIS PRYNOSKI

"When I was at MTV, the 90s, I started on Beavis and Butt-Head and The Head and Daria, a bunch of shows that were going on there at the time. " Chris Prynoski, Titmouse Inc

 

 

PREVIEW:

ABOUT CHRIS PRYNOSKI:

Chris Prynoski never dreamed he would run his own animation studio until he started to do just that with Titmouse Inc. Chris joins episode 138 of the podcast to talk about starting out in animation in the early nineties at MTV, working on many titles in the Liquid Television era. Chris also worked on Beavis and Butthead Do America, helping to plot out the famous hallucination sequence in the movie. 

But then Chris just wanted to start his own T-shirt company on the side of his animation career, and Titmouse was born. Chris quickly learned he could actually start his own animation studio, and Titmouse has become a giant player in cartoons today, producing fan favorites on Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Netflix including Metalocaplyse, The Venture Brothers, and Big Mouth. 

Titmouse Inc is also integral in one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns in history for Critical Role - The Legend of Vox Machina, a new animated series based in the realm of Dungeons and Dragons.

TRANSCRIPT:

Jeff: We're in the now and I know you guys are doing a ton of stuff with Titmouse, Inc. across the board. And I wanted to start by talking about some of the things that maybe you can talk about. One of those being this incredible Kickstarter that you guys are a part of for Critical Role.

Chris: Oh, yeah. Yeah. That's so cool and surprising. I mean, I've been a lifelong D&D player since I was like nine years old and I've known those guys because they're voice actors, right? And many of them [inaudible 00:00:37] done voices for us and Sam Riegel has directed so many cartoons for us. But yeah, I kind of have been aware of their stream since the beginning and I've kind of been talking to them about it for years, like probably two and a half years. We started developing it maybe like a year and a half ago. When they were like, "Hey, do you think that we could do a Kickstarter?" I was like, "Yeah, you know, everybody who asks me that ..." Because we get asked that a lot.

Jeff: I bet.

Chris: We've been involved with a couple of them and you know, it never works out the way that you think, you know? And it's always a huge ... It's a weird thing, right?

Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative), totally.

Chris: And a lot of it's like, the audience, it's like the people who watch cartoons, I was like, in the past, I think have been less informed on how long it takes and how much it costs to make a cartoon. I was afraid there might be a backlash if we ask for the money to make a whole cartoon because people'd be like, "Hey, you have a studio. Why are you asking us for money?" So we asked for like, you know, to do one special and we're like, "Man, maybe if we're lucky we'll get this, it's a tall order, it's a tall ask." And now we're in the position where we just crested it, where we're definitely doing a 10 episode season. It's crazy. To be able to do a crowd funded season of a TV show at a reasonable budget, it's insane. But I'm so happy. It's going to be bananas.

Jeff: Yeah, that's so incredible. And can you talk a little bit about, for our listeners, what Critical Role actually is? Because it didn't start out as an animation.

Chris: No, no it didn't. I mean now it's only just starting. Yeah, it's like, you know, I'm sure your audience is familiar with Twitch.

Jeff: Yep.

Chris: If you're not, then it's a service where you can watch people. Mostly it's about playing video games, right? But it's also, in the [inaudible 00:02:37] years expanded out to people playing all different kinds of games, right? Role playing games and board games and whatever kind of games, streaming their experiences. And I see Critical Role hit this sweet spot of a little bit nostalgia for D&D, a little bit of the fifth edition coming out. I guess it started with Pathfinder, which is a D&D-like game. They started playing with Pathfinder and then got into playing D&D. But both like, fantasy role playing games. And I think, also the fact that they're voice actors and they're talented at coming up with characters and character voices makes theirs way more entertaining than just like so-called normal people, right? If you watch me play D&D, it's not nearly as entertaining as it is watching these guys, right?

Jeff: Right.

Chris: But I think the big thing about Twitch is D&D used to be something that your older brother or your uncle or your weird friend or the library, somebody had to teach you, right? It's really hard to get it just from reading the books. Right? So there was a barrier of entry that was like, you had to know somebody who already played it. And you know, a lot of the people who were attracted initially to role playing gaming maybe aren't people who have a big network of friends and stuff. Right? But now you can just watch Twitch and you could watch them play it and then you know how to play it. You learn now from watching people play it on the internet. So I think D&D had an incredible year last year. You'd have to ask them. I think the last two years have been gangbusters for them. And I think a large part of it is because of Twitch and because people, you know, it just ... You've lowered that barrier of entry considerably. I don't know if that answered your question. I kind of went off on a tangent.

Jeff: No, it totally did. And it's so exciting because something like this, which is born from this new space of watching people play games and being invested in that. And that has spawned these voice actors to not only have a good following there, but I mean, a comic book and fan art, and all this other stuff. And then the idea comes out, "Well, why don't we try a cartoon?" And I think it's so cool that, like you said, it wasn't necessarily some big conglomeration coming in, like let's throw out Disney into there, or something and being like, "We're going to make this," you know, it was from the creators being like, "If there really is a fan base, would you guys want to help us do this?" And you guys crushed the goal by a million percent, it was amazing.

Chris: Yeah, it's crazy how that came about, too. And you know, we did develop it and pitch it and there was a buyer on the table who was interested in buying it, but the guys really wanted to do a high production value show and the budget on the table for what we were interested wasn't quite there. I give them a lot of credit for sticking to their guns because a bird in the hand, you know, of having somebody willing to buy your show is a tough thing to walk away from.

Jeff: Yeah, yeah, for sure. But it's turned out successful. We're now going to get a 10 part series out of this, which is absolutely amazing. And from someone who ... in your position, I mean, you started Titmouse, Inc. and you run this incredible animation studio. Do you feel like this creator owned Kickstarter world that we live in, do you think it's, it's helpful or harmful to the industry?

Chris: Oh, I think it's super helpful but it's weird, like this thing that we're doing is one at a million. This is not a business model to do Kickstarters for entire series of TV shows, [inaudible 00:06:34] like ... What is it, like Veronica Mars and Mystery Science Theater and this thing, are pretty much the ones that have been able to do it. So, you know, it's like, hey, for doing a short, for getting started out in your career, I mean, it's such a different landscape than when I was coming up. You can make cartoons, just put them on youtube and all the free time that you have when you're young, when you're mussing around, in high school or whatever, you can actually make cartoons and there's an outlet for people to see them. If your goal is a few hundred bucks or a few thousand bucks to do a short, I think there is a viable model for this.

Chris: I think anything that that lowers the barrier to entry is great. Right? It's like everybody gets a chance. It's a more democratic system. I mean, Hollywood still is, I mean, that who you know thing is so very true because it's an industry, there's people in charge of what gets on the air or whatever you want to call it these days, on people's services, streaming services. But you have to be able to back it up with being able to make stuff. Now there's just a broader net that people can cast to find new talent. I mean, I love it. It's much easier to recruit these days than it used to be. You know, when you were kind of like tethered to like, "Well I guess we'll go to the convention and review people's portfolios," because how else are you going to look at their work? You know? In the 90s, people weren't sending out their resume ... or not their portfolio over email so much. Maybe their resume. So, yeah. Come a long way since when I started.

Jeff: Let's talk a little bit about that. How the industry has changed exponentially since when you broke into it. How did you navigate that?

Chris: Well, I think I was in this weird middle generation. I always talk about that with my peers of like, old enough to learn that like classic way of drawn on paper and you know, the oldie fashioned way of doing animation, but young enough to still grow up with computers and fully embrace the digital stuff. So I think I was fortunate to hit that sweet spot. I think it was pretty easy transition for me, because I was interested in pushing the technological stuff. When I was at MTV, the 90s, I started on Beavis and Butt-Head and The Head and Daria, a bunch of shows that were going on there at the time. I did a series there that only lasted one season but it was the first one to do digital ink and paint and use computers for the coloring and compositing and stuff, which was pretty new back then. Not too many folks who were doing it. And I was just always interested in that.

Jeff: Was the landscape ... It seemed at that time, during the Beavis and Butt-Head era of MTV, it seemed like MTV was open to anything and I think that's why so much good content came out of that generation of MTV. Was that what it was like on the inside? Were they very open to new ideas and pushing that envelope?

Chris: Yeah, absolutely. The guy who was running MTV animation at the time, [inaudible 00:10:11] really, his best asset was that he trusted the artists. He didn't really meddle or get involved in it. At the time, I didn't really appreciate that because I hadn't worked anywhere else, really, other than for like, animating commercials and stuff. It was only [inaudible 00:10:31] works, and doing TV shows, and I was like, "Oh, this is how it is. The creator, they do what they want and it's cool. Sometimes you get notes from standards of practices. They say Beavis can't have a lighter anymore, but you know, whatever. Other than that, we could pretty much do what we want." And then I realized when I moved out to LA in 2000, that that's not how it works most of the places. That was kind of a unique environment, but I think it was great for what it was. If they had had been able to [inaudible 00:11:03] it out a little bit longer, man, I think they could have been a real ... They could have either been a competitor to Adult Swim or just ... We just could have been Adult Swim.

Jeff: Totally.

Chris: I remember doing a panel at Comic-Con a couple of years ago and they asked me if I could give ... They were like, "Hey, do you think you could ask Mike Judge to be the moderator?" And I was like, "Yeah, sure." I talk to him every once in a while and stuff and he came down and he was the moderator of their panel. And it was funny, he was like, "MTV fucked up." He's like, "See all these people on this panel?" And it was true. Almost every person in the panel, he's like, "They all worked at MTV, they were all making cartoons, and they let them all go and they all went to Adult Swim." It's like, "You could've done it, you guys could've had that, MTV." It's funny.

Jeff: It is funny because I mean, they had this gem and at that point, no one really understood how important animation was becoming. MTV was out there doing it, Cartoon Network was just in its infancy and there was even some, really rare animation on like, Comedy Central and, and the Sci-Fi Channel and stuff, outside of your powerhouse, like The Simpsons or something like that. But nobody really understood where this could go. And it's a shame that MTV didn't keep that forward thinking.

Jeff: I wanted to talk to you a little bit about too, you not only got to work on Beavis and Butt-Head when it was on MTV, you also directed some of the movie Do America, right?

Chris: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That was a fun project. That was such a scrappy movie. That movie was done script to screen in one year because that was ... It was a popular show and they're like, "We got to get this done." So I worked on ... I storyboarded on it, and I did layout on it, and then I directed a sequence where they do peyote in the middle of it and that was just a fun project, man. [inaudible 00:13:01]

Jeff: Was it still the same mentality, MTV just being like, "Let's push the envelope," because especially that sequence that you just talked about, where they're tripping out in the desert is ... that blew my mind on the big screen. Like, seeing that. It absolutely blew my mind. Was that MTV still having that hunger to just push that envelope or ...

Chris: It came from Mike. Mike Judge was like, you know the ... If you think about a show, right? The core premise, the main joke of Beavis and Butt-Head was they sit around and watch music videos, right? So you know, the germ of that idea was like, "Well how are we going to get them to watch a music video in the movie? Because we have to service that. We have to make a joke about it or something." So originally it was like, "Let's figure out a way for the movie to just stop in the middle and basically have a music video for them to comment on." And when he and Joe Stillman were you, you know, they wrote that sequence into the middle of the script, where basically is written something like, [inaudible 00:14:05] basically do it like the commentary that we do on the show where they're commenting on a music video.

Chris: And actually, it was fully animated, we did a whole ... I think it was like two minutes and 45 seconds sequence that's much longer than what appeared in the movie. And it was ... but it did actually stop the movie in its tracks and it was cut down to 45 seconds and it was the best decision that they made. Because it was like ... every review of that movie, I remember, I was like 24 or something when I directed that. It was like the first thing I directed. But it was so great, it always mentioned it, it was like, "Oh, and this cool sequence, the best part of the movie."

Chris: But I think if it was the original cut, they would've been like ... the reviews would've been like, "And then there was this long sequence that never ended that I couldn't wait for it to be over, to get back to the story." So it was a good decision to cut it down. I think it might be out there on YouTube or something. I know when they were doing the DVD and the blu-ray, I still have a cut of it and I was like, "Hey man, does anybody want this? Put It on the blu-ray." And it didn't make it on there.

Jeff: Moving forward from there, you mentioned that you moved out to LA in 2000 and that was right around the time that you started Titmouse, Inc., correct?

Chris: Yeah, but at that point I just started this as a T-shirt company. I thought I was going to just sell T-shirts on the internet and I did that a little bit and it was fun. But I mean, designing them is fun and wearing them is fun. The other stuff's a pain in the ass. It wasn't really easy-ish. Like now you can set up a store on the internet in like an hour and you're up and running. There's all these ... this process back then of really ... It was more like starting a real store where you get a merchant account and get all these ... It was good, though, because it forced me to start the business in a real way, to get like ... To make it a real business. Whereas if I started a T-shirt company now, you don't have to start a business, you just go on and do it on Shopify or something. And then it's [inaudible 00:16:15] hardly need to do anything.

Chris: Because what happened was I was like, "Oh, this will be my side business. I'll still ..." I was working at the networks, you know, working on different shows. Directing or running different TV shows. Then, you know, I kept getting more and more freelance work and then I'd run it through, you know, I'd just like, my wife Shannon would help produce that stuff because she was producing freelance, but she's like, "I'll just not take on any more freelance work and I'll produce your freelance work." And we rented a little room and hired a couple of friends but we still hadn't run it through Titmouse yet until this one movie that I got.

Chris: And then it was like a live action movie with an animated sequence and some drawings and the ... You know, it's like 20th century Fox. I remember being on a call and they're like, "What's your production company?" And I was like, "I don't have a production company, I'm just a dude." And there was silence on the other end of the line. And they're like, "Do you have production insurance?" And I was like, "Oh, I mean, I have a company, we have bank account and everything." And I sent over all the Titmouse paperwork and I guess that worked. And then we started paying people through Titmouse. But it wasn't meant initially to be an animation studio, it just kind of became that.

Chris: And then it just kept coming and coming until, it was like, I think the summer of 2004, where Shannon was like, "You got to quit your job at Cartoon Network and focus on this." And I was like, "That's nuts." It's like, "That's my job, that's how we make money." And she's like, "If you quit that and focus on this, this'll be your job." And we didn't have a house or kids or anything. So I was like, "All right, I guess. Let's try it. See how it works out." It worked out.

Jeff: Yeah. And that's awesome that you just were like, "Let's give this a shot. Let's go down this journey of life and see where it takes us." Was it ever in the back of your mind, working on projects like MTV and then a Cartoon Network, was it ever in the back of your mind like, "I want to have my own animation studio someday"? Or did it kind of just ... did you kind of roll into [crosstalk 00:18:25]? Never?

Chris: Yeah. No, I didn't think so because I knew how ... I mean, I didn't know, actually, how hard it was to run a company, but I didn't have an interest in the business part of it. Luckily we just kind of learned. I mean it's like, I guess they ... you hear about this a lot. Like, I didn't go to business school [inaudible 00:18:46] I just read a couple of books. I read those like, Robert Kiyosaki books, like Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Cashflow Quadrant when we started the business, because I'm like, "I got to learn something about this." They had like, Business for Dummies kind of books, you know? I'd learned, I guess, just enough. And then Shannon learned more and then we started hiring people that knew more.

Chris: But yeah, I had no interest in starting a studio. No plans to do that. It just kind of happened. I think a lot of people who try to start these startups and get investors and stuff, I think that's how they have this quick burn. They spend a lot of money and then they're out of business in a couple of years. I mean, some of them are successful, but I think if we'd tried to start a studio at the scale that we ultimately became, I probably would have failed at it.

Jeff: So before this, you're working at Cartoon Network and then you said the business became viable around 2004, so that's the perfect time. Because animation, like we talked about earlier, was really coming into its own. Adult Swim had just started up less than five years prior. Were you working on Adult Swim stuff before actually what you started doing with Titmouse?

Chris: No, but I knew all those guys. Because Mike Lazzo used to run Cartoon Network proper. I knew, had worked with some of those guys, and some of them had worked in MTV, so we're always talking about it. But not so much like ... Yeah, so Metalocalypse was the first show that we did with them, which ended up being a great first show to do with them.

Jeff: Yeah. I'm glad you brought up Metalocalypse because Metalocalypse, especially for fans of Death Wish Coffee, we constantly are in love with that, like, the whole Duncan Hills thing and all that stuff. We get tagged in that once a day. It's amazing.

Chris: [inaudible 00:20:51]

Jeff: But on the Metalocalypse side of it, was that brought to you as Titmouse or was that brought to Cartoon Network and then they hired you to produce it? How does that work?

Chris: I mean, that was a really interesting way that that came about, because they had pitched it to ... I had been working with Brendon Small on another project. This project that never went forward. So I already knew him and I was [inaudible 00:21:23] with Tommy Blacha, as a writer on this MTV pilot. So I knew him and then I was friends with John Schnepp and we were actually renting an edit room to him in our small office and one of the execs at MTV ended up leaving and going to Adult Swim and she's like, "Hey, we got a bunch of projects, we got to figure out a way to make them." And I met, I remember with the new ... he was the new guy at the time, Nick Weidenfeld, and he's like, "Hey, there's three projects that we want to do." One is a The Boondocks, which was already going and that was kind of in trouble and they're like, "Maybe we could get you to help out." And I was like, "All right, well, helping out on a troubled project sounds like maybe not the best-"

Jeff: Not fun.

Chris: "... way to start our relationship." And then there was this other show called Minoriteam, that they were just ... They had all their artists and they had it all set up, and then they were like, "Well, there's this one, Metalocalypse," and that one, they didn't have any art style figured out, really. Schnepp had drawn kind of like a loose drawing of the characters. I was like, "I know all these guys, this is the one we should do. I'm already ... kind of know about this project." So it kind of worked out, because we all knew each other. So technically, it was like a gig from Adult Swim, but we really ended up developing that with them because it was kind of the perfect first project for us to do because it was all people I knew and worked with and they actually needed our help, as opposed to a show that already had their art direction sorted out and stuff. It worked out well.

Jeff: And what a lightning in a bottle type of situation for a brand new company starting out. Because I'll tell you as a fan, I went into ... going into Metalocalypse because I was a fan of Home Movies, so I knew who Brendon Small was. I was excited for another project from him. I'm a metal guy, so you know, an animated show about a metal band, I'm all in. But I'll tell you that after seeing that first season and after every episode, seeing that Titmouse logo come up, that stuck in my brain and I was like, "I've never seen this logo before. Who the hell are these people?" Like, how did-

Chris: It worked!

Jeff: Yeah, it totally worked! Like, how did they make that in there? And I mean, you guys have went on to create some of my personal favorite stuff on Adult Swim, and a lot of other people's, too. I mean, outside of Metalocalypse, but I mean, Venture Brothers and Superjail! and like all of this stuff that has a very stylized, very Titmouse, Inc., ethos to it. You can really see your stamp on everything. And I think that's a testament to your company.

Chris: Thanks, man.

Jeff: And that kind of brings me to the question I get to on this show. We are all ... The ethos of this show is we are all fueled by death. We all want to leave this world a little different before we inevitably leave it for good. And through your entire career, starting out, working for the upstart that is MTV, working on feature films, moving to LA to start a T-shirt company which becomes an animation studio, which becomes the forefront of some of the biggest stuff, animation that's been out in the last decade. What fuels you to keep going? What's your drive and passion? What fuels that in you?

Chris: Yeah, I guess I just like making cartoons. And I think there's a lot of people, you know, we're still pretty ... Even though we're a relatively large company by number of bodies, I think we're somewhere around 600 employees now, our top, like we're not very top heavy and we're still artist run and we still like to try ... We're fortunate now where we're in a situation where we really only take projects ... we could turn down work and we try to take projects that we can see something in, that we get something out of. Either the writing or comedy or the animation, we can really dig in and make the style really cool or some reason to really dig in and make something cool. So I think just as long as we can keep making cool stuff, we'll want to keep doing it.

Jeff: Awesome.

Chris: That's our whole plan. It's not really that ... I wish it was a better, like we had some cool answer for that. It's not complicated at all.

Jeff: I think that's the coolest answer.

Chris: Actually, when we did have to ... When I was first starting out, in order to get the first building that we started in, I did have to do some kind of business plan and I'd never done ... I just downloaded one from the internet and kind of put in, like, filled in the blanks like Mad Libs and then I was showing it to the bank guy and he's looking at it and he's like, "So what are these projections?" You know, because there was a section where you had to put in projections and I was so green, I didn't even know how to answer the question.

Chris: I was like, "I just made them up," and he's like, "You can't make them up." Luckily, he was on my side. He was like, "I want you to get this loan, but you can't ... you got to have some basis." He's like, "Well, how does your business work? How have you worked for the last couple of years?" I was like, "Well, we just make cool stuff and hope that people see it and want to hire us to make more cool stuff." He's like, "That's not a business plan either." But that kind of really is our business plan.

Chris: What I did at the time, and this was just off a hunch and it totally worked because I think people are just reassured by bigger companies. I just went to all of our clients and anybody I knew at companies that were ... You know, if it was like Disney or MTV or Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon, I just got them to write letters like on their letterhead of like, "Hey, this is a good company. We hire them all the time. We're going to continue hiring them," and just had like 10 of those letters. I was like, "Is this good enough?" And the guy was like, "Yeah, that's good. That's good. That shows that you'll get work in the future." So that was our whole business plan. Like, "Here's these letters that says that they'll hire us if they have a job." Yeah, I figured that was like ... After 2008, that method wouldn't have worked. I was lucky I got in before everything got real crazy.

Jeff: I think that is a testament to your passion for this medium as well. You always seem to ... Just from talking to you, you seem to always want to be pushing the envelope and like you said, just make cool shit and you're going to get that done no matter what. You don't need to have the better business book behind you and be checking off all the boxes. You just, you wanted to make that happen and you did. I think that that was a testament to you personally. I think that's awesome.

Chris: Thanks.

Jeff: And speaking on that a little bit, I wanted to ask you, as someone who's been in this industry for a while and always has an eye for the next thing, where do you see the animation industry going? Do you think there's a next big thing happening? What's the future of animation as you see it?

Chris: Well, I mean, there's so many outlets now. I don't know if ... It's hard to predict the next big thing. I think the next ... It's weird, in a weird way, that next big thing is that everybody's doing it. It used to be there was a couple niche places, right? Like Adult Swim, Fox Sunday night, they were about the only ones that consistently produced animation. And there was a couple other places like Comedy Central would do, you know, once a year, they'd try and ... Maybe not even that often, like every couple of years they'd try and pair something with South Park, but they weren't super committed. Yeah. And there was like, that ... and MTV had kind of fallen off of it. So there wasn't really a lot of places.

Chris: Now there's like, everybody's doing it. So there's so much, so many. I mean, as far as adult cartoons. There's always Disney and Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, which have always been great clients. But now I think there's even more. I think the big game changer in past few years has been Netflix where, you know, once they started producing the volume of shows that they produce, it kind of made everybody else step up and have to produce more. Because it's like, oh, if you're a normal network, it's like, "Yeah man, maybe we'll green light one new show a year, animated." And then Netflix is like, "Guess what? We're greenlighting 30 shows this year," and then everybody is like, "Oh, I guess we got to do more than one now."

Chris: So nobody's quite hit that volume that Netflix is doing, but they're getting close and there's a lot now, there's so many more places. And even when some places combined, it starts new ones, you know? So it's like, whatever, like Disney buys Fox and buys their library, but then there's still the Fox broadcast network. So there's new ones popping up and there's the old ones. I don't know what's going to happen as far as like a winner. I think it's kind of cool right now to be an independent because there's so many places to produce. It's kind of cool, and maybe it'll ... I don't know, maybe it'll go on for awhile. There doesn't seem to be any slowdown right now. We'll see if there is in a couple of years from now.

Jeff: Yeah. Well it seems like it's an exciting time for animation, for animators, for people in this industry. And I mean, even though you, like you said, you guys are a small fish in that pond, from your standpoint, from just a numbers standpoint, I mean you are one of the heavy hitters in a lot of fans' eyes. Finally, I just wanted to see, is there anything coming up this year that you can talk about? I know a lot of stuff might be in production that you're not allowed to talk about, but stuff that Titmouse has got coming out this year that you can talk about, that you're excited about?

Chris: Yeah. There's so many things we're working on, but I wish I had ... This is one where you might want to do a little follow up with Heather and find out which ones we can talk about. I'm trying to do a little mental like roll through of the different things, because I don't know what's been announced, but there's a lot of ... If you like cartoons that we've been making over the past year or past few years, I can vaguely say there'll be more of many of those coming. Like more seasons of those coming. Pretty much all of them, I think. So I won't get into specifics on that.

Chris: Oh, for a personal project for me, you could check out on YouTube, something called The Tongue and Pencil, where I interview different artists. We sit at two drawing tables and we draw and you can see our drawings and then halfway through we switch and draw on each other's drawings. And today the ... I don't know when this is going to go up, but today we just did ... the Brendon Small one is up there. You can check that out, me and Brendon Small bullshitting, drinking, and drawing. There'll also be ... We have 17 out of the 24 have been put up, every Monday, those go up.

Jeff: That's excellent. Is that on your own YouTube channel, on Titmouse's YouTube channel?

Chris: It's just called The Tongue and Pencil.

Jeff: Oh, just Tongue and Pencil channel, perfect.

Chris: Yeah, it's just for that thing, because it's so ... I mean, we shoot it at Titmouse but it doesn't even ... You'll see, it's pretty low budget. We didn't have a budget for this, it's just like little ... I got to get a better mic setup for next time and people are like, "You should do it as a podcast." And I'm like, "Man, I don't know man." When you can see it, it's a little bit more forgiving. When you can only hear it, it sounds pretty bad. It's in this warehouse, it's all echoey and crap, but whatever.

Jeff: That's a great idea though.

Chris: It's rough around the edges.

Jeff: In this day and age, as much as people enjoy animation and animated projects, we live in this wonderful connected world thanks to the internet and YouTube and stuff like that, where we can be a fly on the wall with our favorite creators, our favorite animators and stuff like that. And I think a show like that is really important. I think that's cool that you get to sit down with these people and just have a conversation while creating art. I think that's very, very interesting.

Chris: Yeah, it's fun because it's like on two ways. It's forces me to hang out with people I know and then I find out stuff about them that I didn't know. You know?

Jeff: Yeah.

Chris: So it's good.

Jeff: That's awesome.

Chris: It's weird, doing interview ... I'd never done an interview show before, so I'm sure, you know, it's a whole different thing to get used to doing.

Jeff: Definitely. That's awesome. Well, like I said, I'm very excited for everything that Titmouse has got going and you as well. And yeah, in this show, obviously, I'll put links to a lot of the stuff that has been announced and stuff as it becomes announced.

Chris: Nice.

Jeff: And Chris, I can't thank you enough for taking time and talking with me today. It was really a pleasure to talk with you.

Chris: Yeah, thanks, man. It was great.