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What the Shell?!?!, A Channel Frederator Featured Film!

March 21st, 2008


You know what? Gabe Swarr is cool. His version of everyone’s favorite mustachioed, pizza chomping, Italian plumber Mario is even cooler. As this tribute short can attest to.
1 Up Gabe Swarr! 1 Up!


1) So, this was for a Nintendo Contest, right? Why didn’t it win? You should’ve!
Yes, I did it for the Nintendo Short Cuts Contest. I have no idea what happened with it, I think it might have to do with the format. I was told by the officials that I could submit a 1 minute short even though there was a 5 minute minimum, I guess they changed their mind? It might be because most of the winning shorts were live action? They could have hated it too, we will never know.

2) How long did it take you to create this, and can you describe your process?
I took 2 and a half weeks all after work hours to do this. The whole thing was done in flash, even the sound mix. The first week was storyboard, animatic and the second week was just animation setup/layout. The last weekend was animation and BG comp. Tony Mora did the BGs and Seth Sternberger (8 Bit Weapon) scored it.
The process is very similar to all the flash shows I’ve worked on. I draw the storyboard on post-its, then scan, time out and pick all the sound effects. Next I build the models and rig them. Layout is posing, symbol organization and creating additional assets as needed. Animation, to me, is pure fun and the most rewarding step. The BG compositing makes Flash chug and takes a while. Lastly, all that’s left is music and mix.
But I have to add, all of this couldn’t have happened without the patience of my wife Karla. This schedule was crazy and I couldn’t have done it without her blessing.

3) What type of pizza pies do you order? What’s the “Regular” for Gabe Swarr?
I like plain cheese pizza of all styles, New York, Italian, Chicago. Most toppings are too much for me, green peppers are ok I guess.

4) How long have you been animating, and what are you working on currently? How long have you been playing video games, and what are you playing currently?
I left The Joe Kubert School for Graphic Arts in 96 for Spumco, and have been working ever since. I’m currently directing “El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera”. I’ve been playing games for as long as I can remember. I was the first in my class to get a Nintendo. I loved Super Mario Bros. and that’s when the battle for my time began, games vs. cartoons.
I am currently trying to Smash everyone I know, email if you want my friend code,
I’ll take ya on!

5) Have you ever met Miyamoto?
No, but he did draw me a drawing of Mario after hearing about my extensive Mario toy/collectibles collection, all thanks to my friend Jon Gibson. I would lave to work with Miyamoto-san at some point in my life, I would imagine we have very similar tastes–I hope he’s reading this!
[*Ed.Note-Us Too!!!]

Thanks for submitting What the Shell?!?, we hope to see more Super Mario Coolness from you down the line Gabe! You Rock!
-Jeaux Janovsky

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I saw that animation a while back, and I believe I saw some photos of his work at the I Am 8-Bit gallery too. Truly awesome. It’s great, too, to see an animation of Mario (or any video game character) actually DRAWN, as opposed to all the sprite movies we see on Newgrounds and what have you. I really need to do my own Mario short, heh…
Nice picture of him as well. Looks like I have some competition for my own collection of Mario swag.
Thanks for posting this interview!


Wait a minute?!! Didn’t I ban Gabe Swarr’s picture from our sites?!? I mean, it’s OK to run his great cartoons, but I absolutely draw the line at photographs!


Gabe’s such an awesome artist, cool interview Jeaux. The Mario short is freakin rad too!!!


I have it on good authority that at least 5 of the Mario items in that photo were shoplifted.

For shame, Gabe, for shame!!


Great Job SON! You’re the FLASH KING and extreme with Mario.
The boy came by his collection honestly and I think Mom and I bought him the first piece. Keep up the Killer work Son.


Proud! So very proud! Of course Gabe takes after MY side of the family!


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Your blog hit the nail on the head….

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