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Ratzafratz

Six Point Harness Interview!

November 16th, 2006

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Other than Ratzafratz!, Six Point Harness also worked with Frederator on “Wow Wow Wubbzy” for Nick Jr., which looks great. How was that experience and do your Flash animators work 1000 hours a week?

SPH: We would like to enforce the 1000 hour work week and build a fancy time stretching machine that could help with that. Until that becomes a reality, we work hard and we play hard… and try to plan our projects to be executed with as much efficiency as possible. We set up a special crew dedicated to Wow Wow Wubbzy so that project would get the attention it deserved while we tackled other projects such as the “Where My Dog’s At?” series for MTV with a completely separate dedicated crew. We do rotate people from project to project to ensure that both teams benefit from the strongest talent.

How did Six Point Harness get started?

SPH: We were producing an early Flash animated feature and realized that the production pipeline we were developing was more efficient than many larger studios had at the time. We took the crew we were using, put together a reel, started a corporation, and got into as many meetings as possible to get the ball rolling.

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Brendan Burch and Dave Vamos of Six Point Harness

What other shows are you working on now?

SPH: Currently we are doing pilots for Klasky, Warner Bros., and MTV. In addition we have a strong development pipe line with 6 different projects in various stages of production. We showcase many of our development projects at Tire Fire Films .

Karl and I are very happy to know, that when the Ratzafratz! end title card comes up and reads “Made in Hollywood, U.S.A.”, it is actually true. As flash gets more prevalent, do you think it will revive animation production in this country?

SPH: We share in your excitement about the production of Ratzafratz! We do think that producing shows in the U.S. and specifically at our studio has distinct advantages for creators. You are able to come in and check on the project as it is animated and put together. Having our studio in Hollywood (although the taxes are MUCH higher) versus Burbank or Glendale sets us apart from a lot of other studios doing similar work. We’re in the center of the Hollywood!

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Of your own shows in development, what is your favorite?

SPH: All our shows are creator driven and because they are so different it is impossible to pick a favorite. However, if Brendan had to pick- he likes the Twincesses, Rednecks in Space, Clawdad, The Eras, Neenja, 60 Second Roast, and Leo McMight, the Foot Tall Knight.

We have seen some the animation for Ratzafratz! and it is truly remarkable. What difficulties did you run into animating our rats?

SPH: Each animated project introduces new challenges. The biggest challenge on Ratzafratz! was to make sure we carried all of the personality and quirkiness of Karl Toerge’s designs and storyboards into the animation. Because the designs were very “animation friendly” they were a joy to animate and make move. We did initially had a challenge animating Squawk. He does not speak in dialogue and instead uses a large variety of grunts. We had to figure out a way to make his lines funny even though he was not communicating verbally.

What kind of software and hardware do you use?

SPH: We use a variety of both software and hardware. For Ratzafratz! we used Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash, After Effects, and Final Cut. However, many of the times the best ideas still originate with a simple pencil and a post-it note.

What is your favorite character in Ratzafratz!?

SPH: It is very difficult to pick a favorite. Personally I have an affinity for Squawk. He is orange is he and he loves to eat… both great character traits for a mall rat!

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Thanks Brendan and Dave!

We will post some of Ratzafratz! animation next week.

- Jim Wyatt

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Visiting their studio and seeing them work was really great!

 

Great bunch of talented guys! They animated TWO of my pilots!

 
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