Editing Flashforward 2006 Seattle - 28 Feb 2006

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<blockquote>Take a step back in time as Mike and Matt Chapman show how they still use Flash® 5 to make the weekly cartoons featured on HomestarRunner.com. Learn the secrets and not-so-secrets of making a 3-5 minute cartoon every week. Hear about their six years on the web, watch some of their stuff, and learn how they've managed to make a living doing something they like.</blockquote>
<blockquote>Take a step back in time as Mike and Matt Chapman show how they still use Flash® 5 to make the weekly cartoons featured on HomestarRunner.com. Learn the secrets and not-so-secrets of making a 3-5 minute cartoon every week. Hear about their six years on the web, watch some of their stuff, and learn how they've managed to make a living doing something they like.</blockquote>
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[[The Brothers Chaps]] appeared at '''Flashforward 2006''', a conference for Flash designers and developers, on February 28, 2006, in Seattle, Washington. They conducted a session called "How and Why [[Homestar Runner (body of work)|Homestar Runner]] Cartoons Get Made" in Room 6B from 3:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. HRWiki user and [[HRWiki:Sysops|sysop]] [[User:Thunderbird L17|Thunderbird L17]] was generously given a media pass from the people at Flashforward to cover the event on behalf of the wiki.
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[[The Brothers Chaps]] appeared at '''Flashforward 2006,''' a conference for Flash designers and developers, on February 28, 2006, in Seattle, Washington. They conducted a session called "How and Why [[Homestar Runner (body of work)|Homestar Runner]] Cartoons Get Made" in Room 6B from 3:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. HRWiki user and [[HRWiki:Sysops|sysop]] [[User:Thunderbird L17|Thunderbird L17]] was generously given a media pass from the people at Flashforward to cover the event on behalf of the wiki.
==The Presentation==
==The Presentation==
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*A clip from the next thing they had made, the toon [[Super NES]] using  [[Wikipedia:Mario Paint|Mario Paint]] on the SNES system.  
*A clip from the next thing they had made, the toon [[Super NES]] using  [[Wikipedia:Mario Paint|Mario Paint]] on the SNES system.  
*A clip of a toon they made to teach themselves Flash: [[Marshmallow's Last Stand]]. They froze this clip and pointed out various animation problems, such as the jagged edges and inconsistent colors.  
*A clip of a toon they made to teach themselves Flash: [[Marshmallow's Last Stand]]. They froze this clip and pointed out various animation problems, such as the jagged edges and inconsistent colors.  
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*A clip from the beginning of [[The Luau]]; from 2001. Mike commented on stealing the lens flare idea from ''[[Wikipedia:The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask|The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask]]'', and pointed out the bottom edge of the cube of [[tofu]] disappearing early.  
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*A clip from the beginning of [[The Luau]]; from 2001. Mike commented on stealing the lens flare idea from ''[[Wikipedia:The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask|The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask]]'', and pointed out the bottom edge of the cube of Tofu disappearing early.  
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*In late 2001, they started the [[Strong Bad Emails]], along with the original intention of replying to every email in character, and animating a select email each week. That plan was quickly abandoned, but they did decide to start making a Strong Bad Email weekly around January 2002. They then showed a favorite clip of theirs, the love song from [[montage]]. They generally consider early 2002 being the point where their animation reached a "style plateau".
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*In late 2001 they started the [[Strong Bad Emails]], along with the original intention of replying to every email in character, and animating a select email each week. That plan was quickly abandoned, but they did decide to start making a Strong Bad Email weekly around January 2002. They then showed a favorite clip of theirs, the love song from [[montage]]. They generally consider early 2002 being the point where their animation reached a "style plateau".
===Samples of Styles - 3:55 p.m.===
===Samples of Styles - 3:55 p.m.===
They went on to relate how the website is kept creatively interesting, through various animation styles. They showed stills from the different styles, namely:
They went on to relate how the website is kept creatively interesting, through various animation styles. They showed stills from the different styles, namely:
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*[[Teen Girl Squad]] &mdash; A badly drawn comic book about four teenage girls.
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*[[Teen Girl Squad]] - A badly drawn comic book about four teenage girls.
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*The [[Cheat Commandos]] &mdash; A play on [[Wikipedia:G.I. Joe|G.I. Joe]] and [[Wikipedia:Transformers|Transformers]], with [[Wikipedia:Adobe Photoshop|Photoshopped]], grainy backgrounds and hairline strokes around the characters.
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*The [[Cheat Commandos]] - A play on [[Wikipedia:G.I. Joe|G.I. Joe]] and [[Wikipedia:Transformers|Transformers]], with [[Wikipedia:Adobe Photoshop|Photoshopped]], grainy backgrounds and hairline strokes around the characters.
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*[[20X6]] &mdash; The [[Wikipedia:anime|anime]] version of [[Strong Bad]], akin to a [[Wikipedia:Speed Racer|Speed Racer]] or [[Wikipedia:Robotech|Robotech]] style.
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*[[20X6]] - The [[Wikipedia:anime|anime]] version of [[Strong Bad]], akin to a [[Wikipedia:Speed Racer|Speed Racer]] or [[Wikipedia:Robotech|Robotech]] style.
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*[[Old-Timey]] &mdash; Their earliest alternate style, which was originally intended to make a fake mythology for the site. This was described as a spoof of [[Wikipedia:Steamboat Willie|Steamboat Willie]], from 1933.
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*[[Old-Timey]] - Their earliest alternate style, which was originally intended to make a fake mythology for the site. This was described as a spoof of [[Wikipedia:Steamboat Willie|Steamboat Willie]], from 1933.
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*[[Saddy Dumpington]] &mdash; A character [[Strong Sad]] made up, drawn in a watercolor style.
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*[[Saddy Dumpington]] - A character [[Strong Sad]] made up, drawn in a watercolor style.
Because they are self-employed and thus don't answer to a boss, creatively they are able to do really whatever they want, such as a "bad heavy metal song"; they can do it and call it Homestar Runner.
Because they are self-employed and thus don't answer to a boss, creatively they are able to do really whatever they want, such as a "bad heavy metal song"; they can do it and call it Homestar Runner.
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They then returned to their history of the website, starting in 2001.
They then returned to their history of the website, starting in 2001.
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*In 2001, they began selling [[Store T-Shirts|T-shirts]].
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*In 2001 they began selling [[Store T-Shirts|T-shirts]].
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*In August of 2003, Matt quit his job at EarthLink, and began working on the site full time. Earlier Matt had gone on the EarthLink website, and found a page that still featured many of his images he had made for the company, such as a calculator and a wad of money.
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*In August of 2003 Matt quit his job at EarthLink, and began working on the site full time. Earlier Matt had gone on the EarthLink website, and found a page that still featured many of his images he had made for the company, such as a calculator and a wad of money.
They also mentioned the [[Store]], and how they sell products such as CDs, DVDs, Figurines and T-shirts. They try to keep the store a separate entity, without ramming it down visitors' throats. They recalled, with distaste, sites that would play an ad to buy some crap, and another ad after that would link you directly to the store. Their method of building their business ended up building a fan base first out of their own pocket, and then introducing merchandise, which they admit isn't traditionally a good business model. They mentioned that they now live in different houses, with wives, instead of in their parents' basement, as some may believe. They showed a still from the [[Pulse Interview - May 2004|2004 Pulse Interview]]; which was them pixelated wearing fake mustaches, posing as the [[Videlectrix]] programmers. They also mentioned that they still do all of their animation in Flash 5, and began relating the process of creating a cartoon.
They also mentioned the [[Store]], and how they sell products such as CDs, DVDs, Figurines and T-shirts. They try to keep the store a separate entity, without ramming it down visitors' throats. They recalled, with distaste, sites that would play an ad to buy some crap, and another ad after that would link you directly to the store. Their method of building their business ended up building a fan base first out of their own pocket, and then introducing merchandise, which they admit isn't traditionally a good business model. They mentioned that they now live in different houses, with wives, instead of in their parents' basement, as some may believe. They showed a still from the [[Pulse Interview - May 2004|2004 Pulse Interview]]; which was them pixelated wearing fake mustaches, posing as the [[Videlectrix]] programmers. They also mentioned that they still do all of their animation in Flash 5, and began relating the process of creating a cartoon.
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**What do your [[parents]] look like?
**What do your [[parents]] look like?
**Redoing a favorite email, usually [[Draw Trogdor Again|redrawing a dragon]].
**Redoing a favorite email, usually [[Draw Trogdor Again|redrawing a dragon]].
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**Referencing current events. In this case, they showcased emails concerning the Olympics, but they also mentioned that emails regarding [[Wikipedia:Spider-Man (film)|Spider-Man]], [[Wikipedia:The Matrix series|The Matrix]], and [[The Lord of the Rings]] were common during their respective releases.
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**Referencing current events. In this case they showcased emails concerning the Olympics, but they also mentioned that emails regarding [[Wikipedia:Spider-Man (film)|Spider-Man]], [[Wikipedia:The Matrix series|The Matrix]], and [[Wikipedia:The Lord of the Rings|The Lord of the Rings]] were common during their respective releases.
*They then demonstrated their brainstorming process using two small foam balls. Matt lay on the floor and threw a half-size basketball up in the air, suggesting, "So Strong Bad's going to be in like a [[Cardboard Boxes|box]], a cardboard box. That The Cheat peed in." Mike agreed with him throughout this ("Okay, okay, I like it"), then threw his foam baseball at him. They also mentioned that they have been in [[Office of The Brothers Chaps|their office]] for around two years, and vacuumed it for the first time three weeks ago, so lying on the floor is much nicer now.
*They then demonstrated their brainstorming process using two small foam balls. Matt lay on the floor and threw a half-size basketball up in the air, suggesting, "So Strong Bad's going to be in like a [[Cardboard Boxes|box]], a cardboard box. That The Cheat peed in." Mike agreed with him throughout this ("Okay, okay, I like it"), then threw his foam baseball at him. They also mentioned that they have been in [[Office of The Brothers Chaps|their office]] for around two years, and vacuumed it for the first time three weeks ago, so lying on the floor is much nicer now.
*In addition to brainstorming, they also wander around their neighborhood (and the depressing adult diaper and hearing aid stores found in the strip mall their offices are in) searching for inspiration.
*In addition to brainstorming, they also wander around their neighborhood (and the depressing adult diaper and hearing aid stores found in the strip mall their offices are in) searching for inspiration.
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*Matt mentioned a little intro cartoon that they made for "the Festival"; Mike corrected that it was a convention (festivals are more fun). They showed a still of the end of the intro toon, and explained Easter eggs, and how they are the extent of the action script that they use. According to Matt: "So we made a little intro, so anyways we're gonna put on the site, uh, later on this week..." The intro never appeared on the website, but instead was included on the [[Everything Else, Volume 2]] DVD. Then they began to demonstrate the animation process, by adding what they described as an [[Easter eggs|Easter egg]] to the end of the finished toon (on the released DVD version it is simply an extension of the original toon).
*Matt mentioned a little intro cartoon that they made for "the Festival"; Mike corrected that it was a convention (festivals are more fun). They showed a still of the end of the intro toon, and explained Easter eggs, and how they are the extent of the action script that they use. According to Matt: "So we made a little intro, so anyways we're gonna put on the site, uh, later on this week..." The intro never appeared on the website, but instead was included on the [[Everything Else, Volume 2]] DVD. Then they began to demonstrate the animation process, by adding what they described as an [[Easter eggs|Easter egg]] to the end of the finished toon (on the released DVD version it is simply an extension of the original toon).
**The scene is Homestar Runner and Strong Bad crouched down behind a podium labeled "Podium Excellens". Homestar says to Strong Bad "Strong Bad, I think the elevator's broke."
**The scene is Homestar Runner and Strong Bad crouched down behind a podium labeled "Podium Excellens". Homestar says to Strong Bad "Strong Bad, I think the elevator's broke."
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*[[Image:Flashforward Desktop.JPG|thumb|Matt Chapman's Desktop]]They began by recording the line using the old method of Matt wearing a blanket over his head, and speaking Homestar's line into the mic. Matt also pointed out his laptop's background, which is a screenshot of the [http://web.archive.org/web/20071105225630/http://www.sq7.org/omnipedia/index.php/Deltaur Deltaur] from [[Wikipedia:Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter|Space Quest I]], another 1980s era video game.
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*[[Image:Flashforward Desktop.JPG|thumb|Matt Chapman's Desktop]]They began by recording the line using the old method of Matt wearing a blanket over his head, and speaking Homestar's line into the mic. Matt also pointed out his laptop's background, which is a screenshot of the [http://www.sq7.org/omnipedia/index.php/Deltaur Deltaur] from [[Wikipedia:Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter|Space Quest I]], another 1980s era video game.
*After revealing that he doesn't label any of his Flash layers, Mike demonstrated lip-syncing the toon. Mike first mixes up Homestar and Strong Bad, then clarifies that ''Homestar's head'' is 3 frames, which gives three different facial expressions to work with. Mike would layer the sound down first, then click on various points of the audio. In Flash 5, this plays a microsecond of the audio, which gives them an indication of what mouth layer to cut and paste into that point. This is one of the reasons they continue to use Flash 5. At least MX 04 does not play a short sound from the point in the audio. They did challenge anybody to make Flash 8 look and act exactly like Flash 5, and they would gladly switch over. Lip-syncing the entire scene only took a few minutes to complete.
*After revealing that he doesn't label any of his Flash layers, Mike demonstrated lip-syncing the toon. Mike first mixes up Homestar and Strong Bad, then clarifies that ''Homestar's head'' is 3 frames, which gives three different facial expressions to work with. Mike would layer the sound down first, then click on various points of the audio. In Flash 5, this plays a microsecond of the audio, which gives them an indication of what mouth layer to cut and paste into that point. This is one of the reasons they continue to use Flash 5. At least MX 04 does not play a short sound from the point in the audio. They did challenge anybody to make Flash 8 look and act exactly like Flash 5, and they would gladly switch over. Lip-syncing the entire scene only took a few minutes to complete.
*They also talked about the design of the characters, and how they are easy to animate. Although they didn't originally design their characters with animating in Flash in mind, they lucked out that many of their characters don't have arms or legs, and none of their characters are overly complex. That's just how they generally draw and design.
*They also talked about the design of the characters, and how they are easy to animate. Although they didn't originally design their characters with animating in Flash in mind, they lucked out that many of their characters don't have arms or legs, and none of their characters are overly complex. That's just how they generally draw and design.
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===Graphics and the Wiki - 4:20 p.m.===
===Graphics and the Wiki - 4:20 p.m.===
====Who does all the voices?====
====Who does all the voices?====
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:'''MATT:''' I doos all the voices. Except for [[Marzipan]], the girl character, which is Mike's wife [[Missy Palmer|Melissa]].
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:'''Matt:''' I doos all the voices. Except for [[Marzipan]], the girl character, which is Mike's wife [[Missy Palmer|Melissa]].
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:'''MIKE:''' Today's our second wedding anniversary, and I'm here.
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:'''Mike:''' Today's our second wedding anniversary, and I'm here.
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:'''MATT:''' She's at home, and pregnant. ''{sarcastically}'' Husband of the year...
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:'''Matt:''' She's at home, and pregnant. ''{sarcastically}'' Husband of the year...
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:'''MIKE:''' I did remember to send her flowers.
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:'''Mike:''' I did remember to send her flowers.
*After that first question, Mike went on to talk about something he meant to cover earlier, their drawing. They draw everything in Flash, using drawing tools and a [[Wikipedia:Wacom|Wacom tablet]]. Mike first learned with [[Wikipedia:Adobe Illustrator|Adobe Illustrator]], and by the time Flash 5 came out Mike was comfortable using program drawing tools. They generally try to always break the lines apart, which doesn't leave a rounded edge and allows you to vary the line width. Mike began to demonstrate his artistic skills by drawing something in Flash 5.
*After that first question, Mike went on to talk about something he meant to cover earlier, their drawing. They draw everything in Flash, using drawing tools and a [[Wikipedia:Wacom|Wacom tablet]]. Mike first learned with [[Wikipedia:Adobe Illustrator|Adobe Illustrator]], and by the time Flash 5 came out Mike was comfortable using program drawing tools. They generally try to always break the lines apart, which doesn't leave a rounded edge and allows you to vary the line width. Mike began to demonstrate his artistic skills by drawing something in Flash 5.
*Mike carried on talking about early Flash animations, and how everything ''looked'' like it was drawn in Flash, with gradients everywhere, line tools running into each other, and for that reason they shied away from drawing stuff in Flash, either by tracing in bitmap or scanning it in. Nowadays they are comfortable enough with drawing things in Flash without it looking like it's drawn in Flash. At this point Matt identifies Mike's drawing as a piece of toast.  
*Mike carried on talking about early Flash animations, and how everything ''looked'' like it was drawn in Flash, with gradients everywhere, line tools running into each other, and for that reason they shied away from drawing stuff in Flash, either by tracing in bitmap or scanning it in. Nowadays they are comfortable enough with drawing things in Flash without it looking like it's drawn in Flash. At this point Matt identifies Mike's drawing as a piece of toast.  
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====The Homestar Runner Wiki====
====The Homestar Runner Wiki====
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*'''MATT:''' That's another thing, is that when we're animating, um, we have another resource that we have absolutely nothing to do with, something that's totally fan driven, it's awesome, the Homestar Runner Wiki, uh, that appeared, one day, and it's so exhaustive, it's wonderful.  Mike and I, like we don't&mdash;we never figured out what the hell a shared library is or how to use it and so we will go, uh, you know "this one has Strong Bad sitting on a couch," so we have be like, "all right, which one has him on a couch," and we'd have to go back and figure it out, but now we have the Homestar Wiki and we just go on and write "couch" or "orange couch" and it brings up like five emails that have Strong Bad on [[the couch]]. ''{audience laughter}'' And so, it's pretty great.  It's very, very, uh, it's extremely all-inclusive and sometimes scary. There are pictures of friends that we had never seen on there and they're like, ''{imitates wiki user voice}'' "Oh, and this is their best friend!" ''{slight pause, now with a questioning tone}'' How, did you&mdash;are these people in our house taking pictures of our friends?
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*'''Matt:''' That's another thing, is that when we're animating, um, we have another resource that we have absolutely nothing to do with, something that's totally fan driven, it's awesome, the Homestar Runner Wiki, uh, that appeared, one day, and it's so exhaustive, it's wonderful.  Mike and I, like we don't&mdash;we never figured out what the hell a shared library is or how to use it and so we will go, uh, you know "this one has Strong Bad sitting on a couch," so we have be like, "all right, which one has him on a couch," and we'd have to go back and figure it out, but now we have the Homestar Wiki and we just go on and write "couch" or "orange couch" and it brings up like five emails that have Strong Bad on [[the couch]]. ''{audience laughter}'' And so, it's pretty great.  It's very, very, uh, it's extremely all-inclusive and sometimes scary. There are pictures of friends that we had never seen on there and they're like, ''{imitates wiki user voice}'' "Oh, and this is their best friend!" ''{slight pause, now with a questioning tone}'' How, did you&mdash;are these people in our house taking pictures of our friends?
===Music and Video - 4:25 p.m.===
===Music and Video - 4:25 p.m.===
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At this point, Mike takes stock of the time, and mentions another factor that adds to the time needed to create an email, the music.
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At this point Mike takes stock of the time, and mentions another factor that adds to the time needed to create an email, the music.
*Almost every cartoon has one piece of original music, which is usually done in either [[Wikipedia:Adobe Audition|Audition]] or [[Wikipedia:GarageBand|GarageBand]], often with their Casio keyboard.
*Almost every cartoon has one piece of original music, which is usually done in either [[Wikipedia:Adobe Audition|Audition]] or [[Wikipedia:GarageBand|GarageBand]], often with their Casio keyboard.
*At this point Mike finishes drawing his piece of toast, mentioning that this is usually at four in the morning when Mike finishes his graphic.
*At this point Mike finishes drawing his piece of toast, mentioning that this is usually at four in the morning when Mike finishes his graphic.
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*Mike mentioned that Matt is an award winning stop motion claymation animator, from a [[1987]] international media festival in 7th grade. Matt clarified that they may have been stretching on it being international; that one kid maybe having an aunt from Canada was as international as it got.
*Mike mentioned that Matt is an award winning stop motion claymation animator, from a [[1987]] international media festival in 7th grade. Matt clarified that they may have been stretching on it being international; that one kid maybe having an aunt from Canada was as international as it got.
*Matt also mentioned that doing stuff like the death metal hour, putting on dumb heavy metal wigs and speaking in Swedish accents, helps them branch out.
*Matt also mentioned that doing stuff like the death metal hour, putting on dumb heavy metal wigs and speaking in Swedish accents, helps them branch out.
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*They also mentioned the DVDs, how they came from fan demand of people wanting to watch them on a larger screen or over at a friend's house, and not limited to a computer. <!-- A lot of the following I'm really just guessing at what they mean, feel free to clarify or whatever -->They use Flash AM's SWF to AVI to convert to the DVD, without having to worry about any formatting. Then they extrapolate the frame rate to twenty-nine or whatever the video standard is, and hand it over to [[Ryan Sterritt]] to finish up with the DVD magic.
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*They also mentioned the DVDs, how they came from fan demand of people wanting to watch them on a larger screen or over at a friend's house, and not limited to a computer. <!-- A lot of the following I'm really just guessing at what they mean, feel free to clarify or whatever -->They use Flash AM's SWF to AVI to convert to the DVD, without having to worry about any formatting. Then they extrapolate the frame rate to twentynine-nine or whatever the video standard is, and hand it over to [[Ryan Sterritt]] to finish up with the DVD magic.
*Mike mentions that they made the decision to hire their friend Ryan, make him learn the Flash-to-broadcast conversion, having somebody in house who can do all stuff keeps them from having to go to somebody outside and being charged an arm and a leg.
*Mike mentions that they made the decision to hire their friend Ryan, make him learn the Flash-to-broadcast conversion, having somebody in house who can do all stuff keeps them from having to go to somebody outside and being charged an arm and a leg.
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*As Matt booted up the level, Mike explained that they made most of the graphics for the games pixely in [[Wikipedia:Adobe Photoshop|Photoshop]], then imported them into Flash, as there wasn't a way to create pixely graphics in Flash that they knew of.
*As Matt booted up the level, Mike explained that they made most of the graphics for the games pixely in [[Wikipedia:Adobe Photoshop|Photoshop]], then imported them into Flash, as there wasn't a way to create pixely graphics in Flash that they knew of.
*Matt then proceeded to demonstrate the game by playing the level, easily defeating the Chorch (which was stuck in place) and Stobat, and exploring to the edge of the map.  
*Matt then proceeded to demonstrate the game by playing the level, easily defeating the Chorch (which was stuck in place) and Stobat, and exploring to the edge of the map.  
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:'''MIKE:''' What's up that ladder?
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*'''Mike:''' What's up that ladder?
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:'''MATT:''' I dunno Mike, let's find out.
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*'''Matt:''' I dunno Mike, let's find out.
*They explained that for the early games they would have to send them back and forth, with Jonathan changing things with his action script magic, their critiquing it, Jonathan changing more things, etc. Matt also mentioned that with Jonathan's object library with all the level elements, his action script, and his XML files, it's way more technical than what they know.
*They explained that for the early games they would have to send them back and forth, with Jonathan changing things with his action script magic, their critiquing it, Jonathan changing more things, etc. Matt also mentioned that with Jonathan's object library with all the level elements, his action script, and his XML files, it's way more technical than what they know.
*At this point Mike added that the orange stretch bracelets that come with the admission package to Flashforward smell really funny, and almost knocked him out. After that, they invited the audience to ask any more questions.
*At this point Mike added that the orange stretch bracelets that come with the admission package to Flashforward smell really funny, and almost knocked him out. After that, they invited the audience to ask any more questions.
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===More Questions & Answers - 4:35 p.m.===
===More Questions & Answers - 4:35 p.m.===
====Did you do the 3D menus on the DVDs yourself?====
====Did you do the 3D menus on the DVDs yourself?====
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*The answer is a strong ''no''. They were contacted by some people who work for a company called "[http://uvph.com UV Phactory]" in [[Wikipedia:New York City|New York]], who sent them a short sample of something they did with Homestar and Strong Bad in 3D. The Brothers Chaps decided to hire them for the DVD menus, and sent them a Flash animation of what they wanted to happen.
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*The answer is a strong ''no''. They were contacted by some people who work for a company called "[http://www.uvphactory.com/index.php UV Phactory]" in [[Wikipedia:New York City|New York]], who sent them a short sample of something they did with Homestar and Strong Bad in 3D. The Brothers Chaps decided to hire them for the DVD menus, and sent them a Flash animation of what they wanted to happen.
====Can you play the cartoon you made for the Flashforward conference?====
====Can you play the cartoon you made for the Flashforward conference?====
*They agreed, and after some technical difficulties, showed the [[Flashforward]] toon.  
*They agreed, and after some technical difficulties, showed the [[Flashforward]] toon.  
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*After the toon, they explained that the PowerPoint slides shown in the toon was based on Mike's old job at [http://www.decisionquest.com/ Decision Quest] (which sounds like a magical place, but really isn't), as he made pie charts and graphs, and tried to make them fun. Matt related an anecdote where Mike had to make a chart based on Lady Justice with the scales. Mike had one side of the scales hold words like "Justice: Good thing. Family"; and the other side with things like "Evil, breaking the law, etc". Apparently a lawyer really used this visual aid in his case.
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*After the toon they explained that the PowerPoint slides shown in the toon was based on Mike's old job at [http://www.decisionquest.com/ Decision Quest] (which sounds like a magical place, but really isn't), as he made pie charts and graphs, and tried to make them fun. Matt related an anecdote where Mike had to make a chart based on Lady Justice with the scales. Mike had one side of the scales hold words like "Justice: Good thing. Family"; and the other side with things like "Evil, breaking the law, etc". Apparently a lawyer really used this visual aid in his case.
====Where do you see yourself in five years?====
====Where do you see yourself in five years?====
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*They mentioned that they would like to return to [[Wikipedia:Seattle, Washington|Seattle]] eventually, or see the [[Wikipedia:Grand Canyon|Grand Canyon]]. Five years ago they would never have guessed they would be doing Homestar Runner for a living, and they explained that they don't usually look too far ahead into the future. Matt offered the insight that "Having no plan and low expectations always makes the future look brighter". They don't usually look further ahead than the following Monday, with the exception of the [[Games|games]] which take several months of preparation; and Homestar Runner's 10th anniversary, which was coming up in around 6 months from then, in August of 2006.  
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*They mentioned that they would like to return to [[Wikipedia:Seattle, Washington|Seattle]] eventually, or see the [[Wikipedia:Grand Canyon|Grand Canyon]]. Five years ago they would never have guessed they would be doing Homestar Runner for a living, and they explained that they don't usually look too far ahead into the future. Matt offered the insight that "Having no plan and low expectations always makes the future look brighter". They don't usually look further ahead than the following Monday, with the exception of the [[Games]] which take several months of preparation; and Homestar Runner's 10th anniversary, which was coming up in around 6 months from then, in August of 2006.  
*Matt also mentioned that while doing Homestar Runner, they have met many cool people from the Flash and entertainment industries. He noted that they had received an email from somebody asking if they wanted to direct a commercial of some kind. He wasn't sure if it was a car lot or something, but remarked that a local car lot would be even better. Matt has been to film school, and they both grew up making dumb movies, so they had other ideas they might explore one day. Mike clarified that they might still be doing Homestar with other stuff mixed in in the future.
*Matt also mentioned that while doing Homestar Runner, they have met many cool people from the Flash and entertainment industries. He noted that they had received an email from somebody asking if they wanted to direct a commercial of some kind. He wasn't sure if it was a car lot or something, but remarked that a local car lot would be even better. Matt has been to film school, and they both grew up making dumb movies, so they had other ideas they might explore one day. Mike clarified that they might still be doing Homestar with other stuff mixed in in the future.
====A question about the Podcasts. - Red Toque====
====A question about the Podcasts. - Red Toque====
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*Mike explained that a few weeks earlier, they began a feature called [[Podstar Runner]], putting five or six Strong Bad Emails up for download to your [[Wikipedia:IPod#Fifth generation|video iPod]]. He mentioned that [[Wikipedia:Apple Computer|Apple]] linked to them, and they even went to number one download at one point. However, in making the download available for the iPod, the files become way bigger, from 1 megabyte to upwards of 10 megabytes. The day before the event, they had taken down the backlog of downloads and only make them available one at a time in order to keep their bandwidths cost steady while they figure out if there is an alternative to the high bandwidth cost.  
+
*Mike explained that a few weeks ago they began a feature called [[Podstar Runner]], putting five or six Strong Bad Emails up for download to your [[Wikipedia:IPod#Fifth generation|video iPod]]. He mentioned that [[Wikipedia:Apple Computer|Apple]] linked to them, and they even went to number one download at one point. However in making the download available for the iPod, the files become way bigger, from 1 Megabyte to upwards of 10 Megabytes. Yesterday they had taken down the backlog of downloads and only make them available one at a time in order to keep their bandwidths cost steady while they figure out if there is an alternative to the high bandwidth cost.  
-
*Matt added that being on the iPod store seems like good exposure in terms of getting new fans, but they have to first see if those people are buying T-shirts or not, and if they can justify paying that much for bandwidth. Matt was also surprised that they managed to beat [[Wikipedia:The Onion|The Onion]] and [[Wikipedia:The Ricky Gervais Show|The Ricky Gervais Show]], which he never thought they would do, and which was pretty awesome. They asked offhand if anyone had any bright ideas or free bandwidth to throw their way. An audience member called out asking if they would be around afterwards, to which they replied that they would if free bandwidth would be around.
+
*Matt added that being on the iPod store seems like good exposure in terms of getting new fans, but they have to first see if those people are buying T-shirts or not, and if they can justify paying that much for bandwidth. Matt was also surprised that they managed to beat [[Wikipedia:The Onion|The Onion]] and [[Wikipedia:The Ricky Gervais Show|The Ricky Gervais Show]], which he never thought they would do, and which was pretty awesome. They asked offhand if anyone had any bright ideas or free bandwidth to throw their way. An audience member called out asking if they would be around afterwards, they replied that they would if free bandwidth would be around.
-
*Mike related a funny story related to bandwidth. In January of 2003, the site actually [[The System is Down|shut down]] due to bandwidth issues. For three years previous, they had been on [[Wikipedia:Yahoo!|Yahoo!]] shared hosting for $30 a month, and supposedly never went over their 20 [[Wikipedia:Gigabyte|gigabyte]] bandwidth limit. Eventually they realized they were doing several [[Wikipedia:Terabyte|terabytes]] of transfer, and still just being charged $30 a month. As it turned out, some people at Yahoo were fans and were just letting it slide. After their site went down, some fans contacted them and offered them bandwidth services. They shopped around, and realized these people were offering around $1 less per gigabyte of transfer than anywhere else.
+
*Mike related a funny story related to bandwidth. In January of 2003 the site actually [[The System is Down|shut down]] due to bandwidth issues. For three years previous they had been on [[Wikipedia:Yahoo!|Yahoo!]] shared hosting for $30 a month, and supposedly never went over their 20 [[Wikipedia:Gigabyte|gigabyte]] bandwidth limit. Eventually they realized they were doing several [[Wikipedia:Terabyte|terabytes]] of transfer, and still just being charged $30 a month. As it turned out, some people at Yahoo were fans and were just letting it slide. After their site went down, some fans contacted them and offered them bandwidth services. They shopped around, and realized these people were offering around $1 less per Gigabyte of transfer than anywhere else.
====Who are the bandwidth providers?====
====Who are the bandwidth providers?====
Line 155: Line 155:
====Do you find any international people coming to the site? - Yellow Hat====
====Do you find any international people coming to the site? - Yellow Hat====
-
*There are mainly English speaking fans, [[Wikipedia:Australia|Australia]], [[Wikipedia:Canada|Canada]], the [[Wikipedia:United Kingdom|UK]], and [[Wikipedia:Scandinavia|Scandinavia]] because a large majority there speak English.
+
*There are mainly English speaking fans, [[Wikipedia:Australia|Australia]]<!-- Home of Phlip! -->, [[Wikipedia:Canada|Canada]]<!-- TBird's from there! -->, the [[Wikipedia:United Kingdom|UK]],<!-- And Israel, though TBC didn't mention it. Sorry Elcool. ;) --> and [[Wikipedia:Scandinavia|Scandinavia]] because a large majority there speak English.
*Matt mentioned that there is a SWF that somebody made which allows subtitles to easily be added to Flash. He mentioned that they have considered using this for [[Spanish]] or Korean translations, though Mike remarked he didn't remember a discussion.
*Matt mentioned that there is a SWF that somebody made which allows subtitles to easily be added to Flash. He mentioned that they have considered using this for [[Spanish]] or Korean translations, though Mike remarked he didn't remember a discussion.
*Matt also mentioned they were blown away the first time they got an email or an order from "[[Wikipedia:United Kingdom|across the pond]]", they were amazed they had even heard of them.
*Matt also mentioned they were blown away the first time they got an email or an order from "[[Wikipedia:United Kingdom|across the pond]]", they were amazed they had even heard of them.
Line 172: Line 172:
====How many Easter egg toons are there, that are not linked to from anywhere on the site?====
====How many Easter egg toons are there, that are not linked to from anywhere on the site?====
-
*Mike clarified what the person was referring to: [[Not the 100th Email!!!]]. He explained that going to <code>/sbemail100.html</code> was a fakeout, and would instead take you to a short toon. Since the [[H*R.com updates {{CURRENTYEAR}}|H*R.com update]] is usually on Monday, they put this toon up on the site instead, for those that would look in the url before it was linked. They released the [[flashback|100th email]] the next day. That was the only time they've made a toon that you have to get to from outside the toons; to say, "stop looking, stop goofing around, and when it's done it'll be done."
+
*Mike clarified what the person was referring to: [[Not the 100th Email!!!]]. He explained that going to <code>/sbemail100.html</code> was a fakeout, and would instead take you to a short toon. Since the [[:Template:updates-box|H*R.com update]] is usually on Monday, they put this toon up on the site instead, for those that would look in the url before it was linked. They released the [[flashback|100th email]] the next day. That was the only time they've made a toon that you have to get to from outside the toons; to say, "stop looking, stop goofing around, and when it's done it'll be done."
*Matt commented that he's always wanted to do a [[Wikipedia:Alternate reality game|crazy marketing campaign]] like [[Wikipedia:Haunted Apiary|the one]] they did for [[Wikipedia:Halo 2|Halo 2]] and [[Wikipedia:The Beast (game)|the one]] for [[Wikipedia:A.I. (film)|A.I.]], where there would be a network of 1000 websites, secret links, and they'd call your mobile phone, and finally he'd end up coming to your house and giving you a cookie cake.
*Matt commented that he's always wanted to do a [[Wikipedia:Alternate reality game|crazy marketing campaign]] like [[Wikipedia:Haunted Apiary|the one]] they did for [[Wikipedia:Halo 2|Halo 2]] and [[Wikipedia:The Beast (game)|the one]] for [[Wikipedia:A.I. (film)|A.I.]], where there would be a network of 1000 websites, secret links, and they'd call your mobile phone, and finally he'd end up coming to your house and giving you a cookie cake.
*After taking stock of how much time they had left (three minutes), they opened the floor to more questions.
*After taking stock of how much time they had left (three minutes), they opened the floor to more questions.
====Was the CD you released your personal choice, or fan demand?====
====Was the CD you released your personal choice, or fan demand?====
-
*Mike explained that [[Strong Bad Sings and Other Type Hits]] was their own choice, they had several bits and pieces of songs, and they wanted full, fleshed out versions of many of them. [[Y-O-U]], who were fans of Homestar Runner, had emailed them, said that they had just moved to Atlanta, digged their work, and wanted to do something with them. Mike went out and saw their band, met them, and decided to collaborate with them. The collaboration worked well; in addition to being good musicians, they had good ideas, and the Chaps went along with most of them. They also commented that they have since built up another collection of [[Songs]], would like to make another CD of full versions, and it was good to know that fans still wanted them.
+
*Mike explained that [[Strong Bad Sings and Other Type Hits]] was their own choice, they had several bits and pieces of songs, and they wanted full, fleshed out versions of many of them. [[Y-O-U]], who were fans of Homestar Runner, had emailed them, said that they had just moved to Atlanta, digged their work, and wanted to do something with them. Mike went out and saw their band, met them, and decided to collaborate with them. The collaboration worked well, in addition to being good musicians, they had good ideas, and the Chaps went along with most of them. They also commented that they have since built up another collection of [[Songs]], would like to make another CD of full versions, and it was good to know that fans still wanted them.
====How does Craig get compensated?====
====How does Craig get compensated?====
Line 195: Line 195:
[[Image:Flashforward TBC.JPG|thumb|Taken in the lobby during the autograph session]]
[[Image:Flashforward TBC.JPG|thumb|Taken in the lobby during the autograph session]]
[[Image:Flashforward Autograph.PNG|left|thumb|An autograph to Thunderbird]]
[[Image:Flashforward Autograph.PNG|left|thumb|An autograph to Thunderbird]]
-
After the presentation had ended, they signed autographs for around 15 minutes up at the stage, usually spending a few minutes with each fan. By 5:15, the next speaker was ready to go on, so they packed up their equipment and went out to the lobby. The remaining fans followed them out, and they finished signing autographs and meeting fans out there.
+
After the presentation had ended, they signed autographs for around 15 minutes up at the stage, usually spending a few minutes with each fan. By 5:15 the next speaker was ready to go on, so they packed up their equipment and went out to the lobby. The remaining fans followed them out, and they finished signing autographs and meeting fans out there.
==Fun Facts==
==Fun Facts==
Line 202: Line 202:
==See Also==
==See Also==
 +
*[[Flashforward Interview - 10 Feb 2006]]
*[[Flashforward Interview - 10 Feb 2006]]
-
{{clear}}
+
 
==External Links==
==External Links==
 +
*[http://www.flashforwardconference.com/home Flashforward Conference official web site]
*[http://www.flashforwardconference.com/home Flashforward Conference official web site]
*[http://flickr.com/photos/bluecifer2/sets/72057594078459545/ More Flashforward pictures]
*[http://flickr.com/photos/bluecifer2/sets/72057594078459545/ More Flashforward pictures]
[[Category:Interviews and Public Appearances]]
[[Category:Interviews and Public Appearances]]

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