Going the Extra Mile
Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon talk making the home video release of their Adult Swim hit Rick and Morty as cool and essential as possible. By Tom McLean.
Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon’s Adult Swim hit Rick and Morty is getting its first home video release with season one arriving Oct. 7. The disc contains the first 11 episodes, creator and guest commentaries, animatics and a limited-edition comic book, with everything creator-guaranteed to be “better than BitTorrent!” We caught up with Roiland and Harmon, who also created and runs the live-action show Community, to find out how they survived season one, the video release and to learn more about the upcoming second season. Animag: Tell me how you think season one turned out versus how you thought it would be when you started on the project? Justin Roiland: We just started out by making ourselves happy and trying to figure out what the show was. So it was startling and really gratifying to see the public react to the show, particularly because they seem to feel the same way and like the same aspects of the show that we did. Animag: Justin, how do you manage to do the voices for both Rick and Morty? Roiland: I have to be careful — more so this season than in season one in regards to switching back-and-forth — because I’ve found if I do too much Rick I can’t go back to Morty, or I can go back to Morty but he gets raspier and raspier and my range for him starts to increasingly shrink. So what I tend to do is I start with Morty, and then if there’s any opportunities in the script for me to ping-pong backand-forth and do a scene, I will do that. Then I switch over to Rick, and by the time I’m done with Rick my vocal cords are shredded and that’s it — it’s time for a few days, or at least a day, of vocal rest. Animag: Dan, what do you like about working in animation? What do you think its strengths are? Dan Harmon: The real reason I like animation is because, if I were allowed to, I would never really leave the writers room. I love, hate and am inspired by breaking stories and solving problems on the written page, and I feel like the best job I can do is put out a really good script. And when that script is being shot and performed, sometimes it gets better, sometimes it gets worse, but it’s all out of my control and I don’t necessarily know how to fix things on a set. But I’m a reasonably good editor, and I get to do that in animation, as well, so basically my favorite thing about animation is it eliminates this thing I’m no good at anyway, which is managing live-action performers and directors. In Community, that section of the production pipeline gives me all kinds of gifts, but what I’m saying is I’m not in control of them, I’m not the reason why Joel McHale is good, I’m not the reason why Alison Brie is talented, or why the directors that direct Community are good, or why the set decorator did her job well. Those are all just flukes and luck for me. So animation is a chance to focus on story and character. Harmon: Yeah it would take you so long to steal all this stuff that you might as well just buy it!