Ready to Move On

Animation Magazine - - Tv - France

J.G. Quin­tel talks about find­ing a sat­is­fy­ing end­ing for him­self, the crew and the char­ac­ters of his long-run­ning Car­toon Net­work se­ries Reg­u­lar Show. By Tom McLean.

was tricky be­cause we knew it was go­ing to make a lot of peo­ple turn off. Like, “Ugh! Space! Jump­ing the shark!” But we were like, we want to take it there, to this in­ter­ga­lac­tic bat­tle. It was a lot of con­tent to fill, so we had our tra­di­tional fun episodes at the top, but then we were si­mul­ta­ne­ously writ­ing our more plot-heavy episodes that were go­ing to take the whole arc of the se­ries to a close, that we needed to pep­per in and fig­ure out when those episodes were go­ing to hit. And hope­fully every­body would watch them all, be­cause this is the first time we’d ever made a sea­son that you need to watch it in or­der for it to make sense.

And then wrap­ping it all up, that was def­i­nitely a chal­lenge, try­ing to fig­ure out how to make sure that we were go­ing to sat­isfy all the things peo­ple would want to see and what we wanted to see and kind of top our­selves be­cause we’ve done a lot of crazy things over the years. But I feel we fig­ured it out and put in a bunch of things we had never done and a bunch of things I don’t think you could do un­less you were go­ing from that long of a run and end­ing it.

An­imag: Were there any things that you wanted to get into the fi­nal sea­son that you didn’t?

Quin­tel: Mar­garet and C.J. — that was a very big part of the show for Morde­cai that kind of fil­tered through, and it was some­thing where I knew it would be nice if we could make that work, but I knew that there were two camps: Peo­ple who liked Mar­garet and peo­ple who liked C.J. And with the way we played that story out, it feels like (Morde­cai) messed it up for both of them. There was no way he could get ei­ther of them back. It turned into this thing where you felt like, for Morde­cai, the re­al­ity for him was he learned from his mis­take and was able to move on. But be­cause we had Mar­garet and C.J. in so many of the episodes, it feels a lit­tle bit weird not to have them rep­re­sented more in the end.

An­imag: Now that the se­ries is com­plete and you can look back at where you started from, what is the big­gest les­son you’ve learned or taken away from the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence?

Quin­tel: It’s all about char­ac­ter. Make sure that you have re­ally solid char­ac­ters and then you can put them in any si­t­u­a­tion and they’ll be funny. It doesn’t mat­ter what they’re do­ing. I think, look­ing back on it, it was lucky. All the char­ac­ters that I put in — I could have put some bad ones in, but they all just jelled and it was very smooth sail­ing. I don’t know if I thought any more about it than, this guy’s funny, I want to put him in.

An­imag: Do you have an episode that you’d say is your fa­vorite?

Quin­tel: I still re­ally like “Eg­g­cel­lent.” I thought that was a re­ally pow­er­ful friend­ship episode and had a fun, weird el­e­ment to it. “The Power” is still a re­ally spe­cial one. I like all the baby ducks episodes and all the laser disc episodes, the for­mat wars. And then the fi­nale now. Episodes like that fi­nale don’t come along that of­ten, so that one is def­i­nitely one of my fa­vorites.

An­imag: I’ll flip that around: Are there any episodes you feel didn’t live up to your stan­dards or were the worst?

Quin­tel: (Laughs.) Let’s see, I have the list in front of me and it’s huge. I think I re­mem­ber “Re­placed,” which is one where Vin­cent al­most re­places Morde­cai and Rigby with these two other work­ers. That one was for some rea­son a tough one and it didn’t have that spe­cial spark for me. And there’s a cou­ple oth­ers. There’s some that just work so well and then there’s oth­ers where you’re like, hmm, that feels like we al­ready did that be­fore. But we al­ways tried re­ally hard to make them unique and dif­fer­ent. An­imag: What do you have planned next? Quin­tel: I want to make another show, so I’m think­ing of stuff. I’ll prob­a­bly en­joy a lit­tle bit of a break. It’s been an in­sane amount of time work­ing on this show. I re­mem­ber when I first started, them telling me, “You know, it’s go­ing to be a lot of work.” And I was like, “Yeah, yeah, that’s cool.” Six years later, I’m like, “Oh my god! That was so much work!” A longer ver­sion of this in­ter­view can be found on­line at www.an­i­ma­tion­magazine.net/reg­u­larshow.

Five-story build­ing adds 200,000 square feet of space for the net’s pro­duc­tions with an em­pha­sis on fos­ter­ing cre­ativ­ity and cel­e­brat­ing its 25-plus-year his­tory. By Tom McLean.

Nick­elodeon of­fi­cially opened Jan. 11 its newly ex­panded stu­dio in Bur­bank — a state-of-the-art 200,000-square-foot ex­pan­sion that will house more than 700 jobs and more than 20 show pro­duc­tions.

Among the shows that will call the ex­panded stu­dio home are The Loud House, SpongeBob SquarePants, Shim­mer and Shine and Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur­tles.

SpongeBob SquarePants voice ac­tors Tom Kenny and Bill Fager­bakke were hosts of the short rib­bon-cut­ting cer­e­mony that also fea­tured as speak­ers Nick­elodeon Group Pres­i­dent Cyma Zarghami, Bur­bank Mayor Jess Tala­mantes and Vi­a­com Vice Chair­man of the Board Shari Red­stone.

The new five-story ex­pan­sion in­cludes a re­designed court­yard also bor­dered by the orig­i­nal 72,000 square-foot stu­dio on West Olive Av­enue in Bur­bank. That build­ing, opened in 1998, has been newly ren­o­vated.

The ex­panded stu­dio was de­signed to re­flect the stu­dio’s style and sen­si­bil­ity, out­fit­ted with art and in­stal­la­tions to in­spire and sup­port cre­ativ­ity, com­mu­nity and a col­lab­o­ra­tive en­vi­ron­ment.

For ex­am­ple, each floor fea­tures a cen­tral trel­lised “work­ing gallery” that runs the length of the build­ing, pro­vid­ing open space for col­lab­o­ra­tion and to dis­play work in progress; full-height chalk­board, dry erase and mag­netic walls that al­low em­ploy­ees to dis­play new ideas; per­son­al­ized workspaces with ad­justable desks and cub­bies; an on-site ro­tat­ing art gallery; and an ar­chive and li­brary.

Also at the new build­ing, em­ploy­ees are in­vited to cre­ate, broaden their artis­tic reach and ex­per­i­ment in two “Maker’s Labs” stocked with tra­di­tional and new tech­nol­ogy for em­ploy­ees to tin­ker with.

Ad­di­tional new fea­tures in­clude: an 88-seat screen­ing room; three voiceover studios, two of them brand new; the new Höek & Stimp­son Cof­fee Co.; court­yard-fac­ing break­out ar­eas and bal­conies on each floor; a fit­ness room and a calm­ing Zen gar­den; a mu­sic room, a game room and an ar­cade, of­fer­ing em­ploy­ees a place to play in­stru­ments or games.

The court­yard cov­ers more than 23,000 square feet and has full A/V ca­pa­bil­i­ties and an art in­stal­la­tion site. It also in­cludes a 400-pound statue of Stimpy from The Ren & Stimpy Show; stone benches etched with live-ac­tion and an­i­ma­tion cre­ators’ art­work and quotes; wire sculp­tures of Henry Dan­ger, Clarissa Ex­plains It All, Avatar: The Last Air­ben­der and Dora the Ex­plorer, among oth­ers; and ban­ners rep­re­sent­ing ev­ery live-ac­tion and an­i­ma­tion show in cur­rent pro­duc­tion.

Through a part­ner­ship with STUDIOS Ar­chi­tec­ture, ARC En­gi­neer­ing and Bright­works Sus­tain­abil­ity, Nick­elodeon’s West Coast fa­cil­ity tar­geted LEED gold cer­ti­fi­ca­tion by in­te­grat­ing sus­tain­able strate­gies and re­sources into the de­sign and op­er­a­tions of the build­ing. [

No. of films pitched at Car­toon Movie since 1999: 268 To­tal bud­get of films pitched at Car­toon Movie since 1999: 1.8 bil­lion eu­ros Most pop­u­lar tar­get demo: Fam­ily (33 out of 55 projects, or 60 per­cent) Nearly one-third of ac­cepted projects are aimed at young adults or adults

Morde­cai and Rigby closed out their run on Reg­u­lar Show with a nu­anced and though­ful fi­nale. Op­po­site: Pops faces his neme­sis in the fi­nale of Reg­u­lar Show.

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