Meeting the creators of Adult Swim’s perennial late night favorite, Aqua Teen Hunger Force is almost as strange as seeing the show for the first time. CEO Scott Fry, VP of production Craig Hartin and animation director Todd Redner apply the type of consistent, dedicated deadpan that can only come with a decade of shared life experience. Clearly intelligent and antisocial in equal measure, this trio made for one of the most interesting, and infuriating interviews I have ever conducted.
Read on for the audio and an explanation of the madness.
A quick note before I give you the bullet points of the interview. As you will no doubt notice as the audio begins, I sound like a totally unprofessional dweeb. This is only half my fault. The interview time and place changed three times the day of and as a result I was a bit harried by the time I made it to the final location. When I asked my first question, a fairly simple intro designed to get everyone to describe their basic job, I was met with a deer in headlights stare that made me panic and think that I had just come to the wrong interview. After a few moments of speaking to the trio, I began to realize that this was just how things get done around William’s Street Productions. None of the three seemed the least bit interested in actually answering any of my questions, instead they would dance around the point engaging in long and detailed tangents that, when listened to after the fact, actually work well to illuminate exactly how shows like Squidbillies, 12 Ounce Mouse, and Perfect Hair Forever came to be.
0:00-0:20 – The guys mess with my tape recorder.
0:21-1:145 – A basic description of organization of Radical Axis Studios and their methodology.
1:45-2:50 — The history of the studio.
2:50-3:45 –The ATHF terrorist scare in NYC.
3:45-4:35 — The writing process on each show.
4:35-5:05 – The rivalry between Radical Axis and Venture Brothers.
5:05-5:45 – The trio muse on a fictitious sequel to Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters.
5:45-6:45 — How the studio keeps costs low enough to enjoy such creative freedom.
6:45-7:40 – The zeitgeist grabbing qualities of Radical Axis shows.
7:40-9:20 – Developing the art style of each show.
9:20-10:30 – How the studio creates so many shows so quickly.
10:30-11:20 – The trio discuss new and continuing shows.
11:20-12:05 – The future of Cheyenne Cinnamon and the Fantabulous Unicorn of Sugar Town Candy Fudge.
12:05-13:20 – The future of other pilots included in the Adult Swim in a Box collection.
13:20-14:20 – The politics of their absurdist humor.
14:20-15:40 – Squidbillies merchandising and other merch.
15:40-18:20 – The most difficult part of running an animation studio.
18:20-19:15 – The trio discusses the long gaps between seasons.
19:15-20:20 – The challenges of running a studio out of Atlanta versus Los Angeles.
20:20-20:40 – More on the nonexistent ATHFCMFfT sequel.
20:40-21:45 – The “Sexy Men of Radical Axis Studios Calendar.”
21:45-22:00 – A list of all of the studio’s productions.
22:00-23:30 – The difference between an online show and a television show in approach and execution.
23:30-24:35 – The different animation tools used on each show.
24:35-25:50 – The production schedule for the different shows.
25:50-27:05 – The screenwriting process.
27:05-27:35 – “Adult Swim will never make another movie again.”
27:35-29:15 – Final notes.