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Robb Pratt Interview – Animator behind Superman and Flash Gordon Classic talks cartoons, career and superheroes!

 


This week we have a special interview with animator Robb Pratt (“Superman Classic,” “Flash Gordon Classic”). We talked about how and why he started the Classic series, his thoughts on Superman as a character, Flash Gordon and how he relates to Star Wars, various trials and tribulations navigating the business world of animation entertainment, his recent work on “Wabbit” (the Bugs Bunny animated shorts show) and his absolute love of story and art! Robb was very generous with his time and couldn’t have been more fun to talk to. In particular, I loved his insights into the character relation between Bugs Bunny and Superman, the analysis of the Rancor pit scene from “Return of the Jedi” and how he got that creepy voice effect in “Bizarro Classic.” Check out his YOUTUBE CHANNEL, WEBSITE and TWITTER for all things Robb Pratt!


 

Annotations:

(6:03)   Why Robb is spelled with two B’s
(7:08)   How the Classic series started and what impact it had
(15:14)   Bugs Bunny shorts, “Wabbit”
(22:25)   Car Guy, road rage shorts
(23:50)   Why Robb started making Indie shorts in the first place & partial career discussion
(30:48)   How Robb got into animation & further career discussion
(32:32)   1940s classic style is without cynicism and what that really means
(37:59)   Flash Gordon & Star Wars talk
(40:31)   “Bizarro Classic”
(46:31)   What draws Robb to the classic style
(50:43)   “Flash Gordon Classic”s increased scope & background discussion
(53:30)   Robb on his friendship with John Newton (“Superboy”)
(55:25)   Discussion about Film Fests
(57:39)   Discussing the possibility of sales
(1:00:25)   Interpreting Superman
(1:02:00)   Audience Question #1: “With great classics like Superman and Flash Gordon under your belt, are they’re any other franchises you’d like to make an animation for?” ~Chris Guido
(1:04:42)   ROBB vs ROB! The showdown!
(1:11:56)   Audience Question #2: “When story-boarding and coming up with ideas for the “Classics” shorts what kinds of things are you looking to achieve overall? For instance is it mostly about re-capturing the nostalgic feel of those old cartoons? Or do you focus more on challenging your own skills, trying things that you may not have had the chance to animate before?” ~Bobby Baxter
(1:16:28)   Audience Question #3: “Has he ever seen the Filmation Flash Gordon series and what was his opinion about their take on the character? What is his work flow and what software does he use? Has he thought of doing a full 30 min. episode or feature film (if he was able to get the funding and rights)? What does he have planned next?” ~Timothy Bergeron

 
“Superman Classic”

 
“Bizarro Classic”

 
“Flash Gordon Classic”

 
Pencil test for opening prisoner scene in “Flash Gordon Classic”

 

 
Check out more of your hosts:
Stephen Brooks (@RubberOnion)
Rob Yulfo (@RobYulfo)
Pat Ryan (@TheBadPatRyan)

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About Stephen Brooks

Stephen Brooks
Stephen Brooks is a freelance animator in NYC that specializes in a hand-drawn style. Being a professional since 2005, he also produces indie shorts with self-made music, sound fx & voices. Lately Stephen has taken to introducing others to animation with production VLOGs, a podcast, instructional videos and is writing a book on traditional principles in a digital world. View his animation work www.rubberonion.com

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