Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Interview with Justin K. Thompson

Greetings minions! On my neverending quest for Korgothian relics and snidbits, I recently emailed a batch of questions to Justin Thompson (whom I've sung his praises fairly often on this site.) He so kindly responded to my spam with many interesting tidbits of information regarding some behind-the-scene information regarding the making of Korgoth. So me and him sat down over a computer screen, and well, several thousand miles separating us for a short, quaint interview.

And here it is:

Me: First of all how long have you been involved in the cartoon industry?

JT: About 17 years. I got a lucky break from a design apprenticeship at Film Roman in 1993.

Me: How did you become involved with Korgoth? And did you know or had you worked with Aaron Springer prior to being involved with the production?

JT: I met Aaron through the producer, Genndy Tartakovsky. I had done a lot of work for Genndy on other things and he recommended me to Aaron when he needed a BG designer for his first pilot project "Periwinkle" - another brilliant Springer show that should have been a series - and I did the backgrounds for that.

When he started making Korgoth, I was lucky enough that he asked me to do the backgrounds and, of course, I couldn't resist. The storyboards were some of the funniest I'd ever seen and the subject matter is a personal favorite.

Me: You laid out and designed the background while Bill Wray painted the background, correct?

JT: Correct.

Me: What was that process like and how did you come up with the look and feel of the backgrounds in Korgoth?

JT: Bill and I worked very separately. I did the background designs, handed them to Aaron, and he passed them to Bill. Bill did the paintings with input from Aaron alone. I was just as delighted to the see the end result as you were.

When I was designing them I was mainly inspired by my own endless love of corny fantasy art and Aaron's brilliant character designs.

Me: How long did you guys work on producing the pilot for Korgoth?

JT: I did all the backgrounds for the pilot in about four weeks. I'm not sure how long the entire process took.

Me: At what point was production stopped on Korgoth? And were any additional episodes/snippets created before word that Adult Swim hadn’t picked up the show.

JT: I'm not sure, really. That's an Aaron question.

Me: What was your first reaction when you realized Korgoth wasn’t going to be picked up by Adult Swim?

JT: Grave disappointment. Followed by anger. Then denial. Then acceptance. And then murder. ;)

Me: I guess the biggest thing that people would like to know is if you think Korgoth could ever live again? Do you think the project might be resurrected sometime in the future?

JT: I have no idea. Let's hope.

Me: What projects are you working on now?

JT: Well, I just finished work as the Production Designer on "Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs" last Summer and I'm still at Sony, doing visual development on new projects.


And there you have it. Great interview! I am by no means Katie Couric or Dan Rather, but I thought that was pretty rad. Thanks Justin!

Stay tuned! More content coming...

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