Trav- We have a pretty quick turnaround on episodes. First, Eric Loya and I will discuss episode ideas. That can be a long discussion, like for the Season Finale, or a very short blurb, like “The guys play some board games.” Then Eric will go and write a first draft of an episode. Sometimes I’ll give notes for him to do re-writes (“First Halloween” is the only episode where I made him rewrite the entire thing), and then we get together with Director Rob Wood and Eric’s wife Catherine (who is responsible for the amazing set photos), and we go through the script and refine.
After that, it’s a matter of finding the time when everyone can get together to shoot. The earlier episodes took a lot longer, but when we got into the groove, we were pumping out 3 episodes in a shoot. I usually take a day or two to edit. The Halloween episode was shot on the Sunday before it was released, and it was out on Monday night, I think, so we’re capable of a pretty fast turnaround. I’d trade a little bit of that time to have a professional editor who knew how to color correct.
7. What is your favorite episode?
Trav- It’s Sophie’s Choice! There are so many great episodes already, and some of them are so different it makes it hard to compare them. I love “First Halloween” because we had very little time to put it all together. The performances in that episode are great. “Game Night” is just so different and silly, I find something to laugh about every time. And I can’t leave out “Mr. Furper,” obviously because of Nicholas Brendon, but also because it’s just so smart, taking moments from previous episodes and weaving this new character into our world’s past. Those are my top 3, and I think that’s the best you’ll get from me on that.
8. What kind of equipment do you use?
Trav- For Season One, we used the Canon HF200, a brilliant little camera for the price. Our boom mic is an Azden SGM-1X, the cheapest available again, but performed admirably. We purchased a GlideCam HD1000 between episodes 3 & 4, and it’s probably the best investment we made. It allows us to have nice, smooth handheld shots without a lot of jitter, and gives the camera “breath,” which gives life to the scene. Our lights are cheap Target lights with 5 arms each, and we use 100 watt-equivalent CFLs, which give off a strong, even light. This is maybe the point where we could make the biggest improvements with a better light kit and a couple extra crew positions. Lighting is so important, and we just couldn’t afford to do that right. I edit on Final Cut Pro, on the cheapest iMac we could get last year.
For Season 2, we’ve already picked up our new camera, the Canon T2i, a DSLR that does HD video very well. It’s under $1,000, but it gives us access to 35mm lenses, which is something indie filmmakers have never had at that price. I’ve used it to record some vlogs, and it’s wonderful. I’d like to get a better boom mic, and maybe a lav mic set, as well as a lighting budget to either buy or rent lights. And because my computer really lags with all that HD footage, I’d love to upgrade to something with a little more power. The new high-end iMacs are gorgeous and really fast while still being relatively affordable.
9. How does it feel to have the kind of following you guys have?
Trav- Our fans are amazing. Not only are they incredibly supportive, but they’ve been going out of their way to share the show. Every so often we’ll get a piece of fan art that will blow me away (which we love, send more!). It just boggles my mind sometimes that people are creating artwork based on something I made!
At VidCon this year, I was approached by people I’d never met who were so excited to hug me and get a picture with me, my heart was just bursting.
Of course, we’d like more fans. We want to share our work with as many people as we can, because that’s why we do it. But in fact, we need more fans. In order to be sustainable as a production, I figure we’ll need at least 60,000 regular viewers. That’s just an imaginary number; just an estimate on my part, but the logic is like this: It costs us a certain amount to keep producing each year. Say that’s $60,000 (another estimate). Well, if we make $10 off of a t-shirt or a DVD sale, that’s 6,000 sales we need. I’m guessing that only 1/10 people will actually buy something each year (which might be optimistic), which brings us back to 60,000 viewers.
We need help to get there, so every fan that tells a friend about “Robot, Ninja & Gay Guy” (or writes a blog about it that reaches much more than that) gets us a little closer to our goal. And we all appreciate that very, very much.
10. (And because I’m curious) Who is your biggest celebrity crush?
Trav- Jeez, do I even have one these days? I used to love Robert Pattinson, before he did “Twilight.” When he was just Cedric Diggory, he was gorgeous. I still have the hots for Ian Somerhalder, though I haven’t seen a single episode of “Vampire Diaries.” (Don’t get me wrong, I love vampires!) Oh! I know! Hayden Christiansen. Even though the Star Wars prequels killed my childhood, I don’t blame him at all. He’s been really good in other things, and he’s always yummy. Also, the new guys in “Glee.” You know, the blond and Kurt’s new boyfriend? Yeah, you know.
Here are some helpful links including a button *points* to push if you want to help these guys out. Also a message from Travis asking for your donations. (He’s adorable, you know you want to help)