Saturday, August 4, 2007

8/4/07- This week's guest: Matthew Senreich(creator of Robot Chicken)...

Matt(on the left) working with partner Seth Green on concept art for Robot Chicken.

Matthew Senreich is the creator, director, producer and writer of the TV series Robot Chicken. Matt began his entertainment career in 1991 at the early age of 16, when he worked as a summer intern for Marvel Comics. It was here that he honed his writing skills and learned from the rising stars of the comic book industry. Upon graduating college in 1996, Matt secured a job as an editorial assistant at the New York-based Wizard Entertainment, a publication house that produces multiple magazines that are the leading source of information about the comic book, action figure, anime and collectible card gaming communities. After two years with Wizard Entertainment, Matt rose through the ranks and became editor of ToyFare. One year later, he was promoted to editorial director of all Wizard Entertainment publications. Matt soon met up with actor Seth Green, who was a fan of Wizard's magazines. This newfound partnership between Matt and Seth spawned the creation of a series of stop motion animated shorts entitled "Sweet J Presents" for Sony's in 2000 and 2001. Based upon these webisodes, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim committed to 20 episodes of Robot Chicken. Green and Senreich, through their production company Stoopid Monkey, have produced two highly successful seasons of the show, are committed to a third and are also producing an upcoming holiday movie titled Naughty or Nice. A clip from Robot Chicken is posted below the interview. And now, on to the interview:

1. What was your original career intention after high school, and how did that lead into you becoming an intern at Marvel Comics?

Ever since I was 16, I wanted to work in comic books. I was surprised to get an internship at Marvel in the summer of 1991 when I was that age, but once I worked there, I knew that comics would be part of my future. Robot Chicken was a natural extension of that.

2. What was it like getting to work around the creators of some of the most popular comic books of all time?

Amazing. It was fun to grow in my career at the same time as Joe Madureira, Mike Turner, Geoff Johns and the like. It was fun to have people like Jeph Loeb giving me career advice. Wizard provided me with the opportunity to really meet the entire comic book industry.

3. What was the worst job you've ever had outside of writing or interning?

To be honest, I've been fortunate to like all my jobs. Even filing at a private practice doctor's office that my dad ran when i was like 14.

4. How did you meet Seth Green?

Through Wizard/ToyFare magazine. We approached him about doing an interview for the magazine and we geeked out on each other and became friends.

5. What was "Sweet J Presents"?

The precursor to "Robot Chicken." It was a series of 12 animated shorts that we did for Sony's back in 2001. We used those shorts to shop around to sell the concept of "Robot Chicken." You can see a few on the RC season 1 DVD.

6. How did you guys decide stop-motion with action figures and claymation over more conventional forms of animation?

Stop motion is the only way to make toys come to life.

7. What was your reaction when you found out that Robot Chicken was nominated for an Emmy this year?

It's just surreal. Simply surreal.

8. Anything different we can expect from season 3?

A bit more storytelling. A bit more absurdity. Going back to the basics on some sketches while pushing the envelope of the absurd with others.

9. What is your favorite scene from Robot Chicken so far?

World's Most One-Sided Fist Fights. It always makes me laugh. Or the Emperor Phone Call as that sketch exposed our show to a much wider audience and brought us more into the limelight.

10. What was it like doing the Star Wars episode?

Scary and fun. It's not every day that Lucasfilm says go play with Star Wars. We knew it had to be funnier than just funny. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

11. Any upcoming projects you would like to plug?

We currently have a two-picture deal at Dimension. Working on developing an all-ages stop motion project and a teen comedy as well. More on those when they go into production...

12. When you die, what do you want God to say to you at the pearly gates?

Donde esta el bano?

13. Any parting words of random advice for the readers?

Never be afraid to take a chance and go for the jobs that you think are unreachable. The more you explore, the more you find.

A full episode of Robot Chicken: