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Nerd For A Living
47 minutes | Jul 19, 2020
The Animated Life panel from Emerald City Comic Con 2017
From the Archives / Comic Convention at Home 2020 Way back in 2017, we had the opportunity to do our very first panel completely devoted to careers in animation - The Animated Life: A Peek Behind the Cels. And, as much as we thought we understood about animation and how the industry was structured, these pros really opened our eyes. If you're someone who loves to see behind the scenes, or if you're seeking to work in the animation industry, this chat with Victoria Ying, Steph Laberis, and Mike Collins is definitely one for you. This conversation digs deep into the individual roles within animation teams, the importance of networking (spoiler: your "connections" usually start as friends, so be kind and genuine), and how truly collaborative the creation process is for anything in animation. As with everything in our current COVID-19 world, this industry has had to evolve and adapt to our new world - so everything from this conversation may not exactly be "of the moment." However, there's still a lot of valuable insight and relevant advice in this panel from these immensely talented pros. We hope you enjoy it. THE ANIMATED LIFE: A PEEK BEHIND THE CELS Recorded: Saturday, March 4, 2017 From the sacred Saturday morning rituals of yesteryear, to today’s storytelling masterpieces, cartoons and animation bring our imaginations to life. The animation industry is full of vibrant professionals working together across creative disciplines to tell exciting stories that we will cherish for years. Nerd For A Living podcast host Adron Buske talks with a of group of animation pros about their jobs, the collaborative process, and the joys and challenges of making cartoons. SPEAKER PANELISTS: Mike Collins – She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, The Powerpuff Girls, Adventure Time, Ben 10: Omniverse, The Mr. Peabody and Sherman Show Steph Laberis – DreamWorks TV, Sesame Workshop, Nick Jr., Disney Jr. Victoria Ying – Frozen, Tangled, Wreck it Ralph, Big Hero 6
52 minutes | Jul 12, 2020
How To Be A Nerd For A Living panel from San Diego Comic-Con 2018
Hey! If you're a longtime subscriber you're probably thinking, whoa, this podcast hasn't updated since 2017. What's going on? Well, you know, it's the summer of 2020, the COVID-19 era, and all our beloved comic conventions and entertainment expos have been cancelled. So, to help anyone who is missing their favorite cons, we decided to open our archive of live convention panel recordings and share some previously unreleased material. This is our How to be a Nerd for a Living panel from San Diego Comic-Con 2018. PLEASE NOTE: This panel was recorded live, and the audio is not as high-quality as we typically prefer—which is why we didn't share it sooner. But, in this time without Comic-Cons, we wanted to put some of the best conversations we've had out into the universe regardless of audio issues. So, please forgive any static. Our Wendy Buske chats with guest speakers Tomi Adeyemi (author, Children of Blood and Bone series), Susan Eisenberg (voice actor, Justice League, Masters of the Universe: Revelation), Travis McElroy (podcaster, MBMBAM, The Adventure Zone), Ben Blacker (writer and podcaster, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Hex Wives), Jazzlyn Stone (comics marketing expert), and Jaimie Cordero (CEO, Espionage Cosmetics) about how each of them started out, ways they pursued careers in pop culture entertainment, and lessons they've learned through it all.
52 minutes | Dec 12, 2017
Dominic Lewis - Composer, DuckTales, Man in the High Castle
This bonus episode from our sister podcast, Animation Invasion, features composer Dominic Lewis. Dom studied at London's Royal Academy of Music, and has worked with Hans Zimmer and Henry Jackman. His animated work includes Big Hero 6, Wreck-It-Ralph, and How to Train Your Dragon. He scored 3 seasons of Amazon’s Man in the High Castle, and soundtracks for Rough Night, Fist Fight, and Money Monster. He contributed music to Captain America: Winter Soldier, and X-Men: First Class. He’s currently composing for Disney’s XD’s DuckTales, and working on the upcoming feature film Peter Rabbit.
41 minutes | Oct 25, 2017
Stranger Things star David Harbour (Rebroadcast)
This episode is a rebroadcast of our August 2016 conversation with Stranger Things star, David Harbour. Netflix’s massive breakout hit returns this week with Stranger Things season 2. David reprises his role as Sheriff Jim Hopper, the reluctant, brash, mess of a hero who mandates that mornings are for “coffee and contemplation”, and that difficult situations call for punching. His performance in season one earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. The cast won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
37 minutes | Oct 4, 2017
Nerf Herder's Parry Gripp
Our guest this episode is Parry Gripp, frontman for nerd-rock band Nerf Herder, and an Emmy winning songwriter with numerous credits in animation. Nerf Herder performed the theme song to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, cementing their immortality with nerd fandom. Many of Parry’s humorous solo songs have gone insanely viral, including "Do You Like Waffles?” and “Raining Tacos”. He won the 2017 Daytime Creative Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Song for “I’m Not Very Nice,” from the Disney animated series The 7D.
56 minutes | Sep 20, 2017
Eli Craig - Writer/Director, Little Evil, Tucker and Dale vs Evil
We're joined this episode by Eli Craig, writer/director of Tucker & Dale Versus Evil, and Little Evil, an offbeat comedy about love, family, and The Antichrist, which just recently debuted on Netflix. Little Evil stars Adam Scott as Gary, a newlywed struggling to acclimate to the role of stepfather to his disturbingly bizarre step-son, Lucas. Even as his therapy sessions with other step-dads assure him that all step-children are a little evil, increasingly odd situations revolving around the boy drive Gary to believe Lucas might actually be the spawn of Satan. The film also stars Evangeline Lily, Bridget Everett, Donald Faison, Chris D’Elia, Kyle Bornheimer, Clancy Brown, and Sally Field. We talk with Eli about the long journey of Little Evil, from big budget Universal picture trapped for years in development hell, to a breakneck production for Netflix. He explains the challenges genre mash-up films face when finding distributors and audiences. And we discuss how he assembled a great cast of comedic talent on a small budget.
27 minutes | Aug 14, 2017
Kevin Eastman – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Drawing Blood Co-Creator
We talk with Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, about his new crowdfunded comic project, Drawing Blood. The darkly comedic drama follows a down-on-his-luck cartoonist whose life is in a tailspin after early mega success. Drawing Blood explores the darkest corners of a mad world only talked about in the hotel bars of Comic Con. Kevin talks about how this new project came together, the continued joys of working on the TMNT franchise, and how he is just as big a fan of toys and collectibles as the fans he creates them for.
50 minutes | Jun 30, 2017
"Preacher" / "Glow" Editor Tyler L. Cook
Our guest is Tyler L. Cook, a film and television editor whose current work includes the AMC hit series, Preacher, and the new breakout Netflix series, GLOW. Preacher just premiered its second season. It’s based on the cult classic Vertigo comics series. The show follows Jesse Custer, a small-town preacher with a criminal past, who realizes God is absent from Heaven and sets out to find Him. On a wildly different end of the television spectrum is GLOW, which stands for the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. The series, set vividly in the mid 1980’s, follows a group of floundering actresses and an acerbic filmmaker as they try to create a televised women’s wrestling program. Part comedy, part drama, GLOW features an incredible ensemble cast led by Alison Brie and Marc Maron. We talk with Tyler about how he got the jobs on Preacher and Glow, and the challenges of balancing the tones of these inventive, unconventional shows. We discuss the day-to-day life of a television editor, his gear and software, and a whole lot more.
44 minutes | Jun 13, 2017
Matthew Jensen - Wonder Woman Director of Photography
Our guest this episode is Matthew Jensen, director of photography for the worldwide hit film, Wonder Woman. As of this recording, Wonder Woman is sitting atop the US film charts for the second week in a row, with over $200 million at the domestic box office, and over $435 million worldwide. Directed by Patty Jenkins, the film has been enthusiastically received by fans and critics alike, with standout performances from Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. It's beautifully shot, with a very distinct visual identity that sets it apart, particularly from other super hero films. And that comes from the work of Matthew Jensen. We talk with Matthew about how he was brought on board for Wonder Woman by Patty Jenkins, the production's challenges and technical choices, and what it was like shooting their strikingly charismatic leads. He shares the advice from a college mentor that lead him to focus his entire career towards the goal of becoming a DP, and the path from humble beginnings to a worldwide smash.
38 minutes | Jun 6, 2017
Flora Lichtman – host of "Every Little Thing" from Gimlet Media
Our guest this episode is Flora Lichtman, host of the new podcast Every Little Thing from Gimlet Media. It’s the kind of podcast we love - peeking through the keyhole to unlock the secrets and stories behind the obscure, seemingly mundane, or delightfully bizarre aspects of our world. Their episodes have explored the cult-like following of the solar eclipse, the weird supply stashes the US government hides around the country, and the fascinating origins of the common office plant. Every story is told with wit and whimsy, featuring interviews that inform and entertain. Before hosting Every Little Thing, Flora wrote for Bill Nye Saves the World on Netflix, worked for public radio’s popular Science Friday, and co-directed an Emmy-nominated series of short animated documentaries for the New York Times. She’s made her career creating compelling stories woven from science fact and fueled by endless curiosity. We discuss the fun and challenges of making Every Little Thing, and how she discovered that journalism and storytelling were her answer to an early aimless academic path.
48 minutes | May 26, 2017
Lucifer Co-Showrunner Ildy Modrovich
We talk with Ildy Modrovich, co-showrunner, writer, and executive producer of Lucifer, which is about to wrap it’s second season on Fox. The show is based on the Vertigo comics series which spun out of the pages of Sandman. The TV series follows Lucifer Morningstar, the literal devil, having abandoned hell to live in modern day Los Angeles to run a bar called Lux. The show departs from the source material’s high fantasy mythology by grounding it as a police procedural, with the fallen angel assisting LA detectives - in his own unique, self-absorbed way - while combating supernatural conflicts and balancing a dysfunctional family of earth-bound celestials. We talk with Ildy about the themes, production process, and character evolutions on the show. Fans should enjoy our discussion of its humor, fantastic cast, and how much fun it is to create. We also discuss Ildy’s career path from musician to writer to producer.
21 minutes | Apr 19, 2017
Ernie Hudson, Actor - "APB", "Grace & Frankie", "Ghostbusters"
Host Adron Buske talks with pop-culture icon, actor Ernie Hudson. Film fans know him from his role as Winston Zeddmore in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, and also as Sergeant Albrecht from the 1994 cult classic The Crow. Ernie has an enormous body of work in film, television, and also animation voiceover, and he's been very busy working across 3 different current television series - Grace & Frankie (Netflix), Graves (FX), and APB (Fox). APB is a police drama with a high-tech twist, produced by Len Wiseman. It follows a billionaire engineer who, after witnessing a violent crime, takes charge of a troubled Chicago police department and reboots it as a technically innovative force for 21st century challenges. APB stars Justin Kirk, Natalie Martinez, and Ernie as the skeptical police captain Ned Conrad. Adron and Ernie talk about his long history as an actor and how he keeps the work rewarding. They discuss being a steadily working professional whose name carries the weight of a beloved franchise. And Ernie talks about the fun of moving between different shows filled with fresh faces, and legendary veterans.
41 minutes | Mar 14, 2017
Jessie Graff - American Ninja Warrior, "Supergirl" Stuntwoman
We talk with American Ninja Warrior breakout star Jessie Graff. Jessie is a Hollywood stuntwoman, with an amazing body of work in film and television, including Supergirl, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., X-Men First Class, Iron Man 2, and many more. But while most stunt people are hidden faces behind the scenes, Jessie has become a very popular public persona through the television competition American Ninja Warrior. Through several seasons of amazing athletic feats, Jessie has broken barriers as the first female athlete to advance to the city finals, and the first to make it to Stage 2 of the national finals. She stands among the sport's most elite competitors.
22 minutes | Feb 21, 2017
"Legion" (Marvel/FX) Production Designer Michael Wylie
Michael Wylie is the production designer for the Marvel television series Legion, airing Wednesday evenings on FX. His production design resume also includes such fan favorites as Marvel’s Agent Carter, Masters of Sex, Grimm, Californication, Pushing Daisies, and The Tick. Legion follows a troubled young man, a diagnosed schizophrenic, who may in fact possess incredible telepathic and telekinetic powers. The show stars Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza, and Rachel Keller. It’s a remarkable series with a non-linear story, incredible design and music, and stellar performances. It’s by turns fascinating, disturbing, and intriguing, and it will keep you glued to the screen and constantly questioning reality.
44 minutes | Dec 20, 2016
Rachael Stott, Doctor Who Comics Artist
Rachael Stott is a comic book artist, currently doing covers and interior art for the official Doctor Who series published by Titan Comics, which follows Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor. And while she’s only been a professional comic artist for about two years, she’s already racked up an impressive resume. She drew the Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover series for IDW. She did covers for the licensed Assassin's Creed and Heroes comics, and covers for Archie. She provided covers for the Green Lantern / Star Trek crossover series, as well as covers and interiors for Ghostbusters International. She won the 2015 British Comics Award for Best Newcomer.
32 minutes | Nov 30, 2016
Karen Berger, Vertigo Comics founder & Surgeon X editor
Legendary comics editor Karen Berger talks with us about her new project at Image Comics, Surgeon X, with writer Sara Kenney and artist John Watkiss. We also talk about her work at Vertigo, the creator-driven, mature-readers publishing imprint she founded at DC Comics. Karen is well known in comics circles as the editor on massively influential comics work, including Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, The Sandman, Preacher , Y: The Last Man, The Invisibles, Fables, and many, many more. Written by documentarian and comic-newcomer Sara Kenney, with art by John Watkiss, Surgeon X explores a near-future world where antibiotics are becoming ineffective and governments regulate their availability to patients. In a time when minor infections and previously treatable diseases are now deadly, hospitals are forced to withhold services from patients who fall low on a Productivity Contribution Index. The rise of increasingly autocratic governing parties who arbitrarily decide who is worthy of live-saving treatments provokes riots and violent counter-measures. And one doctor, sick of the restraints on the medical community, leaves her position at a hospital to pursue unregulated, underground surgery solutions. She becomes the titular Surgeon X, struggling against a corrupt system, and against her own growing god-complex as she controls who lives and who dies.
35 minutes | Nov 1, 2016
NaNoWriMo Executive Director Grant Faulkner
NaNoWriMo executive director Grant Faulkner joins us to discuss National Novel Writing Month. We discuss how the NaNoWriMo initiative promotes daily writing habits, community building, and leads to the galvanizing goal of a 50,000 word novel. Grant explains how social events and communication are at the core of the NaNo experience, how to survive writing obstacles - both situational and self-imposed - and how NaNo can jumpstart your efforts at a serious writing career.
47 minutes | Oct 27, 2016
Crazy Ex Girlfriend choreographer Kathryn Burns
We talk with Emmy-winning choreographer and comedienne Kathryn Burns. Kathryn has contributed dance numbers and movement direction to five seasons of Key & Peele, to the hit Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer, and to tons of productions with the Upright Citizens Brigade. She worked on Children’s Hospital and Another Period, and danced in a “Weird Al” Yankovic video. She also choreographed the Grammy-winning international megahit music video “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Kathryn is currently working on the critically acclaimed CW series, Crazy Ex Girlfriend. It’s a comedy punctuated by impressive musical sequences that heighten the absurdity but also showcase an immensely talented cast and crew. And, as a show flying below the radar of mass audiences, Crazy Ex Girlfriend manages to be one of the most hilariously raunchy, explicit, subversive shows on network television. There’s nothing else out there like it. The series has won a number of awards, including a Golden Globe and a couple of Emmys - one of which went to Kathryn, for her choreography routines.
35 minutes | Sep 28, 2016
Bonnie Burton, Author of Crafting with Feminism
We talk with writer Bonnie Burton, author of Crafting with Feminism: 25 Girl-Powered Projects to Smash the Patriarchy. Crafting with Feminism arrives in stores and online retailers on October 18th, and features a forward from Felicia Day. The book contains projects ranging from merit badges to googly-eyed tampon puppets, and takes an enthusiastic, tongue-in-cheek approach to both crafting and defiance of the patriarchy. She has also written The Star Wars Craft Book, You Can Draw: Star Wars, and Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change. She is the former Senior Editor for LucasFilm’s StarWars.com, and is currently a freelancer writer for CNET. Bonnie is the co-host of Vaginal Fantasy Book Club, a YouTube series with Felicia Day and Veronica Belmont. We talk with Bonnie about the often not-very-lucrative business of being an author, and supporting writer-y pursuits with other work. She walks us through the pitch process for a crafting book, creating a viable product for existing audiences. And we discuss her long career writing for magazines and websites, from the early days of the web to the current, cluttered blogosphere.
34 minutes | Sep 14, 2016
Rob Kutner, writer for CONAN; creator of Runaway Brains and Shrinkage
We have a really fun chat with comedy writer Rob Kutner. He’s a monologue writer for TBS late night show CONAN, and also has five Primetime Emmy’s for his work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Recently, Rob released a new audio mini-series called Runaway Brains, available exclusively on subscription-based podcast service Howl.FM. It’s a madcap comedic romp starring "Weird Al" Yankovic, Mayim Bialik, Michael Ian Black, Dave Koechner, and Ken Jennings. Rob has also partnered with Farrago Comics to produce the original series, Shrinkage, illustrated by John Lucas. Farrago Comics is a new free-to-read, ad-supported comics app, available now on Apple and Android devices. We talk with Rob about his career writing for TV, and how he broke into the late-night comedy business. We also discuss branching out into different media, exploring new distribution models, and how he attracted big names to indie projects.
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