Animated Production During Covid-19: An Interview With Radio Nemo

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On August 8th, Maury Rogow, CEO and founder of LA’s live action & animated production studio Rip Media Group, joined Jimmy Mack and Claire Marie of Radio Nemo to talk about animated production and the state of the marketing industry during Covid-19. They covered everything from why animation is appealing to any size of business to Maury Rogow’s personal history coming up in LA as the CEO of a production company. You can listen to the full interview above, or you can read it below.

Announcer: Today’s program features Jimmy Mack and Claire Marie .

Claire Marie: Maury Rogow is a digital pioneer with several feature films to his credit and the founder and CEO of Rip Media Group, working in both animation and live action film. And you can find out more about them at Welcome Maury, good morning

Maury Rogow: Good morning, how are you?

Claire: Doing good. We’re really excited to talk to you about animation. We’ve never gotten to really dive into that with a guest on the show before, but it’s always been a favorite of ours to discuss as well as our listeners. Right now, people are kind of looking at the film and TV industry as being on hold because of the pandemic, but animation’s not, is it?

Maury: No, not at all. You know, the film and the TV industry is on hold for obvious reasons, you know, you got Brad Pitt coming in and 40 people around him to take care of him and be on set and that kind of thing. And that’s not allowed now. So it took about a month. I think everybody went into shock. What are we going to do? And including us, you know, not necessarily shocked, we just started saying, Hey, we have an alternative here. You can do that in animation. Let’s animate that person. Let’s animate the characters. Let’s, let’s bring this thing to life. And by the way, you can now do anything you want, you know, Hey, you remember that helicopter scene you wanted? Or let’s put this person in outer space. We can make that happen. So we started proposing bigger and bigger ideas, you know, to different kinds of customers and studios and things like that. And they started going for them. So the other cool thing about the animation you know, business right now is people can work from anywhere. So, basically everybody is working from their houses and feeding the information back every night. They’re creating their characters, to creating the backgrounds, to creating a good story and that kind of thing and feeding it in. So it was a blip for a few weeks, but now things are rolling. Things are really going well.

Jimmy: Wait, you mean to tell me that people are generating loads of content from their own home and actually making a living off of it? I don’t know anybody like that in my life. I can’t think of anybody right now, at this moment… Which does point to a great question though. I mean, this basically you kind of reached the destination to the next question, you know, animation production companies start off as really like, you know, there are times when Disney back in the thirties would make a ton of money and barely break, because of the animated production costs for a quality product. Can you kind of draw a line from that point to what you just described as the reality and how we got here?

Maury: Yeah. That’s really great that you knew that. And most people don’t realize that the Disney and Warner brothers, and other animation production companies, it was like – with bugs bunny was the barber of Seville, you know, they’re like Warner, bros was almost going broke at that time. That movie saved them. But sorry, you know, that was thanks to bugs. I love bugs. And you know, if you go back in the day, it was frame by frame. I mean, you had, how many artists literally drawing on cells which were basically pieces of paper, but sort of see through pieces of paper, 30 frames a second, just to have a second, you had 30 pieces of art just slightly moving, right? And then you had to do that for an entire, you know, five minute cartoon, 20 minutes, half hour, hour and a half. So yeah, it was extremely labor intensive. And then what happened is, you know, we get more and more technology and people started loving this more and more. So, kind of the workflow chains changed and you have technology, you have things that are coming into play that make things a lot easier, but you also, you know, it’s not like expenses all of a sudden except for these big, huge movies. I mean you look at Disney now with Frozen, or Dreamworks with How To Train Your Dragon – Monsters Inc. That’s a million dollars a minute, roughly a million dollars a minute to make those movies. And then you have to double that to do the, the sales and marketing or advertising and marketing for that. So, the films are really big, but at the lower end, you’ve got a lot of choices that are not so expensive, you know, so your next music video from your favorite bands are probably gonna be animated. You know, a lot of the commercials on TV and, you know, videos, when you go to websites, those are gonna be animated for the next year. And maybe hopefully, you know, longer than that. Cause you got all the different styles now that are much less expensive, you know, so it’s, you know, you’ve got things like you know, whiteboard animation, which is literally kind of like a storyboard where it’s, you know, hand on paper or it’s really digital as a secret, but you know, hand on, you know, a white board in a sense like a marker drawing things out and drawing out scenes as we, some of the most simple up to motion graphics and then your three D animation that’s really, really, you know, kind of pops off the screen, which looks awesome. Does that make sense?

Jimmy: That makes perfect sense. And actually it brings me to a, kind of a subset question of the question I just asked you. So right around the right around the late sixties, early seventies and throughout the seventies, there, there is this sudden urge to begin to use animation. There’s always been animation for adults in one form or another in, you know, in kind of on the sly and on the down low, but you get a real kind of urge late sixties throughout the seventies. People like Ralph Bashi and even some of the stuff inspired by R. Crumb. It begins to make its way onto late night television and to kind of cult classic movies. Those movies actually are asking a lot of the animation that the skill and the technique aren’t. Do you find the history of animation gets pushed forward by the narrative needs of the creators, and is that what has caused some of the technical advancements?

Maury: Wow. What a great question. Yeah. So it all comes back to a kind of a mantra that I always go back to when we’re creating things or anybody’s creating things, which is, “what’s the story and what do I want people, or what do you want people to know, and what do you want them to feel?” Not just about the movie, every single scene, every single scene has to push forward. So if you’re talking about film, talking about the TV shows, you know, I think, you know, even still at some of those late night shows like Carson and some of those things, they started to incorporate some of this, which is you got to engage people now. So they hear for the next minute because competition started because creativity is always there, but it’s always about a great story. So you’re talking about the narrative, you know, where am I starting? What’s my end line, and then if you think about, you know, narrative structure and story structure, what’s my character or what’s the person. I either hate it at the beginning, or I really like it at the beginning, how are they going to change over the course of this story? You know, whether it’s one minute or whether it’s an hour and a half, what’s the narrative structure, where are we going when, and what do I want people to walk away with? What I want them to feel. If you can actually make somebody feel something they’re going to remember you. And if they remember you, they’ll tell their friends about it or they’ll come back and watch again, you know, and really pick up a great story. So I think everything you said is actually right on the money there. And that’s why things started to take off because people realized hey, you can actually use animation either in pieces to grab people’s visual attention or just with a great story and move things along. It’s not just sort of an add in or an ad. So we started that, that time, you know, before that it was maybe a little add in a little bit of funny animation for one particular scene or it’s animation production costs of, you know, million dollar, a minute Disney stuff. And then they started pushing things through the 60’s-70’s. You’re exactly right. That’s when they started using it more and more and more, and coming up with all this, you know, more shows and that drove animated production costs down. As more people got interested in more technology advances came around.

Jimmy: By the way, the word of the day, over the course of the show, we have a word of the day it was the protagonist. So you just touched on that very, very nicely. I do have one more kind of, kind of fine line question for you. Can you kind of let our listeners know if there is any difference between the idea of CGI and animation and special effects because there is, I mean, cause you get to the place where some of the Pixar stuff happens and you’re like, or you watch like the Hobbit the recent version of the Hobbit where the battle of the five armies that ain’t people, Hey, nobody there that’s, that’s CGI. What’s the difference between animation and CGI? If in fact there is one.

Maury: It’s really, it’s a fantastic question and sometimes I actually have to ask myself, what am I watching here? Because it blends a line. So you kind of get into the nerd end of the question. They’re like for us, for me in the industry, like, you know, the nerd comes out, which is, well, this is animation because it was drawn and there are no characters there. So I don’t know if this is the textbook definition, but my definition is animation is. “There aren’t characters there, there’s no actor there. Nothing is being augmented, they’re actually going from scratch.” So that’s CGI, computer graphics you know, and that kind of thing. And then, you know, when you get into, you know, avatar, you get into the Marvel movies, Thanos, by the way, one of my favorite characters. So, He’s the big, bad guy in End Game and that kind of thing. So what you have there is you have an actor on stage, in that case Josh Brolin. So he’s got these green dots all over him, right? You got green dots so that you can measure. So the cameras can see his facial movements, see the changes, see the emotion. Of course, you’re picking up the voice so you never really look at the actor, Josh Brolin, but you’re seeing all the movements and you know, that’s why it comes through so powerfully, but then they take that. They put into it, that’s what I would call a CGI. Then you’re putting an overlay of this sort of purple monster with the wrinkled chin and he’s eight feet tall and that kind of thing. And you think of it there, you can think of DeadPool, obviously The Five Armies, you know, with you know, the Hobbit and so forth. So that’s me is more CG where you have something that exists and you’re augmenting it, you’re adding on to it. Yeah.

Jimmy: That’s a great point because, and maybe kind of take that a little bit further. Cause Claire got to follow up here really quickly. The idea that Brolin’s performance is what makes the augmentation happen. Whereas in animation, the illustrator’s execution is what makes the visual performance happen. Is that fair?

Maury: Very, very well said. No. And I think you need them to work in harmony because if you don’t have it, you know, you, Brolin can put in a great performance say, and the animator doesn’t do those overlays and that kind of thing. Well, because there’s a lot, there’s a lot of work on making that happen. It’s not like, you know, snap a finger. And he is now Thanos. There’s a lot of lighting, shading.

Jimmy: Wait! He snaps the finger!

Maury: No (laughter) That’s good. Sorry. That’s all right. That’s great. So, they have to work at harmony is what I was going to say. You got to have the great performance, you’ve got to start off with the A grade script. You got to have the great performance and then you gotta have the great animators or CGI artists on top of it to make it, to pull it off

Claire: Well on the topic of all of the work and all of the different people that it takes, you know, to pull off a project like this, tell us what you guys do over at Rip Media.

Maury: Thanks for asking. So we do a lot of what we just said. But we don’t happen to do it for, you know, those, those huge movies right now. I did produce a couple of films, but what happened is you know, this wasn’t, you know, because a course that years ago, I realized that these movies, you know, take five to 10 years to put together. My attention span is much too short. So what I did is I founded Rip Media group. So we’re going to work on smaller, shorter projects. And I was like, well, we could do commercials. We could actually go back out to some of these brands that are putting out, you know, your talking head video and kinda what I would, I would frankly say is typically boring and say, look, let’s animate that, or let’s bring this to life with live and animation. And actually people, you know, make people engage and care about what your story is. You know, whether it’s, you know, literally if we have folks that have, or we have customers that are, you know, curing breast cancer, we have some of our biotech customers. They’re doing everything they can to cure COVID and we’re helping the world understand those things with the animated video production we’re putting together. Here’s the machine, the testing machine, here’s the treatment. But on the other side, there’s plenty of companies we work with. And I think what’s cool here is we’ve got a lot in the transportation industry. You know, the logistics folks, the software folks, and, you know, Cheetah Networks and Calamp LoJack, you know, iTrade networks. Those guys are delivering, you know, anything from delivering food all over the world through, you know, trains, trucking and core centric. It’s all about tracking that they exist there. And if you don’t mind, I’ll just talk about one of my favorite projects we finished up just a, I think it was last year, roughly was about trucking road rescue. Truckers out there, something breaks down, can’t fix it on your own. So, they wanted this whole kind of basic story. It was all based around the premise “Hey, we’ll come and help out.” So we actually started it off. We created the trucker, the character and we put this voiceover on and that was, Oh, sure. When you break down, of course, it’s somewhere in paradise where you got a Mai Thai in your hand, and you’re kicking back at a pool right there. We see this trucker like on, on a floaty with this, you know, umbrella drink, you know, lying there and the sun. And then all of a sudden he wakes up, boom, and we hear he’s in the dark. We hear a Wolf howl. No, “now, what really happens you’re miles from anywhere and you really need help now.” And then of course we kick into the, you know, the rescue story that their truck comes out and helps out. But I always remember that beginning, because it’s really important. You got to grab people in the first few seconds and I always thought that was just a great opener.

Claire: And it’s a great example of how, you know, that company probably wouldn’t have, you know, what, you got to find a location and you’ve got to get an actor and you got to get the props and all and all the things right. To, to, to make just that couple of seconds, if it were live action, but this way you can make anything possible.

Maury: That’s exactly it. Yeah, that’s exactly right. And that’s what you know, I think that’s what they went for. We were thinking about that. We put the budgets together side by side. It was like, no, we’re going to do animation. You know, like let’s get a truck and drive, you know, this and the location and not in the mountains. And then the, and the resort and all this, all of a sudden, you’re at $150,000 to on your first day of filming versus animation, which is, you know, a 10th of that, you know, or less, they definitely went animated video production.

Claire: You know, there, there’s a reason that we like infographics. Right? I love infographics. I think that they’re a very easy way to learn something. You might not get super in depth with one infographic, but, but you’re going to get the gist of it. And you’re going to be satisfied that you can get in depth if that makes sense.

Maury: Absolutely. So, you guys, your questions are awesome. Infographics basically is, you know, explaining something that’s data, typically people find it boring, right. But there’s important stuff in there. So what you do is with info-graphic is turning information into graphic, what you do is, you know, typically it’s not character based, it’s gonna be more icon based. They call it iconic icons. I mean, think of a pie chart, think of a bar chart and that kind of thing. So, what you can do, and especially with moving infographics, you can show the growth, or you can show the trend, you can show a pathway. And again, you can tell a story from beginning to end, which is, you know, here’s the amount of baseball games going on right now and how many hits are happening in 2020 kind of thing. And you can put that together in a graphic way that grabs people’s attention rather than just stats that are boring. And they basically, I always say that you know, data strays and stories stay so data, we’re gonna forget, you’re gonna forget all the numbers if I brought in the up, but hopefully you remember the story, like the road rescue guy, you know, that we talked about the road rescue guy. I talked about that kind of thing.

Claire: Everybody remembers how dinosaurs are created because of the little DNA guy in Jurassic park saying “Dinosaurs!” Right. I mean, that, that’s what we’re talking about, essentially.

Maury: That’s exactly what we’re talking about. That’s so great. Yeah. So yeah, the DNA guy laid it all out. That’s exactly how I learned!

Jimmy: As far as advertising goes. It does also give you another tonal option to choose from in your animated video production. Doesn’t it? That often there are things that you, I mean, Claire talked about the production demands of doing things live, but along with the production demands, there are certain things you can achieve tonally. And this is a weird connection. So bear with me for one second here. I just watched a number of Pixar shorts and it occurred to me as I was watching these shorts. I said, you know what I said, Ray Bradbury is suddenly possible to do as something live action because of the techniques that are being used here in that, you know, it often would fail his movies, his movies, or his books as you know, sort of television stuff. But it works because it gives you certainly different sorts of tones. You can create that other kind of form that doesn’t give you right.

Maury: Very much, very much. So, you know, the sky is literally the limit, you know, you can create anything. And if there’s, there’s actually what I’m talking about, tone, you know, there’s different energy levels. You know, you want this to be kind of, you know, lower energy, maybe that’s, you know, maybe it’s a brewing love scene or maybe it’s mid energy or maybe high energy, the action scene. There’s another, there’s an acronym I use and it’s an easy one just called this S.T.U.F.F. So I will talk about the S.T.U.F.F. I have it in my book and the whole thing, you know, what, what the heck is the S.T.U.F.F.? The S.T.U.F.F. is, is it sexy? Is it touching? Is it unique? Is it funny or does it deliver fear to the hearts and the minds of the audience, every scene and every movie, in my opinion, and you know, again, it’s not my opinion. I studied all this stuff, you know, and, and and learned as much as I possibly could when I moved down here, how does every scene move forward? And how does it grab us? So is it sexy? Is it sexy? And “sexy” doesn’t just mean the love scene or the lingerie ad or something like that, it could just be, Hey, this delivers me to someplace that’s so much better than where I am right now. That’s, that’s really interesting to me. I’ll keep watching that touching, you know, you know, put in, I put in a baby or a child, or, you know, our grandparents, that kind of thing. I mean, touches us. You know, if I tell you the last time I talked to my mother, you know, our ears listen up a little bit, you know, and let’s think about maybe the last time you talked to your mother is the last time, you know what you’re really thinking back. Cause we all think about how this relates to me, right? So it’s actually touching. Then there’s unique you know, something totally off the wall. Something that goes a complete 180 degree direction different than what you expected. That is fantastic. That’ll grab you. And you’re watching, watching, Whoa. I didn’t expect that. You know, that’s totally unexpected, that grabs people. So you gotta have this, the shocker moments. And then funny is fantastic to do. It’s really hard. Funny, being funny is tough. You know, there’s rules to comedy, but you don’t go in there with a rule book. You just gotta be good at it and you can learn a whole lot. And then fear is a great one, but there’s a lot of advertising. There’s a tremendous amount of fear of missing out. You know, everybody’s got this, but you don’t, what’s going to happen to you next year. You know, how, how are you going to be looking in 2021? Oh my gosh, I better buy this thing. It’s going to make my life better. Who, you know, boy, am I smart? I bought that $20 thing. That’ll sit in the box for a month, but they got you!

Jimmy: Maury, have you ever heard of the great kind of line about every political campaign is run in one of two ways, it’s either an extortion racket or a bribery scheme. And either it’s like, “either you do this so bad things are gonna happen,” or it’s the flip side, which is, “hey man, if you do this good things are gonna happen.” You know? And in some ways the question is, are you voting for somebody trying to bribe you or somebody trying to extort you? And that’s the question everybody has to ask themselves at the end of the day. We’re going to run out of time here. So I’m going to ask a boon of you. We’ve got about five minutes left in this segment. Would you be willing to stick around for five minutes over the heartbreaks? And we come back, we can talk about all the great stuff that you guys are doing over there and some of the great projects you have cooking. Is that okay?

Maury: Yeah, I would love to!

Jimmy: Oh, okay. So Claire’s got a question for you.

Claire: Meantime I’m sure that you have a great story about how you got into animation, how you got into being a producer and all of that. I wonder if you could tell us.

Maury: Sure, sure, sure. So you know, many, many moons ago when I was a kid, I was, I was, you know, I was a problem. I was the one that was always stuck to the TV and woke up at 6:00 AM on set and couldn’t wake up at 10, eight before 10, you know, for school is late every day. But Saturday I was up at six with my bowl of captain crunch plug, sorry.

Jimmy: That’s okay. We had an entire show about that. You’re fine. Well, welcome to the adult version of Saturday morning cereal.

Maury: I’m expecting that box of captain crunch at my door. So, you know, I woke up and I was sugar rushed and I’d watch till whatever one in the afternoon when they stopped. So I always loved animation, loved cartoons. I had no idea how they’re made. And you know, and I went off and, you know, kind of into the world and I went into business and things were great for a while. And then when they crashed, they crashed hard for me. So I lost the house, the fiance I had at the time, everything, every ounce that I had and actually owed more than I had, and then digging myself out of that hole, I was like, well, what am I going to do this time? You know, I’m not, I’m certainly not giving up. I’m going to go do something that I always wanted to do. Cause why the hell not I have zero? So, I started again. So, I picked myself up, moved to Hollywood and learned everything I possibly could about that childhood dream. And that’s what I did. So I came out here and so now I’m in Hollywood and I did everything I could like “can I buy you a coffee?” Can I do like anybody? You’re an actor, you’re a voiceover actor. I talked to the voice of Bender, the robot on. Yeah.

Jimmy: The one voice I can’t do, I can’t do his voice. I don’t know how he does that.

Maury: Well, I think it’s actually pretty natural. It’s pretty close. Yeah. I can totally see I’m sitting here talking to Bender, what it felt like. So you know, so I mean, you know, producers, director, I was like, hi, there’s a path I can see. And let me, let me see if I can work this out. So I dove in, I got together with a group of new friends and we, you know, we put our first movie together now again, at the time it was, I’m doing five things, you know, sort of working here, making some money so that I can support the habit now of let’s make the first movie. And who can I get to, you know, help me out here. Can I raise money? Can I do that? Yeah. It turns out I could not let you know that it wasn’t, wasn’t easy, but let’s raise some funds. Let’s put this movie together. I also did stand up comedy. I was also writing. I mean, I did five things at once, which is kind of the story out here. Most folks used to be called, you know, writers and really they’re waiters. Right. And that’s really how it would go. And you know, so I dove in and that first movie went well. I was like, man, I love this. And then, you know, they did the second movie and now we’re five years down the road. I was like, God, I love this process, but I don’t love the five years. What can I do? And I, so I started talking to some of the people on set. What are you doing next? And the answer was “Anything, man, what do you got?” And I was like, what? You’re the director of this film? What do you mean? I thought you had things lined up. Hey Eric, when their job is done, we have no idea what’s coming next. We’ve got to go hunt. You know, I was like, ah, okay.

Jimmy: I know what’s coming next. We know what’s coming next to our break is coming up here. So hold on tight guys. We’re going to be back. Well he, so graciously agreed to join us. We can’t thank you enough for hanging around a little bit. Cause we got some great offers and we want to finish this story as well too. We plucked that segue right out of my pink little brain, Jimmy Mack. Good one. Thank you very much. We’re talking with Maury Rogow. He is a digital pioneer and the founder and CEO of LA’s Rip Media Group, checking out or head to and their links to today’s promos. All right, hold on tight.

Claire & Jimmy: Oh, I like that. Phantom of the paradigms. Not animated, but I think it deserves a nice revisiting and as an animated feature, I think after all Paul Williams wrote the music. So that’d be kind of crazy and maybe Maury Rogow can work on that with Rip. Welcome back, Maury. We could actually do some partnering. We could get our friend Michael servers to play the Phantom and we get more animated. We could do a whole, we were actually cutting a deal here, guys, cutting a deal here, making it happen. It’s our elevator pitch. When we last left our Intrepid explorers here on Dave Nimo weekends, we were talking about how a person goes from waiting and writing and then how suddenly a business comes into being. Can you give us the last little details on that before going off to the cool stuff you’re doing and some of your loves of cartooning?

Maury: Yeah. Thank you. So, you know, it came down to, Hey, we’re kind of telling other people’s stories. I’d rather tell my own, right. Got a lot of things that happened in my life and that I see in the world, my own take on things. Let me, let me see what I can do here. So we put a crew together and like, you know, basically that was sort of, you know, quote, the rest is history and you know, let’s talk, let’s tell our own stories. And we started doing that and I started reaching out to some of these brands and said, Hey, can we tell your story? But in a different way than you’re doing it right now. And they liked it. And then obviously they, you know, this started off with the most simple of animation is actually white board animation, which is that hand on, you know, sort of hand on or hand on you know, literally a whiteboard with a marker that we were filming. And then I, you know, I got a great artist. Like I sketched it out and I’m like, here’s the story I want to tell about this character and pitched it to a, you know, a customer said, they said, we love it. Can we do more of this? And that year we went from, you know, like I have an idea to, we get a hundred projects. It was incredible. So I was like, I think I hit something here. This is good. So then we kind of branched out from there. So I got the whiteboard the same down and we can do that. How about I branch into deeper animation? Let’s do some 2D work and then let’s bump up to 3D. And so we’re now a mix of, you know, some live with a lot of animation projects, probably 80% of what we do is animated. So we’re pretty great with managing an animation production schedule. And that, you know, luckily, you know, worked out well this year when live stuff stops happening. So we’re telling the story all the time in animation.

Claire: I have, I have a weird question, just not I’m going to sneak in here. So when it comes to being an animation artist, now I understand that there’s so many different styles and types of animation, different technologies, but like, and this is, this is going to sound stupid. Do you need to be able to draw or is some of it kind of like a computer, not computer generated in the CGI sense, but like computer assisted or automated.

Maury: It’s a great question. So the answer is, the answer is no, you don’t need to be an artist to be an animator. And when we started off, you know, 10 years ago, it was sort of an all in one, the artist had to be an animator more for us, you know, cause I didn’t understand the industry and that kind of thing and how to really make things happen. I was figuring it out. But now, you know, after a while we’ve got two things. One is we have really talented animators that aren’t the best artists. In fact, some of them aren’t artists at all, but they can take what an artist gives them. So we now have great artists so they can draw the characters or sketch of character, that kind of thing. Somebody else finishes the art that they started and maybe colors it to that refining sketch. And they’re refining, look at the outline and add the backgrounds and things like that. Then we give it to the animator who then it’s pretty cool. They call it rigging. You literally give the character a skeleton and movements. You know, here’s how they’re going to walk. Here’s how they’re going to run. Here’s how they’re going to act. And you’re kind of matched to their personality and that kinda thing. And then stick them in the world and believe it or not actually like a, you know, at a 30,000 view, it looks like you’re making a live action thing cause you create the world and then you send the camera through it, which is really pretty neat. So you create this whole world and then you have the camera crew. What angle do we want here? You know, but the camera crew “is your animator,” right? Or here, you know, animator and director working together. How do we want this to look? So the quick answer is definitely, you can, you can not be able to draw. I can’t, I can do pretty good stick figures and some sketches, but I can get the idea across enough as to “here great artists. Can you take the little sketches I did on the back of a napkin and make this into something with this look, this angle, this story being told and they do it. And what we really need is them to get better along the line if we can, by guiding them with some direction. So long as we have a great animation production schedule, then we’re golden.

Claire: Hmm. So if you had to compare the role of the actual animator and I, and I do appreciate an industry that lets you be one thing as opposed to like, you know, they say like an architect in other countries is the guy who designs the thing. Now it’s in America, it’s like an architect needs to know how to build the whole, you know, like do the whole show. Right. and, and so, so as, as far as the, the rigging and actually, you know, giving the character of the skeleton and, and getting the camera in there and kind of I would assume it’s, it’s, it’s a little bit of programming to let, like if, if you had to compare the animators role to another job that everyone kind of knows about, would you say, what would you say?

Maury: I, you know, probably compared to construction, I mean, I like what you said about the architect, you know what I mean? Like the, you know, the architect and the drywall are different folks, you know, typically, right. So the, you know, they’re, they’re going to finish the drywall, the painting and that kind of stuff, you know, I mean, think about it, you know, the, the house, you know, you walk in there, what do you see? You see the last 5% and you’re like, I see the architectural plans, you know, like your Neo in the matrix or something, you know, what you’re actually seeing is the paint on the wall, the fixtures, the countertop, whatever that last five to 10% is really what people see, you know, before you dig down and find out this, you know, this thing is really well built or it’s not. So, you know, that, that animator, the artist that does last touches and there’s literally can be sound design and things like that. That’s the finished product. And that’s what everybody looks at. But there’s years of work, you know, before that, that you don’t see sort of behind the scenes. So to simplify things there are programs out there that make things really easy to animate. So, I mean, if you wanted to basically, do you want to, you want to create an animation today? Very, very basic. One of the things that we found over the years is a lot of, a lot of folks that we talked to. I mean, like 90% of the folks we talked to didn’t end up going with us in particular because of budget, because it’s expensive to do some of these things. So for the past three years, I created software so that anybody can go in and create an animation. Anybody can go in and create these are 10 and $15,000 projects, but I took them and I put them in these templates. So people can go in and put different names in, you know, choose some different characters and things like that and it really speeds up the animation production schedule. And it’s free. I’m giving it away right now to get people to care about animation and telling a cool story with an incredibly short animation production schedule. And, you know, you can send a, you can send a card out to your mom for her birthday or whatever. Last second is good. Cause it takes about a minute to do these. You know, so there’s, there’s programs like that. That thing is called The Video Bot, like the video robot, The Video Bot, and there’s some other programs out there that people can dive into quick at And what’s neat about this next generation is kids have apps on their phones to do animations. And I’ve seen a couple of things like, Oh my God, what’s going to happen to me in five years. I got the fear. The fear of missing out. Whoa kid, you just animated that? It was like a little, little you know, nephew like, okay, I better learn about this because you know, are we, are we going to fall behind? And I’m not going to let that happen. We got to learn about all the new programs that are coming out and, you know, Facebook filters and Instagram and these things, as you can already, I can turn myself into a rabbit if I want to in a second on Facebook.

Claire: Oh, those are freaky and you know, that they’re just a front so that the government has like all of our faces

Jimmy: And welcome, and welcome to coast to coast Morning Addition! By the way, Guess what.

Claire: How do we get The Video Bot, is it on

Maury: Oh, actually it’s separate. Yeah. That’s separate. Thanks for asking. Actually it’s just Just go to I’ll put a link down there. I’ll put a link on Rip Media Group use of this so folks can find it.

Claire: Awesome. We’re going to put a link on our Facebook page as well.

Jimmy: Actually, I guess what, you’re going to have closing out the show. We’re taking a quick break here to get some weather in before we run out of time. We’re going to come back, ask you a quick question about some of your comic and cartoon heroes. Guys, we’ll be right back with a weather report… Boldly. We have boldly gone for almost an hour talking to Mr. Rogow.

Claire: Welcome back again Maury.

Maury: Thank you. Thank you.

Jimmy: So let’s go with that final question. You are a lover of cartoons. You were a lover of animation. You’re a lover of the weird, the wonderful in the wild, who are some of your touchstone points in regards to cartoons?

Maury: That’s the touchstone points or the characters that I love? Yeah. So I’m just going to say this. Look, I’m coming to you to you from a dad lens. And if I don’t say the answer that I’m going to give you, I’m going to be killed by a three-year-old later today. So Wall E. Cause she’s waking up right now and the other room. So Wally E. Is my favorite character. Wall E.’s my favorite character. There we go. And now the reason is, and honestly there’s a lot of good reasons for it. The dude says about three words and everything about this character. If you remember the movies about 10 years ago, but if you remember the movie, you know, he only says his wanna be girlfriend’s name and a couple of other things, but we literally fall in love with his character because he’s, you know, he’s a trash man. You know, he’s a, he’s a trash collector and you know, but when he goes into this big space, adventure and changes humanity forever and all this kind of stuff, but we just fall in love with him, it’s those Disney eyes. Right. And you know, that we can all relate to this, this character. They did a great job with that. But going back further, my fave has gotta be bugs bunny. You know, there’s, there’s bugs bunny. There’s Tasmanian devil always loved him. You know, Wil E. Coyote was great. And then, you know, kind of up to date, really, you know, we talked about CGI and animation. I actually loved the character of Thanos. You know, we talked about him in Marvel, cause he’s not just a bad guy to be a bad guy, not a bad guy that would steal a billion dollars. You know, he’s not a bad guy because he’s bad. He thinks he’s doing something really good for the universe. I know that it’s kind of kookie to get into here, but it’s a really good character. You know, they, they brought them together well. So I was like, yeah, he’s half bad, but he’s got good intentions. And that is a complex character to bring together. And I thought that was really well done by the animation production companies.

Jimmy: And that’s a real larger than life character too. And by the way, one of the best things I ever heard about Wall E., For those people who haven’t seen it, is someone wrote that it’s the greatest performance on a level since Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, that it actually has the same sort of remarkable story telling. How can you hold somebody for an hour without using a single word? And that it all basically comes down to just using expressive eyes and moving through pratfall to pratfall and eventually ending up getting the girl a gold watch and everything. It’s just a classic chaplain story

Maury: That is so well said, well said, yes,

Jimmy: The other really cool thing. You brought up another, a couple of good points in there as well. The, you know, the bugs bunny stuff is so resonant for so many people because they really liked that character. We talked about this a couple of weeks ago, the idea that he never starts it, he is never the instigator of the event. It’s basically leave me alone and everything will be fine. But once somebody does it, the famous line is of course, you know, this means war and it doesn’t stop until it’s done.

Maury: That’s right. That’s exactly right. He didn’t stop until he wins. The guy is tenacious, but it keeps you smiling the whole way through. And that’s so well said, yeah, the Barber of Seville or I Should Have Taken A Left At Albuquerque and then he runs into a Hunter, you know, what’s he going to do with Elmer Fudd? Well, he’s going to live.

Jimmy: Yeah, that’s exactly it, by the way. Let me see. Your favorite cartoon characters are a silent hero who gets the girl, the gold watch and everything, a guy who leaves people alone until they mess with him. And then he destroys them and then a villain who only wants to improve the world. What does that say about you, sir?

Claire: That’s another segment.

Jimmy: To bring you back,

Maury: I can tell you my story now!

Jimmy: Is there anything we should be looking for from you guys? You got anything else going on before we say thank you so much for spending the entire morning with us?

Maury: Yeah. Thanks for asking. So yeah, I mean, we’re always coming out with new things, written media, you know, with the brand stories, really fun animations and some really useful stuff. Right now. I’d love for people to check out The Video Bot and you just gotta go directly to the site and hopefully go check out that link, start making some videos, just go ahead. And literally it’s free. You know, for now it is, but I’m gonna extend it to anybody that joins in the next few days for you guys. And then you know, coming soon, actually we already finished, but filming a course on how to tell a great story, how to create great videos, how to tell a great grand story and movies. So, you know, to me, and it’s you know, my team and we put this whole thing together and we’re using clips as, you know, movies, everything from Star Wars to our own work. Here’s how you tell a great story. And I think this next generation of storytellers out there, it’s gonna be really interesting. And it’s, you know, the, the, the basics are all there from Shakespeare to today, how to sell a great story. So I’m putting that out, but it’s going to be interesting to take and this new generation coming up, what they’re gonna be talking about, what’s going to be the big things that, you know, in their lives that they’re going to be translating to screen and, you know, in the next five, 10 years. So I’d love to be a part of it and help people out.

Claire: Cool. Now is that that’s, that’s coming on

Maury: That’d be on, yeah.

Claire: Okay, great.

Jimmy: I can’t thank you enough, sir. We would have you stay over another hour, but we’re done. This is the end of the show and close it out. So thank you so much for your time today, man. You’re welcome back. Anytime if you’ve got anything else cooking or going, and you just want to come back here and shoot the breeze, you are welcome as our guest.

Maury: Thank you so much. It is an absolute pleasure to talk animated production with both of you. You guys are fantastic.

Jimmy: All right.

Claire: All our best. Thank you, Maury Rogow, Of course that’s linked on today’s promos, both on our Radio Nemo Facebook page and at And if you want that free video bot thingamajigger it’s The thingamajigger is silent in the web address. It’s just