Howard Stern and Seth MacFarlane Trash Flash
Alright – here we go again.
Last week, Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy and American Dad, was on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius Satellite Radio to promote The Cleveland Show. The conversation eventually steered towards Stern’s own latent cartoon ambitions. You see, back about 5 years ago, Stern was cooking up a series for Spike titled Howard Stern: The High School Years. Well into development, Howard ran into some budget problems. Spike reportedly wasn’t interested in paying $800,000 or a million per episode for traditional animation – ala Family Guy – so they started down the Flash route, or what Stern calls “cheap shit animation.” In last week’s interview, MacFarlane remarked on this production choice and subsequently pissed all over Flash (listen here – around 8:00):
There’s something so sanitized when they do it with Flash. There’s still no machine that can substitute for hand drawn. Some people like it. I have the same visceral reaction that you do. It just feels very cold.
To illustrate how ridiculous this comment is, I direct your attention to a Flash-animated project – one that MacFarlane may recognize:
There’s not accounting for taste, as it’s a personal thing, but Seth has bumbled into the same old mistake so many others have made – he blamed bad painting on the brush. It’s quite apparent that Seth hasn’t seen the volumes of excellent work produced with the Flash thoughtout the years. Go watch Superjail! or some of the work we highlighted in the Flash Animation 10, and you’ll agree it’s not the tool that’s sanitizing anything.
You can actually see the test Stern is referring to. In November of 2003, Mark Marek met with Stern and subsequently produced some animated tests, hoping to land the directing gig. He posted the results on his site, which don’t look all that bad to me.
Big thanks to Dave Redl (Family Pants) for the story tip.