fred-frederator-studios:

Frederator Networks

February 18th, 2018

fred-frederator-studios:

Frederator’s 20th Anniversary: 1998-2001 

I promised to post a few Frederator highlights looking back from our 20th year

Our first few years were dominated by figuring out how to be independent again. After five years with Hanna-Barbera and working for Turner Broadcasting running Hanna-Barbera, figuring out how to get my own thing going took a little while. 

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1998 was the year we debuted our first cartoon show, Oh Yeah! Cartoons on Nickelodeon. When we wrapped the season, the party poster had a last minute tongue in cheek joke that inadvertently set the promise for Frederator Studios: “Original Cartoons since 1998.” 

Frederator itself existed completely to the beneficence of Herb Scannell and Albie Hecht at Nickelodeon and Tom Freston and Judy McGrath at Nick’s parent, MTV Networks. We’d all worked together for a decade before I decamped to Hanna-Barbera, and when Ted Turner sold his company they kindly asked me back to make cartoons and consult on programming issues at their company. 

On the first day it was just me and Stephanie Stephens in a temporary conference room in North Hollywood. Our building was right next to what would soon be a notorious bank robbery shootout, and within weeks we were joined by my Hanna-Barbera collaborator Larry Huber, and a teenage Alex Kirwan in his first full time production job, both ready to tackle Oh Yeah! (Steve Hillenburg was in the same space as us, working hard on some pilot about a sponge.)  Within the year, Eric Homan had had it at Warner Bros. Animation Art and joined up for what’s turned out to be an amazing partnership, first to help develop properties from our short lived time at the helm of the Kitchen Sink Press, and then onto more cartoon-y pursuits. 

Oh Yeah! was my second cartoon shorts incubator, taking up where the Hanna-Barbera back-to-the-future experiment, Cartoon Network’s What A Cartoon!, left off. All together the shorts featured 34 original creators and 99 original cartoons. Right from the go it spawned two hit series, Larry Huber’s and Bill Burnett’s ChalkZone and Butch Hartman’s The Fairly OddParents, quickly followed by Rob Renzetti’s My Life as a Teenage Robot. Several of the other creators stayed in Frederator’s circle of talent for the next two decades.   

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1999 

Frederator looked everywhere for creators. During our first years, most worked in the Los Angeles animation industry, and many came from right within the Oh Yeah! crew. Mike Bell was a writer on Dave Wasson’s Tales from the Goose Lady and went on to create Super Santa and The Forgotten Toybox; Tim Biskup was a Season 1 background designer. Co-executive producer Larry Huber had worked in the cartoon business since the 1960’s. Alex Kirwan had been a high school student who won a contest we had at H&B. I was lucky that many –Hartman, Burnett, Moncrief, Thompson, Renzetti, Ventura, Eng, MacFarlane– came over with me from Hanna-Barbera. On the other hand, Pennsylvania based David Burd worked with me at MTV back in the day.

This season we also got introduced to our first tween creator, 12 year old John Reynolds on his Terry and Chris short, with a story, design, and directing assist from Butch Hartman. A grown up John has become a member in good standing in the Los Angeles animation industry. 

2000-2001 

Frederator Studios took a short break while I moved my family to New York from Los Angeles. Eric Homan took the plunge with me and we leapt into the brave new world that was the consumer internet, when I became president of MTV Networks’ online division with MTV.com, Nick.com, ComedyCentral.com among others. 

But cartoons cannot be stopped! Frederator’s Nickelodeon cartoons took their next steps with the start of series production based on Butch Hartman’s Oh Yeah! short, The Fairly OddParents and Bill Burnett’s and Larry Huber’s ChalkZone (March 22, 2002). Debuting March 30, 2001, FOP would go on to a record run of 16 years (as of 2018) and counting.

Critically, this was the period it dawned on me that I no longer had it in me to be a good corporate employee. But the internet bug had hit squarely and I saw Frederator's future. Quickly, we set up shop as Frederator/New York with computer engineer and visionary Emil Rensing, and trolled around for some work. 

We set ourselves up as frederator.kz out of Kazakhstan. It seemed less, um, common.

Little noted, and against the advice of counsel, was the addition to our team of a self taught engineer intern, high school freshman David Karp

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Frederator limited edition postcards

This period was where we started our tradition of Frederator limited edition postcards. The first three series (the “series” designation didn’t actually start for a few years) were the Oh Yeah! seasons, and a few non-series snuck in there too. One of the Frederator/NY clients was MTV’s new acquisition, the former Nashville Network they’d rebranded as TNN: The National Network. We threw some Frederator t-shirts along with David Ramage when he went across the country proving the channel was indeed national. 

More to come…

Artwork from the top: Frederator’s first announcement illustrated and designed by Arlen Schumer, color by Patrick Raske; Oh Yeah! posters by Hatch Show Print, Nashville; Oh Yeah! Cartoons limited edition sericel, creative direction by Eric Homan; Oh Yeah! postcard, Series 3, 2000

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Wait…Shrek 5 is coming out?! 

Channel Frederator

February 18th, 2018

Wait…Shrek 5 is coming out?! 

Looks like season 4 of Notification Squad is starting off with a lot of layers to peel! http://frdr.us/2EONXSF

cartoonhangover:

Channel Frederator

February 17th, 2018

cartoonhangover:

An all new (not)Hero is available now! Heromy faces an even greater threat than his destiny. 

Watch here: http://frdr.us/2Eyufeq

Artemis and Elbow model sheets from “Get Trashed,” starring the Bagheads....

The Frederator Studios Tumblr

February 17th, 2018

Artemis and Elbow model sheets from “Get Trashed,” starring the Bagheads. You can watch D.R. Beitzel’s cartoon creation right here on Cartoon Hangover.

Anything can happen on Channel Frederator, including 107 Facts about Riverdale! ...

Channel Frederator

February 16th, 2018

Anything can happen on Channel Frederator, including 107 Facts about Riverdale! 

Learn more about the Archie Comics teen drama. http://frdr.us/2GmtG41

Meet D.R. Beitzel, Creator of “The Bagheads”

The Frederator Studios Tumblr

February 15th, 2018
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DR Beitzel is a cartoonist, creative producer, and Pennsylvania fellow living a NYC dream. His day job is playing video games in a Times Square skyscraper; his evenings are occupied writing funnies and drawing comics for the likes of MAD MagazineMcSweeneys, and his own Phatypus Comics. And like several of his idols before him - Matt Groening, anyone? - he’s now making the petite leap from comics to cartoons.  His GO! Cartoon “The Bagheads” is a historically accurate depiction of trash take-out travails with former roommates and his competitive clashes with his older brother. He maintains that the Goat (”Goooat”) is its sole foray into the cartoonish make-believe. He studied politics, so you know that he has 0 capacity to - dare I even suggest it!? - fib.

Sooo, where’d you study animation?

I didn’t! I first went to a community college in central Pennsylvania. It was full of a bunch of cool people - unfortunately not Donald Glover or Alison Brie, but fortunately also not Chevy Chase. Then I went to University of Pittsburgh and studied communications and political science.

Poli- what now?

Yeah… it was the Obama era. I thought “It’s all uphill from here! We’re just riding this political train into the Promised Land!” Reality hit hard. Back then, Jon Favreau was writing Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’ speeches, and I was all riled up. I wanted to be a speechwriter.

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At one point a local city councilman asked me to write some remarks for him to use on Martin Luther King Day. I was idealistic and had a head full of steam, so I wrote this fiery, passionate stemwinder that drew on self-sacrifice and righteousness. I even referenced “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. The thing was, it was for a pancake breakfast at a rural Pennsylvania fire hall. So, I’m pretty sure he went out and said something like, "Thanks for coming. Go Eagles”.  I was young and naive, and didn’t realize that every speech didn’t have to be "Ask not what your country can do for you …”

When did you decide to NOT work in politics?

When I met a real life politician. (I laugh) No, really! He was a hometown representative - I’m from the Pennsylvania boonies. And he was a Republican, which was fine; I was just looking for a foot in the door. But when he found out I wasn’t, he asked me if I was a double agent. Like he actually suspected me of being in cahoots with the Dems to get dirt on him! So weird. And then finally, it came down to either an unpaid internship with a politician or a paid gig without a politician, so I chose to get paid.

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Chasing that dollar. What was the paid gig?

I started out as a freelance editor for fashion and fitness blogs. The biggest perk - and irony - was that I was working in sweatpants from my couch. I got jobs at some TV and radio stations. At the end of college, I did do one unpaid internship, which was the best free work I ever did. It was at WQED, the PBS affiliate in Pittsburgh where Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was filmed back in the day. They still had a bunch of the sets just hanging around the hallways - and I even got to meet Mr. McFeely, who was exactly as nice as you’d hope. Eventually, I decided to leave Pennsylvania and move to New York, probably for the cheap rent. And I’ve been here ever since, working with mobile games. I even got to visit the old MAD Magazine office when I did a comic with them. It was covered in original art from some of the all-time greats.

What kinda stuff have you done for MAD Mag and others?

For MAD, I did a comic parody called “Captain Red America”. He’s like Captain America but only represents conservative states, so a lot of his enemies are things he doesn’t actually believe in. So, when he fights the super villain Climate Change, Cap can’t fight back because he doesn’t believe in climate change, so it just beats him up. I also did some writing for McSweeneys. They have some of the funniest stuff published anywhere, and I always wanted to write for them. I love doing comics, too, because if I have an idea, I can just put it out there—there aren’t really stakeholders involved. Recently, I just finished a Valentines comic for Bushwick Daily, a local Brooklyn blog, about the types of people you meet on Tinder.

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How was transplanting to NYC - did you always want to move there?

Ehhh… I’m one of those unwilling New Yorkers who loves to hate it. The city has its upsides; it’s the best comedy scene. When I first arrived I joined UCB, which I think is mandatory when you move to New York - they just issue you a membership with your MetroCard. I always brag that I got to see Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson perform their Broad City stage show before it became a TV show. I love that community, and part of me wishes I’d have stuck with it longer, but I was getting pulled in a bunch of different directions, including a new job.

Oh yeah? Where at?

At Nickelodeon! I got the opportunity very randomly, about a month after I arrived. My (soon-to-be) boss called two people in for interviews, and I guess all that theatrical training from UCB paid off, because I was able to fake being a functional person long enough for her to hire me. It’s a really fun place to work: talented artists, toys everywhere, and sometimes wide-eyed kids are touring the office or testing games for us and you remember what we’re all doing there. The downside is that we’re in Times Square, so when I venture into the street I’m guaranteed to get a face-full of armpit. But playing video games is part of my job - I produce apps and games related to Nick shows.

That is the Dream. What’s your favorite game you’ve worked on?

Probably TMNT: Legends. We had a tremendous team of real fans, and the game looks great. Plus, I got to go visit Montreal where the team is based. I highly recommend that everyone spend years developing a game with a blockbuster studio, so you can visit, too.

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Did you choose the cartoon life, or did the cartoon life choose you?

Wow, I really need to get “Cartoon Life” tattooed across my stomach. It was mutual selection. As a kid, I’d go to my grandma’s house and draw through all the paper she had. I looked up to Sergio Aragones of MAD. I was always drawing in the margins of the handouts at church - that’s the only way I’d sit still. But in high school, I stopped drawing for a bit - I guess I was partying too much, or maybe I just lost all my pencils in one of my oversized neon Tommy Hilfiger jackets. Then, I got back into it in college, drawing editorial comics at my school newspapers. I get inspired by people like Matt Groening. He was grinding out “Life in Hell” for like 40 years - well after he became a TV tycoon with The Simpsons and Futurama - just for the love of it.

How did you come to pitch for GO! Cartoons?

Just a random Google search, looking for places to send some stuff. I only barely met the deadline. I put together a thumbnail pitch and sent it on in.

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Did “The Bagheads” change much from pitch through production?

The core story was always a brother and sister arguing over trash take-out. But it fluctuated in length quite a bit. There were a lot parts I added and then we condensed or cut out. There were intros, flashbacks - at some point, probably dragons and ice zombies - a lot did have to be trimmed down. Which was tough, because as you can probably tell, I’m a pretty big blowhard.

Who inspired the Bagheads, and were they always, you know… bag headed?

The Bagheads were always bagheads. As a little kid, I used to doodle baghead people with my brother, who inspired me to start drawing at all. We’d draw the guys from Guns ‘N Roses, but with bags over their heads—I have no idea why, but probably because I was kid who was crappy at drawing and couldn’t draw faces. Anyway, it became a running gag between us, we called them Guns ‘N Baggies. And over the years since, I’d draw those types every now and then – a muscle baggie, an old baggie, whatever. So when I was getting ready to submit to Frederator, I knew the character’s personalities, but I didn’t know their appearances. So I reached into my childhood and pulled out the Bagheads.

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What do you enjoy the most about Elbow and Artemis?

Well, what I enjoyed most about the short in general was working with so many talented people to bring it to life. I gotta give a big shout out to Eric, Kelsey, Michelle, JoJo, Sylvia, Paul, Bill, Kevin, Stephen, our cast and everyone else at Frederator and Salami Studios who made this happen. I did not do this alone - nowhere near it.  

As for Artemis and Elbow, I’ve always liked duos with friendly antagonism, like Ren and Stimpy, Bugs and Daffy. Those good-natured conflicts where you’re kinda buddies, but you’re also kinda at each other’s throat. I like that Artemis and Elbow’s personalities create conflict: she’s hyper-competitive, he’s lazy. And then there’s their poor clueless dad, who’s working too much and constantly worried about the safety of his kids but doesn’t realize the biggest danger to them is each other. Those relationships can serve up a lot of fun, simple stories.

What inspired Nuke Man Jones, who’s still pulling off the eternal dunk as we speak?

Harlem Globe Trotters, for sure. They basically have superpowers. I was really looking for things that Elbow might see at a high altitude and I wanted something silly. Nuke Man is stuck up there in Earth’s orbit now, cursed to never complete that dunk like some Sisyphean baller fate.

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The billion dollar question: do the Bagheads have bags for heads, or are they wearing bags over regular people heads?

Ya know, I’m gonna opt not to answer that one. The question of the bags can remain an unanswered mystery if it gets a series. It’ll be like The Leftovers for kids.

How about some favorite cartoons?

I mean, my Top 10 would just be The Simpsons, Seasons 1 through 10: that’s my all-time favorite TV, right there. South Park can’t get enough love—those guys have turned out classic after classic, and they’re the smartest gross-out humor in history. Looney Tunes, Ren & Stimpy, Beavis and Butthead - Mike Judge is a genius. Jim Henson and The Muppets, even though it’s not a cartoon; puppets count, right? MAD Magazine stuff like Sergio Aragones features or “Spy vs. Spy,” which was an inspiration for this Bagheads short.

I’m also really inspired by old school newspaper comics. It breaks my heart that they’re disappearing. Calvin and Hobbes is gorgeous and the most inspiring thing to me. I just read the entire series again, and it’s as good as ever. I appreciate that Bill Watterson refused all the licensing and merch deals people wanted to make for it. I read once that he left something like $400 million on the table.

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That’s amazing.

Yeah. Once, I made a parody album cover for a local comic shop’s art show, and I made one based off of Notorious BIG’s “Ready to Die” cover: Notorious HOB’s “Ready to Live”. People wanted prints so I started selling them, and then it dawned on me that I was breaking the spirit of Watterson’s anti-commercial stance. So I stopped selling them, and just told people, “Sorry, they’re gone!” 

What do you like to do outside of your work*? (*everybody else’s play)

I like to connect with my inner hillbilly - errr, inner hippie - whatever it is. I go to the beach and state parks pretty often. And I love stand-up: I just saw Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Jeff Ross and Kevin Hart at Radio City Music Hall. It was insane.

What are you working on now?

At the moment, I’m investing all my resources in trying to score “Black Panther” tickets. Otherwise, I’m working on a musical animated series idea with two musician friends, Jeff and Matt. It’s really cool and is somewhere between Hamilton and Freaks & Geeks. I’m also working on a comic strip about animals in a post-human world. It’s really cartoony, except the president is a photo-realistic opossum whose speeches are just incoherent, ear-piercing screeches.  I’m not sure where that falls on the fiction/non-fiction spectrum. So much for giving up politics!

Great talking with you D.R., thanks for the interview! Looking forward to all of your future endeavors. And I’ll be sure to vote for you if you ever return to politics / being a spy for those wily Pennsylvania Dems.

Everybody: keep up with Phatypus Comics on Facebook and Instagram, @phatypus! And here on Tumblr: @phatypuscomics

- Cooper

The original Teen Titans left us with a lot of feelings....

Channel Frederator

February 15th, 2018

The original Teen Titans left us with a lot of feelings. It also left us with a BIG mystery. Who really is Red X?! 

Time for a Cartoon Conspiracy! http://frdr.us/2obIECe

frederator-studios:

Fred Seibert's Tumblr

February 15th, 2018

frederator-studios:

From comics to cartoons, D.R. Beitzel makes the leap! 

From the postcard back:

Congratulations!
You are one of 300 people
to receive this limited edition
Frederator postcard!

www.frederator.com
www.cartoonhangover.com

Cartoon Hangover, Sony Pictures Animation, and Frederator Studios present

The Bagheads
Created by D.R. Beitzel

GO! Cartoons
The Sixth Big Idea Cartoon Incubator
from Frederator Studios 
Created by Fred Seibert
Produced by Eric Homan & Kevin Kolde

Series 36.9 [mailed out February 9, 2018]

(Via https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/39502664634/in/photostream/lightbox)

From comics to cartoons, D.R. Beitzel makes the leap! 

The Frederator Studios Tumblr

February 15th, 2018

From comics to cartoons, D.R. Beitzel makes the leap! 

From the postcard back:

Congratulations!
You are one of 300 people
to receive this limited edition
Frederator postcard!

www.frederator.com
www.cartoonhangover.com

Cartoon Hangover, Sony Pictures Animation, and Frederator Studios present

The Bagheads
Created by D.R. Beitzel

GO! Cartoons
The Sixth Big Idea Cartoon Incubator
from Frederator Studios 
Created by Fred Seibert
Produced by Eric Homan & Kevin Kolde

Series 36.9 [mailed out February 9, 2018]

(Via https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/39502664634/in/photostream/lightbox)

For our daily dose of sacks and violins (well, ukuleles), let’s...

The Frederator Studios Tumblr

February 15th, 2018

For our daily dose of sacks and violins (well, ukuleles), let’s all watch the Bagheads in “Get Trashed.”

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    Adventure Time, and all associated graphics © 2009-2013 Cartoon Network. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.

    ChalkZone, The Fairly Oddparents, Fanboy & Chum Chum, Nickelodeon, My Life as a Teenage Robot, Oh Yeah! Cartoons, Random! Cartoons, and all associated graphics © 1998-2013, Viacom Intl. All Rights Reserved.

    The views and opinions expressed on this blog belong to Fred Seibert, Frederator Studios, Bellport Cartoons, Inc., JoeJack, Inc., FS Holdings 2005, Inc., and/or Frederator Networks, Inc. and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Time-Warner, Turner Broadcasting, Viacom Intl., MTV Networks, or The Empire.

    Bellport Cartoon Company, Broadway Frederator Networks, Channel Frederator, Channel Frederator Network, Cartoon Hangover, Frederator Books, Frederator Studios, Frederator Networks © 1997-2017, Frederator Networks, Inc. A Wow! Unlimited Media Company. All rights reserved.