The creators of the deeply hilarious comic webseries Sean and Such, Joe Centner and Sean Gitter are just a couple of regular guys who also happen to be foul mouthed, yet mild mannered animators, voice actors, and abusers of cartoon animals. The show, based on the pair’s previous experiences working in the retail hell of a pet store, just concluded it’s first season, so we asked them if they would be interested in an interview, and like the media sluts that they are, they said “yes”. We get an interview, they get to stroke their egos with free press — everybody wins!
We discussed everything from how it all started for the pair to where the show will be when season two rolls out. Boobs, beers and even the debate on the big issue of the year: ketchup versus barbecue sauce was discussed. We asked them the questions people were too scared to ask because we hear Joe has beast rage and , but we kept our distance just in case. Check it out:
How has your mindset changed since the start of the show? What were your expectations and have they been met?
Joe: Personally, I thought I would be signing boobs left and right by now. The fact that I haven’t signed a single breast is quite depressing… this is kind of why I did this show. In all seriousness though we did expect to have a larger fan base at this point in the series but it’s an incredibly competitive field so I suppose it’ll take more time. I will say that the fans we do have are really supportive and we’ve gotten very little negative criticism,which is a great start. What can I say, my Mom and her friends are nice people.
Sean: I suppose the expectations I personally had (critical acclaim, breaking headlines, etc.) haven’t been met at the moment either but we’re not down for the count just yet. Plus, I actually did sign one boob… he was a jolly fellow. [Editors note: Fellow Bastard Jason Tabrys, who took Sean and Joe’s interview V-card last year, thanks Sean for signing his bitch tit.]
Coming from a digital background, having both done digital projects in the past, I noticed that you named the production 8-bit Goldfish, a somewhat perplexing name for a studio. Was there anything particular that made you choose that name or was it just something thought up for shits and giggles?
Sean: We knew we had to come up with some kind of “stamp” or trademark for our episodes/company name but neither one of us really knew what to name it. We created this logo based on our love for 8-bit graphics; Nintendo games hold a special place in our heart. And the goldfish thing was basically because our flagship series takes place in a pet shop… and I love the color orange. [Editor’s note: He has no opinion on The Color Purple]
Joe: Goldfish are simply common, every day fish. That’s kind of like us, just regular people… we’re not making ourselves out to be any more special than anyone else.
Speaking of weird, we happened to notice the lack of a female perspective on the show, which may limit the amount of female viewers you’d get. Have you ever looked into expanding the cast through the introduction of a female character and if so, how do you think the dynamic of the series would change?
Sean: We actually have a decent amount of female fans. We have more [female] than male fans which always puzzles us. Maybe they like the animals or the idea of people in a pet shop. Or maybe they find us incredible handsome andalluring… probably not though.
Joe: This is true, which makes it even stranger that we haven’t signed any tits yet. Actually, we do have quite a few female characters in the second season. We have a cranky old lady worker, a sexy dog food representative who becomes Sean’s love interest and the district manager of the company who is a masculine woman…but a woman none the less. The season’s villain is also a woman so we’ll see how this changes the show. I think it’ll portray a more realistic and well rounded world, so I’m looking forward to it.
There has been some outright strange moments in the series, like Sean answering a phone call and dealing with someone who wanted their dog dead. That’s pretty messed up and we all know the show is a parody of the retail life, but how much of the show is based on real life events and is there any truth to the debate about ketchup being the same as bar-be-q sauce on burgers?
Joe: Some of the situations are based on real-life experiences but we embellish them quite a bit in hopes of getting a laugh or two. As far as people calling every five seconds asking if we have dog grooming, that was a very real and traumatizing experience.
Sean: Regarding the ketchup versus barbecue sauce debate, we all know ketchup and barbecue sauces are basically the same. Barbecue sauce is more money simply because it has additional food coloring in it. There are also some spices thrown in there so theydon’t get sued by the ketchup industry. Don’t tell Joe this though. It would break his heart.
At some point there must have been a”What the hell are we doing moment”, since making an animated series can be stressful it’s bound to happen sooner or later. Has that moment arrived yet or have been able to press on and use it to your advantage? And also, if you have used it to your advantage, can you tell me some of the ways?
Sean: We definitely get stressed, who wouldn’t really. I never realized how much hard work this would be but we move forward. It helps to have someone else working on the project with you because you can keep each other focused. There were times that criticism and poor reviews of our episodes made me want to kick a baby in the face and go back to playing Street Fighter all day but after taking a second to look back at how much we’ve accomplished, I got a second wind in a sense and kept going.
Joe: I agree on that one, it’s hard work but if you’re dedicated to it you’ll always find a way to keep going. I personally get a lot of pep from fan letters too. A person who takes time to write,“Hey man, thanks for making this series” has made my whole week at times. A great group of fans can make you feel like a super hero… and who the fuck would ever want to let them down.
Take us through how you go about writing an episode, from the initial brain storming stages to the final draft.
Joe: Well, the formula we afix to is thirteen episodes a season. I basically like to come up with an overall theme or “problem” that runs through the season. Although all episodes are basically independent stories, I like to try and tie them all together with the season’s problematic situation. I like stories that have all loose ends tied up in the end to the viewers surprise, so I “try” to put that in my writing. I start with an outline which is the basic ideas of what I want in the episode and then build around that in a script. This season I get to write the episodes I wanted to do in the first place, longer ones with plots.
Sean: I usually sit around masturbating until Joe sends me some outlines to read. I then exit the men’s room at my job and read through them while taking my third lunch break. From there, if there is anything insightful I can add, I do but for the most part it’s pretty damn flawless.
Besides writing, animating and editing an online show, you’ve also worked on a series of podcasts and mini-casts together, along with getting prepared for season two — with all the work you currently have in store for yourself, are there any side-projects you would still like to get into?
Sean: We’re definitely excited about season two of Sean and Such. As Joe mentioned, it’s the season we wanted to make initially. These episodes will be a little longer and have a more episodic flow. We also have our upcoming zombie web series which will air on Halloween this year. It’ll be a twelve minute short that will be one of five parts with each part airing on Halloween of the follow years. It’ll be a fun thing to look forward to for us and fans. Aside from that, Joe’s discussed with me many other series ideas that we would both love to do if we get the resources to do so.
Joe: I wanted to start a Dave Matthews Band cover band where we just sing John Mayer songs… but we’re too busy for that now, I guess. Next year we would like to have more of a schedule for our fans; this way people would know what is going to air on what day of the week so they have something to look forward to… whether it be an episode, podcast or whatever else people will pay attention to.
Obviously Sean and Such has a fan base, otherwise you wouldn’t have continued past the pilot, so you have ways of interacting with your fans through social media. With people now heavily into using things like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to interact with each other, how important is it to stay connect with a dedicated fan base?
Joe: It’s very important, social networking sites and what not has become a major part of life. I think that typing became the new talking. People mainly communicate now a days with either texts, status updates or tweets. It’s kind of sad in a way but that’s just the way things are. We try our best to keep everyone updated on what we’re doing and where we’re going. But truthfully, we enjoy interacting with fans in person. We love going places and talking to fans or making new ones. We think we’re more charming in person than in Facebook updates, which is why we try to go to as many conventions and other places of the sort as we can. We’d be the first to take a group of fans out to talk about geeky stuff and drink.
Sean: We make them pay for the drinks though, we’re poor… our show is free to watch but not free to make.
Are there any final words of encouragement and wisdom you’d like to impose on new viewers or people looking to break into the online gravy train of animation?
Sean: For any future animators, don’t be discouraged. It’s not easy and it’s not as much fun as people may think. It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of discipline but when your piece is complete, there is definitely a certain sense of accomplishment. You can’t please everyone and as much as I’d like to, I realized only recently that it’s simply not possible. That being said, when someone criticizes your work, take a good look at the source it’s coming from. Chances are they don’t have what you’veachieved already.
Joe: Like I said before… we’re just two regular guys. We’re probably lazier than you. Shit, I wouldn’t have read this whole article. But if you have something you want to say…say it. Whether it’s a comic book,novel, movie, photograph or cartoon, this is the age where people can make a motion picture trilogy on their smart phones. So get up and get it done, the satisfaction you’ll get will be worth all the effort tenfold. Even if nobody watches it, you’ll always have that special thing you made and memories that come with it… and lots and lots of credit card debt. Chances are, if people watch Snooki and JWoww’s show… somebody will watch yours.
After such kinds words of wisdom we gotta say it was really a treat to chat with Sean and Joe. If you happen to be at the upcoming Philadelphia Comic Con and your not in it for those big name “celebrities” swing by booth 1051 and say “Hi” to both Sean and Joe, maybe have them sign a boob or two. Can’t make it out to Philadelphia? Then check out the Sean and Such Twitter, Facebook or Youtube channel for more.