ASK JASON STIFF ARCHIVES
10/22/04 10/24/04 10/28/04 11/02/04 11/08/04 11/24/04 3/7/05 3/16/05 4/13/05 8/30/05
October 22, 2004
Dirk Amoeba asks: Jason, do you have any idea how Nick's current attitude toward Zim is, in light of the recent DVD release and the upcoming action figures?
Well, contrary to popular belief, there are a lot of people at the network that really love Zim...now and then. But I wouldn't want to get into *that* whole discussion again. I assume you're really asking if the good sales of the DVDs and the buzz about the toys and other merchandise will rekindle some sort of hope for the show to return. ( If you're not saying that, feel free to ignore the rest )...I've said it before and I continue to believe to be true the fact that the network has no plans to continue the series. There are a myriad of reasons for that, but one of the main ones I think would be that neither they or Jhnen want to continue it. They would need each other for it to be what it was, and that's not going to happen IMO. Jhnen has moved on and although Nick does own the rights and could probably do it without him, I don't think it would make sense. The simple fact is that not enough people were watching it to keep it on...you and I and the thousands of fans out there are loyal and always watched, but Nick has a base of 88 million viewers and the reatlity is that people weren't watching it when it was on ( as a whole or even reasonable share ) so it didn't make sense to keep doing it. I'm sure that the network is happy to see that one of its properties is selling well...they want things that they care about and that have their name on it to do well...but the likelyhood of much more is slim. Don't get me wrong, I'd personally love to see it happen and I never thought anyone would be given the DVD license either, so never say never.
Man, that was a long ass answer...but I thought I'd get it out of the way. ;)
Bo Wisneski asks: When you were recording the commentary for the Most Horrible X-Mas Ever did you watch the uncut version? Because on the dvd we got the cut version but at the part where 45 gets crushed it sounds like you were watching the uncut version
Yes, we were watching the "uncut" version while doing the commentary and it was provided to Media Blasters at that time...what happened after that is something you'd have to ask someone from Media Blasters because I truly don't know.
Invader Bugs asks: Hi Jason, Do you know what will be on the extras dvd that comes with the box?
I know that I've provided some audio, animatics, models, scripts, and CG stuff...but what they actually put on there I have not been told. Remember I don't work at MB nor do I work at the Network arm of Nickelodeon,...I work where the actual toon was made ( and where others continue to be made ) so that relationship is largely unknown to me. I can only say what I've provided. I didn't even know the third one was out until my friend Russell walked up to me in Best Buy and put it in my face and said "Hey...here's a thing." and I bought it. :)
To be fair, MB did give us ( those that worked on it ) copies of the first two and probably will send us a copy of the third one, but i couldn't wait. I was excited to see how it came out ( if not embarassed by my silly interview ). Merideth at MB has been awesome to me throughout this entire process and you guys should give her a lot of credit for pulling stuff together for the DVDs,...she's a real champion of the show and was as excited as any fan I've ever seen to be a part of getting it out to everyone.
weirdojace asks: Would you mind telling us what episodes have a bloody Gir in them? Besides Mortos? ;)
The first one was Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy so that one stands out in my mind...I'd have to go back and think on that one a while. J Bondy, Rikki and Chris Haynie would be the best ones to ask about that since they were the ones who made it and got it to Jhnen and Chris Hink to put in the show.
A.A. Fussy asks: At an Australian site, IZ DVD's had the most votes in a licensing poll-what are your views about those in other countries who import the DVD's?
I'm not sure what you mean. Am I against people ripping it and handing it out? Am I for it getting spread all over the world? Not sure the queston. I would like to see it get to everyone that wants it and I'm sure that if there is a market for it, those that make money and know such things will make sure it gets to people with money. :)
October 24, 2004
Jon Anderson asks: Who gets the money for the sales of the DVDs?
Well, I'd imagine Media Blasters gets most of it and Nick takes a percentage and a lump lincense fee...but that's just me talking out of my ass because the real answer is that I don't know. I know it isn't me...Or, if it is...I've not received my checks yet. :)
SMNM-X asks: Do you know of the DVDs Box (the Zim house thingamajig) will be limited-edition or available to all who order it?
Not sure, again...don't work for Media Blasters.
Invader Jenny asks: Was the episode "The Trial" ever storyboarded? I heard that the voicing was done too, and it was on it's way to be animated when you guys got word that NICK was pulling the plug.
The Trial was getting along in the process but wasn't boarded. The original record was done and there might be some other stuff but I'd have to check. I'll get back to you.
Anthony C asks: Is it Possible that you could just make the episodes like Return of Keef, Roboparents Gone Wild and other scrapped ones air on a dvd and then end the show from there?
Well, anything is possible. But in reality, no...the show is over, no one that worked on it would be able to work on it again ( or want to ) and the cost to produce it would be far higher than the returns of a DVD could afford. I know that everyone that loves the show holds out hopes for such things and I don't like to be the one to crush that, but the reality is that the percentage of possibility for something like that happening is *so* low, it wouldn't make sense to do anything but say it isn't going to happen. I'd happily be wrong and someone can throw all this back at me someday if it *does* happen, but it'd have to go through me at some point and from where I'm sitting, I can't even fathom the smallest possibility.
Iyazim asks: Who designed the Irken Armada ships and are there any designs for other ships or vehicles us fans would not be aware of? I love the senes of the Armada.
Another one I'll have to get back to you on. I have a beautiful copy of all the ship turnarounds in my office and know that there were plans for more to come but remember that I work in Post so a lot of these kinds of production questions that didn't happen will have to be researched. Jhnen or Steve could tell you better but I'll pass along what I do know.
October 28, 2004
Jon Anderson asks: What other Nick shows, or any other cartoons have you worked on?
I started at Nick working on Invader Zim but have since worked on all of the productions in my position as Director of Post Production. Before working here I worked on King of the Hill at Film Roman for about 4 years and worked as a freelance Animatic editor before that on shows from Sony, Hallmark and more.
evilmew2 asks: When will they release the Invader Zim action figures I've been hearing about, and what store/site will I find them at once they are released?
They are being made by and will probably be sold through the website of Palisade ( http://www.palisadestoys.com/new/index.php ). I don't have any release info that isn't on there.
piggymembrane asks: what is your stand point on crazy Invader Zim fan sites like this one?
They can be cool and they can be a time waster. The sites that are more focused on actual Zim stuff are good, but with morons that make one line posts and get off topic it makes people that don't have all day to sift through poopies a but less likely to get involved. I'm glad they are around though...it's my favorite show ever.
ScytheBoB asks: How come in "Voting of the Doomed" there is a shot of Zim's eyes without the contacts during his debate with Willy? Was it just missed?
Yes. And it was my job to catch such things, so blame me.
mooocha asks: Whats your favorite ZIM epsiode?
My favorite episode is The Nightmare Begins, but it's not just because it was an amazing episode ( it was ) but because every time I watch it I remember and actually *feel* the feeling I had when working on it and it was one of the most exciting and amazing times of my life. I can tell you that my least favorite episodes are The Wettening and Dibship. They have good bits, but overall, not my favorites.
NOVEMBER 2, 2004
Moose asks: Would it be possible to have an Invader Zim movie?
Anything is possible, but it is highly unlikely. And if there was, it'd be done by Nick alone and not in conjunction with Jhnen so it would obviously have a different feel than the series. Features cost so much to make I just can't imagine it.
Josh Zuar asks: What was Jhonen Like? Funny? Evil? Superior?
He's a great guy...funny, a bit evit I suppose but superior? Not in the negative sense. I was a fan of his comics before I started working on the show, I had an amazing time with him working on the show and we remain friends now even though I don't see him as often as we'd like. He's a really funny, really amazing guy.
GazLuver asks: What actually happens that is different in the uncut version of The Most Horrible Christmas Ever?
There is a very quick scene of "45" being crushed that was cut, there were some ADR ( dialogue ) changes and the music was rescored in several parts.
GirIsJustCrazy asks: What exactly was your part in the production of invader zim?
I was in charge of Post Production which means that I oversaw the editing, dialogue, sound effects, music, retakes, continuity, color, final mix and delivery. There were a lot of people that were involved in that process but it was my job to bring it all together and make it work.
squee asks: will the jhonen interview be on the extra disc that comes w/the box?
No. He didn't do an interview at least at the time that everyone else did it. Unless he did it and hasn't told me then I think not. Sorry.
NOVEMBER 8, 2004
igginsGS2 asks: how come nickelodeon edited a perfectly good christmas episode???
"Nickelodeon" didn't do any such thing. Shows get changed before they air *every day*. The other Executive Producer and the Executive in Charge of Production disagreed with the way Jhnen had mixed the show ( dialogue and music differences ) and pushed for it to change and it did. Standards and Practices made the decision to remove the scene of a person being crushed and they do that all the time as well.
MajorB asks: I heard a rumor that Nick's contract with Jhonen states that they couldn't cancel the show midseason. Is this true, and what does it mean to Nick's ownership of ZIM?
I'm not a lawyer and didn't deal with his contract...you'd have to ask him about what the decision to stop making more episodes meant to him financially. As for what the ownership of Invader Zim, it is 100% and completely owned by Nickelodeon and Viacom just like all of the shows that they originally produce ( ie: not counting acquired shows like Lazy Town ).
unitedkronos asks: If Invader Zim were to be revived, would you return to work for it?
Of course. I work on all shows at Nick and would welcome its return if that were possible. I've said it before and I'll say it again...even though I work and have worked on a lot of shows, Zim is by far my favorite. I can't imagine what it would be like without Jhnen and the crew that worked on it, but I'd happily work on it, yeah.
censored asks: I was wondering, is there going to be a second printing of Volume 3 in which the uncut Christmas episode isn't falsely advertised on the box?
Couldn't tell you. I don't work for Media Blasters ( haven't I said this on here before like 3 times? ). If you'd like to know my opinion I don't think there was any ill intent and I thik a mistake was made...what will be done about it ( if anything ) is something you'd have to ask someone at Media Blasters about.
Josh asks: Hello. I was wondering, how many mistakes are there in the Zim series that we can blame you for, and what are they?
Heh, well you can blame me for anything you'd like I suppose. "Mistakes" are subjective as I've said...what you might call a mistake might have been intentionally left in the show for creative, monetary, time reasons...etc. Anything that was missed due to continuity for example would have fallen to me to catch and bring to the attention of the creator/director....they would then make a determination on the basis of the things I listed above. If I missed it and they did too, it might remain...there aren't a lot of those because I am a perfectionist and try not to miss things, but sadly I'm human so it does happen. Zim's eyes in Voting is an example of this.
NOVEMBER 24, 2004
Flip Flop asks: What is your favorite scene that happened in an episode?
I have a lot of love for the crushing of Courtney's soda in BotP. That day in ADR with Jhnen screaming is one that haunts me to this day.
MiniMoose54 asks: Was there any talk around the studio about what Dib and Gaz's last names were?
I know people asked Jhnen a lot and other than being silly his official answer was that they didn't have last names.
Poop Soda asks: What is your favorite current show to work on that hasn't been cancelled yet?
Well, I like a lot of the upcoming shows. Avatar, The X's and Catscratch are all new shows for Nickelodeon that I think different people will like for different reasons. There is a show called Downward Doghouse for Nick Jr. that I hope gets picked up because I really like the designs. As for things showing on the channel right now, I really think FOP and Danny Phantom have found their mark and are funny. Teenage Robot is clever as well. Since I work on them all it's like asking me to pick a favorite child.
WhiteFox asks: After the episode, "The Nightmare Begins," the Tallest had different designs. Why is that?
Because they changed the designs.
Burger Lord: I would invest money in finishing a few episodes...what do you think about that?
You'd have to break a lot of piggy banks to do that. The scope of how much a show actually costs is beyond your belief I'd be willing to bet ( in the hundreds of thousands per show ) but it's cool to know that fans loved the show enough to be willing to invest not only their time and love, but their money. Coolness.
MARCH 7, 2005
SuperRock asks: Why was Steve Ressel not on the DVD's commentary track and how was your interaction with him in post?
At the time I believe Steve was living in another state for one thing. Also, it's common knowledge that Jhnen and Steve's relationship was strained so I'm thinking that would be obvious. As for my interaction with him in post, it was a very good relationship all in all. As with any complex production we had our problems, but on a personal level I think we got along fine. He made himself as available to me as he could and things always got sorted out.
Lil' Sizzly GalaxyDancer asks: About how long does it take to make one entire episode, start to finish?
About 10 - 12 months.
Armchair of Sausages asks: Fans of Invader Zim seem to have trouble accepting that the show will not go back to what is was again. I admit that I'm about as saddened as I could be over such things; the DVD commentaries imply so much good stuff that just could have been. Do you feel that the show went out on a good note, or at least a good time?
No. I am one of the ones that would have liked to have seen it go on and it certainly didn't "leave" under the best of circumstances. However, it's a business and the simple fact was that it wasn't doing well. Kids simply weren't watching it and when you spend the time, effort and money it takes to do a show like Zim right, you have to get returns. I wish more than any other show I've ever been involved with that it could have continued, but reality is a harsh beast. It's little conoslation now, but I'm glad to have gotten the 27 we got instead of it never existing at all.
rhi asks: how did you start working with cartoons?
I moved here to do music for film. When I arrived I took a job as a scanner in the animatics department at Sony ( freelance ) and then as a PA on King of the Hill at Film Roman. I worked my way up from there and then moved over to Nickelodeon for Zim.
valentin_50 asks: Why didn't nickelodeon let all the recorded episodes get finished?
Recording the episodes is one of the least expensive parts of the show. It's done first and therefore a lot of people, time, and money goes into what comes after that. It makes the most sense to end it where they did in the process. Again...wish they hadn't,...but understand why they did.
MARCH 16, 2005
Irkin Empire asks: What was your favorite and least favorite episodes of Zim?
Favorite: The Nightmare Begins
Least Favorite: The Wettening
Invader Bugs asks: i understand you work on many shows over at nick, what exactly is it that you do? do you enjoy your work?
I oversee all the post production for animation on Nick, Nick Jr., Nick at Nite, TV Land and Spike TV on the West Coast. Basically I work with the editors, sound effects, dialogue, composers, foley, color correction, mixing, and all the people that lead up to that. I really, really love my job.
WhiteFox asks: What's the most difficult part of production in IZ?
Well, I can only say what the most difficult part of post production was and that was most certainly the retake process. Getting what we wanted out of the overseas studios with the amount of time and money we had was always a challenge.
acme blast man asks: has nickalodeon ever talked about putting invader zim back on the air
No, not to my knowledge.
InvaderWir asks: The Irken Font used in the DVD subtitles is different from the fan-produced font on the web. Is this a font that was used during production of Invader Zim, and is it possible to acquire this "official" font?
The official font was made by Jhnen and J Bondy. The font does exist and I have it but I'm not sure what the licensing on that would be so I'll have to get back to you on sharing it.
APRIL 13, 2005
Gir's favourite little piggy asks: If you're job was checking everything once it was submitted, then what do you say about the little bloopers we sometimes see?
Depends on what they are. Some of the "bloopers" that I see listed on fan sites weren't bloopers at all but creatives choices made at the time of the show. Some were deemed too inconsequential to deal with and others very well may have been missed. I'm only slightly human, but I am human.
doomsong10 asks: What kind of medium was used to color the show before it was digitally colored? What brands?
Not completely sure I understand the question. All of the color models, BGs, props were done in either PhotoShop or Illustrator. They were colored in US Animation overseas and were color timed in either the Avid Symphony bay at Nick or more likely using the Divincii Telecine system at an outside facility. All color aspects of the show were overseen by Jean Paul Bondy.
Rayeli asks: Will the script for "Top of the Line" ever be released? If not, then why?
Can't see why it would be unless someone who has a copy puts it up somewhere. There would be no reason for Nick to want to release something they didn't want to have produced.
InvaderMatt asks: Is the house box and the extra disc, availible in April, going to be limited to only a few thousand available?
No idea, you'd have to ask the guys that work on them at Media Blasters.
osiris1221 asks: Why don't you like the wettning?
Thought the show was overall ugly, didn't care for the story ( sorry Roman ) and the ending I really disliked. You know what they say about opinions though...and that's just mine.
take care all
Bo asks: what kind of things were cut from the commentaries
I didn't cut the commentaries and I've never listened to the discs so I'm not sure. Probably just things that MB deemed possibly negative towards Nick or others. I didn't hear much there that could fall into that, but it was someone's opinion and you know what people say about opinions.
ilovegir asks: I have direct tv, and I was just wondering that if Invader Zim comes on the Nicktoons channel, how come it doesn't come on the regular Nick?
That is simply where the network has decided it will do the most good I suspect. There is only so much time on the regular Nickelodeon and they are devoting most of that time to new shows and shows that have a more broad fan base I'd guess. Although you and I and everyone here are big fans, we don't make up the majority of people that watch Nick or IZs ratings would have been better. I'm just glad it is on somewhere, aren't you?
daniel asks: hey jason, i was wondering if u knew what progams were used for animating the 3d scenes in invader zim? i am aiming to become an animator and i have few shows and movies scripted out and i was intrigued by zims overall appearance and style. please could you help me?
We used Maya, Lightwave, After Effects and PhotoShop mainly. The Nick Digital team used Cell Shading to make the 3D and 2D more seemless so that you wouldn't be like "oh, and now there is a CG shot". They took a lot of time and a lot of effort to make sure that the CG shots matched and melded with the rest of the show. If you'd like to discuss your possible CG career more give Jace your email and he'll pass it along to me.
Jack asks: Why did they Cancel Invader Zim without airing all of the episodes?
Technically they didn't "cancel" the show at all, the network simply made a decision to stop making episodes. And as to why the last few episodes weren't aired on Nick, I don't know the answer. The inner workings of a large cable network and how they make decisions about airdate and line ups is beyond my scope.
Shadow of an Invader asks: besides the eye thing in voting of the doomed, what was the biggest mistake that you missed?
Let's be clear here...a lot of what you guys call "mistakes" were either creative decisions or things that we decided not to fix based on a multitude of production factors. Given an endless amount of time and money a lot of things that had to be "let go" for whatever reason would have been corrected but we had to make choices sometimes about letting the small stuff get through in order to make sure the big stuff was "fixed". As for what else was "wrong" or "mistakes", why don't you just list what you think falls into that category and I'll tell you if it was a mistake or we let it go. You guys tend to find things that none of us ever saw and I watched the show frame by frame.