Keith Tucker – The Amazing Animation Storyboard Artist
Hey Kids, Keith Tucker took a visit to Spoiler Country and went over his amazing career as one of the great animation storyboard artists. Take it from us it might take a village to raise a child but this man definitely helped create the memories that defined your childhood. An interesting man with interesting stories. Now lets take a listen to Keith Tucker in his own words.
Keith Tucker Interview with Jeff – SKYPE
Jeff: Hello. This is Jeff hos pitching for spoiler country. Today we today with us, we have a true legend in the world of animation. Mr. Keith talker. Hello, Mr. Tucker.
[00:00:15] Keith Tucker: [00:00:15] Hello.
[00:00:20] Jeff: [00:00:20] I’m very excited to have you. I’m sure you’ve heard a thousand times that you basically have done storyboards for my entire childhood.
[00:00:27] Keith Tucker: [00:00:27] You know, that never gets old. Uh, it’s, it really, it’s a heartwarming feeling. How
[00:00:34] Jeff: [00:00:34] many times a day do you hear that from someone? Hey, you drew my childhood?
[00:00:38] Keith Tucker: [00:00:38] Well, not too much in the house
[00:00:43] Jeff: [00:00:43] all day. I conventions.
[00:00:45] Keith Tucker: [00:00:45] Oh, all day. All day. It’s cool. I mean, you know, I got a lot of fun doing it. And, uh. It reminds me when I met Paul McCartney, [00:01:00] he wanted to meet me and I was sitting there having tea with him and Linda and their family. And, you know, I just go, I can’t believe I’m here with you. And, and, and, you know, you met so much to me growing up and your music and, and his answer is exactly what mine is today.
[00:01:19] It’s like we were having fun. Yeah.
[00:01:24] Jeff: [00:01:24] That that, that must be an amazing, I mean, so what does it feel like to know that the people that you look up to turn around and idolize? You
[00:01:34] Keith Tucker: [00:01:34] don’t know? Maybe some,
[00:01:39] Jeff: [00:01:39] I’m sure there’s some, Oh, sorry about that. But like I said, I’m sure there’s tons of people who know I’m a series or watch a series that you are part of. I mean, the list is extremely long.
[00:01:52] Keith Tucker: [00:01:52] Well, I had quite a few decades in the biz and, uh, anywhere from live action work, like John [00:02:00] carpenter’s the thing to, uh, he man and Shira and, and, pinky in the brain.
[00:02:08] Jeff: [00:02:08] So the first thing I guess I want to ask, ask you that maybe the, or the listeners may or may not know, but to clarify for them, since you’ve been predominantly a storyboard artist, can you tell us what does a storyboard artists do.
[00:02:20] Keith Tucker: [00:02:20] Well, it’s kind of like a comic book. Penciler you know, you, you get a typewritten script and you visualize what happens.
[00:02:31] So I, I have to set the stage. I have to act out the characters, uh, and the environment. I’m, I’m making a piece of film, so I’m a filmmaker slash cartoonist and, uh. But I, I have the benefit of the characters have been designed. Uh, the incidental characters have been generally been designed. Backgrounds have generally been designed and, uh, [00:03:00] typewritten script.
[00:03:00] So, but I have my own rhythm of cutting what story points, how to visualize those story points, uh, and, and move the story forward. And, and, and make it fun and exciting and, or silly and crazy or what kind of show are you working on?
[00:03:23] Jeff: [00:03:23] I love your voice. Heard you doing another interview. That was fantastic.
[00:03:27] Keith Tucker: [00:03:27] Well, they’re stuck in my head and I can’t, they just have to get out.
[00:03:32] Jeff: [00:03:32] So when you’re, when you’re doing the storyboards, are you hearing the characters in your head? Are you doing your, the voices out loud?
[00:03:38] Keith Tucker: [00:03:38] Yeah. Yeah. But I’m also. Towards the end, we had, uh, a lot of tracks, audio tracks from the, you know, the actors, like, especially like at Warner brothers and Disney.
[00:03:53] We always had the tracks to work from. Uh, sometimes they would come when we’re midway [00:04:00] into the board, and then we have to go back and make changes to reflect the audio. Um, early on we didn’t have the tracks. too much.
[00:04:13] Jeff: [00:04:13] So when you’re doing your storyboard, are you pre primarily listening to the, the Volkow work, or are you starting from a script or is it more like a plot outline?
[00:04:23] Keith Tucker: [00:04:23] It’s generally a full script that supposed to be written to length. However, well, they also allow for a certain amount of . Uh, overage to allow for, eh, if you have some bad animation too, because it’s shipped overseas, they want to cut some stuff out. So there is some padding and sometimes we get scripts that are on the Mark, or, uh, they’re overwritten or they’re underwritten.
[00:04:53] And if they’re underwritten, you, you really have to create new material to, to make it work.
[00:05:01] [00:05:00] Jeff: [00:05:01] Now, do you have to run that by the director of the cartoon or movie or do you have control like that that you can make that decision? I’m going to turn it on their own.
[00:05:11] Keith Tucker: [00:05:11] Yeah. It depends what time period you’re talking about.
[00:05:16] In the past way past, it was just a matter of doing it within your roughing. You always rough out your storyboard. Then you have the meeting with your director. And then you do your finals. Yard cleanup is what we called it, which is pencil leaner, a tight pen, tighter pencils or inks. Um, there was a time when, uh, if they wanted everything, eight, because, uh, the networks seem to respond better to a very pretty storyboard.
[00:05:53] As opposed to a rough one. They didn’t fully understand what they were looking at, so they asked a [00:06:00] lot more questions, but if you have very tight Neesy doesn’t understand that it looks like a comic book, then they like, Oh yeah, we like that.
[00:06:10] Jeff: [00:06:10] So why? Well, why was there a change later on? You said they did a different style nowadays.
[00:06:15] Keith Tucker: [00:06:15] well that was when the, that you had networks approving. You know, you had to get network approval, you’d have to go be submitted to standards and practices for what’s in the storyboard, what’s in the cartoon before it goes to air. And if they have things they don’t like, they want to tell you.
[00:06:38] Jeff: [00:06:38] Okay, that’s, that’s interesting.
[00:06:40] So when you’re looking at that script for the first time in your beginning of your process, a storyboard and what kind of things in your head or.
[00:06:48] Keith Tucker: [00:06:48] Well, the dogs bark at me in my head alive, especially if it’s a dog show. I’m
[00:06:55] Jeff: [00:06:55] sorry. Just one moment.
[00:07:05] [00:07:00] Keith Tucker: [00:07:05] it’s Amazon at the door
[00:07:08] Jeff: [00:07:08] after my wife just came home and my dog is, they’re excited to see her.
[00:07:14] Keith Tucker: [00:07:14] Not you too.
[00:07:16] Jeff: [00:07:16] No, the dog’s never happy to see me, unfortunately.
[00:07:22] Okay. So anyway, so when you’re approaching that, most of, repeat my question, when you’re first approaching that your script for the first time, you’re first seeing it, what, like how are you approaching it? What’s going through your mind when you want to move it to the story? But what are you looking for?
[00:07:34] What, um, what kind of things are like your key ideas?
[00:07:39] Keith Tucker: [00:07:39] Well, I do a complete read through, so I have a good idea of what. W you know where I’m going and I start seeing the film in my head so that I can put it down on paper. And, uh, you, you ha, like I mentioned story points, you need to be able to [00:08:00] recognize that there is a key thing that the audience needs to know about.
[00:08:06] And, uh, you, you want to figure out how to the best angle to sell that. And, um, or if it’s an action sequence, you want to know ultimately what’s going to happen. Um, along it, back on transformers, uh, we would get scripts that would say, uh, the transformers and the Decepticons, uh, face off and battle ensues.
[00:08:38] And you pretty much had to just make it all up. So it depends on how tightly the script is written now or not. Gotcha.
[00:08:50] Jeff: [00:08:50] Um, so to clarify it more for the listeners, would you, do you use a movie analogy? Would you say you’re closer to the what? The, the direct
[00:09:02] [00:09:00] Keith Tucker: [00:09:02] pardon? You cut out,
[00:09:06] I think you died.
[00:09:12] Sir. Can you hand me your back?
[00:09:15] Jeff: [00:09:15] All right. Sorry about that.
[00:09:16] Keith Tucker: [00:09:16] Um, it
[00:09:19] Jeff: [00:09:19] has been doing that unfortunately. So yeah. This is this going to be so apparently some edits, unfortunately.
[00:09:24] Keith Tucker: [00:09:24] That’s okay.
[00:09:25] Jeff: [00:09:25] So I was going to say, to use a movie analogy for people to better understand what you do, are you closer to the director or the camera?
[00:09:35] Keith Tucker: [00:09:35] I never meet with the cameras. Um, I, it’s with the director and the director who, uh, decides the final, what will, how would a law go? The director has to time it, you know, figure out how long each scene is. And, uh, it seems aren’t always covered by the dialogue.
[00:10:02] [00:10:00] Jeff: [00:10:02] So what would you do in those cases?
[00:10:06] Keith Tucker: [00:10:06] Oh, you add a flood or a foot and a half depending.
[00:10:10] Um, there a lot of times, like if there’s an action, there’d be a thing on the script that would call for wallets and let, that is our ad libs from the actors. And they’re like. Okay, you’re, you’re running and screaming and being attacked by a monster. Ah. You know, and so you have the light of all those little wallets to cut in and that, but anything over that, you have to consider the footage for the animator cause the animator works from the length of the scene based on a frame count.
[00:10:52] Jeff: [00:10:52] Now when when you’re doing this, are you more concerned with the length of the actual episode or I know you guys are fixed or do [00:11:00] you have, or you just want to get to see and I let the director worry about cutting. It seems later.
[00:11:03] Keith Tucker: [00:11:03] No, you want it as tight as possible and there is there. You want to tell the best story you can.
[00:11:13] As, as it is, you’re not worried that much about the length. I mean, if you set up the scene and you want to have a little bit of mood, things happen. You know, you put those in and hope they don’t get cut. Some of our old GI just stuff, they, they had to cut a lot out and, uh, we were like, Oh wow. There is a week or two of work, but uh, it depends.
[00:11:46] It’s all case by case situation.
[00:11:50] Jeff: [00:11:50] Now, is there a functional difference between doing animated versus when you did it for live action movies like the thing or wrath of Khan?
[00:11:57] Keith Tucker: [00:11:57] Well, the thing and Rasta [00:12:00] Kano was an an animator. I did a hand drawn two D animation for, uh, special effects and, uh, storyboards for live action, Robocop three as one of them.
[00:12:16] And, uh, yeah, you, you meet with your directors and they walk you through what they have in mind. And I’ll be sketching little quick thumbnails while I’m in the, uh, meeting. And. You know, and, and I’ll have an idea and say, Hey, how about this? And, you know, and, and, uh, they’ll either go forward or not, or they’ll think of something else.
[00:12:40] And a lot of times a director is very key on what they’re calling for, what they want to have happen. like, this, on Robocop three, he gets hit by a Tomo. Robocop gets hit by a Tomo. And you wanted to have a series of cuts [00:13:00] to make it like in back to the future when Biff gets hit by fly. And if you look at it, it’s actually three scenes cut together.
[00:13:15] Jeff: [00:13:15] So
[00:13:19] in your opinion,
[00:13:20] Keith Tucker: [00:13:20] do you
[00:13:20] Jeff: [00:13:20] prefer working live action even before the animation.
[00:13:24] Keith Tucker: [00:13:24] I love it, involved
[00:13:28] what’s not to love. And it’s creativity and fun. You know, I love cartoon characters. I love the world that you can do what you want in and, and, the live action work was a blast to
[00:13:43] Jeff: [00:13:43] now do you have more creative freedom and animation.
[00:13:47] Keith Tucker: [00:13:47] Yeah, you’re probably, yeah. You’re, you’re working, work, I’m sorry.
[00:13:52] You can cut this part. Yeah. You, you, you get to express a lot more now
[00:13:59] Jeff: [00:13:59] when you’re [00:14:00] doing the storyboard artists in both animation and in your live action, are you usually the only storyboard artist or do you work with a team?
[00:14:07] Keith Tucker: [00:14:07] Oh, it’s a team in animation or in live action. You know, there’s, they don’t have just one guy doing all of it.
[00:14:16] So how does that be good.
[00:14:18] Jeff: [00:14:18] So how does that work? I mean, how much communication do you have the other storyboard, arts, you can just take over a scene. Is it done in the same room together?
[00:14:25] Keith Tucker: [00:14:25] Well, yeah. When I was at Marvel productions, you know, on staff or he, Oren Filmation or Warner brothers. I mean, we could just go meet and talk.
[00:14:38] Um, uh, sometimes like at Warner, we would have, you know, a story meeting about what the thing’s going to be about and, uh, or there’d be a pitch for wackos, which here we wish not witch Flacco’s wish. and, Tom Ruger, like walk us through the whole [00:15:00] film and, uh, with Randy Rogel on the piano while he’s.
[00:15:05] Working you down and we’re really getting a feel for what’s going on. And, uh, there were times like at, uh, universal when I was working on excess flood and Ghostbusters, a lot of other shows you, if you have act one, then you’re, you’re, you don’t have to communicate as much. However, the, the person who follows you.
[00:15:32] We’ll need a, if it’s a clean cut, it’s one thing. But if it’s a continuation, you really want to talk about how the bridge, that particular cut, you want to know what your screen direction of your characters, what, which way are they going left to right. And, um, you know, and, and you, you set up a, an action.
[00:15:57] Sequence that the next person [00:16:00] can pay off. Generally you find you want to find a clean cut. Sometimes the act break itself is enough.
[00:16:09] Jeff: [00:16:09] So are there times when you’ve been the second or third part of the the storyboard and you decided there was something wrong with the original, with the first part of it?
[00:16:19] Like do you go to them and say. You know, I don’t, I’m not liking what I’m seeing. We need to fix this. Do you just go to the director or is it you guys pretty much income, you know, on the same, in simpatico most of the entire, process.
[00:16:31]Keith Tucker: [00:16:31] I would go to the director, I would call and go, Hey, you know, I’d like to change this and this.
[00:16:40] And, and it’s his job to keep everybody. Together, the director, he’s a D generally, there are three board guys on the show, or two, either split and show in house, or you have three people, three acts, and I would [00:17:00] call in or go in to the office, whatever. And I, you know, get point out, here’s why, and this is what I think should happen.
[00:17:08] And you go ahead and do that. I remember working on universal at universal earthworm, Jim and I kept saying, Hey, I got this idea. I’ve got this idea, and they go, Oh great, great, great. Now after about a few shows, they handed me my new script and he said, Keith, you have carte blanche. You can do what you want.
[00:17:30] You don’t have call us.
[00:17:32] Jeff: [00:17:32] Nice.
[00:17:35] Keith Tucker: [00:17:35] Yeah. They just said, we like what you do. Just keep doing it.
[00:17:42] Jeff: [00:17:42] So from that point, or did you, did your ideas get like more wild and crazy as you went along?
[00:17:47] Keith Tucker: [00:17:47] Yeah, within reason. I mean, what, you know, you have to know what the capabilities of the animation studio you’re working with. You’re not making a light action or Amina a [00:18:00] feature length movie with the big budget you’re doing TV.
[00:18:05] You know, animation budget.
[00:18:07] Jeff: [00:18:07] Gotcha. Now, how much of your personality do you think does end up in the final product of the cartoon?
[00:18:13] Keith Tucker: [00:18:13] I think every artist has themselves in there at one point or another. It’s just or writer. I mean, it all comes from, you know, inside you anyway. We’re not machines.
[00:18:27] Jeff: [00:18:27] So when you’re doing something a little more like thinking of the brain.
[00:18:30] Or in a maniac. So you feel yourself like to field Zenia in that moment. Do you feel different when you’re writing something like he man or transformers?
[00:18:37] Keith Tucker: [00:18:37] Oh yeah. You know, you’re like, yes. Optimists.
[00:18:42] Jeff: [00:18:42] What will we do now?
[00:18:44] Keith Tucker: [00:18:44] We will fight them.
[00:18:53] Jeff: [00:18:53] I can just imagine you’re walking around, be in office doing the voices.
[00:18:57] Keith Tucker: [00:18:57] Well, you know what’s interesting in the [00:19:00] offices when the first things I noticed when I got in, so everybody kinda sees tracks from the show for the most part in your, you, you hear people rewinding planes, the same thing over and over and over.
[00:19:12] Cause they got to figure out the length of that. Or are they, you know, they’re trying to fill up how to act out what you’ve been given.
[00:19:22] Jeff: [00:19:22] Is that, is that your favorite part of being a storyboard? Ours is getting into those characters and being most, I guess, be them for a certain amount of time. Yeah.
[00:19:32] Keith Tucker: [00:19:32] That’s
[00:19:33] Jeff: [00:19:33] their ticket.
[00:19:35] Keith Tucker: [00:19:35] Yes. It’s fun. It’s, you know, it’s, it’s the fun of creating pop culture and, you know, the same as a comic book person is like loving drawing spiting in none of the inks that goes with it. And so I think it was fun to work on too.
[00:19:52] Jeff: [00:19:52] Why is that?
[00:19:53] Keith Tucker: [00:19:53] Oh, Spiderman. The animated series. Yes. I really enjoyed working on that
[00:19:59] Jeff: [00:19:59] there.
[00:19:59] Are there some great [00:20:00] stories about it that you want to share?
[00:20:02] Keith Tucker: [00:20:02] No, nothing I can think of. Just, you know. No,
[00:20:07] Jeff: [00:20:07] I’ll go ahead.
[00:20:09] Keith Tucker: [00:20:09] No, nothing. I was fun. I don’t know what to add. Now
[00:20:14] Jeff: [00:20:14] when, when you’re at convention, are you finding the, that people coming to you with their kids who are now watching the same shows that they did of yours?
[00:20:21] Keith Tucker: [00:20:21] Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oh, and it’s happening here in our house. We got grandkids that are launching, all these shows. I got Disney plus cause we have kids over a lot. I want him to see the good stuff.
[00:20:36] Jeff: [00:20:36] Now, do you tell them before they start watching it that this is something you saw or you bought it or did you wait till out till afterwards?
[00:20:41] Keith Tucker: [00:20:41] No, I tell them up
[00:20:43] Jeff: [00:20:43] front. What are their reactions like?
[00:20:47] Keith Tucker: [00:20:47] Well, they’re, they’re liking it and they, like right now they’re loving rescue Rangers.
[00:20:54] Jeff: [00:20:54] Oh, that’s a guy. I used to watch that when I was growing up. It’s a fantastic program
[00:20:57] Keith Tucker: [00:20:57] that her mom used to watch it when she was [00:21:00] growing up and now it’s like. And I just go, yeah, it’s what I was doing.
[00:21:07] Jeff: [00:21:07] I used to love the theme song of its opening. That’s something that you do as well, the openings for the storyboard or is that a different aspect?
[00:21:15] Keith Tucker: [00:21:15] Well, for rescue Rangers, the, the, the director, producer, Alan Zaslav, he collected a lot of clips from all of our work, so it’s representative of our crew.
[00:21:30] And, I, uh, I, yeah, I’ve done a few main titles. GI Joe wasn’t, the second season of Jimmy Joe. I did the main title for that to someone with and Sergeant slaughter and all our crew of blurred artists. Three of us were asked to come up with a main title ideas. And we were left to our own devices and we put it in their own right.
[00:22:01] [00:22:00] They went with mine. So that was kind of fun to be left alone, to come up with something and have it fly, and
[00:22:09] Jeff: [00:22:09] especially something that turned out to be so iconic. I mean, like I said, 2030 years later, people still remember it.
[00:22:14] Keith Tucker: [00:22:14] Yo, Joe,
[00:22:17] Jeff: [00:22:17] like I said, once again, another show I used to watch growing up all the time, that was one of my favorites.
[00:22:24] Keith Tucker: [00:22:24] What’s not to change.
[00:22:26] Jeff: [00:22:26] Exactly. now look, which I always had. do you think storyboard artists get the credit that they deserve on these type of programs?
[00:22:36] Keith Tucker: [00:22:36] You can always deserve more.
[00:22:39] Jeff: [00:22:39] That’s a good point. Very good point.
[00:22:42] I did hear one story, , about you and I’m really kind of curious. , I heard that you used to work, , or you have worked with Jack, Herbie and Gil Kane. So what was that like?
[00:22:51] Keith Tucker: [00:22:51] Oh God, that was so fun. , okay. Marvel. I was at Marvel productions for a lot of years, you know, doing [00:23:00] transformers, diner writers, I mean, all kinds of stuff.
[00:23:04] Well, they kind of imploded. And, , and like in one day there were like 350 people that were let go all in one day. Wow. I just, prior to that, I was kind of tipped off that we like you, but if you got somewhere else to go, it might be a good thing to do. Right. So I, I looked for work and, , at Ruby spirits and got hired in their development department and, , I, and the day I was, I was there for a couple of weeks.
[00:23:39] And then the day that Marvel imploded, the phone was ringing so much that we unplugged it because everybody was looking for work. And, , but yeah, it was like, , Gil came, he was there every day. I’m afraid we’ll call up, was Xero every day. , , , , Kevin, old Terry and a few other people, , Tom [00:24:00] mitten.
[00:24:00] Who’s actually the person that brain was designed to look like. , and , yeah, but you know, what would happen is we would develop these new properties and new ideas for shows. , and Jack Kirby would come in once a week. He and Ross would come in with their week’s worth of work for us to work on. So let me, my job to like, take some objects, stuff and, and paint, you know, do paintings, old school, paintbrush and color.
[00:24:35] You know, it’s part of being in development. You need to be able, not only to storyboards, but you know, draw and paint, you know, do other things to make a presentation for a new, , cartoon show that may or may not get made. So
[00:24:52] Jeff: [00:24:52] which one specifically? Where are you on?
[00:24:55] Keith Tucker: [00:24:55] Oh, God. Well, that was just it. There were [00:25:00] several.
[00:25:00], there was, , a thing called scanners. I don’t know what it was called. Finally. I don’t think it ever got made some magnificent work and a lot of different things that I don’t even know all the titles. There were things that Jack. Did, , you know, needed to be painted or, , and then in between these assignments, we would also do some storyboards in the department.
[00:25:26] So worked on a laser tag and, , I can’t remember everything. It was a long time.
[00:25:34]Jeff: [00:25:34] , what was Jack Kirby like in person? Was he friendly? Was he, did he, was he more like a mentor? Was he a little hard to get to know?
[00:25:43] Keith Tucker: [00:25:43] No, he was so nice and friendly and, yeah. Yeah. He was a mentor. He, he always said, you know, you can work through all these companies, but you need to have something that’s your idea.
[00:25:55] You know, he. Okay,
[00:26:00] [00:26:00] Jeff: [00:26:00] well, what now, what kind of, so what do they, do they teach you anything about the craft itself?
[00:26:08] Keith Tucker: [00:26:08] Not really. It was, I mean, we’re all in the midst of doing it. Um, you know, guilt would, you know, say a lot of, you know, giving me a lot of it, the ice, and it was wonderful. Um, very helpful. And, uh, and. You know, like I said, Jack and Roz would come in once a week so they would, you know, it wasn’t like I got to work with them day to day in and day out.
[00:26:37] Gotcha. But it was just always wonderful to see him and then see what he brought in. I mean, it was just, Jack was amazing.
[00:26:47] Jeff: [00:26:47] It must have been great to work with such legends.
[00:26:49] Keith Tucker: [00:26:49] Yeah. I mean, I grew up, there were my idols growing up.
[00:26:56] Jeff: [00:26:56] I imagine they were like, everybody really knows probably still.
[00:27:00] [00:26:59] Keith Tucker: [00:26:59] Yeah. Well, yeah.
[00:27:01] But I was reading, you know, in the sixties and fifties, , you know, I was reading their stuff down and watch the whole Marvel thing happened.
[00:27:12] Jeff: [00:27:12] Now was that when you knew you arrived, like you, you made it as, , you know, a successful storyboard artists, or was there another moment that you knew I’ve done it?
[00:27:21] Keith Tucker: [00:27:21] Mmm. I think when we’re, I remember being told when we’re at, , Marvel after there were a few of us, I left nation and one of them, , told me, well, you’re in the big leagues now. And
[00:27:39] Jeff: [00:27:39] she said, yeah, that’s wicked cool.
[00:27:43] Keith Tucker: [00:27:43] And it was, it was way cool and kind. I remember, , we even had a car minings and Tina was.
[00:27:49] There for a little at Marvel productions there for a little while. And I used to not run off to lunch. I bring my own lunch and played chess [00:28:00] with a lot of the old guys and, and, uh, and the, the studio itself and really learned a lot from these, , these guys that had been in the Dez, uh, Ken Monday. I worked with him, um, at Marvel productions.
[00:28:18] Yeah. Remember the wild, wild West, the main title? Yes. Yeah. He’s storyboard and animated that, Oh
[00:28:28] Jeff: [00:28:28] wow. I didn’t know that
[00:28:31] Keith Tucker: [00:28:31] you love, now you do, and
[00:28:38] Jeff: [00:28:38] I didn’t have credit. To go back a little bit, how did you get into storyboarding, storyboard, becoming a storyboard, artists to begin with? Sorry.
[00:28:45] Keith Tucker: [00:28:45] That’s easy for you to say.
[00:28:48] Jeff: [00:28:48] But apparently not so much.
[00:28:52]Keith Tucker: [00:28:52] , well, like I said, I was animating, , on these films, , coming in the first movie, , the wrath of Khan and [00:29:00] John Cartman is the thing, and I was doing all this two D animation, but my real heart was one, I wanted to be a storyboard guy.
[00:29:11] And, . Another friend of mine working on the thing and all of these movies as well. Lenmar Ganti he and I were both in the same camp. We were like, we wanted to be board guys, and he went into boarding in live action. , and I went into the cartoons and I, , uh. Okay. Tell me the beginning of the question again.
[00:29:40] Jeff: [00:29:40] How did you first become a storyboard artist?
[00:29:42] Keith Tucker: [00:29:42] Okay. Cut this in. Okay. Cut here. , so when I went, took a job in, , at Filmation under their apprenticeship program, which they taught me on the job training to be a storyboard guy [00:30:00] during the Filmation stopped system way. Which is actually very good knowledge to have, to be able to create an economical storyboard, meaning that you could create a cartoon that can look good and can be done in a budget, you know, you know, cause for all these wild things that cost a lot of money and blow the budget in the first five minutes.
[00:30:31] And you only get seven and a half minutes to board generally, and a storyboard. But yeah, I learned a lot of that basic storytelling and story points at Filmation to learn it their way. And as I went on to, , , Marvel and got involved in transformers, , and defenders of the earth and other shows.
[00:30:57] Working with some great throws [00:31:00] there. , I learned more and more as it went along.
[00:31:04] Jeff: [00:31:04] No. So before you became a storyboard artist, you had already started, um, done star Trek, wrath of Khan
[00:31:09] Keith Tucker: [00:31:09] yeah. Well, it wasn’t that big of a job at first when I was called in, , my friend wa, , was was working there and he knew what I could do.
[00:31:22] And, uh, they basically just needed some bodies to do, , finish off some of the cells, paint the cells, , for, you know, these effects to help get the work done. And I was out of work, so it was like, Hey, come on in, Keith. So while I was there, they, you know, I made clear what I could do and they, they moved me to the animation and, uh.
[00:31:50] Well, I was doing some my own mess animation. Then on Conan, , after being an assistant, I became a, , I [00:32:00] did full animation on my own on, and then after that went to star Trek two wrath of Khan, and I did the base animation for all the transporter scenes, all the transporters, scenes in the film. , , animated.
[00:32:18] Um, the, the work that affects after the Genesis Genesis bomb exploded by hand. The last two, , worked effects. And I even said to Peter Korean, whose it was his studio, he’s an old star Wars guy. He started his own animation effects studio. And I said, you know what, computer could do this a whole lot easier.
[00:32:46] And he pointed to me and says, yes, but you’re cheaper than a computer.
[00:32:52] Jeff: [00:32:52] That must make you feel good.
[00:32:54] Keith Tucker: [00:32:54] Well, I just did the job, you know, it was like, okay, great. All right, we’ll do this. And, [00:33:00] and, uh, and then we were done. , you know, the thing, and, , I, you know, was on my own animating the rocket trail. Helping the practical effects in the title.
[00:33:13] Jeff: [00:33:13] So just for clarification, , cause people like me who, who really have no experience in the business at all, when you’re talking about the bass animation for star Trek, like you said, the teleporter sequences and , Genesis. So you’re saying that was all animated and you’d, and those drawn, I actually,
[00:33:28] Keith Tucker: [00:33:28] well, I didn’t do Genesis.
[00:33:29] The Genesis of the Genesis thing was computer graphics. John was, I think that was the one that picks art’s first things. Oh, wow. That got them started. But, no. I, after the Genesis mom exploded, there were two warp affects of the, the enterprise running away.
[00:33:55] Jeff: [00:33:55] Oh, I did. I did not know those animators. He, I really have no idea how they do these special effects. I’m
[00:34:00] [00:34:00] Keith Tucker: [00:34:00] stupid. And by hand. And a also did a couple of laser blasts onto the debris on the reliant and enhanced one explosion where I maded out carted the reliance, that square thing that had an arc off of that and, so that we can enhance the explosion a little bit.
[00:34:24] Jeff: [00:34:24] That’s incredibly sad. I had no idea this is how they did those special effects. I mean, nowadays you just assume it’s all computer, but I had no idea how it was done back in time.
[00:34:31] Keith Tucker: [00:34:31] Yeah. Well that was the other thing. It was like computers were coming in and you know what we were doing then, you know, hand drawn animation was on its way out.
[00:34:45] You know, when we make these, race different cells. And they did the with blackout areas, and those would be sandwich between plexiglass with the blight below them [00:35:00] and then the, and he would shoot it on the demon sequence for Conan. They had Vaseline on the lens.
[00:35:12] Jeff: [00:35:12] Okay. Lean on the
[00:35:14] Keith Tucker: [00:35:14] lips on the lens.
[00:35:16] Jeff: [00:35:16] Oh, the lens
[00:35:18] Keith Tucker: [00:35:18] camera.
[00:35:19] The camera is shooting on your bottom lit affects, coming. You’re using an Oxberry camera, and there were bottom lid effects coming out and, you know, the lens on the camera is aiming down and there was Vaseline on the lens to give it a more ghostly effect. And that was the other thing, you know, animate it.
[00:35:43] We paint the cells and I didn’t even shoot it.
[00:35:47] Jeff: [00:35:47] Oh, I did not know any of that. That sounds just really cool.
[00:35:50] Keith Tucker: [00:35:50] And then Peter Korean would then take all those elements and do even more, you know? That’s when he would do his magic. He knew how to, [00:36:00] he was known as the Lord of light for all the stuff he did on the original star Wars movies.
[00:36:07] Yeah. Yeah. Just look him up, Peter Qur’an. You’ll be blown away.
[00:36:12] Jeff: [00:36:12] I’ll definitely look him up right after the show. But that’s, that’s really awesome though. I mean, you definitely were intricate to a lot of these movies that, once again, I did not know. I did not think about the people who were involved in those areas like that.
[00:36:25] Keith Tucker: [00:36:25] Well, I, I’m not that intricate, but a little,
[00:36:32] Jeff: [00:36:32] that is very cool. Now, nowadays with computers, they can do so much on them. Is that affecting the hand drawn storyboarding, or is it all, is it mostly computers now or is it no change?
[00:36:45] Keith Tucker: [00:36:45] Well, it depends who you’re working with. and you know, live action. A lot of, some people still want, you know, paper in their hands and all that.
[00:36:55]cause it has, a lot of times they’re in animation. Now you have to. [00:37:00] Working to do our notes, storyboard, throw by two, boom. and so you draw it all on us and T tab or whatever tablet. And, uh, but I, I’m basically retired. I just do my own work, my own lawyer and, do a lot of shows.
[00:37:22] Jeff: [00:37:22] Do you have upcoming conventions that you want to plug?
[00:37:26] Keith Tucker: [00:37:26] sure. A C to E two in Chicago. we’ll be there next week. I’ll be sharing a booth with Samantha, Samantha, Newark. She’s, she was the voice of Jim and from gem and the holograms and the other worked on. Uh, so we, we thought it’d be fun if we split a booth together. and then out a week after that.
[00:37:53] It’s Emerald city comic con in Seattle.
[00:37:57] Jeff: [00:37:57] Oh, very cool. [00:38:00] Is there any chance you’re going to be coming to? I’m doing Linde.
[00:38:05] Keith Tucker: [00:38:05] No, we’ll be, I doubt. I know, but we’ll get close. We’ll be at New York comic con. My wife and I will be there.
[00:38:15] Jeff: [00:38:15] Well, I think I mentioned on your Facebook page, if you could ever get to terrific con, please find a way.
[00:38:21] Keith Tucker: [00:38:21] Yeah. I, yeah, I’d send them all my thing and hope that they invite me
[00:38:29] Jeff: [00:38:29] that, that’d be incredible. Because like I said, I would love to, get some, an autograph from you when these conventions.
[00:38:35] Keith Tucker: [00:38:35] I’m from Rhode Island. Well, whoever knows of the people at terrific. Tell them they should get Keith chucker to come visit.
[00:38:44] Jeff: [00:38:44] I think that’s Mitch Halleck I think is the guy. I’ll give him a shout out here, so maybe he’ll, I’ll pay attention and do it now if you don’t mind. Can I talk to you about some of the specific cartoons that you worked on?
[00:38:56] Keith Tucker: [00:38:56] Sure.
[00:38:57] Jeff: [00:38:57] Okay. So one of the first I want to talk about is he man, which [00:39:00] was one of the first cartoons I used to watch growing up.
[00:39:03] Um, I was watching, the toys that made us. Oh, you’re right on Netflix. And they looked like it was a very like ad-libbed on the process in which they put together a universe. Now, how much say did you have and how it looked, including the look of Eternia?
[00:39:18] Keith Tucker: [00:39:18] None.
[00:39:22] I’m in the storyboard department. We’re, we’re creating, we’re taking the elements that they give us, which are the backgrounds. Yeah. The props are all pretty much Duran or some are pulled off of the storyboard. some of the backgrounds, are, might be pulled off the storyboard, but the main characters and the general look of the worlds are, you know, what Skeletor’s AOL digs look like, or what Eternia looks like are all designed, early on before the show goes in, actually into production.
[00:40:00] [00:40:00] That’s part of the development process, like what I did at Ruby Spears. But yeah.
[00:40:07] Jeff: [00:40:07] The, so did the making of the cartoon was, did that feel different than apparently the making the toys were, it seemed like a very chaotic process. Was the series little more controlled and organized at least your apart?
[00:40:20] Keith Tucker: [00:40:20] Yeah, but well, by the time I came in, it was, uh, the machine was moving and I was there when we were developing Shira.
[00:40:29] And, but it was, you know, you, you talk about it, you say, okay, we’ll do, what does this world look like? And we have these meetings with everybody, and then each person from the meeting that that would goes to their department, the background people go to their department. The guys at DRI aren’t necessarily the same people that paint it.
[00:40:53] The painters set the color palette for the show, and the characters are designed, you know, the [00:41:00] worlds are designed by the time, things go to storyboard. Most of that development work has to have already been done, but there are shows where we went into production without enough development. So.
[00:41:21] Roll with the punches. You just get it done.
[00:41:24] Jeff: [00:41:24] That makes good sense. What happens to these storyboards that you finish or they kept throwing away? What happened when the show was all done? What happens to them?
[00:41:32] Keith Tucker: [00:41:32] I have no idea other than at Marvel. I was told they had a big bonfire. Holy.
[00:41:39] Jeff: [00:41:39] Oh crap. They destroyed them.
[00:41:41] Keith Tucker: [00:41:41] Yeah.
[00:41:42] Jeff: [00:41:42] Oh, that’s horrible.
[00:41:45] Keith Tucker: [00:41:45] Tell me about it. Well, we don’t like to count them, but do
[00:41:48] Jeff: [00:41:48] you ever get you, you never get to keep any of your storyboards?
[00:41:52]Keith Tucker: [00:41:52] Nope. Nope. Not unless you just sorta, yeah, you got Xerox’s but you don’t keep, I, I [00:42:00] occasionally, kept things that if I had to redraw, you know, there was a retake, I would redraws had to redraw the scene.
[00:42:08] Rather than throw that piece of paper away, I’d take it home. when I was a line producer, a supervisor, a director, kind of guy on, uh, , the adventure we did 65 half hours, and the, most of them were done in France, but they needed a separate unit to do 13 episodes. So I was, uh, one of the heads for those 13.
[00:42:37] I actually, I was the head for those 13. And, I, I saw the original main title story board, that will many out had done for Conan back at Marvel. And, I got permission to give it back to Wil, which was nice, you know, so sometimes, you know, like, I help, we’ll get his back. [00:43:00] Yeah.
[00:43:01] Jeff: [00:43:01] So you’ve never been tempted just to swipe some storyboards for yourself or have you, and you’re just not going to share
[00:43:08] Keith Tucker: [00:43:08] it.
[00:43:08] Does storyboard is the Dade one the original to make copies on the Xerox machine. And if you take it down a generation, then the copies that are are created are not going to be as good. So they want the regional. So you really can’t do that.
[00:43:32] Jeff: [00:43:32] So once everything’s all done, yeah. That, that system that can break my heart a little bit.
[00:43:36] I think of them getting destroyed.
[00:43:39] Keith Tucker: [00:43:39] Tell me about it. David burned South wasn’t good for the atmosphere either.
[00:43:45] Jeff: [00:43:45] Why? Why were they burning the sales as well?
[00:43:48] Keith Tucker: [00:43:48] Cause they took up space.
[00:43:51] Jeff: [00:43:51] Nowadays I assume they sell most of some of those.
[00:43:54] Keith Tucker: [00:43:54] Yeah, I know. Yeah. You know what it makes me think about is that movie Logan’s [00:44:00] run with the robot.
[00:44:01] That’s his job was to freeze everything. Yeah. And he would freeze. Even the people trying to get out.
[00:44:10] Jeff: [00:44:10] I’m a funny, that’s
[00:44:11] Keith Tucker: [00:44:11] my job.
[00:44:15] Jeff: [00:44:15] Oh, that’s so awful that that breaks my heart so much.
[00:44:19] Keith Tucker: [00:44:19] Get over it.
[00:44:23] Jeff: [00:44:23] I’ll do my best. anyways, so I’m moving up a little bit to the animated. Speaking of the brain, those are some very crazy, zany episodes.
[00:44:30] How do you get yourself in that mindset to kinda express that,
[00:44:34]Keith Tucker: [00:44:34] uh, I’m there quite often.
[00:44:40] Jeff: [00:44:40] Is that your, your normal, you would say you’re more, so if you had a guess where your characters you’re closest to, would you say then thinking in the brain and the Animaniacs are you going with like He-Man and
[00:44:49] Keith Tucker: [00:44:49] transformers?
[00:44:51] I’ll go with the, uh, the Animaniacs. Yes. And, uh, mainly
[00:45:00] [00:45:00] Jeff: [00:45:00] now, did you always know these cartoons were going to become such hits or they give any idea when you’re making the process of them?
[00:45:06] Keith Tucker: [00:45:06] No, we have no idea. You know, it’s, you know, we had no idea.
[00:45:15] Jeff: [00:45:15] So each one, so each assessed what was a surprise to you? You didn’t, you didn’t feel like maybe this one definitely has lasting power.
[00:45:22] There’s something special about it.
[00:45:24] Keith Tucker: [00:45:24] Oh, yeah. There were a few. definitely dovetails and rescue Rangers and tailspin. Transformer. Oh, right. Yeah. Okay. There were some, no, no. Nobody has heard of that even to this day.
[00:45:43] Jeff: [00:45:43] Now, what happens with those, I mean, did you, have you ever worked on a series? I haven’t not go to, to air, to network and what happens to those areas?
[00:45:52]Keith Tucker: [00:45:52] they just get very.
[00:45:58] They’re gone. [00:46:00] Kim, he knows
[00:46:02] Jeff: [00:46:02] how can you name and move on?
[00:46:04] Keith Tucker: [00:46:04] Yeah, yeah. What do you do?
[00:46:07]Jeff: [00:46:07] , do you remember any of the names of the ones that made that happen to,
[00:46:10] Keith Tucker: [00:46:10] , no, not exactly. , there weren’t many. The studios didn’t like to make waste money.
[00:46:19] Jeff: [00:46:19] Which series was your favorite to work on?
[00:46:23]Keith Tucker: [00:46:23] , pinky in the brain, followed by Animaniacs w
[00:46:27]Jeff: [00:46:27] , why is that?
[00:46:29] Keith Tucker: [00:46:29] There is the, I, I have the most fun working on it. It was a highlight of my career
[00:46:35] Jeff: [00:46:35] that’s at least have I remember watching the show. And I love picking the brain in a makes so much that they were, especially the, a map at the one when he goes to the, all the countries on the map that was famous.
[00:46:47] Keith Tucker: [00:46:47] Yeah. Not to
[00:46:51] Jeff: [00:46:51] What was that, the one? The ones you storyboarded?
[00:46:53] Keith Tucker: [00:46:53] No.
[00:46:54] Jeff: [00:46:54] Oh, sorry.
[00:46:57] Keith Tucker: [00:46:57] But what does it mean?
[00:47:00] [00:47:00] Jeff: [00:47:00] That’s okay, but like the, all the episodes were just such class and they were, and they had just human that worked on so many different levels.
[00:47:10] Keith Tucker: [00:47:10] Was that a question?
[00:47:11] Jeff: [00:47:11] No, I’m just putting it out there. I just thought the humor worked on a lot of different levels. That’s all.
[00:47:15] Keith Tucker: [00:47:15] Oh yeah. Well, you know, Spielberg out of criteria with the, these are all co-produced with, with Steven Spielberg, and he wanted it to appeal to adults and kids simultaneously, the same way the old Looney tunes cartoons appealed to adults and kids at the same time.
[00:47:37] Those were because they aired in a theater. We used to get cartoons before a movie. And, uh. The, uh, yeah. And so it had to, uh, you know, have something for the adult and kids at the same time. And that was what he wanted,
[00:47:56] Jeff: [00:47:56] not did you get to meet Steven Spielberg?
[00:47:59] Keith Tucker: [00:47:59] Uh, [00:48:00] once or twice? Maybe. I, I was working at Amblin, um, on family dog.
[00:48:08] The, the series, not the amazing stories. One, and, uh, we were on the lot for a little while, but he was always off in, you know, somewhere else. We would have our meetings in his office until they moved us to a, uh, an office building nearby. But it was quite interesting, kind of fun working on the lot.
[00:48:37] Jeff: [00:48:37] Oh. Because you have to meet so many different people or.
[00:48:40] Keith Tucker: [00:48:40] Oh, just all the history, you know, uh, you know, w film studio lots. And, , I’ve always been fascinated, , by them. I remember when I was a kid, , I had a stepfather who was a stunt man on, , , Bonanza. A lot of those [00:49:00] westerns at the time, and I could ride my bike after school and.
[00:49:04] And go hang out at the CBS lot. They’re just like, keys come on in.
[00:49:10] Jeff: [00:49:10] Oh, that’s cool.
[00:49:12] Keith Tucker: [00:49:12] So it’s kind of, you know, was in California back in the early, you know, fifth, late fifties, sixties. And I wonder,
[00:49:24] Jeff: [00:49:24] the, one of the thing I thought I thought was really cool is that urine Emmy winner.
[00:49:28] Keith Tucker: [00:49:28] Well, , the pink and the brain.
[00:49:32] We got Naomi for that. And Tatton Stein hasn’t seen Tutton it’s a great show. I used to watch it. And what’s really interesting about watching that show does that I didn’t realize that I was getting the, uh, history, , an education about, , Egyptology. So you can cut out some of my him and earn their police.
[00:50:01] [00:50:00] I went to an exhibit, , an Egyptian exhibit after I’d been working on the show and I thought it’d be fun to go check it out. And, uh, everything was there. I mean, it’s all based on actual distortable characters. So what they do and what their thing is. Was accurate so you can watch the show and learn about Egyptology simultaneously.
[00:50:29] Jeff: [00:50:29] Oh, that’s, that’s awesome. That’s extremely educational. Like I said, I didn’t know that when I used to watch the show. I think I just absorbed it and probably didn’t even realize I was learning something.
[00:50:37] Keith Tucker: [00:50:37] Oh, it was me too. I mean, I have some cursory stuff, but I didn’t know these particular gods and billon gods stuff.
[00:50:47] I didn’t know anything about him. I go to this museum and I’m like, Oh my God, you’re an ex.
[00:50:57] Jeff: [00:50:57] That’s awesome. But like, I must, must’ve just [00:51:00] been incredible to know. You know that you have this. Emmett, did you feel, was that validating that you earned it or did you already know? You know, you’re, you’ve made it your, you already knew you’re, you know, you’re going to be a legend in storyboard art.
[00:51:14] Keith Tucker: [00:51:14] Hi. I knew I was a pro and I have been doing it for decades and continued to do it. So
[00:51:27] Jeff: [00:51:27] what kind of voice would you have for the next storyboard artists in the future? Who wants to do what you do?
[00:51:32] Keith Tucker: [00:51:32] Study film. Look at how the story is told. You know, don’t just look at, okay, be entertained. Okay. Do a one walk in. Walk yourself through it once and then go back and look and see how they told the story, how they drew your attention to some prop or some door knob that was going to open an or [00:52:00] you, you, you get the establishing shot and you go, Oh, you see them go past something that later they have to run past later and how you get these story points so that.
[00:52:12] Everything flows so you can watch it not go as an audience member going, what’s going on here? What? Where am I? Gotcha. You actually know the logistics of where things are set up within your screen direction. I’ve had directors tell me, Gary, Keith always knows where everybody’s at. You know, and that’s what you do.
[00:52:37] You’d make a graph and know this person’s here, that person’s there. And, or this thing is over here and they got to get to that. But first they have to do this. And you, you, you familiarize your audience with, with key things that you want the amendment surprise them when necessary.
[00:53:00] [00:53:00] Jeff: [00:53:00] Well, that sounds, I didn’t know you.
[00:53:01] It sounds like it’d be a very organized person to be a storyboard or something. You have to be very in control of what you’re doing. Be very diligent in the details. I wouldn’t even have thought about that.
[00:53:11] Keith Tucker: [00:53:11] Well, they are the nuts and bolts of telling a story. You have to keep track of, you know, what characters are going.
[00:53:22] You know, generally the good guys are, are heading left to right and the bad guys are heading right to left. But that’s the overall, I don’t mean to cut you off, but that’s overall a screen direction. But within your story, you’ll still have a changeover where people have to go one direction or the other.
[00:53:48] Jeff: [00:53:48] Now, while you’re, when you’re watching projects that you’re not a part of, let’s say just you’re either animation that your kids or grandkids are watching. Do you find yourself picking it apart for a storyboard, or do you, can you [00:54:00] just sit back and just enjoy the program?
[00:54:03] Keith Tucker: [00:54:03] Uh, I’d pick it apart and enjoy it simultaneous.
[00:54:07] Jeff: [00:54:07] Oh, nice. You know,
[00:54:09] Keith Tucker: [00:54:09] I just RFIC a director’s like doing nice stuff. I just go, that really works. You know that I notice in the Mandalorian now there’s some solid old-school storytelling and a small wonder that it’s such a hit, probably because of that small wonder on the show. Yeah. Now,
[00:54:35] Jeff: [00:54:35] do you ever find yourself just like, Oh, come on.
[00:54:36] Just let me do it. Like jump in and let me just fix it for you guys after you see something that doesn’t, you can tell it doesn’t work. From that a storyboard standpoint, do you ever feel need just like jump in and be like, guys, let me do it. Like is it like tempting.
[00:54:49] Keith Tucker: [00:54:49] No, I mean, it’s all done by that. If you want to fix something, you, you know, you’re talking about a lot of work.
[00:54:58] There’s budgetary [00:55:00] concerns, you know?
[00:55:01] Jeff: [00:55:01] Right, right, right. Now, when you’re talking about the budget of an animated episode, when you’re saying something is more expensive in a, you know, a cartoon, what is making it more expensive? When you’re saying you put this teacher will not have that detail because it’s going to make it more, it’s too expensive.
[00:55:16] What kind of things are you talking about?
[00:55:20] Keith Tucker: [00:55:20] Well, you could have a room full of Joe’s is like we used to refer to it. Then they have to, if they want not to just be a held cell. You got a whole bunch of GI Joe characters and, and this one’s doing this and that one’s doing that. How many more characters are doing this and that in a scene?
[00:55:43], that’s one part of it. You know, there’d be a lot of. Overseas people going to really need this many characters in that scene.
[00:55:52] Jeff: [00:55:52] So is it like a time thing or amount of people you need to do the artwork?
[00:55:56] Keith Tucker: [00:55:56] Well, it’s, it’s, it’s all the above. I mean, you gotta if [00:56:00] you call for something too outrageous and ambitious, then you’re asking for, , it may not get done in time for air dates and you, you have to hit your air dates.
[00:56:14] Uh, then networks would find you if you didn’t meet the air dates
[00:56:21] Jeff: [00:56:21] typically, or the program
[00:56:23] Keith Tucker: [00:56:23] duty. You
[00:56:24] Jeff: [00:56:24] have a studio.
[00:56:25] Keith Tucker: [00:56:25] Yeah. to deliver a program for an air day. And, uh, you know, so he got to worked with Dan, , a budget, , and make it so it’s producible. It’s not necessarily. We’re not making an animated feature film.
[00:56:44] We’re making an animated cartoon show. , Warner brothers in the 90s, Ford and Disney, both were pouring a lot more money into shows. [00:57:00] And that blurred the, uh, the line between animation and TV. So, you know, that all was . Got squashed with the telecommunication act of 1996 when, , the studios were Nick Denton allowed to buy their own network or vice versa, a network of buy their own studio.
[00:57:25] And, uh, once Disney could take, , you know, , ABC off the map. And, uh, other studios, you know, or networks were different, you know, the WB or whatever done. They didn’t have to compete to get a show on network TV. So they very soon after that happened, the budgets got cut.
[00:57:51] Jeff: [00:57:51] Gotcha.
[00:57:54] Keith Tucker: [00:57:54] A lot of people say, what happened to cartoons today?
[00:57:57] And I tell them that, you know, it’s [00:58:00] budgets. Gotcha.
[00:58:01] Jeff: [00:58:01] That’s why there’s less details maybe in the background, something of that nature,
[00:58:05] Keith Tucker: [00:58:05] or less characters in a scene. Less fluid animation. You’re not doing a lot of three quarter animation, which is what we did three quarter at camera, three quarter away from camera.
[00:58:20] That kind of animation, , is more expensive in two D, . You know, uh, now, you know, it’s simpler animation. It’s too simple. No, I,
[00:58:33] Jeff: [00:58:33] I gotcha. , I, I’ve had you on for a little bit, but I do want to talk about, just one last thing before I let you go. , I know you said, and I know you said you’re retired, but you said you’re also doing some of your own artwork.
[00:58:42], what does that artwork for?
[00:58:45]Keith Tucker: [00:58:45] , I, you know, , prints, , stuff that I create my, . For myself on that. I, I sell in sign F for people at chip at shows. And, ,
[00:58:58] Jeff: [00:58:58] so, so have you ever been tempted on [00:59:00] doing something, you’re like an original comic book or TV show or something that you have, , complete that’s completely yours.
[00:59:09] Keith Tucker: [00:59:09] Yeah. But, , I am working on a few side projects that I can’t talk about yet. And I did do some work on, , some, a couple of friends, small films, , things that I could do to D. Now,
[00:59:26] Jeff: [00:59:26] I know you said you can talk, you don’t want to talk about the project. Can you at least talk about what kind of projects they are?
[00:59:31] Are they, you know, are they sh animation? Is it comic book? Is it movie comic book? Very cool.
[00:59:38] Keith Tucker: [00:59:38] Yeah, and some step down. I’ve been working on for quite a while. It’s a timeless nature, and so, yeah, but as far as. It’s a lot of work to prepare a cartoon idea and you know, a lot of developments kind of like let people go through to try and [01:00:00] sell a syndicated cartoon.
[01:00:02] And then you have to have so much, , developed and planted and figured out and, , I’m, I’m liking when I’m doing that rather than now.
[01:00:10] Jeff: [01:00:10] The combo that you’re working on, are you the writer and artist or are you doing simply the art or the writing?
[01:00:17] Keith Tucker: [01:00:17] There were two of them and one on adapting someone else’s script and, uh, the other one I’m doing on my own.
[01:00:26] Jeff: [01:00:26] That’s very cool. It must, that sounds wicked exciting.
[01:00:30] Keith Tucker: [01:00:30] Well, thank you. When hopefully are getting done with these years.
[01:00:35] Jeff: [01:00:35] Well, once it’s ready for publication, you, I would like you to let me know of love to talk to you about it.
[01:00:40] Keith Tucker: [01:00:40] Oh, I appreciate that. Thank you. Oh,
[01:00:43] Jeff: [01:00:43] it’s totally my pleasure. I would love to see what you do with it.
[01:00:47] Keith Tucker: [01:00:47] Swimmingly.
[01:00:49] Jeff: [01:00:49] No, I’m, I’m gonna let you go just a minute. Um, but, but if you can do the intro of the promo for us, that’d be fantastic. I’ll just let you know what to say. , this is Keith talker and you’re listening to spoil our country.
[01:00:59] Keith Tucker: [01:00:59] You [01:01:00] got it. I know what you’re doing. This is Keith Tucker and you are listening to country.
[01:01:08] Jeff: [01:01:08] Thank you so much, Keith. I really do appreciate the interview. You were fantastic.
[01:01:13] Keith Tucker: [01:01:13] You got it. We got a one take wonder there. Okay.
[01:01:16] Jeff: [01:01:16] Yeah. Yeah. You didn’t, you were phenomenal. , I’ll do a little bit of editing mostly when the dog started barking, but beyond that, it was fantastic.
[01:01:24] Keith Tucker: [01:01:24] Hey, and your Mike didn’t die.
[01:01:26] Jeff: [01:01:26] I was at, well, yeah, I was actually surprised by that. This is actually, it was fortuitous for me. Yeah. But, um, I’ll let you, I’ll let you know as soon as this goes live, I’ll send you a link. And like I said, thank you for being awesome and thank you for creating my childhood.
[01:01:40] Keith Tucker: [01:01:40] I am one of them. It takes a village to create an animated cartoon.
[01:01:45] Jeff: [01:01:45] Well, for this time, I’m giving you full credit for the moment.
[01:01:49] Keith Tucker: [01:01:49] Yeah.
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Interview scheduled by Jeffery Haas