Turns out my estimates were correct, and Matthew Mercer, the man who was king of the Gerudo (and Kirby, and Meta Knight, for that matter) in There Will Be Brawl
, was busy as all get-out over the past few weeks. But in the end, answers cometh, and I present them to you.
Since it's been a while, I'll reiterate that my questions are in bold text, and Matthew's answers are in regular.
Where'd the seed for There Will Be Brawl originate, anyway? Was it your fault, Zach's, the alcohol's, or some collaboration of the three?
Kind of a collaboration of the three, really. Zach had brought up a conversation he had with his friends while playing Smash Bros Melee about how essentially fucked up Kirby is when you think about it: He runs around, eat people, then wears their skin. Thus, the Hannibal comparison was born. This then began a conversation between us where we deconstructed other Nintendo characters in a similar way, and ended up developing this dark, interesting spin on a world we grew up with and loved. Then, we had the silly idea to shoot it. Did you guys have any certain castings in mind from the get-go, or were there auditions or ads put out to fill the roles in the show?
Originally, we were completely open to auditions without and specific ideas...mainly because we didn't know anyone who looked like the Mario Bros. We some rather ill-fated auditions, and basically found ourselves in need of recommendations from friends. Thus came Matt Key (Luigi), Paul Duraso (Mario), and Tony Rago (Link). We then began pulling from folk we knew going forward, and it turned out much better that way.
How'd you end up getting ahold of Jeff Lewis for Waluigi? It's certainly a bit of a departure from his thrifty, anal-retentive role as Vork in The Guild.
We were big fans of his work on the Guild already, and we have mutual friends with Jeff. Thus, we ran into him at an event, and struck up a conversation about Web series, mentioned ours, and I could already see Zach's gears turning. We kept in touch, and when we were developing the Waluigi character, it was a given...and Jeff was FANTASTIC. I still quote his Waluigi lines from time to time. I noticed, while watching, that Ganondorf's face seems to be brighter green the healthier and more powerful he is at different points in the series. Was this intentional, or just a side effect of lighting, having access to different kinds of makeup at different points of shooting, or just completely accidental?
IT WAS TOTALLY INTENTIONAL. WE HAD IT PLANNED FROM...naw, it's both changes in lighting, and make-up. Mostly it was minor adjustments to shades of green, or intensity of application... but others (Episode 10), there was a scene where Ganon's skin goes VERY dark green. This was due to driving 1.5 hours to Lancaster with the cast and crew on a frozen night, to shoot in an empty office building with no heat, from Dusk til Dawn. Upon arriving, setting up, arranging the shot list, and getting into costume and make-up... it was discovered that the lighter green make-up was missing. Thus, THE SHOW MUST GO ON. I tried to fix it in post (and probably could have), but the deadline for the finale was looming so heavily, I decided to just leave it there. Also, it's fun to watch the fans speculate on our reasoning. ;) Any madcap backstage adventures or disasters you'd like to regale us with, now that it's been nearly a year and therefore is probably much less embarassing for any parties involved?
Adventures? Many. Like when we were filming the hotel scene in Ep 1, and the manager began to kick us out for "shooting porn". We managed to finish shooting while we packed up. Disasters? Nothing major, mainly due to an amazing cast and crew that not only rolled with the punches, but stepped up to help in any way they could. Stuff like Falco's actor suddenly not being able to be there for his scenes in Ep 8, so we had to dress up the composer instead and dub his lines. Stuff like Mario's nose getting nearly broken when Donkey Kong actually threw the barrel at his face full force. Stuff like Mario's hand getting broken during the Old-Boy fight scene in Ep 10 at the beginning of the night, then just wrapping his hand and shooting like a pro for the next 10 hours. Man...Paul got beat up a lot. Was there any particular reason The Escapist ended up picking you guys up, and how differently would the series have fared, production-wise, had they not?
Well, if TWBB hadn't been picked up by the Escapist (or anyone else, for that matter), then... we would have all enjoyed only Episodes 1-3, maybe. The fans REALLY stepped up and donated to get episodes 2-3 going, and that allowed the Escapist to see the series and decide to pick it up. The fans made this happen, and I am forever grateful for them. Do you have a desire or plans to direct something again in the future, or are you looking to stick to the acting and voice work side of things for now?
I definitely enjoy directing, and would love to direct something again REAL soon. I have plans. I just want to avoid directing, while also producing, camera operating, costume designing and creating, Prop building, set dressing, equipment renting, location scouting, editing, and doing post effects...all at once. THAT burned me out for awhile, hehe. So, for those less savvy regarding your other work, what've you been up to professionally that you'd like to shamelessly plug or otherwise let us know about?
Ha! Well, please do tune in to Cartoon Network's new ThunderCats cartoon series, where I voice Tygra and other random characters. I have a horror film feature I am a lead in called "Dead Inside" that should be out next year. I am in pre-production on a couple of new web-series projects right now, so keep an eye out. Many awesome video game projects I am heavily involved in (Voice-wise), but can't quite say anything yet. Just be vigilant. What sort of games do you normally play, if/when you have the time?
RPGs and Fighting Games, definitely. I've little time these days to play as much as I wish I could, but when I do, I love RPGs like Baldur's Gate, The Witcher, Mass Effect, Dark Souls, etc. Fighting game-wise, I'm pretty nasty at Street Fighter 4 (though Alpha 3 is my BAG), and can hold my own in Guilty Gear and Soul Calibur. If I wanted to be the Tifa to your Sephiroth, where could I find you in the near future? As in, conventions (and panels therein) or other events?
*shiver* I'll be a guest at PMX on Nov 12 near Los Angeles, as well as Kollisioncon near Chicago the weekend of Nov 18-20. Beyond that, I have plans for Anime Matsuri in Houston, Texas come April, and Ultimacon next summer in New Orleans. If you are hitting up San Diego Comic-con next year, come find me at both the Thundercats Panel, and the Voice in Animation panel. A couple of quick ones to close up here. First, who's your standby Super Smash Bros. character, and what's your favorite stage? Feel free to elaborate on both as much as you feel necessary.
My guy is, and always will be, Luigi. This has nothing to do with my series, and more to do with the fact that he's FUCKING WEIRD and I LOVE IT. He's a strange, awkward character to use, making it hard for folks to get a bead on your technique, and he has a few good tricks up his sleeve. Also, his taunts are amazing. I love him. Stage-wise, I', a fan of the classic Hyrule Temple. SO many great battles there. And, finally, marry/fuck/kill: Malon, Ruto, Saria?
Marry - Malon, Fuck - Ruto, Kill - Saria
A man after my own heart when it comes to character choice, and after my woman on the marriage end of the marry/fuck/kill scale. Only two more of these left to go, so hopefully, Peach will be allowed off-set from Fresh Hell long enough to get back to me sometime soon, and Sonic's checking his email in the next day or two.
LOOK WHO CAME: