Dave Hughes, creator that Adult Swim’s 4 a.m. Speculative cult hit off the Air, talks to Stash about his latest teamwork with Baltimore composer/musician Dan Deacon referred to as “When i Was excellent Dying,” collection nine outstanding animators because that a surreal and also unrelenting visual assault.

Stash: call us exactly how “When ns Was done Dying” came about.

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Dave Hughes: “Dan got to out while he was mastering Gliss Riffer, and wanted to carry out an exquisite corpse style animated video. Ns recommended part animators I thought would be an ideal and told that what I thought an proper budget would certainly be because that something that this scope.

“The label appeared a tiny spooked by the budget, however the timing coincided with us discovering we come in under budget plan for season 4 of off The Air and also I readily available that up together a method to acquire this made. For this reason this video clip is technically a one-of-a-kind episode of turn off The Air, however hopefully much much more than that.

“The lyrics were yes, really rich and also evocative, so I simply let them command me creatively and then assembled an incredible team that animators ns knew would certainly go come incredible and also unpredictable areas with them.


How go you decided the animators?

“These were every animators who work had actually previously showed up on off The Air, whether as a brand-new commission, or in licensed work. To usage a hackneyed term, that was kind of a ‘dream team’ because that us and also anyone who has actually watched off The air will identify at least one that the animators.

“Dan and I went earlier and forth a little initially as to whether the video should be strictly 2D animation, or if that should include as countless styles as possible to reflect the churning nature that the song. Ultimately, we cleared up on using the 2 choruses together departures native the 2D layout into 3D people (Taras and also KOKOFREAKBEAN).

“I always knew I wanted Jake Fried to open and also close the piece due to the fact that his layout is therefore stark and kind of bring away you best away. He also tends to develop out of blackness which appeared to fit well thematically. The remainder (Chad VanGaalen, Dimitri Stankowicz, Colin White, Anthony Schepperd, Masanobu Hiraoka, and also Caleb Wood) either choose their own sections, or were provided sections wherein I assumed their style might apply to the lyrics and also mood that the track best.”


How did the animators attach their sequences?

“I type of chickened out of making this a timeless exquisite corpse whereby the animators are offered beginning and also end images. Ns cheated by suggesting they acquire to full frames of certain colors for the transitions, and also figured I can cheat the transitions to overlap in After effects later if I needed to.

“As it turned out, numerous of the animators just started talk to their neighbors in the piece, and they established their own transitions. I did a little bit of work-related in the final stages and also I think you don’t rather feel the cheat in it.”


Let united state in ~ above the greatest creative an obstacle the team encountered.

“The creative challenge was much much more for the animators than for me. Once I very first started outlining the piece, i was getting really detailed, and even had frame details suggestions for the animation, yet it feeling wrong to have assembled together a talented team of animators and also not allow them go crazy, so ns beat earlier the anal editor in myself and also just provided them a loosened outline, the frames they would certainly be responsible for, and sync points.

“My challenges came to be mostly logistical after that, and as my producer Cody DeMatteis might tell you, it was actually very difficult from the standpoint.”


Any an excellent production stories Stash readers have to know?

“Well, I’ll tell girlfriend one funny moment and one sad one:

“First, pretty beforehand in the project, ns was bugging the animators for style frames, storyboards or animatics for your sections. Ns was a small stressed since it to be such a large undertaking, and also with off The waiting I’m offered to knowing what the show will watch like before we begin it since I run it v pre-edit for this reason much.

“But this was going to it is in different, and also Anthony Schepperd sent me an email nicely saying that I had probably picked the dorn bunch that animators if I want storyboards and animatics. Ns knew he to be right, and I knew every one of their work so fine that i realized I might just step ago and be safe a bit and also let the happen. And it did.

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“The sad one is that throughout the process I to be so amazed at just how easy the internet had made the project. These guys are from all over the ar (Paris, Tokyo, Calgary, NYC, Boston, san Antonio, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Atlanta). Ns didn’t speak a solitary word to any of them, and yet us were in constant contact and it every felt really seamless.

“But when it was anywhere I felt choose I’d been with this enormous thing through these guys and we’d carried something truly beautiful right into the world but we couldn’t also go out for drink or display screen it or storage together. The web just fails miserably at that. Yet I hope to accomplish them all some day and raise a glass come a project that’s really special come me.”

Broadcaster: Cartoon NetworkCreative director: Dave HughesProducer: Cody DeMatteisAnimators (in order of appearance): Jake Fried, Chad Vangaalen, Dimitri Stankowicz, Colin White, Taras Hrabowsky, Anthony Schepperd, Masanobu Hiraoka, Caleb Wood, KOKOFREAKBEAN