Interview: Steve O’Brien and Jared Mass Talk Super Giant Robot Brothers – | Region & Cash

ComingSoon spoke with Super giant robot brothers‘ Executive Producers Steve O’Brien and Jared Mass on creating the upcoming Netflix animated series in Epic’s Unreal Engine.

“Two quarreling robotic brothers experience growing pains as they battle bloodthirsty monsters, supernatural disasters, and mundane personal troubles,” reads the show’s official synopsis.

RELATED: Exclusive Super Giant Robot Brothers clip previews Netflix’s upcoming animated series

Spencer Legacy: Tell me about this unique process you are doing.

Steve O’Brien: Just for background, we’ve historically been a film-oriented studio, so this is our first original series. We are very happy about it. From a procedural point of view, this is perhaps the first series of this scale and quality built with a game engine – Epic’s Unreal Engine, practically from start to finish. So it’s important for that reason too. Very innovative production techniques.

What are some of the challenges that come with using Unreal?

Steve O’Brien: I wouldn’t say there are challenges, it’s more opportunities, right? So the show is storyboarded using a live-action camera technique rather than traditional hand-drawn storyboards. This gives you a lot more opportunities to iterate in the animation process and try different things. Then the engine also renders in real time, so you can see more of a finished product while you are making the product yourself. So, frame by frame, we see more [of] how the actual show will look like. And in the old traditional animation technique you see hand draws and playblasts and things like that.

Why did you choose Unreal?

Steve O’Brien: We watched and experimented for a long time, and when this show came along, we just felt like it was the ideal opportunity. Netflix was brave enough to step in with us. Although there was pressure on us to deliver with this new technique, everything worked out and we are super happy with the results.

You said you have a film background. Did any of the staff have a background in game development?

Steve O’Brien: Yes, actually quite a lot. We built a team around the Unreal pipeline and a brand new pipeline while making the show. I would say bringing together people from the film, episodic games… so it’s a unique team that we have now.

What was the most exciting part about producing the show using this new method?

Steve O’Brien: That’s more of a question for our director, Mark Andrews, but what he would tell you is [that] As a director and storyteller, having the flexibility – like I mentioned – to be on stage with real actors, re-enact the scenes, try different things, different camera angles and so on, was a kind of new freedom to bring into the world of animation.

Do you think this will become a more common way of production based on your experience?

Steve O’Brien: yes we do

Do you think that other teams can quickly adapt to this? Was the transition to usage easy or were there any obstacles along the way?

Steve O’Brien: I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it was worth the effort, let’s put it that way. The effort is well worth it. And I see a future where we’re gonna do a lot of shows in that pipeline.

What do you think makes Super Giant Robot Brothers unique and worth watching?

Jared Fair: Super giant robot brothers is a show that’s really aimed at kids and families, but it kind of owes its hat to old kaiju shows from the 60’s, 70’s, [and] 80s Our showrunner Tommy Blacha likes to reference shows like ultraman and Johnny Sokko and his flying robot and gamera. The intention here is to make a show that pays tribute to the kaiju genre but also injects some real comedy [and] Sibling rivalry between these two robot stepbrothers that I think kids will love because they will see their own sibling rivalries that they have with their siblings in these two characters.

So it’s an action comedy where the Kaijus are attacking Earth and you have these two stepbrothers who have just met and come from completely different sides of the personality spectrum who now have to work together to save Earth from impending doom. My favorite part of it is just the blending of action and comedy to pay tribute to a genre that feels classic and we’re bringing it to a brand new audience

Which of the brothers do each of you have more in common with?

Jared Fair: I’d say I’m referring more to Shiny, the red paunchy older brother, but in many ways he’s the younger brother because he represents his inventor – Alex Rose, our female heroine. Alex invented it when she was just two years old. Then he disappears and 10 years later he returns to Earth, and Alex is now 12 years old and has been inventing Thunder ever since.

Thunder represents Alex Rose, now a teenager, who carries a very heavy responsibility of protecting the earth on his shoulders. So she created Thunder to be much more mature, robotic, and responsible than Shiny despite being the older brother [that] was invented by her when she was two years old. He’s really much more of a character who works from his gut reaction to things. He’s more reactionary.

But he has a huge heart, doesn’t he? I think he’s much more relatable to us as an audience and to kids because he has a kid’s heart and imagination. Thunder is more responsible despite being the younger brother. He must contend with his older brother’s immaturity and inexperience and the two are forced together. So I would say that I relate to Shiny more because I like to use more of my childish imagination and reactions to things. And I like less the mature and responsible side.

Steve O’Brien: What Jared mentioned earlier is what really drew me to the show, and raising three children, all now in college or beyond, watching their personalities and perspective on life change from toddler to teenager … and the personalities of Shiny and Thunder reference that’s really interesting. What I found was that when I watched the last show that is now streaming on the Netflix platform, I had to laugh at Thunder’s comedy as much as I did at Shiny’s, which is great because as a straight male duo he really delivers. Since Jared said shiny, I’ll say thunder.

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