Sunday, December 08, 2013

Smosh Cartoons

Barry Blumberg, long-time Disney exec (also man about town) is currently top-kick of the YouTube channel Smosh and Shut-up Cartoons (which seem similar to Fred Seibert's internet animation empire.)

Ju-osh: You previously served as the President of Walt Disney Television Animation. What are some of the differences between working in an established corporate behemoth and working in a small - albeit hugely successful - internet start-up?

Blumberg: The turnaround is a lot faster now. When people come in and they pitch us on a show, we’re able to make a decision as to whether or not move forward with an idea pretty quickly. There are fewer people who need to be part of the development process and that can be both good and bad. When you’re at a company like Disney, the process can take a bit longer, since there are a lot of very smart people who weigh in and have input into what it is you’re doing. But with Shut Up! Cartoons, you definitely get to see more of the creators vision up on the screen. ...

Ju-osh: A number of your shows are about to enter their second and third seasons. This is still relatively uncharted territory for online animated programs. Could you share some of the secrets you’ve learned for keeping things familiar without feeling stale?

Blumberg: It’s about evolving the shows as they go. Looking at Oishi now in it’s second season, there’s more of a continuous narrative that unfolds throughout the course of the season that will keep people interested.

Ju-osh: What shows are currently the most popular on Shut Up! Cartoons? Do you have a guess as to why?

Blumberg: In addition to Oishi, I’d say Teleporting Fat Guy and SMOSH Babies do really well for us. I think the shows that are the closest to the SMOSH brand wind up being really successful on the channel. ...

Animation isn't just flourishing on broadcast networks, cable channels and in big-screen theaters; it's also connecting on the internet. (What Hollywood calls "New Media." And what DreamWorks Animation is purchasing when the property seems tempting enough to buy.)

Mr. Blumberg isn't the first mainstream animation executive who has found prosperity on the internet. We doubt he will be the last.


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