Rao interviews student creators from Fizz Animation Studios

by Revanth Rao

Staff Writer

Watch the full interview on the El Gato News YouTube channel.

Revanth: I’m Revanth Rao, and I’m here with some of the people from Fizz Animation Studios. Do you guys want to introduce yourselves?

Brandon: I’m Brandon Krish. I’m a junior at Los Gatos High School. 

Devon: I’m Devon Krish. I’m a freshman at Los Gatos High School. 

Shreyas: I’m Shreyas Ravi. I’m a junior at Saratoga High School. 

Screen Shot 2020-06-04 at 3.06.08 PM

FiZZ Films recently released its animation “Pandemic in the Freezer”

Revanth: Okay, thanks guys. Can you explain to people what you’re doing here with your animation studio during this quarantine?

Brandon: Well, Shreyas and I had an idea. Shreyas had all of these little bits of animation that we were going to use for projects but that we never got around to using. We also had ideas for other projects that we wanted to do. So we figured since we’re in quarantine, now’s a better time than ever to get those projects done and maybe provide some joy for people during this difficult time. Shreyas, do you have anything to add to that?

Shreyas: Yeah. Basically, we’re just trying to provide some entertainment for people during these trying times. We’re trying to do one a week for people to enjoy. 

Revanth: Where can people check out the work you’re doing?

Brandon: They can check it out … We don’t upload them on YouTube because they are pretty short. They’re definitely made more for social media, so when you’re scrolling through something that just catches your attention for, you know, a minute or so. You can find it on our Twitter, our Facebook, and our Instagram.

Revanth: Who was the inspiration behind this and whose idea was it to do this?

Brandon: It was kind of everyone. Shreyas, do you remember how this kind of happened?

Shreyas: I think it was kind of just something that started out of the blue because we just had some bits and pieces lying around and then we just thought that we could put together some short things that could get out weekly. I think that’s how it started.

Brandon: I remember we were in the car because my dad was doing some grocery shopping. I was in the car with him and Shreyas just started sending me these little clips of what he was doing during quarantine and I had been working on stuff as well, so we figured it would be the best of both worlds if we could just get together. And he [Devon] had been composing music in his free time. Do you want to talk a little bit about that?

Devon: Yeah. I’ve been composing to their animation and I really think it helps the animation. The animation itself really kind of paints a beautiful story. Even though each short is only a minute long, it proves great entertainment and I think with music, it just brings it to the next level.

Brandon: Yeah. Shreyas and I were talking about that because Shreyas would have this beautiful animation that we worked on together. I read the questions, so we’ll get to that a little bit later. But, Shreyas and I had done this piece and the animation was good, but we didn’t want there to be dialogue because we thought it would ruin it. [Devon] composed the score. The way the score works, for one of the short films, called “Square Up”, which we’ll get into a little bit later, he gave each shape a different theme and a different sound. So when the ball bounces in, that is a certain ball’s theme. The triangle has its own theme and then the square has its own theme. I remember Shreyas was the first to point out the fact that, and I like the way Shreyas said it, this is the movie’s dialogue. Since there is no dialogue, this music is the dialogue of the short. 

Revanth: What role do each of you have in making these films?

Devon: Do you want to kind of tell them the process?

Brandon: Yeah. We’ll tell them the process. Shreyas, do you want to start, though?

Shreyas: For these first few ones that we’ve been doing, Brandon usually comes up with the story for it and I do most of the animation. When I’m doing the animation, I make little tweaks to the story to make it a little more appealing and a little more interesting to animate. When we’re done with all the animation, it goes to Devon for music and you [Brandon] and your animation.

Brandon: Yeah, I do a little bit of the animation too and then I edit it and get it ready. Shreyas is really good at action stuff. So, for example, we’re working on a short film right now that was largely Shreyas’ idea which is about an ice cube. We won’t say too much about it, but it’s really, really great what Shreyas has done with the way the ice cube moves and everything. And then I’m really good at the facial features. So Shreyas is strong at actually creating a set and creating the movements of the characters, but I’m really strong at the facial features, and he’s [Devon] great at the music. It’s kind of like a team that works really well. What’ll happen is these things need to be done in a week. So let’s just say that we have a short film that’s 75% done and it’s going to be released this Saturday. Shreyas finished his part of the animation. Now I’m doing my part of the animation. Devon has a kind of score laid out for it.

Devon: I have a theme laid out for it, and then on Day 6 or Day 7, I finished scoring it to the animation. 

Brandon: And he finishes scoring it. Meanwhile, Shreyas is already working on next week’s [animation]. So when it comes to me, it’s going to be sometime next week and I’m going to have to do my thing and he’s going to have to do his part. Really, we have seven days to make each of these, but we use our time wisely.

Devon: We’re always seven days ahead.

Brandon: So we’re always at least seven days ahead. Shreyas can tell you this, just how long it took to make “Fizy” and “Write and Wrong”. So this is definitely a much better change of pace because rather than spending a year and a half on one short film, we’re all able to spend seven days and maybe in the span of three months, be able to get done a lot more content. That’s pretty good. 

Revanth: In terms of the story or the music even, do you guys ever have disagreements over something and how do you resolve those?

Devon: Constantly. 

Brandon: Yeah. Shreyas, do you want to answer this?

Shreyas: I think story-wise, Brandon and I have a lot of disagreements. So usually what would happen is, Brandon comes up with one part of the story, and I get an idea that I think might be better. We usually go back and forth debating whether this is a good idea for the audience or not. The thing is, we’re making it, so when we’re doing it, we don’t know how it’s going to be perceived by the audience since we know everything behind the scenes and all that. We have to make sure that whatever we include in the story is proper for the audience to view and understand correctly. 

Brandon: What about you [Devon]?

Devon: I will say for our most recent short film, “Stringing Along”, I think my original score, I was told to redo it five or six times. I’m glad that happened, though, because the final product did turn out a lot better.

Brandon: I think that’s the big thing, right, because as we’re making these, we’ve never made short, short, short form before. We’ve always been three or five minutes. This is a bit of a challenge to tell more self-contained stories a lot quicker. I think our biggest thing is taking the viewer feedback in because we want to make something that’s close to our heart, but we want to make sure that other people understand it. Our first short film, “Square Up”, we all loved it and even Shreyas said this looks really, really good. But we found out a lot of people didn’t understand it. So what we’re trying to do, and we kind of fixed this with the short film that followed, “Stringing Along”, and we’re definitely fixing it with the short coming out this Saturday, which is called “Arctic Explosion”. It’s all about constantly improving the process so people understand the story, the message, and the moral because all of these stories are supposed to have an underlying theme that people in quarantine right now should be able to look at and be like “Oh, I understand that.” Some of those themes that we’re exploring in the upcoming films, not so much in “Square Up” and not so much in “Stringing Along”, they touch on themes that are important right now. 

Revanth: Who has final say in any of this, or is it just collectively you make a decision?

Brandon: All of us have final say. I think usually in terms of animation/action, I’ll give Shreyas a lot of final say. In story, I think I’ll have final say. And then music is kind of up for grabs because he [Devon] has a lot of ideas which are usually all really good, but you want to make sure, because it’s really the backbone of the story, that it propels the story forward and it keeps you going. 

Devon: And whoever is in charge of the short will have the final say in the music. So I’ll tweak my compositions to their liking.

Brandon: Shreyas is working on a short right now about an ice cube, and for that one, he gets most of the final say because it’s his film. For something like “Arctic Explosion”, or we’re working on a “Fizy” sequel right now about what Fizy and Splurge are doing during quarantine, I’ll get more final say. So it depends on the person who started the project and who’s leading the project. 

Revanth: With these shorts that you’re releasing recently, what’s the goal behind this? What are you trying to achieve by making them?

Brandon: Shreyas, do you wanna go ahead?

Shreyas: I think the main goal is to just have entertainment for people during these trying times. People that are suffering due to this pandemic, we just want to give them some hope and happiness with these short films. 

Brandon: Anything we can do to make kids and adults and teenagers a just little happier, even if it’s just for a couple of seconds, that to us is really really important. And there’s no better way to get people to connect than to get them to connect through shorts. It’s great. 

Revanth: You mentioned that you have some unused footage that you’ve been using but are you also adding in stuff that you just made?

Devon: I’d say 90% of it is made. 

Brandon: I’d say 95% is original stuff. Shreyas can talk a little bit about this and you know about this because you’ve been my friend for a while, that we were all actually working on a short called Cutting Corners. It didn’t end up working out because the story got really really really convoluted. We didn’t end up moving forward with it, but we had a lot of really good animation from that. A lot of those clips that we used ended up becoming “Square Up”. Shreyas can probably talk about how he used some of the old clips as inspiration for making new clips for that specific to our film.

Shreyas: For “Square Up”, we had some sequences that were already animated, but didn’t feel totally complete, so we would just add things in. The square stretching the triangle at the end, we just added that in. For our latest release, “Stringing Along”, originally, the whole thing was just a loop of the guitar just playing, but then in the week when we were working on it, we added in the string breaking and him fixing the string and made it feel more complete. 

Brandon: Yeah, the story element is really important. For “Square Up”, the elements we had originally used for Cutting Corners served a different purpose in “Square Up” because the part in “Square Up” that was from Cutting Corners was actually just a segment of a five minute narrative. What we were doing was we were reusing the segment for a minute narrative. So things had to change, which required me to go back and edit a lot of the old footage we did, which was really really hard because a lot of that old footage doesn’t really work of the latest Adobe software anymore because it was made two years ago, so that was pretty difficult to do. Also, like Shreyas said, just going back and reanimating some stuff to fix the current story.

Revanth: In terms of animation, you said you’re doing these every week, but how long every day are you spending to work on these and how does that compare to the time that you spent doing films in the past?

Shreyas: For movement and motion, I’m usually spending two to three hours every day doing the motion because even though the motion look really simple, even just someone walking, when you’re animating the motion and doing it every single frame, it’s really tedious and it takes a long time to make sure everything looks smooth and synced up. So for the motion and movement aspect, that’s what’s going on. I’m pretty sure that Brandon’s part, when he’s doing the facial expressions, it’s a lot more tedious, but he can go into that.

Brandon: Yeah it is more tedious for the facial expressions because the way animation works is it’s 24 frames per second. Ours are 12 frames per second, which is different from “Fizy” and “Write and Wrong”, which have varying frame rates. 

Devon: Yeah and they had a total of 15,000 pictures and individual frames. 

Brandon: Yeah. So it’s a little bit different, but what we’re working with here, it’s still 12 individual images per second, so you need to go in and do the faces really frame by frame, making minor adjustments to each face, so it’s tiring. I’d say I probably spend about two to three hours per day on it as well. What about you [Devon]?

Devon: I probably spend two to three hours developing the theme over the course of the first six days and then on the last, I probably spend two to three hours kind of making that sync up to the animation and adding in embellishments here and there.

Brandon: Yeah. We all work pretty efficiently. I have friends who are also filmmakers at the high school. They had all these script ideas and they were ready to go out and film. I was even going to help out a little bit on some of them. But because of this shelter in place now, they can’t do that. In animation, since everything can be done remotely, we’re able to keep making these projects and so we know how to work efficiently now in quarantine, especially because of the time constraints that school has. 

Revanth: You’ve obviously made plenty of short films before, but these are a lot shorter than the ones you’ve made in the past. What’s the biggest change in terms of the process you’re making now that the length has changed. 

Brandon: You [Devon] can touch on that a little bit because he was one of the main animators on my last animated short film, just like Shreyas. These two were the main animators on “Write and Wrong”. You can talk a little bit about that. 

Devon: It’s definitely harder to convey the story because you have a smaller amount of time. With “Write and Wrong”, we definitely had a lot more wiggle room. Even now, some of those scenes were kind of unnecessary, but they helped kind of reaffirm the main theme of the movie and kind of really show the relationship between the pencil and the eraser. 

Brandon: Yeah, I think it depends. Shreyas, what are your thoughts? Do you prefer this to the longer form? Just the process, not the actual thing, but do you prefer the process of the longer film?

Shreyas: The longer ones, obviously we have more time and we can develop more ideas into that time and put them into the film to make it, not necessarily better, but more appealing and it also helps with the story since we have a lot more time. These shorter ones, I feel like they are kind of rushed. The stories themselves are not full stories that you would see; they’re more like tiny scenes. Storywise, I prefer the longer ones since we can tell it more in depth. 

Brandon: Yeah. I agree, I agree. I think where I’m coming from, I’m kind of burnt out after “Fizy” and “Write and Wrong” because we did those two back to back. Each one took a year and a half, so that’s a three year period of just working on longform shorts. So to me, this feels a lot easier, but I would agree. I think in general, I prefer making longer form short films, but this is a great thing because instead of getting one thing done in one and a half years, you can get tons of things done in just three months. 

Devon: And it also forces us to stick to a schedule. With “Write and Wrong”, one of the longer one’s, one month we did no work, and then the next month, we grinded. So this is definitely more organized. 

Brandon: I’m sure Shreyas remembers all about “Write and Wrong” and “Fizy” and the rush to get those out. We kept on making progress, obviously, and we’d spend about two to three hours on it every day. But we were relaxed about it and said “Oh, we don’t really need to follow the deadlines we set for ourselves. We still have time.” And then in the last month, we were just finishing up the entire short film. So for “Write and Wrong”, 75% of the movie was done in the last month, which isn’t the best way to work. So I think this has forced to follow deadlines and so when we get to the longer form short films eventually after this, which we do have ideas for, we’’ll be able to follow that more efficiently and maybe not do what we did on “Write and Wrong” and “Fizy” again because that was exhausting and that just, the killed you.

Revanth: Have there been any challenges that you guys have experienced with making these that are specifically related to the quarantine?

Brandon: Shreyas and I animate together a lot, and my brother lives with me, so there’s no problem there, so I don’t think there’s anything that has gotten harder necessarily. But in the beginning, it was a little challenging to adjust to the fact that I couldn’t go over to Shreyas’ house or he couldn’t come over to mine and we couldn’t work on it together. Shreyas, what do you think?

Shreyas: I think that because we can’t go to anyone’s house, [it’s a challenge]. Normally, we would be doing the animation at the same time, so we would animate a scene and then we could make changes instantly and fix everything up. Right now, the process is that I would animate something and I would send it over and then after that, it would just be a constant loop of me sending Brandon files for him to make sure it’s all right. It’s a lot less efficient from that point, but I don’t think it’s really a big challenge and it’s not really had a big impact on our work. 

Brandon: Yeah I think we’re just grateful that we can still make stuff in quarantine because even some of my friends are saying “I gotta start learning how to animate now” because they had scripts that were ready to go, but they can’t do anything about that now. Obviously, the music stuff can also be done from home, but it is a little more difficult for you …

Devon: No, not really. 

Revanth: Do you guys think there are any advantages to what you’re doing?

Brandon: Being in quarantine?

Revanth: Yeah.

Devon: More time. 

Brandon: There’s a little more time to work on stuff. Aside from that, I think there’s probably nothing. Shreyas, what do you think?

Shreyas: There’s nothing much, really. Just a slight amount of time because the school times are a little bit weird, but I don’t think that’s really a big thing.

Brandon: School being more lenient has for sure helped. But aside from that, I don’t see any benefits.

Revanth: You’ve already put out a couple of these, but do you know how many you plan to eventually release?

Brandon: It kind of depends. Shreyas, Devon, and I were talking about this the other day. Right now, we have two finished. We have a third one that is in post production; it’s almost done. We have a fourth and fifth one, which is “Ice” and the “Fizy” sequel. Those are currently being worked and being made. And we have one more after that’s started early development in terms of story, so I’d say as of right now, there’s probably going to be six or seven of them in total. But I don’t know, we might keep continuing with it. It just all kind of depends on whether or not we get another idea for something we wanted to pursue. Because the “Fizy” sequel thing kind of came out of nowhere. That was definitely my friends wanting it, because they’ve been memeing it because it’s funny, so we said we might as well give it to them at this point because they really want it. Porter has already done his voice overs and they’ve already been sent to me, and we’ve already done some animation. It’s pretty cool. He’s [Devon] working on the music. Because of how much more sophisticated as animators we’ve become since the first “Fizy”, the designs are much improved and look much much much better. Shreyas is actually responsible for redesigning “Fizy”. It’s cool and it’s a lot of fun. That’s probably the one I’m looking the most forward to getting out. We all have memories of working on the first “Fizy” together. Even the people in our friend group that didn’t work on “Fizy”, they knew what it was and they would see our day-to-day and us talking about it. I think it’s kind of exciting for them too even though they’ve just been memeing it, but it’s just fun. We’re also excited to show “Ice” because it’s an original story and it’s really really nice. Sorry that was a really long answer to a question that should have been quicker. I’d say we’re probably going to make seven in total and from there we’ll see where we go.

Devon: I think it’s also really cool to see the progress on both an animation and a storytelling end. It’s just really neat. 

Brandon: And the music.

Devon: And the music too.

Brandon: Shreyas, any other thoughts on that?

Shreyas: No, not really.

Brandon: All right. Cool. 

Revanth: Do you still plan on making longer length films in the future?

Brandon: Shreyas, you can start with that.

Shreyas: We were just discussing and planning when we should end these shorts and move on to a longer project. But nothing’s really definite right now, so we’re not completely sure.

Brandon: We have a couple of ideas that are cool. We don’t want to say what the longer term projects are going to be yet because they might not happen, but we have a couple of ideas that are interesting and that I think are cool. Definitely, the plan is that these QuaranToons are a temporary thing to keep people who are currently stuck at home something to enjoy every week, just a little something. I don’t know what the timeline is for California moving out of quarantine. Obviously, they should do it when everything is safe. I think when that happens, we will start working on a longer form short film because we kind of need to be near each other. Shreyas and me need to be in the same area when we are working on this because with the shorter short films, you can get away with the fact that you’re further apart, but with longer form, you need to be right next to each working on a project. We only want to do that when the government says it’s safe. What do you [Devon] think?

Devon: No, I agree.

Revanth: What would you say is more important: animation or storytelling?

Brandon: You need both. I think there’s two ways to answer this question. You can have terrible animation and a great story, and it might be okay.

Devon: It might be a little hard to understand.

Brandon: I might be a little hard to understand, but it might be okay. You kind of just need both. I think it’s important that if you’re going to have great animation, you need to have a great story. I’d say it’s [preferable] to have bad animation and a great story than great animation and a bad story. It’s important to have both.

Devon: Especially without dialogue.

Brandon: Especially without dialogue. That becomes really hard. It’s important to have both. You can’t have one without the other. We’ve definitely learned that. You need both. But there are people who think that just having an animated short film that looks nice [is good]. I don’t know anything about full length movies. [For] an animated student film, [people think] it’s all about how good the animation looks. I think it’s good to definitely put a lot of effort into the story and the characters. It’s good to just put effort into everything and have an all-around great movie. What do you think, Shreyas?

Shreyas: I agree with whatever you said. I also think that specifically for these QuaranToons, the story is a little bit more important than the animation because we’re trying to get across a specific theme or lesson. That being said, in general, I think the animation and story should be on the same level and the story could be a little bit higher than the animation. But I don’t think we should have a really great animation and a not so great story. 

Brandon: Yeah, I like what Shreyas said that stories are very important in the QuaranToons because we’re trying to touch people during this time and kind of have them relate to it. I’m hoping that maybe it’s inspiring people to do something creative right now. Since you’re stuck at home, you can [do this]. Because a lot of people have just been saying “I’m bored. I’m bored at home. I’m bored. I have nothing to do.” And to me, that’s kind of like okay, well then…  

Devon: Find something.

Brandon: Find something. Make something. Nobody seems to want to make anything. That’s what it seems like to me. Nobody seems to want to make something. You still write your articles in El Gato and that’s creatively fulfilling. So we’re doing this and that’s creatively fulfilling. So if you’re bored, hopefully this’ll push you to be like “Hey, you can do something creative while you’re in quarantine.” 

Devon: And gives you the chance to get started. 

Brandon: And hopefully it’ll get you to actually get off your bum and do something.

Revanth: Recently, you released a live action film called “Spring Cleaning”. Can you tell the audience about that for a second?

Brandon: About “Spring Cleaning”? Yeah, it was definitely a live action film. Just kidding. I’m pretty proud of it. Even though it’s not great, I’m proud of it. I had a fun time making it. I made it with my friend Russell Kim. And honestly, it’s not that bad of a movie. I make it sound worse than it is. It’s actually really really good. For students, it’s actually really really quite good.

Devon: For your first live action film.

Brandon: For the first live action, it’s pretty good. And Russell Kim, who also did the narration on my animated short film “Write and Wrong”, he just did such a masterful job of editing it. He’s so good at that. He’s so good at that. He definitely saved that project and he made what could have been a disaster actually a good film. A good student film.

Revanth: What’s the biggest difference between live action and animation?

Brandon: Shreyas, what do you think? I know you haven’t really done live action, but what do you think? And then from your [Devon] perspective?

Shreyas: I’m not really sure for these shorts. But when I’m watching an animated movie versus a live action movie, I pay a lot more respect to the animated movie. Since I’m more familiar with animation, I know how long it takes to design it properly and make sure everything looks smooth and it makes sense and the story is good and everything. Live action takes less time to work on and it’s less tedious, but I still respect animation more. 

Brandon: Yeah, for me, it’s always been that I love both. I don’t care what medium it is, animation or live action. I just love both. It just needs to tell a good story. I can appreciate something that I love like Toy Story and Cars, just like I can appreciate something like Terminator. To me, all three of those movies have compelling stories and compelling characters; they get me really interested. The first time when I’m watching a movie, I never think about “Oh, look at how they did that little detail in the background” because that’s how you know that the filmmaker failed at his job. The job is to get you involved in the story. Now, if you’re like Shreyas and I, and even you [Devon], and you watch the movie hundreds of times, that’s we start being like, “Oh, look at the way they did that. Look at the way they did that. That’s masterful.” But I think on first watch, I never pick up on that. So really, I love animation and live action. I think they’re both amazing. I respect them both pretty equally. I have a soft spot for animation because it’s what I’ve always loved. But I think I love both of them pretty equally. I think the biggest difference for me was the whole camera thing is a little bit different. You’ve got to learn how to use camera lenses and different types of lenses. You’ve got to learn, well I had to learn, because we didn’t have enough money to hire a DP [Director of Photography], I had to learn “What does this lens do? What does that lens do?” Whereas in animation, you manufacture the lens.

Devon: Yeah, you have to create the camera. 

Brandon: So I guess the biggest difference is in live action, you have some stuff to set up and in animation, you have to build the stuff that you want to set up. That’s what I’d probably say is the difference. 

Revanth: You’ve been pretty critical of your live action film and some other things. Do you think that having high standards is a good thing or do you think that sometimes you can be overly critical?

Brandon: Me specifically?

Revanth: All of you, really.

Devon: I don’t really have much to say for this question, but if I don’t like one note, I’ll go back and change the entire score for that one note. And then I’ll make him [Brandon] re-edit the film to it or re-edit the score to the film. 

Brandon: Yeah. What about you Shreyas? What do you think?

Shreyas: Animation-wise, I think it’s good to be critical of what you’re doing, but I don’t think it’s good to be overly critical, you lose track and concept of the story and your details that you’re trying to change might interfere with the story and drive across the wrong message or a weaker form of the message. So I think it’s good to be critical, but you should also keep in mind the audience and the story and the concept and everything.

Brandon: Yeah, I agree with Shreyas. I think when you’re working on something super long like “Fizy” or “Write and Wrong”, it’s easy to start becoming kind of depressed and saying “Oh, we have nothing special.” Really, it takes involving someone who’s never heard of the project and telling them the basic story and seeing their response. It really re-energizes you and it’s like “Okay. Well we actually do have something special. We’ve just been working on it so long that we can’t see that anymore.” With “Spring Cleaning”, it was definitely Russell Kim and I had a great idea and we are both very proud of the final movie; it just became a thing of too many cooks in the kitchen. Too many people contributing to the screenplay. Too many people contributing to the story. And because of that, the message that was driving us to get the film completed … 

Devon: Was slightly overshadowed.

Brandon: No, it wasn’t overshadowed, it was just muddied. 

Devon: Yeah.

Brandon: It was unclear. That was a complaint that I heard a lot and that I took to heart. I was overly critical of it in the beginning, and then I didn’t watch it for about two months. I recently rewatched it for the Los Gatos High School Film Festival and I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoy it significantly more now. Maybe that’s just because I took a break from it and then went back. So I enjoy it now and I’m proud of it now. Yeah. But, like Shreyas said, I think you should always be very very critical of yourself and the work you’re producing, but you shouldn’t let it ruin or make you lose confidence in the story that you’re telling. 

Revanth: What’s the balance between making a story that you like and one that the audience can understand?

Brandon: What do you [Devon] think? That was actually a really good question.

Devon: Yeah, that was a great question. 

Brandon: Shreyas, what do you think?

Shreyas: I don’t know. You’re [Brandon] mostly the mind behind the story, so I think you take it.

Brandon: Okay. Yeah, yeah, thanks. The way I see it is, if you think the idea is cool, there’ll be at least one more person who will also agree with you. 

Devon: And then there’ll be one person who hates it.

Brandon: No there’ll be more than one. There’ll be like hundreds of people who hate it and there’ll be that one guy who was like “Oh, that was pretty good!” You make it for the one guy right? So really, you make it for yourself and see how people respond. If they like it, they like it. If they hate it, they hate it. We’re not a professional studio. We’re student-led, so we don’t really have budgets to worry about. That’s definitely something that’s more of a major film production studio thing. But I’d imagine that if the filmmaker thinks it’s cool, then there’s probably at least a couple hundred or more people that also agree and think that it’s a good idea. I’m not sure how many people thought Star Wars was good when they first saw it. Not when they first saw it, but when they first heard about it, they were like “Oh, what? Star Wars? What’s that?” And then word of mouth spread that it was actually really really good. And so you can also take an idea that people think they hate initially and if you present it well enough, with developed characters, maybe they’ll really really like it. 

Revanth: How much do you consider the feedback of the audience when you’re making something?

Devon: I feel that since we’re doing this mainly to help them out, to provide them with entertainment, I feel like we really kind of take that into account when we’re generating the stories for our next projects. That’s why they decided to make a sequel for “Fizy”

Brandon: I think it’s important. I don’t think you should be afraid of the audience. If you’re trying to tell a personal story or a story that you think is really great, you should still do it, whether or not you think the audience is interested. But you should do it in a compelling enough way that it can take someone who’d be the person who says “Oh, that sucks,” and invest them a little bit. We talked about “Square Up” and how we thought the message and the story was very clear, but apparently it wasn’t, and looking back, I can definitely see that it wasn’t. So now we took that into account. We definitely review everything with other people who are not involved in the project before we send it out and we’re like “Okay. Does this make sense? Does this part make sense? What doesn’t make sense? What can we fix? What can we do better?” So audience feedback definitely matters.

Revanth: I guess I’ll wrap it up here. Are any of you guys considering doing this beyond high school or is it more a fun thing you’re doing on the side right now?

Devon: This is kind of a fun thing for me. I am going to continue pursuing my musical career, but I’m more interested in neurosurgery, so that’s ultimately where I want to go. These guys, I’m pretty sure, want to pursue a full-on career in filmmaking.

Brandon: Yeah, I definitely want to pursue it. It’s something that I’m really interested in. I’ve been making short films, animated stuff, for a very very long time. What about you, Shreyas?

Shreyas: Yeah, I’m really interested in character design and animation and I think that’s one of things I want to pursue later.

Brandon: I think Shreyas and I are both very interested in pursuing some sort of career. 

Revanth: That’s all I have. Do you want to just promote where you can find these short films again?

Brandon: Oh yeah. QuaranToons. Fizz QuaranToons. You can find them on Fizz’s Instagram, Fizz’s Twitter, and Fizz’s Facebook. On Facebook, I believe we’re @FizzShorts. On Twitter, we’re @FizzShorts. And then on Instagram, we’re @FizzAnimationStudios. And that’s where you can find it.


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