How Obituary Got Started
We did an AMA the other day and really enjoyed the questions folks posted! A common question we got was "how did you get started" so we wanted to write a little here about howObituary came to be.
Micheal's part of an improv theatre in LA and, in 2012, was producing a show there about time-traveling cave men. The more the improv show went on, the more he fell in love with mixing history, and getting to see people from different time periods interacting, and thought a fun way to do this would be by telling a story about a girl raised by ghosts from different time periods and places.
I was just finishing up my senior year of college, and when he mentioned the idea to me and asked if I wanted to help, I said "sure!" We used to write stuff together when we were really little, but we hadn't written together since then, and I'd always wanted to get a chance to write more with my big brother!
The first draft of the pilot I can find in my email is from 11/13/12, and it's veeeery different from the pilot that we eventually came to. June was originally a Wednesday-esque character who lived with her zombified brother, Danny (no longer a character), at the mortuary, slept in the morgue and kept the remains of her parents in stasis tubes -- an idea inspired by a cartoon I'd worked on with some friends from high school. June wanted to go to school so that she could bring her parents back to life; Danny was a failed attempt. The main class was biology, rather than history.
We had a lot of the same mortals in our world -- Blatsy, Lisa Rose, and June of course -- but the ghosts were vastly different. Sandy was originally a hippie flower-child named Petal and the character most similar to Gramplin was a portly Irish bootlegger who was killed by Al Capone's men, named Horace. Violet also appeared briefly in the first draft of the pilot, with the same relationship she has to Lisa Rose in the final pilot ;)
We decided early on to meet weekly to keep momentum going on the project, since we were both also working other jobs at the time, and, in 2014, after about a year of writing/editing scripts and solidifying the world, we had a table read of some of the stuff we'd written with some friends. People really liked it :)
We decided it was time to make it real.
While I draw, I'm not an animator, and animating a full cartoon is... challenging... so Michael put out a call on his Youtube channel. There we found Louie Zong, who did concept art for us the spring of 2014, and, when he had to leave for a full time job, we were introduced to Studio Yotta!
From the summer through winter of 2014, we worked with Studio Yotta (esp Jake Ganz and Joel Cheetham) to develop the storyboard for the pilot and refine main characters into model sheets, while still keeping with the original art style.
Then in 2015... the animation process began! As you can see from the publish timeline, animating a full cartoon is a lot of work! Studio Yotta worked tirelessly for a full year and a half on the project and finally produced what's online now!
Now it's online, and people seem overall to like it :)
Now for the next steps... well, we hope to make the rest of the episodes we've written into cartoons we can share with folks too