Celebrating 10 years of animated success, the creative minds at Radical Axis came out of their closet to speak with Associated Content about their company and the upcoming 100th episode of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.” Before their appearance at WonderCon 2010, the creative minds at Radical Axis spent some time at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco reflecting on how it all began.
10 years ago in a candy closet far, far away…
Scott Fry, CEO and Founder of Radical Axis, talked about his company’s humble origins. “I started Radical Axis ten years ago, but it wasn’t Radical Axis then. It was me in my bedroom saying I was Radical Axis,” Fry said with a very straight face.
Cartoon Network brought Fry in to work on “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” an edgy animated series that spun-off from the “Space Ghost” series. “Craig (Hartin) was working on ‘Aqua Teen’ at another place and things just kind of evolved. When we started, we were in a closet, a video storage closet where they kept all their tapes,” he said.
Sitting next to Fry, Craig Hartin, Vice President of Production at Radical Axis, offered a slightly different view of the company’s history. “It was the candy closet for the CEO. It was just two cabinets and that’s where they kept all his candy. They moved a desk in there,” Hartin said.
Radical Axis gets a bigger closet
After getting a bigger closet at Cartoon Network on Williams Street, Fry said that the Radical Axis team was asked to work on the on-air promos for some of the animated shows. “This allowed us to meet some people on the other side of the street. We were known for getting things done and we had the assets for the show, so if they were doing a promo for ‘Aqua Teen’, they would come to us to get the stuff,” he said.
Other animated shows, including “Squidbillies” and “Perfect Hair Forever,” came out of that Cartoon Network closet. “We continued to branch out and worked with Comedy Central on ‘Freak Show.’ That led to relationships with Sony. We went from a couple of guys in a little closet to, in the Comedy Central days, about 80 people,” Fry said. “Now, we are usually in the range of about 25 to 50 (employees).”
“Aqua Teen Hunger Force” preparing for its 100th episode on May 2
Though Fry says that being around a lot of fast food led to the creation of the landmark series, “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” was originally created by Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro. “It grew out of ‘Space Ghost.’ The premise was a food company was doing the advertising, so they created characters out of the food. Dave and Matt loved those characters and wanted to make a show with those characters. The show got made, it found an audience and here we are approaching out 100th episode ten years later,” Fry said.
Fry also said it’s amazing how much of a cult following has developed around “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.” “When we started making the show, there were a lot of college kids who liked the show. Those college kids got married and had families. I run into people now who say ‘Hey, I used to watch that show when I was in college.’ But now there’s a whole other generation that’s watching that show,” he said.
Radical Axis preparing more shows for an unsuspecting public
Over the last decade, Fry said that Radical Axis has been lucky to work on a lot of great shows with a lot of great people and a lot of diverse talent. “We, as a studio ourselves, have developed a lot of show ideas that we are hoping to spring on the unsuspecting public,” Fry said with a grin.
The 100th Episode of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” debuts on Adult Swim on Sunday, May 2. Please check your satellite and cable guides for broadcast times in your area.