STVO: Hello everyone, welcome to the first ever Cross X-amine on CrossTopix!!!! This is a segment where I interview special guests who have a project (or projects) that are up-and-coming where I reveal exciting tidbits and give a closer behind-the-scenes look. On this edition, I interview two very good friends, Rhodrick Magsino and Robin Poppert, the two brains behind a cute and very funny website/series “Little Brass Bird.” Thanks for coming on you two.
Rhodrick: Thanks for breakfast!
Robin: Yeah and thanks for having us on!
STVO: Tell us a little bit about your series Little Brass Bird. When did you guys think of the idea behind this series and what were some of your inspirations?
Rhodrick: Originally, it started with a book that Robin was trying to write a little picture book about two people that resembled us.
Robin: Actually, it was us. They own a clock shop in the city where monsters appear. It was originally plush toys and a book. They went to different shows Pitchfork Festival, Indy in the Windy City, etc. Only two things were sold after 1 and a half years of soliciting.
Rhodrick: We paid money to get into the shows and because of that, no money was made. People loved the products we sold but never bought any of them! We thought that maybe they weren’t interested in buying these items because they couldn’t relate to them.
Robin: Since no one wanted to buy them, maybe we thought a TV show could work! It would be just like in the 80s where many TV shows were made to sell toys, so we thought Little Brass Bird having a TV show and toys could work together.
Rhodrick: The mechanics were changed more to work into a TV show as opposed to a book. It started off as a show for kids (like Reading Rainbow, Bob the Builder, etc.) but as the writing changed, the style got even weirder. It went from a kids show to more of something you would see on Adult Swim. We wanted to keep it more of a BBC children’s show. We created a bunch of little shows within a show (something more like “U.S. Acres” in Garfield and Friends or “The Thunder Lizards” and “Klutter” in EEK! The Cat.) This show is by struggling artists for struggling artists in Chicago (bands, independent artists, etc.) Lots of things have changed since the original concept. We love it so much we’d love to do it as a full-time job. We produce episodes, promos, etc. between Midnight and 6 AM, the sleep deprivation has helped inspire the weirdness of the show.
Robin: Episode 2 is a month behind! It was going to be a Valentine’s episode and now we’re considering a possible April Fool’s episode. Sadly with our other full-time jobs, our wedding coming up, and other issues, we haven’t been able to finish it on time.
STVO: You had a debut for the series at a Rock Box in Chicago on December 29, 2009. How did this come about and what kind of reception would you say the series has gotten?
Rhodrick: My friend Katie Kirby (I worked with her at an audio suite, I play with her in the band “My Velouria”, etc.) is a big fan of the show and wanted a benefit for the show. She DJs at Rock Box and got connected with them to throw a benefit. From there we got bands affiliated with the show to perform, handed out merchandise, etc. to promote the event. Katie DJ’ed the event following the band performances. We met many promoters including Chateau Grrr. He promotes almost anything horror-related: haunted houses, movies, etc. He asked us what the show was about and asked for information and to keep in contact. We’ve been doing lots of cross-promotion and he’s been promoting a lot of our stuff. He wants a promo from us in our style to promote our site. He is offering us bigger promotion and access to Wizard World Chicago if we do this promo.
STVO: Kickstarter.com has given you two an award for being one of their biggest contributors. How does this feel and what has been some of your favorite parts of working with them?
Robin: We received the Best Participatory Award from them. We earned it because whenever someone pledged money towards our show’s budget they would receive merchandise or even become characters if they spent enough.
Rhodrick: They promoted us on the front page of their site and wrote articles on us. With all of that, we sky-rocketed!!! Originally, we only had only 40 bucks from close friends (STVO: I was one of them. :D ) until we did a promotion and the founders saw it. Because of that, the site pushed our cause even more with much more money and we made even more money than what we set our original goal to be. Honestly, Kickstarter is one of the best organizations to start donating for your cause.
STVO: Right now the series is in mini-sodes. Would you consider trying to get a television network to air these, possibly extend the show to 30 minutes, or even make a full-length movie?
Rhodrick: We’ve considered these options and would love to do so, but we need the opportunity. Like this has to be a full-time job. 10-minute episodes only go so far!
Robin: Episode 1 felt a little cramped with what we were trying to express because we were very rushed to get it done but we now understand more of how to do things. We are working on introducing characters.
Rhodrick: Luckily, Little Brass Bird does have a story arc making it easy to write the episodes but we do like how the show can space out and become very random. We have lots of ideas for a movie but right now it’s best to “Think Small and think quality!”
Robin: There’s always the worry of what a network can do to a show once they pick it up. There are many “horror” stories of what happens to one’s projects that get picked up by a bigger company. They might pick up the concept and use it as their own without your input, the network could always drastically change the way the show is done too. We don’t want this to happen to Little Brass Bird! Also if they pick up the show, they can make it drastically different and not even have our input on it, then they release it with our names on it.
Rhodrick: Right now we’re not in a stage where we’re seeking out networks; we’re hoping that networks will look to seek us out because they like what they see.STVO: Yes, I definitely remember hearing those situations with Comedy Central and Chapelle Show Season 3 as well Angus Oblong’s Show “Oblong” on The WB! Thank you two very much for participating in the first-ever Cross X-amine! On behalf of the team, we wish you two the best of luck and encourage our readers to visit www.littlebrassbird.com to watch this exciting new series blossom and purchase some of their really fun merchandise! Honestly, check out Episode 1! If you have enjoyed this interview, tune in Monday and the rest of this week as Rhodrick and Robin will be the guests of CrossTopix!!!!