Toronto’s new show 3 Amigonauts, created by Kyle Marshall, premieres Saturday August 5, at 8am on YTV!
Set in Earth’s far-flung future, 3 Amigonauts goes where no goofball has gone before! The series follows three lovably reckless pals who attend the solar system’s most prestigious space academy and super-size the smallest tasks into madcap intergalactic adventures.
We sat down with 3 Amigonauts creator, the endlessly talented Kyle Marshall, and had him share the story behind the story of this fresh and unique show.
And did we mention the Unikraken? Because there is one of those as well!
1. To get started what is your favourite life motto or quote?
I don’t know if I have a favorite motto or quote, but I do believe a big part of success is just sitting down and getting your idea done and out there. We can tend to hang on to ideas, drawings, etc, but you need to just sit down and get it done. Grind through the problems and learn from them, release the idea into the world, and move on to the next.
2. What is your origin’s story? (How did you get started in your career?)
Born and raised in Tisdale, Saskatchewan and went to a small animation school in Saskatoon. Started out as an animator and worked a few small gigs in Sask and P.E.I., before moving to work in Ottawa at Mercury Filmworks. Started as an animator there, but then worked my way through the pipeline as a character designer, board artist, AD and then directing. Always wanted to create my own stuff and did a few shorts along the way before getting into pitching concepts for TV. So many kids come out of school wanting to run their own show from day one, but I found it invaluable to go through the pipeline learning from the vets, playing different roles, and understanding what goes into a full production.
3. Now as the creator of the Amigonauts, can you share a little of their origins story, how they came to be?
It all started with the name, I just thought ‘3 Amigonauts’ was funny. I then started to doodle around with them, and created a short trailer for the interwebs. Mike Geiger (who became the director on the series) created an online comic site, where 5 artists each had a day of the week to release a comic. My day was Thursday, and that’s where the first storylines of the Amigonauts appeared. The designs were completely different and it was about three brothers instead of the two boys and girl we have now.
4. What is the coolest thing about what you do? Or what do you love most about your job?
I make cartoons and get paid for it, life’s good.
5. As a creator what is your top piece of advice to fellow artists trying to get a show off the ground?
Firstly, as mentioned above, go through the pipeline, gain some experience, learn from those around you. I’d strongly recommend boarding on a few shows before trying to get your own. If possible, direct on a series or even do a few of your own shorts. Writing a few scripts and sitting in a writers’ room would also be a valuable experience. Also, pitch, pitch and more pitching. You’ll learn from each failed concept, and become a better storyteller and pitch artist.
6. Without spoiling too much what is one of your favourite moments from the show?
There’s a number of episodes that really stand out - Unikraken, Cheese Your Own Adventure and Ultimate Explorer’s Club, but I’d say the final scene of the finale was a favorite moment.
Hamburger Helper’s also up there as it was one of the first storylines from the original concept, and to see it make it on TV is cool. In all the Amigonaut episodes, we wanted to wrap some crazy and fun around a real emotion and a bit of heart.
7. Which of the 3 Amigonauts are you most like and why? Herby, Kirbie or Burt?
I see myself as more of a Herby, small guy who wanted to prove his worth to the world.
8. Anything you would like to share – like funny behind the scenes moments, interesting tid-bits about the making of the show that people might like to know, cool voice talents, things that stand out. Etc.
I had worked on the show remotely, only getting to be with the crew a few times during the production, so most of my time was spent late at night on my own in front of the computer, and that’s never too interesting unless you stub your toe or something. Having artists like Kid Koala and DJ Vekked doing the music was incredible. The voice talent was amazing, and the writing rooms were a blast. I would also like to mention, we had a very small team and I’m grateful for everything the crew did for the show. Many people had to take on multiple roles to get this done, Francis Yeh was not only our character designer but our location and prop designer. Mike Geiger was not only our director, but our animation director and pitched in on art direction, the guy was everywhere! Emily Lindsay, our production manager was a puppeteer for an episode; Alley Crawford wasn’t just producing, but became the music and SFX director. The list goes on… I’ve never worked on a production like that, and to have the people step up to fill in roles was amazing.
For more Amigonauts: