Superhero Shorts: How It Should Have Ended
Superhero Shorts: How it Should Have Ended
Welcome to this week’s edition of Superhero Shorts where I take a look at a different superhero themed short film and get the creator of the film to answer a few interview questions. This week I get the chance to feature my first animated short rather than a live action one, and since I’ve just started watching the X-Men movies, I thought it would be perfect to feature How X-Men: First Class Should Have Ended, which you can watch right below, or on their website, along with tons of other parodies of recent and classic movies.
I’m not sure exactly when I first watched How It Should Have Ended, or HISHE for short, I think it was somewhere around the time when they released their Dark Knight episode. I think I’ve watched all of them, or at least most of them and they are a real joy to watch. The animation may be fairly simple, but they manage to get a lot of expression out of it. The humor is almost always spot on, especially for the fact that most everything they bring up in the shorts are very valid points, but it still comes from a place that generally respects the movie rather than trashes it. I think my favorite line in this X-Men episode was “This helmet is fabulous!” I also really liked the fact that the cafe scenes became episodes of their own. Today I was able to talk to Tina Alexander, producer, co-writer, and sometimes voice actor for the show.
Bubbawheat: To start off, can you give me a little rundown of all you do for the show?
Tina Alexander: I am the producer, so I help manage everyone involved in the production and keep us on schedule when we’re juggling lots of shorts. I also work as the liason between us and our various partnerships. It keeps me busy with a lot of little details! Daniel and I have also co-written all of the episodes together, with some help here and there from close friends.
BW: Do you have a favorite episode of HISHE?
TA: We always get asked this and it’s such a tough question! Definitely “Terminator: How It Should End” is a favorite, as well as our Harry Potter cartoon. Both took an incredible amount of work and I think they’re both pretty amazing if I do say so myself. 🙂
BW: You also do a lot of superhero themed episodes, which one of those are your favorite?
TA: I always love the superhero themed episodes because I think Daniel does some of his best writing in the cafe. I think my favorite has to be our original Superman HISHE. The line, “I know, you say it A LOT” gets me every time!
BW: How long does it take to create an episode from start to finish?
TA: It definitely depends on the episode, but at least 3 weeks. Ideally we spend a week writing, a week on art, and then a week on animation — and that’s moving FAST. Episodes with a lot of art have been known to take as long as 8 weeks.
BW: How do you decide which movies to use?
TA: Well obviously the more popular a movie is, the more popular our cartoon will be. We’re spoiling endings, so it helps if our audience has actually seen the film we’re spoofing. That said, we like to throw in classics too.
BW: What movies are you working on next?
TA: We’re currently working on The Avengers and after that I believe we are going to tackle the monstrosity that is TITANIC.
BW: I’ll be looking forward to the Avengers, I bet it’s one of those episodes that takes longer than 3 weeks. Is there a movie that you’d love to do, but there wasn’t any good way to make it into a HISHE episode?
TA: Good question! I would say comedies in general are very hard to spoof. We aren’t just looking for plot holes, we’re trying to be funny too, so when a movie was already hilarious on its own, it’s very tough to write funnier lines. So movies like Hangover and any of Judd Apatow’s films we’d love to spoof but have kind of avoided.
BW: Which is generally more popular, episodes featuring new movies, or ones featuring classic movies?
TA: Definitely newer movies seem to do better because we have a pretty young audience. We have a feeling about 75% of our audience wasn’t alive when Jaws came out. That said, we love doing some classics, both because we feel like they’re timeless and they have meaning to us as movie lovers.
BW: How quickly did HISHE become popular, was it a slow burn, or did it become pretty popular pretty quickly?
TA: It depends on how you define “popular”. When we first started in 2005 our website crashed weekly from people watching our first Star Wars cartoon, but that probably had more to do with bandwidth! Still to us, that was pretty cool. 🙂
I’d say we’ve been steadily building an audience since then (more of the “slow burn”) until this past August when we released our Harry Potter short. Since then our subscriber base on YouTube has almost doubled!!
BW: Where do you think HISHE will be 10 years from now?
TA: I literally have no idea! We’d love to produce something original someday (non-parody), so hopefully we’ve done that by then. As long as they keep making movies we have an endless source of material though! 🙂
BW: And I have to ask everyone, what’s your favorite superhero movie?
TA: For me, The Incredibles or Dark Knight. Daniel said his favorites would Superman the original movie or The Dark Knight as well.
Thanks for the interview!
Thank you so much as well, I’ve been a big fan of the show and it was a pleasure to talk to you. Tomorrow I’ll be reviewing X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I know a lot of people think it’s one of the worst theatrical X-Men movies along with The Last Stand, but I remember generally liking it. I’ll just have to see if it’s as good as I remember. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.