What's in my head Podcast

King of the Hill Storyboard Artist Bill Riling!

This week I sit down with veteran storyboard artist, Bill Riling. As we continue to dive deeper into KOTH, I chat with Bill about how he got into the industry, what it was like working on KOTH, his favorite episodes, characters and so much more!
Bill Riling

This week I sit down with veteran storyboard artist, Bill Riling. As we continue to dive deeper into KOTH, I chat with Bill about how he got into the industry, what it was like working on KOTH, his favorite episodes, characters and so much more!


Hey, guys. That’s your host, Julian.

We’re continuing the King of the Hill deep
dive with storyboard artist Bill Riley.

We chat about how Bill got on
to King of the Hill,

some of his favorite episodes,
and what it was like working with

some of the greatest writers
and artists of all time.

Before we roll into this week’s episode,
we do a little housekeeping

and take care of
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Watching and supporting us.

Now onto the show.

gentlemen, welcome to What’s My podcast.

I’m here with Julian, and today
I’m joined by Bill.

Bill, how are you, sir?

Fine, thank you. Thanks for having me.


MAN Big shout out to Sean Cashman
for setting this one up.

I really appreciate it, Sean.

I’ve had a lot of fun talking to the folks
that Sean,

you know, he put a stamp out there, said
if you’re going to talking to him,

you got to talk to these guys.

So what better way to talk
King of the Hill with Bill here other than

man what was that first day at film
Roman Like man, you walk us through that.

Yeah, well, I kind of got into animation
through a side door.

I was working on doing a comic strip

for national syndication,
and through that, I ended up

some gags for the Garfield comic strip

and then Garfield
film, Roman animated Garfield and friends.

And I got a job cleaning up a board

from Scott Schall, comic book guy.

And then after my first board,
they hired me as a board artist.

So that was my introduction
into storyboard

was that for me
it was a learning, as you go


And then Phil Roman,

he he ran the studio

and he had a kind of like a policy

where he tried to, as best as he
could, roll you on to other projects.

So I would do props for Bobby’s World.

I was an assistant on The Simpsons
and eventually,

you know, meeting other people,

I, I met Clay Hall

and he was supervising
director on The Simpsons.

I got to test for

I mean, supervising
director on King of the Hill,

and I got to test the,
you know, board for the show.

And that was my first go at it.

In fact, I, I found my real test
and they can bridge it through.

Yeah. Yeah.

And just kind of the only couple of pages.

But it was interesting
and it was just Peggy

preparing her feet for

I think it was when somebody had a foot
fetish about Peggy.


You want to.

You want to show it.

Oh, I can

in that.

Well, this was, you know,
I don’t know if you can see that.

Oh yeah. Yeah.

And let’s see.


Like this was the probably
the first show that I did for.

Let me see if I can get that.

Can you see that? Oh, yeah.

There you go. Right there is perfect.

Yeah. Peggy, just button up.

And she had oiled some rose petals

and she was willing to sit down and

I guess humidify her feet.

And then.

And then, like,

she used to lean back and then

Hank. Hank comes in.

What are you doing? You know, And

it goes from there, so.

Oh, that’s great, man.

what we’ll do, what we’ll do if you can.

If you can snap some pictures of it,
what we’ll do is we’ll put it up on the

thread throughout the video
so people can see it.

Ladies and gentlemen,
if you listen to this one,

make sure you come out
and check out the video portion of this

so you can see these beautiful layouts
that Bill here worked on.

What was your when when you’re working
or when you get that initial test mail,

what was your initial
thought of King of the Hill?

Because this is

was this before the pilot had dropped
when you started doing your test?

No, this was after.

And I,
I thought it was a well written show.

You know,

the I
told you I had worked on The Simpsons.

I was just doing assistant
Clean Up on The Simpsons boards.

And those were the first scripts
where I literally laughed out loud.

I mean,
and then King of the Hill were the first

scripts I read where not only were they
did they have humor,

but they also had a really nice emotional
aspect to him. So,

you know, I was
I was definitely drawn to that.


They they straddled that line
very well between humor and heart.

I mean, this was the first show that I
remember as a kid looking at it and going,

This is different.

Like I told you before, we hit record,
I mean, King of the Hill and Hey,

Arnold, those two shows in particular,
like, Hey, Arnold is a kid.

Kid taught me
how to be a really good person

and then King of the Hill, like that show

developed my moral compass, like how I
how I act as an adult now, not so much,

you know, Bobby or Hank, even though
I felt like a Bobby when I was growing up,

I was a chubby, awkward kid that tried
to use humor as much as possible.

You know, I, I was
I was definitely a weird kid.

Like most of us are growing up,

you know, just trying

to navigate your way through it
and then getting to see, like, every day,

you know, everyday experiences
or everyday problems.

And these characters would work themselves
through them in a very smart,

articulate way.

And they would do it with humor.

And like I said, they always injected
that heart throughout this entire episode

of season series, whatever you call it,
it was always there, man.

So I like I said,
I absolutely love the show.

So when you’re starting to see, you know,
these board, this board test

and you’re starting to see this,
wow, this is very smart,

this is very heartfelt,
This has got some substance to it.

How soon

into your working do you start to get to?

Who are you going to as far as after
you get on the show?

Who is some of your mentors
or who are some of the veteran artists

that you’re going to
that are helped me through this process?

Well, Clay Hall
was the supervising director, and I’d say

he was the biggest influence on me.

And then there was Allen Jacobson.

I worked with other board artists arrested
kind of.

Straley was actually

a student of mine.

I taught storyboarding
and he ended up as one of the premiere

board artists on King of the Hill
and Whitney Morton.

I shared a room with Whitney Martin
And so to answer

your question is
I sought help wherever I could find it.

Yeah, really? And

it was that’s the thing

was the people were just so great to work

You know, everybody was

very generous
with their time, with their thoughts.

And and not just that,
but you also, you know, for each episode

you had a director
overseeing you and guiding you,

you know, and you go back and like you
look at the scripts are tight.

Greg Daniels oversaw,

you know, that aspect of it.

So it was a pretty tight run


You know.

Now we’ll get into those episodes
that you had emailed me earlier,

but do you remember the first episode
you worked on?

Oh, boy, do I remember the first.

No, I don’t think
I remember the first episode.

I, I remember like bits and pieces.

Well, it’s been 23 years, I think.

Yeah, I don’t remember
where I left my car keys, but

the the one I told you about was

Oh yeah.

One in is I worked for Patricia
Garcia was the director and it was called.

Oh yeah.

And it had Snoop Dog was

a character in that. And

they take in a Lady of the Evening
as a houseguest, I guess.

And Hank becomes a pimp, Daddy.

Yes, he does pretty good.

And what I remember about that is like,

you know, when you when I worked
as a story, what I do is like,

first of all,
the timeframe was very tight.

I may be off on this,
but I think we had like a week to do

thumbnails maybe a little bit longer

and just a couple of weeks to clean up and

and I did very tight on nails.

But the way I work is

for me

every board
is like starting storyboarding over again.

I mean, you look at the blank page and

I ask myself, how the hell am I going
to get through this?

But what happens for myself

is reading the script,
I’ll get an idea for one shot.

I know I want to put this shot
into the film and it is.

It doesn’t mean it’s a great shot.

It exists. For me.

It’s like a starting point, and I can work
backwards and forwards from that shot.

Like, how do I get to it
and where do I go from it?

And so the one shot I had was

the the prostitute character.

I forget her name, but I had taken

Peggy shopping at the mall.


And I just knew I wanted to do a shot
where they’re coming up the elevator

and you just see them rising up
into the scene and going to the store.

And that was probably
the initial drawing I did.

And then,

like I said, I work backwards
and forwards from that.

But, you know, everybody’s different.

Every story artist works differently.

But for me,

that’s usually what happens.

I’ll get into establishing shot

and try to set it up from there.

Now, when you guys are handed episodes,
I’ve heard it done.

Obviously, you know, animation
is just so different across the board.

Huge collaboration,

but everybody’s got their own style,
everybody’s got their own flair.

A lot of things I’ve heard is like,
they’ll pair,

they’ll pair like action guys with action
guys and funny guys with funny guys.

Did they do that
in King of the Hill as well?

Yes, actually I had to a degree,

like I was definitely not.

One of the action is where somebody like
a rest day that Australia

would fit that bill

and most of the most of the artists

could handle the type of action
that was done in those scripts.

But yeah, they would,
they would cast accordingly.

That was the director’s choice and

so I might get the

scene where, for instance,

in the whole episode I would get the scene
stealing with the intimacy

between Peggy
and the prostitute character,

and somebody else might get the car
chase sequence.

So that kind of thing.

The only reason I ask that one is because

seeing how you guys are divvied up
and obviously I’ve heard so much,

you know, from at least from the behind

the scenes for King of the Hill
that the scripts were always really tight.

You guys obviously were on an even tighter

to you said a week to thumbnail
and then a week after that one to.

Yeah, it could have been a little longer.

But I think let me put it this way,
there’s two things I remember about the

that it was the

the pain from the pressure,
you know, of getting it done.

Yeah. And then the people.

So you had a little bit of the bad,

but you had the good of the people
giving you the support.

And that always makes it
that much more special.

Man Yeah, you know, I’ve said it,
and this is not me

advocating for less money in my job

because boy,
oh boy, do they get me 110% of the time.

But I’ve always said it, man.

You know, it wasn’t not always.

Because when I was younger,
I always thought you just.

You had to chase the bigger payday,
you know, when it came down to it, man.

Now I want to work with great people,
you know,

I still want to make decent money,
but the people make it worth staying.

Because if the people suck and the money’s
good, every day sucks at work, man.

So caring
that King of the Hill was so tight knit

and you can kind of see it,
you know, I always.

I’ve always said it, man.

You can really see
when people are having fun at what they do

because it translates in the art,
whatever, whatever it is you do.

I mean, I work in the food industry,
so when people are having fun,

the food tastes better, the food looks
better, everything is that much better.

It’s the same thing with you guys is art,
you know.

Well, it’s even integral
to when you’re casting for a feature film

or anything that you have a team
that can work together.

You know that
that that’s a big part of where

that helps make the project
go at least a little bit smoother.


Oh, I can’t imagine, man, But stick it on.

Oh, yeah, for a little while
because I just rewatched this.

And I think that for the life of me,
I want to say her name was Tammy,

but I feel like it’s not Tammy,
but I think it is Tammy.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re watching,

let us know what the prostitute’s name
was, the lady of the evening.

But, you know, watching this one as a kid
and then hearing Snoop Dogg,

because I was really deep.
I still am. I love hip hop.

I love all styles of music.

But hip hop has a special place
in my heart.

And that nice hip hop in particular,
Alabaster was that pimp’s name in.

And just seeing, you know, seeing and
hearing Snoop Pop up like, is that Snoop?

I was like, Oh, shit, man.

King of the Hill has got some clout.

They got Snoop Dogg on.

Here is a voiceover artist, Man,
Did you ever get to see

any of the
any of the voice actors doing their thing?

And did you get to see this one done?

No, I didn’t get to ever get to see it.

Voice actors.

The most I got to see were the time

Mike Judge came through to say
hi to everybody and Greg

Daniels came through to say
hi to everything, everyone.

And then it was like,

you know, when you finish a board,

it goes out to the writers and and,
and the directors.

And the best thing was
they would leave a note

on the front of your board like,
Great job or

so well done.

And those were always,
you know, it was like getting a gold star

in your home
when you were a kid kind of thing.

And so

that was like the

big part of

not the incentive, but it was a good thing
to look forward to.

But some writers would actually
give you a call and say, Hey,

I like what you did there,
or something like that.

And I forget, I know this sounds crazy.

I forget who called me,
but I did get a call and oh yeah, from

the writers or maybe even Mike Judge.

But no, but it was

You think I’d remember that,

But that was a big deal.

Yeah, well, I never bought artists
that got all the time.

I wasn’t one of them, but

it was.

Well, it’s it’s always nice when you’re
when you’re recognized, you know,

when somebody comes out, they go out
of their way because they don’t have to.

I’ve worked in so many places where you’re
just a cog in the machine, man.

And to hear that they had the four
because it’s a morale booster

at the end of the day, man,
these people are coming up to you.

They already know you’re working hard

and then you’re making their job that much
more fun and that much more easier

or that much easier. I don’t know
if I should put more in there.

I failed English in high level Bill.

So yeah, there we go.

You know, we figured this one out, man.

So it like I said, it, it was it’s
always nice to hear

that even behind the scenes,
it felt like you guys were a family.

Like I said, that’s why you got so much of
this heart and checked it into the show.


And just so you know,
it wasn’t just like, story.

Well, even though,
like, story guys long story.

It was. It was the whole process.

Like there were lay out
guys like Ian Wilcox and rest in peace.

Yes, yes. Yeah.

Just a great guy and

you know and and other and and the pace

and all the production people it was just,

you know, everybody supported everybody.

So that’s a good,

good mix.

And and, you know,

with the,

the supervising

and everything,
the directions the directors was great.

That’s good, man.

And you brought them up and

obviously he passed away a few years
back, tragically.

Do you have any any time somebody comes up
that is no longer here?

We’ve done it with so many people, Chuck
Tucker, you know, legendary board artists.

You know, we’ve done it with Christina
CAVANAUGH, legendary voice, actress.

But any time somebody
that is no longer here that passes up

that, you know,

you might have gotten to work with,
do you have any cool stories

or interactions
that you might have had with Ian or.

Oh, well, get

the Ian never met a movie

he couldn’t criticize for.

Ian was just such a it’s
just so hard to describe.

He’s such a great guy.

The way I describe him

and describe him was

he had

he was just like such an innocent guy.

He had no guile.

You know, There was no there was no

agenda with Ian.

What you saw was what you got.

And so, you know, you know, we didn’t just

storyboard to guys, like, for myself,
we wanted to be writers

or we wanted to create our own projects,
things like that.

So he was working on scripts
while he was doing layout,

and we would read each other’s material
and then give feedback

and and, you know,
he just had a great sense of humor

and it was just like hanging around
with a big kid.

And yeah, it made you feel younger,
you know?

So I miss him a lot.

You know, I didn’t see him a lot
in the years I saw on my birthday.

He came to my birthday, but

but every time you

talk to him, it’s like you never
you just saw each other yesterday.

You know what I mean?

And that kind of friend.

And those are the best

kind of friends where you just pick up
right where he left off and like,

Fine hasn’t even passed.

And Ian was one of those people.

Thank you for sharing that.

Like I said, anytime we can,

you know, reminisce about the folks
that had such a impact

and not only your life,
but a lot of our lives, man,

we get to paint a different picture
of that person and see,

you know,
another layer of what Ian was, man.

So thank you for sharing that.

When I think of legacy, when I think of
who am and I think of obviously,

I think of Snoop Dogg, but I think of Hank
the Pimp, that hat was so slick.

And then one of my favorite characters,

you know, with the revival coming
up, it’s going to be interesting

to see if they touch this character at
all, because he did pass away

like the season before last season.

Cotton Hill, one of my favorite.

He’s probably my favorite character
throughout this entire series.

I mean, I love to hate this guy,

you know, getting to hear about World War
Two through

cotton Hill was a big reason
why I’m such a huge World War two fan.

You know, getting to even know,

you know, during this time,
you didn’t have Google back then.

So anything anybody spouted off,
you would believe.

I’m like, Oh, shit,
this guy really had a blown off.

Oh, shit, He’s really got shin jelly.

Oh, shit.

His knees are really attached to his feet,
you know?

So you start hearing all this.
Oh, he killed and adds these.

So you hear all of this shit.

I’m like, Fuck, dude,
I want to know more about this.

So this led me to reading more and wanting
to know more about World War Two.

But like I said, anytime
Cotton Hill was on

on the screen, man,
he was an instant scene stealer.

But the whole interaction with him

and Tammy, the prostitute,
I really hope that her name is Tammy.

But the the the prostitute was just him

rattling off places that he had slept
with a prostitute.

Man, that scene is my favorite scene
in the entire episode.

Did you ever get to work on any of the
Cotton Cotton Hill scenes in this episode?

Do you remember?

Not in this episode,
but I did. I worked on

scenes with Cotton in other episodes.

You know, I could say he was,
you know, different to draw, you know?

Yeah, you know that.

But and I like the character, too.

I think my favorite character,

if I was to put favorites

of several, was but first was Dale.

And Dale is great.

Well, just the fact that he is not just
Dale Gribble, but he’s also rusty Shackle.


And and then Bill,

you know what’s not to like about Bill

and so you know and I to on the World

War two bus so I did appreciate the

that aspect of cotton so.

Yeah those two characters
particular cotton and dale

I think I told Allan Jacobson
this when I had him on my

when I have my podcast, my podcast
a few weeks ago and I told him like, dude,

I played,

I used to play Dandy with my friends
and we would play on line

because all of us
live in different states.

And then I would always roll a wizard.

And then whenever it got really,
really hairy, like really bad,

like we were all probably it was going
to be a htpc, which is total party kill.

Ladies and gentlemen, for you
non nerds out there,

I would always, you know, roll to yeah,

I would always roll to reach into my robes
and pull out pockets.

And because of Dale Gribble pocket sand

Man and my, my DM was always a dick.

I love you, man, but you’re addicting him.

He would tell me, Well, you didn’t
pick up any sand when you’re in the

you know, when you’re in the
what was it, the town or whatever it was.

I’m like, Dude, we’re in a fucking beach
or we’re in a dungeon.

You can’t tell me that
everything’s concrete down here.

You didn’t see me pick up the sand,

but I’ve had the sand in my pocket
the entire time because that’s

what Rusty Shackleford did, and that’s
what Dale Gribble would have done.

It never really worked out for me.

I never
really got to throw pocket sand, but

it was always the intent to throw pocket
sand any chance I got, man.

So Dale Gribble, fantastic character

sticking on the characters
for just a little bit, man.

You said, you know, Cotton Dale

and Bill Weir were some of your favorite
characters too, to work with?

What were some of the harder characters
that you got to work with?

Man? Was it or anybody
that was really difficult to slip into?

It’s well,

I guess Peggy for me.

Oh, only because I didn’t always agree
with her personality.

But, you know, that was just me, I guess.

But no, all the other characters,
this line of,

you know,
probably had a small crush on Lou-Ann.

Oh, everybody does, you know? And

I loved

John Red Corn and yeah,

you know, most of the characters were fun.

I loved the Boomhauer and,

you know, his mumbling and everything
like I’m doing now, you know?

Do you know how that character came about?

I really don’t know.

You know, just you got to figure writers
or Mike

Judge must have known somebody like that
in Texas.

You know, back in the day.

I think it’s on.

So whenever
whenever I do a deep dive into,

you know, a specific series
or a specific studio

or anything like that,
I try to get as much information I can.

So documentaries, you know, DVDs behind
the scenes, like any of those extras.

And there’s one on YouTube

and it’s like 20 minutes long,
or it might have been a podcast

I can remember because I literally
just went down a rabbit hole.

Anything that said Mike, Judge,
Greg Daniels, anything King of the Hill

I just downloaded on Spotify
or watched on YouTube,

and I just tried to get everything
I could absorb as much as possible.

So it was one of those two things.

It was either a behind the scenes thing
or it was on a podcast.

And during

Beavis and Butthead, the first run,

there was a guy that had called in
that sounded exactly like Boomhauer,

and he would he was just talking a mile
a minute and saying, like, How bad?

When I find that clip, I’ll send it
over to you so you can check it out.

And it’s just him.

It’s like him 30 seconds talking how
the guy was talking and he was fixated.

He said something about buttholes
and he was like,

I want to put that into this character.

And I had this idea for Boomhauer,
the guy, You don’t understand anything.

He says.

He eventually gets to a point
that one word.

But the 42 words
he said before, it made no sense.

It had nothing to do with the plot.
It had nothing to do with the story.

And you just get to that dang
old buttholes, man, you know?

So just hearing how that character
kind of came to be and how,

you know, the voice came around
and knowing Mike did it, I was just like,

This is such a fascinating he’s
a fun character, too, man.

When you look at Boomhauer, he’s
so fun to watch, you know?


And a mysterious life, too, behind him.



Man, he’s my he’s he’s definitely
if anybody was a secret

Agent Double-O
seven, it’s Boomhauer, for sure.

He’s working for the NSA.

You know, some of those other episodes

that you would you had wrote and said,
You remember these ones?

Man Queasy writer and Trouble with Rebels.

Man Which one
do you want to talk about next?

So I guess some trouble with rebels
would be next.

And I didn’t write them
like storyboarded on storyboards.

Excuse me yet it’s a good


Again, this is just getting back
to what you were asking about.

Like, how do you come up with,

you know, when you go on a board to see,

you know,
how do you go about putting the sequence?

And Sean Cashman
was the director on this one.

And in the episode I had the episode
where Dale is going to take the witness

stand, Oh, dude, great scene

and cross examine himself. And

like I knew

when I read the script, I knew instantly

I got two words out of my head
and it was just

Woody Allen.

And Woody Allen had that scene
and it was played against Sam,

where I may be wrong about the movie,
where he does

that, you know, A he

cross-examined himself.

So there’s I’m sure the writers kind of
did a little homage to that.

So I but still, you know, you have to keep

that visually interesting,
you know what I’m saying?

So you’ll notice in the scene, there’s,

you know, cutaways and

up shots down shots and different angles

handle you know, to handle the scene

and but and to keep the humor going.

And it was an incredibly funny written


But some of the things I did that

I won’t say that weren’t scripted,
but like I have them

like scale over the witness box
and just drop down, off, off scene

and then pop up,
you know, like in time of the year.

And, you know, that’s

pretty much where, like I said, I started

boarding and building on and of course

I got a ton on a direction
on that from Sean, you know,

where to put in some insert shots and

things like that.

But it still, still cracks me up
and the dialog is so, so good.

And like,

you know, he pulls out the people magazine

and then it’s, it’s funny stuff
as people get a chance,

you know, go ahead and Google it
and and watch that scene.

It’s pretty funny.

That is like when I think of all day

scenes, that one is up there,

you know, obviously the

the gun club takeover with Dale
and he turns into a straight mercenary.

That one’s up there,

you know, And I have to sit here
and really think of like

all the Dale isms,
because he’s he’s just like cotton.

For me, it’s so hard to pick one.

Like one is one and the other one is one
a, you know, 1a1b type of thing.

It’s so hard, you know,
because there’s so much complexity

to both of those characters.

And, you know, Dale,
like I said, any time he’s on and laugh

and it doesn’t matter how many times
I’ve seen this episode, I’m

so glad you brought up
the cross-examination,

because in my opinion, that’s
the best scene in the entire episode.

I mean, I love how
he’s just getting points because what’s

funny about this is
this is I’m going to date myself here.

You know, my mom and my dad smoked
cigarets and shit and they had

the ma are my grandparents
excuse me, my grandpa in specific.

You know, he had the marble points.

So you would tear these things off.

Ladies and gentlemen,
You would send them in from your cigarets

and Barbara would send you shit.

And I remember the talking bass fish.

I can remember what they called the basket

But the Manitoba Cigarets.

Yeah, something Billy bass or some shit
like that.

You know, something. Something crazy.

So seeing all of this, like swag

from Manitoba, Cigarets from Dale Gribble,
I was like, Dude, I lived this life.

I saw my grandpa marble hats and
and fucking sweaters like Dale was then.

So I was just like, This is life
imitating art or art imitating life?

Either way, it’s a sad concept.

And I thought it was hilarious
because I got to see this in real life

and then I got to see it,
you know, animated

and then just the whole sequence with him
being a dick.

But he’s trying to help his wife,
you know, get whatever it is she wants to.

So you see this character that you think
he’s just full of government

conspiracies, he’s
just full of this shady shit.

And then you see him, he’s like,
no, in his own little twisted, weird mind.

You know, he’s doing something that’s
going to help somebody else, you know?

So like I said, once again, that heart
is injected into these characters.

Right? You know?

And that’s what,
like I said earlier, Drew drew me to

it was the fact that they had the humor
in the heart, you know, So, again,

tip of the hat to the writers and also,

obviously the the story.

Yeah, man, You guys bought
you boarded the hell out of that scene.

In that scene, like I said, that scene
is the best scene in that episode, man.

That whole cross-examination.

I’ve laughed so hard at that,
no matter how many times it comes up, him

jumping over
and then I can’t remember the actress’s

name, but, you know, he says her name
and then he’s like horse face.

And that goes to the next one.

Oh yeah. It’s just him mean.

Yeah, he was

never a name either.

She’s won every one.

Of these huge like one of the most
beautiful people at the time you know.

Like. Yeah. Sex and the City
I think is the show. She was on.

But yeah,
it was just him, just like I said.

And then as quick as it was after
he proved his point, you know, Manitoba

just goes, All right, man,
can we push this case? Dismissed.

Case dismissed.
Get the hell out of my courtroom.

And I was like,
Yeah, this is fucking great, man.

When you’re doing something like that,
are you getting obviously

you say you get a scene
and then you either work,

you know, from that either
forward or backwards.

And in the series

generally, how many of you guys storyboard
artists are working on one episode?

Did it differ?

We have used three, you know,
it’s broken into three acts and each story

artist gets a an act
usually around 11 pages,

sometimes 12, sometimes, you know,

sometimes you’ll have an action sequence

in your scene and it’ll be,
you know, mean a lot more work.

So you might not get

like 12 pages.

You might get ten because of the action
scene or something like that,

because it’ll take longer to board
or sometimes you, you get one guy,

one guy will get more pages in the other,
but usually it averages out,

if I remember correctly too, about 11,

12 pages each or something like that.

I could round that number and again,

it’s cast, you know, like give him the

you know, this is a comedic scene,
this is a

action scene or whatever.

It’s not always cast.

But yeah,
there are times that they do cast it.

You know, I’d like this person
to take this for fun.

And that’s what
that’s at the director’s discretion.

Where do you think
you excelled the most out

of me?

Well, I’ll be honest with you.

I’m more of a

I see myself as more of a writer

artist than an artist writer.

You know, like I like I

my start was in comic strips and that

and so I was always attracted to humor.

So I see myself as a gag guy.

Most like, try it,

trying to punch up scenes,

you know, with with comedy


Well, I worked some time in feature

and I was always looking for the emotional

touchstone like, Yeah,

how can I you know

what is this scene saying?

what is the concept behind the scene?

How can I do it in a funny way?

And then if I could,
I do it in an emotional way

and if I can do both,
can I do one or the other?

I guess the but that was my strength.

I shaved, my weaknesses were in my

or in my, you know,

and you know, those the drawing skills.

But because I didn’t go to art school and

but one of the best things about,

you know, working in it in

my career was being surrounded
with just the most incredible talent.

And I’ve been influenced.

There were people storyboards
I would take home and study.


When I worked on Spider-Man and and,

you know, just

just an incredible guy,
David Silverman, like,

Hey, Simpson boards, you know, he
he did that

land of chocolate at home
where that thing was amazing,

you know, And

those are the kind of influences
and those are the things I would study.

Plus, they handed out
they actually gave out

like different kinds of

material saying, you know,

here’s what we’re looking for, you know?

So, yeah, that that helped to.

I can imagine

with before we before we get off of

trouble or actually not, I remember what
the the original point was.

So now when you feel like you’re

either a story writer, writer story,

what’s the what’s the difference for that?

Obviously, you said you were coming from
comic strips and shit,

so if you could punch a gag,
it was more gag driven.

But is there a distinction between
just those two?

Did you feel like you want to write more?

Yeah. You know,

the the distinction is is

in animation is of being cinematic
and very filmic, you know, okay.


in the types of strips I was doing

that wasn’t as important, but

you know, and then as far as

what’s the difference in

the thing about the comic strip for me was

I was everything.

I was the director, I was the writer,

you know, so it was my little world
that I could create.

And there was nothing more than that
and nothing better than that.

So that’s why I was drawn to it so much.

And with storyboarding,
you know, it was revisions.


you know, fixes
all sort of all sorts of things.

And, you know, and then there’s
there’s rules you have to follow.

You know,
you don’t cross the line, you know,

you know, compositional rules,
you know, and also,

you know, executing patterns
and things that. So

but I’m not saying that I,
I didn’t enjoy that.

I told you, look,
I loved every minute of it.

So except for the pressure

because I there was a lot of pressure.

And, you know, I remember
or at least in my mind I remember

it was like I said, 20 years ago,
but I remember early on storyboarding,

like you used to be able
to draw a character and

the background

and you wouldn’t have to draw
the background in the next panel

or the next panel or in it
you just write big essay background.

Samus And then

if I had a character

and they were going to walk on stage,
I didn’t have to walk them off stage.

I just had to draw an arrow
and say, Zip’s off stage, you know?

And so the boarding
was like a really quick process.

And then things started getting
when they started

doing animatics for different shows on

more was requested.

You had to see more of the final film
in that animatic form.

And so more and more story
artists became not just storyboards,

but they became layout and character

you had to design a character, and

so it got more complex in my mind

as time went on. And

and then

in the time seemed to shrink

and I, I used to remember
there would be a time you get a script,

you do the board,
and it was like a day of decompression.

I just remember that day of like,

Oh, I turned it in and

catch my breath.

And I remember
there was no decompression or

in television in the in the prime time

I’d be finishing my board
and I’d see a script

thrown down on my desk
next to me, the next script, and I

look back

and forth and go, Oh my gosh,
you know, so.

So yeah, it was was
there was that kind of pressure. But,

you know, I survived it and

and was happy to do it, you know,
And they, they paid you well, so.


Do you did you guys get to do any

the classic storyboard pitches

for King of the Hill
And if so, do you remember any of them.

No, I never had to stand up
in front of anybody.

The pitch
I did that early on in feature B,

you know, before they started,

they went to Zoom
and all that other stuff.

But that was a whole art form in itself.

You had to be able to

act and some people could do voices and

and I wasn’t one of those people, but

I managed to get through that,

not to go off of King of the Hill.

But I remember my very first pitch
at DreamWorks to Jeffrey Katzenberg.

He had a
he had a saying was, if you don’t come in

Saturday, don’t bother coming in Sunday.

And it was actually

it was my first pitch
to him was on a Sunday and

I had come down with the flu or something,
but I had a pitch to him

and I pitched to him and it went well.

Like I think I got like

three or four panels turned over,
you know, like

eight out rest of it can go
that kind of thing.

Well, go for.

Our back then.

Oh, we were doing I left King of the Hill

to go to Father of the Bride
had a good at DreamWorks.

So yeah, Clay Hall,
this storyboard supervisor,

had left to go to DreamWorks, and then

later on down the line

I called and asked
if there were any openings

and he

he got he brought me on
to do storyboards on that.

And that eventually. Went.

Go ahead. Go ahead. I’m sorry.

I was going to say in that eventually led
me to getting into feature.

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