Jarthur the Alien Creator Tyler Holtman Announces Season Two - Get Jarthurized


Jarthur the Alien creator Tyler Holtman takes us behind the scenes of the making of the popular animated series now in Season Two.


Who is Jarthur the Alien?

Tyler Holtman: Jarthur is a yellow alien blob visiting Earth from Blobulon. He's a little forgetful, goofy, but very enthusiastic.  His catchphrase is, "I'm a blob!" Without any arms or legs, he uses his slurping powers to slurp up different Earth foods, which always makes him burp out a different geometric shape.  He's looking for energy for his planet, which he calls "noonon."


Catch us up on Season One

TH: In Season One, Jarthur meets Alan the Scientist first, who wants to show him different Earthly customs, including eating cheeseburgers. Once Alan shows Jarthur to the entire town, he gains a new fan named Lydia Lizard. Lydia is a spunky, enthusiastic, and determined girl who desperately wants to meet Jarthur, and they become best friends. Slowly we discover that Alan has evil intentions for Jarthur, while Lydia wants to help Jarthur figure out what "noonon" is on Earth. Each season contains six five minute long episodes with the season two premiering January 25th.


Take us behind the scenes.  How long does it take to create an episode?

TH: It takes about one month to make each episode, and it takes thirty to forty hours to make each minute of animation.


What is the animation process like?

TH: First, co-writer Nicole and I talk out the outline of the story together, and then create a script. After some preliminary storyboarding to map things out, I use a Wacom tablet to draw everything into the computer on different layers in Photoshop. In Season One all of the animating was done in Final Cut Pro 7 with rotoscoped mouths (6 frames per second), meaning we filmed their mouths while recording, then traced the lips to put on the characters. In Season Two I do all of the animating in Adobe After Effects CS5.  I'm able to use a new mouth technique that is not nearly as labor-intensive as rotoscoping. I have more flexibility and effects options to spice up the special moments in the show. After the animating, Matt Schwartz adds some sound effects and mixing.


Describe the rotoscoping technique used in Jarthur the Alien

TH: Rotoscoping is an animation style that can be found in some feature films such as "Waking Life" or "A Scanner Darkly." The technique involves tracing each frame of live-action to create an animation. I wanted to try to rotoscope only the mouths of two characters. So I drew two random characters sitting in a diner which became Jarthur and Alan, and made up voices for both of them, filming my lips. I then traced my lips - 24 frames per second and made it into the original pilot animation, which took three months to create from July to October 2013. The rest of Season One came out in January to April 2014.


What made you decide to tell stories through animation?

TH: I've been making films since age eight, with my brother Chase Holtman  voices of the Wise Mouse character. I made more and more films and eventually studied film production at Chapman University with an emphasis in Directing. I wrote and directed a  twenty minute senior thesis film called "Zeus's Muses," about a group of Zeus worshipping performance artists. I've always loved wacky comedy, from "Ren & Stimpy" to "The Simpsons" and much more. I always wanted to do animation, so I began teaching myself the basics after graduating and working freelance in the film business in Los Angeles as an editor.


What other animated projects showcase your style?

TH: In August 2014, I was hired to animate a new web series called "Coyote Munch Mini-Mart," which is about a rapping tumbleweed in the Witness Protection Program. The show is filled with inanimate objects, such as a plastic bag, a blender, a "Radbox" DVD, and sassy bag of candy. Writer/Creator Joe Cervelin was neighbors with my brother Chase. Chase now co-produces the show and does the voice of the blender and the DVD. The first two episodes were released in late 2014 and can be found on YouTube.


What can you tell us about Jarthur's second season on Earth ?

TH: We introduce a lot of new characters, with surprises, and twists in the works.




What does "Get Jarthurized" mean?

TH: After the success of Season One of "Jarthur the Alien," I created an opportunity where anyone can get animated into Jarthur's world for a very low price. Many people have only paid $22 to get a 30+ second animation with them and the Jarthur characters. These videos get published to YouTube and the Jarthur website. To watch Jarthur or learn how to get Jarthurized, visit www.jarthurthealien.com for details!  Stay tuned for Season Two, it's going to be a wild ride!



Any special shout outs or thank yous?

TH: I want to especially thank Nicole Ellsworth, for inspiring me to continue after the first episode and for being my writing partner the whole way through. I'm also eternally grateful for my amazingly talented father Steve Holtman, who works countless hours to make a rich, original score for each episode. Matt Schwartz also offered a lot of his talents to make the sound design as wacky and fun as possible. There are lots of actors who gave great voices to brighten the characters, so a big thank you to Jarthur the Alien season one and two cast members Nicole Ellsworth, Chase Holtman, Corey Klass, Laura Ellsworth, Brock McKenzie, Brenda Holtman, Laura Sadowski and Jon Walter Mocey-Hanton.

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