Interview: Breaking Out with VideoTales, The Hilarious Animation Studio
With their slick animation, memorable voice acting, and sweet custom soundtracks, Studio VideoTales deserve all the attention their hilarious shorts have received on YouTube. Lately their Roblox sketches have shown an unbeatable grasp on what makes the frantic scheming and plans-gone-wrong in Jailbreak so relentlessly amusing. The game’s creators badcc and asimo3089 love their work, and so do we. Today they released a hilarious new YouTube short, “Top 5 Jailbreak Ways to Arrest – Funny Roblox Animations,” which puts the spotlight on the unique charm of social play on Roblox.
Read on as we sit down with VideoTales and ask about their team, their process, and their plans for the future:
First of all, congratulations on hitting over a million views with Top Five Jailbreak Fails! Any of you surprised at how far the video spread?
Animators: It’s not our first time doing 3D animations on YouTube, our other projects before this were quite popular, but we’ve never seen such an amazing growth of a single video! We were extremely surprised and happy of course, but this just says a lot about the magnitude and possibilities of Roblox.
BSlickMusic: I think it’s always hard to say exactly how popular a video might become. Sometimes it’s a real gamble, and something might not even catch on; the reason something (including the Top 5 video) grew so much is the exponential sharing between people. Having said that, I know the animators and myself are truly grateful for the support so far.
How did you guys first come together? What made you realize, “Wow, we could make some awesome stuff together?”
Animators: We are a team of animators, mostly freelancers from a number of countries and already worked on a few commercial as well as internet/YouTube projects. We have known BSlickMusic for a while now, our paths have crossed over a year ago whilst being involved in our previous project. Later on, we discovered and got really excited about Roblox as a concept and with BSlickMusic being already involved with it, it made us look into what he can add to the team. Of course, that was his singing skills, as well as experience being a composer of a few Roblox game soundtracks. So, pretty much that made us realise – wow, we could make some awesome stuff together, haha!
BSlickMusic: I was already getting into the Roblox community as of March this year and had the wonderful opportunity to work for many amazing developers. It’s really inspiring to see all these talented young people working on their passions. As a creative, it fuels my work in my own projects. When the animators contacted me and asked if I wanted to be on the team and focus on Roblox content, I was already aware of their talent and amazing work, so it was a no brainer for me to say yes. The best part is that we work very well together, even though we are on opposite sides of the world!
What was it that drew you to Roblox? The art style, the games, the community? Or something else?
VideoTales: We are a very creative team, we always look for new ways to apply our skills, knowledge and creativity, and Roblox is an open field where possibilities are endless. Being creators, doing the same thing over and over again can get stale, hence this platform made us realise that the span of our creative thoughts can stretch much further than with any other and that’s what makes it attractive. We also saw that as soon as we made an attempt to make something, we were backed by a very supportive and engaged community which just worked well to motivate us to pull our resources together and dive into it head first.
Your animations are colorful and expressive, but so is your writing, editing, and voice acting. How does your team divide up the work of making a video?
Animators: Our team consists of five people; almost every one of them can actually make the animation hands-on, but also everyone in the team has their own set of side-skills that are quite versatile. That is why the team is strong as we complement each other’s lack of certain competencies. Some people do the lightning/rendering, some do modelling/rigging, someone does the story writing and voice acting, and BSlickMusic is the one who sings way better than anyone of us. So, essentially we divide our work based on each skillset. Of course we share different opinions and discuss the plot and certain ideas together, but once that is decided we rely on each others input.
BSlickMusic: When the animators did the first short “The Cute Penguin,” one of the animators did all of the voice acting himself. I remember he sent me just the audio by itself, and I literally could have fallen right out of my chair it was so funny. I knew once they put the visual on it that it would make a great animation. And subsequently, they have done an equally amazing job on the others as well.
You all do a great job at capturing the slapstick fun of Jailbreak. Any other Roblox games stir your imaginations lately?
VideoTales: Jailbreak is the first game that introduced us to the world of Roblox and so by playing it we immediately got inspired and see a lot of potential and have some exciting ideas within this game itself. So, I guess we would like to develop those ideas within Jailbreak first, before we move onto the next game.
But again, should we have an awesome idea about any other of the games, we are going to make it happen. We are good at planning, yet we can be random sometimes if we are inspired and captured by a specific idea we came up with.
What advice would you give someone who has no idea how to get into making Roblox animations?
VideoTales: We would not give any advice unless we have lived through that specific experience or certain things ourselves. So, the main thing you need to know when you start anything off, specifically animations in this case, is that it is not the excellent high-definition graphics that are going to make it a great video, but rather the story. The story is what creates an emotional connection with the audience and people see past the quality of the video itself. It is the laughter, compassion, sadness, and other emotions we want to create for those who watch our content.
So, for those who are scared to start because you do not know the technical part thoroughly, our advice would be to try and come up with a story, imagine what you would like to experience whilst watching a certain video and write it down.
Finally, there is plenty of online resources that can help you learn how to do the technical part. So those two combined you might join our or create a team of animators of your own haha.
And finally: which of you is the best at Jailbreak?
VideoTales: Well, we’ve asked each other that jokingly and turns out that each one of us believes they are the best and so we keep challenging each other for the top spot. So far, there is no clear winner, so only time will tell. We can say, however, that this is probably the only thing we have had a disagreement on since we have been a team, so we’ve got that going for us!!
If you want to be there the next time a plan (almost) comes together, you can subscribe to VideoTales on YouTube and follow them on Twitter. Take a look at their newest video, “Top 5 Jailbreak Ways to Arrest – Funny Roblox Animations,” now! Just watch out for any dangerous decoy penguins.