Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French talks about the bands new live DVD/CD and upcoming farewell shows.

Jay Jay French is the guitarist/founding member of the heavy metal group Twisted Sister. The band which is gearing up for a run of farewell shows in the summer/fall of this year is set to release a new live CD/DVD release titled “Twisted Sister: Metal Meltdown Live at the Hard Rock Casino Las Vegas- A Concert to Honor A.J. Pero” on July 22nd. Media Mikes spoke with Jay Jay recently about the upcoming release, the group’s final shows and what he will miss most about being on the road.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us an overview of the new CD/DVD Twisted Sister has coming out on July 22nd?

Jay Jay French: The whole focus of “Twisted Sister: Metal Meltdown Live” was to celebrate our drummer A.J. Pero who had recently passed away. This show was the bands first show after A.J.’s death and so much of his life and death was around that show that it made things very important to us. Subsequently this was also our first performance with Mike Portnoy on drums. The sound was produced by our bass player Mark Mendoza and the video was done by Barry Summers. Barry’s first exposure to the band was when he was a kid and saw play in a bar. I think because of that experience Barry brought sort of a fan boy type desire and approach to this project. I think Barry definitely tried to transfer his love of rock and roll over to people through this film.

AL: What was it like for the band going into this show knowing it was being filmed along with the fact that is was also going to be the bands first live performance with Mike on drums?

JJF: What band in their right fucking mind would have a new drummer come on and then have their first performance record for television? (Laughs) Mike is such a pro and a really great guy. I don’t know if we could have done this with any other person. This was a very hard and emotional thing. In the film there is a drum solo that is just A.J. That wasn’t a production trick or anything like that. That was actually up on the screen during the show. We did every show like that last year. Mike is so respectful of A.J. that he was up for whatever we wanted/needed.

AL: How does this film differ from that of the recently released “We Are Twisted F****** Sister” documentary?

JJF: We have a very unusual story. Every other story ends after being told about the ups and downs the band went through to make it. This story ends before we end up getting a record deal. “We Are Twisted F****** Sister” shows the struggle we went through to make it. We were basically just the focal point of that film. We didn’t know where the production was going or what portion of our career it was going to actually cover. It was interesting to see the director’s final interpretation of it. “Metal Meltdown Featuring: Twisted Sister” we were more involved in and I see it acting almost like a book end. The first film shows the beginning of the band and the new film shows the ending. The contrast between the two films is amazing. I think the coda being the Vegas show proves that not every band in their 60’s has to suck. We have a lot of pride in what we do and I think this DVD shows that not only are we still good but we are actually better.

AL: Was the Las Vegas show one you guys picked to film or was it sort of predetermined by the production company?

JFF: We had booked that to be filmed prior to A.J.’s passing. The big question was what we were going to do. The producers of the film as well as all of the promoters we worked with that summer were really great. They all told us that if we wanted to pull out of the events we could and that they would totally understand. We asked for a couple weeks away in order to be able to digest what all had happened. We had planned to end the band that year and I had actually talked with A.J. the day before his passing about the discussion I had with Dee related to this being it. During that conversation A.J. mentioned that he was going to need to drop off his current tour with Adrenalin Mob because he was in need of some rehab on his shoulders. He didn’t want me to be alarmed so he was letting me know ahead of time. That ended up being the heart attack. I guess he had actually had a heart attack three days prior also. I didn’t think anything of it as drummers tend to have aches and pains. I wished him well and that was it. That next morning I got the phone call that had passed. Shortly after I got a call asking if I would come out to the Adrenalin Mob show at the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey to do a song dedicated to A.J. I gladly accepted and that’s when Mike Portnoy came up to me and told me had always been a fan of the band and if we needed any help he would be glad to jump on board. I initially thought that after the funeral we would all sit down and that would be the end of things however after talking we decided to honor all of our commitments for 2015 and then wrap things up in 2016.

AL: What can you tell us about the bands remaining shows and, what are your plans once the band is done?

JJF: Our last show will be on Oct. 1st in New Jersey. We will be doing a bunch of well known festivals leading up to that. Due to all of our personal schedules the band can only play 10 or 15 shows a year as we just don’t all have the time. Outside of the band I write for Ink magazine and also write a business column for their online site. I am doing motivational speaking engagements and I am writing a book as well. I also like to do business advice for people. Those things are really my focus these days.

AL: Is there any part of you that will miss being on the road and in the band?

JJF: I don’t think I am going to miss any part of being on the road. I have done over 9,000 shows which is like being in the heavy metal version of “Cats” accept because were Jewish it’s spelled Katz. (Laughs) Those shows were all fun and everything and I loved being up there but I’m ready for it to be over.

Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie Tour Kicks off on April 20, 2013

Jay and Silent Bob are back! Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes are hitting the road with their new animated film, JAY & SILENT BOB’S SUPER GROOVY CARTOON MOVIE – which blazes across America in a series of one-night-only shows starting April 20, 2013 in Atlanta at the Center Stage Theater.  The legendary best buds from Jersey are back to dispense weed and wisdom in cartoon form and audiences will have the opportunity to watch the new movie and stick around for a rip-roaring Q&A afterwards.  Tickets go on sale Friday, March 1, 2013 at http://seesmod.com/groovymovie.

Produced by Mewes and directed by first-time filmmaker Steve Stark, JAY & SILENT BOB’S SUPER GROOVY CARTOON MOVIE features the voice talents of Eliza Dushku, Tara Strong, Ralph Garman, Neil Gaiman, Ben Gleib, Jon Lovitz and the podcast stars of Smith’s SModcast Network! When they can no longer stomach the ever-growing weed of suburban crime, Jay & Silent Bob take on the mantles of costumed avengers Bluntman & Chronic, smashing super-villains they accidentally create! Can the Doobage Duo save their beloved Jersey ‘burbs from their new arch enemies, the League of Shitters? While clearly not the comic book movie the world wants, GROOVY MOVIE is the comic book movie the world needs!

“This is what can happen when you put the plug in the jug, kids!” said screenwriter and SModCo head honcho Kevin Smith of Producer (and friend of Bill W.) Jason Mewes. “I’m crazy proud of Jay for turning the soul-crushing bummer that is sobriety into productivity, making something as funny and fun as GROOVY MOVIE in the process!”

“As an actor, it was awesome to play Jay again,” said producer and voice talent Jason Mewes. “But as a producer, I sweated every nickel because I wanted to keep the budget low… And dirty.”

The budget for GROOVY MOVIE: $69,000!

“That budget figure not only makes us proud, it makes us giggle,” Smith went on to say. “We live in an age of wonder where you can make a whole cartoon movie for well under a hundred grand! And the super hero who made miracles happen for next to nothing in cost was our genius director, Canadian animator Steve Stark!”

“A few years back, Steve was a Jay & Silent Bob fan who Tweeted us a YouTube cartoon he made from an episode of SModcast,” Mewes explains. “Now the guy’s directed an entire Jay & Silent Bob cartoon movie! And since we’re using Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube to sell tour tickets, it’s like the whole cartoon’s made possible by the power of social media! SNOOTCH!”

Forgoing a standard theatrical release, SModcast Pictures (a division of SModCo) will repeat the city-by-city, one-night-only structure of their groundbreaking RED STATE USA Tour and cap each Groovy Movie screening with a performance of their Jay and Silent Bob Get Old podcast –  the wildly popular live show which has sold out tours across the US, Canada, the UK and Australia. All 103 live shows recorded to date are available for download at SModcast.com and iTunes. Mewes has also produced home video versions of the show entitled, Jay and Silent Bob Get Old: Teabagging in the UKJay and Silent Bob Get Irish: The Swearing o’the Green, and Jay and Silent Bob Go Down Under.

Complete ticket and tour information is available athttp://seesmod.com/groovymovie and the trailer can be seen at http://youtube.com/seesmod.  “Like” Jay and Silent Bob on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/JayandSilentBob.

About Jason Mewes (Jay)

Jason Mewes (@JayMewes) is the Creative Producer at SModCo Internet Radio (SIR), which launched in May 2011, as well as the Creative Producer at SModCo Internet TV (SIT), which launched in May 2012 and lives online as a YouTube channel.   SModco produces Mewes’ weekly video blog called,Mewes News, which was also the first SIT video to air.  Best known as the vocal half of the on-screen comedic duo, Jay and Silent Bob, Mewes has reprised his role as the celebrated character, “Jay,” in a number of films. With cult-fans following his controversial antics, Mewes has captured audiences with rebellious banter against his unspoken other half and longtime friend, Kevin Smith (Silent Bob). Since the beginning of the duo’s offbeat work together, Mewes and Smith have continued to build on their beloved character driven roles from the Jay and Silent Bob series.  Most recently, Mewes wrapped Spoilers, alongside Smith, an original online series for Hulu and in 2011, he co-hosted the TV series, Cinema Enema, which reviews film in an off-kilter way.  As an actor, Mewes can be seen in a starring role in the Wunderkind Pictures feature, Noobz, as well as The Last GodfatherMoney ShotK-11, and Rock Jocks. Mewes’ most noted film credits include: Smith’s award-winning Clerks,MallratsChasing AmyDogmaClerks IIZack and Miri Make a Porno, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.  This string of cult hits all celebrated and continued Mewes’ infamous role as “Jay,” a bawdy, fast talking, and over sexed but very likable guy.  For his successful and brow-raising portrayal, MTV honored him with 2007’s Dirtiest Mouth Award.

About Kevin Smith (Silent Bob)

Kevin Smith (@ThatKevinSmith) is the fat guy who got thrown off the plane.  He also made CLERKS once.

JAY & SILENT BOB’S SUPER GROOVY CARTOON MOVIE TOUR DATES

April 20     Atlanta, GA           Center Stage Theater
April 21     Washington, DC     Warner Theater
April 22     Tarrytown, NY       Tarrytown Music Hall
April 23     New York, NY        Best Buy Theater
April 24     Boston, MA           House of Blues
April 25     Philadelphia, PA      Keswick Theatre
April 29     Santa Barbara, CA  Lobero Theater
April 30     Sacramento, CA     Crest Theater
May 2       San Francisco, CA  Warfield Theater
May 5       Los Angeles, CA     The Wiltern
May 9       Portland, OR          Bagdad Theater
May 15     Seattle, WA           Moore Theater
May 17     Kansas City, MO     Midland Theater
May 18     St. Louis, MO         The Pageant
May 19     Chicago, IL            The Vic Theater
May 20     Indianapolis, IN       Clowes Memorial Hall
May 21     Royal Oak, MI         Royal Oak Music Theatre

May 22    Milwaukee, WI         Pabst Theater

Dates for New Jersey, Texas and Canada will be added in late March.

 

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Jason Mewes talks about films "Noobz" and "Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie"

Jason Mewes is known best for playing half of the comedic duo team Jay and Silent Bob with Kevin Smith. He has worked on with Kevin Smith on his films from “Clerks 1 & 2”, to “Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back”. Jay is starring in the new gaming film “Noobz” with Blake Freeman, Matt Shively, Moises Arias, Casper Van Dien and Zelda Williams. Jay and Kevin Smith also recently announced the new animated film “Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat movies, video games and what he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: Let’s talk about how you got involved with the project “Noobz”?
Jason Mewes: The director, Blake Freeman, said he was thinking about me when he wrote the character. When they were getting ready to go into production, he contacted me and sent me the script. I thought it was awesome and that was that man!

MG: This is a really fun role for you. What did you enjoy most the role?
JM: Awesome thanks man. I am really psyched about the movie and how it turned out. I will always love the Jay character. It is me playing me. It is working with Kevin (Smith) and we have been doing it for so many years now. But besides those things, I definitely have to say I really had a lot of fun on it and really felt strong about the whole concept. Hopefully people dig it as much as I have.

MG: Are you a gamer in general?
JM: Yeah man, I probably play a little too much. I go through phases. I get addicted to gaming. For a while I was addicted to “The Lord of the Rings: Battle from Middle Earth” on the PC. Back then, I was with my girlfriend (now wife) and we would make plans to go out but I would be caught up playing and completely space. So I stopped playing for a little bit. Then I started playing “Call of Duty” and “Halo” and that got me back into it. Now I try to keep it at a happy medium…but I still get yelled at by my wife [laughs].

MG: You are currently touring with Kevin Smith with “Jay & Silent Bob Get Old”; what do you enjoy most about this?
JM: I love doing this. For one it has been a big help to keep me sober. I talk about 20 years of working together with Kevin. 25 years of our friendships with all the ups and downs. I talk about things that are going on in my life. And talking about it helps because it reminds me that I don’t want to go back to the way I was. Not to mention, it helps because when I walk into a Starbucks and people tell me they watch the podcast and ask how many days that I am up to now being clean. I like that. No one wanted to hire me because they thought that I was messed up and now I am getting out there and talking about it. It is really great and helping me stay sober. Most people seem to respect that. Also we have been traveling all over for it, so that has been great as well. We went to Australia and I have been there before. I have never been to Scotland, Ireland, Vancouver and we went there with this show. We have just gone all over the place and it has been awesome.

MG: Let’s talk about your new cartoon movie “Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie”, what can we expect?
JM: We are hoping to have that done by April. This started as something I told Kevin about when I first got sober that I really wanted to try directing. So I went out and directed a music video and I would still love to direct a short film or small independent movie. But I told him I would also like to get into producing. He then told me that he had a script that was sitting on his shelf and he gave it to me thinking that I would go home and just toss it on my table. But I read it, started calling some animators and began figuring out how much it would cost. My wife and I got a sound stage together and put together a group of people and then showed Kevin the first ten minutes. He loved it and then started giving us a list of people that we needed to get. So that was how he became part of it and it is really coming together. So hopefully April, we will be able to start showing it to people.  We want to tour with it like Kevin did with “Red State”. So hopefully people are going to dig it.

MG: Also now with “Clerks III” on the horizon, did you ever think that while making “Clerks” almost 20 years ago you will still be playing this role today?
JM: No, definitely not man! Definitely not with “Clerks”, Jay and Silent Bob are not even on the poster. Kevin is on it but he is in normal clothes as the director not his character. It wasn’t really till “Mallrats” that people really started asking “Hey, who are these characters?” Even after “Mallrats”, “Chasing Amy” and even “Dogma”, I had no idea that too this day we would be having all these plans, including doing the cartoon film and more comics.

Orgy’s Jay Gordon talks about new single “Grime of the Century”

Jay Gordon is the lead singer of the band Orgy. The group recently released a new single titled “Grime of the Century” and is set to embark on a western U.S. tour.  Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Jay recently about the band and its new release.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the bands new single “Grime of the Century”?
Jay Gordon: I chose this song because it was the one the band pulled together the quickest. Everything for the song just came right together. There is so much going on in our other songs that we felt this one was the simplest of the group. Releasing this song seemed like less of a gamble. I wanted to mainly get people familiar with the bands new line up through this song.

AL: Are there any plans to shoot a video for the song?
JG: Yes! We actually just finished it. I don’t know when it will exactly be released but it will be coming out soon. The video is going to be very interesting and cool. I think it is different for an Orgy video.

AL: Are there plans for a full-length release? and how does working on an album now compare to when the band first hit it big?
JG: Yes, a full length album is in the works. There is a lot less money now to make records with than when we started. Bands aren’t getting record deals like they did back in the 90’s however the process in which we work is the still the same.

AL: Are you doing any production on the new Orgy material? And has being involved with producing changed your approach to songwriting in any way?
JG: We are all capable of doing that type of work. Everyone in the band has their hands in the production aspect of things. As far as writing goes these days I think I am much faster at it now. I am however very picky. I don’t like to just jump on the first thing that comes to mind. I may be at first but when I take a second to slow down and look at everything sometimes my opinion changes.

AL: How do you go about balancing your work as a producer and as a singer?
JG: You just have to find/make time to do both. I wish there was a more glamorous answer but that’s the most direct. I wear a lot of hats.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands current lineup?
JG: I have known this group of guys for a long time. Carlton Bost and Ashburn Miller come from the band Deadsy. Jamie Miller came from the band Snot. Those guys are all really talented and were people I had wanted to play with for a long time. Nic Speck was a guy I met along the way and just ended up asking him to come down one day and he did.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands upcoming tour?
JG: We will be doing a quick tour of the west side of the United States during the fall and possibly after the New Year we will be heading over to Europe for some shows there as well. We are thinking about a lot of different things and are open to suggestion. I just want to get out there and do it again.

AL: Besides your work with Orgy what other projects are you working on right now?
JG: I am currently working on some songs for the band Escape the Fate. I did some really cool dub step tracks and programming for a few of there songs. I also am producing a song with the band and another guy named Future.

Jay Chandrasekhar talks about Broken Lizard, “Super Troopers 2″ and “The Babymakers”

Jay Chandrasekhar is a member of the comedy group Broken Lizard.  He directs and co-stars in the new film  “The Babymakers”, which co-stars fellow Broken Lizard member Kevin Heffernan.  Jay also has directed a lot of television including “Arrested Development” and “Community”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Jay about Broken Lizard, “Super Troopers 2″ and “The Babymakers”.

Mike Gencarelli: What was your biggest challenge working on “The Babymakers”?
Jay Chandrasekhar: I think I wanted to try something a little more real. So I wanted to see if I could make the tone with the real life relationship stuff work with some of the stuff that Kevin and I tend to do in the comedy world. I wanted to see if both of those tones could fit into a movie. So that was my biggest challenge for sure. I feel like I am very happy with how it ended up.

MG: How did it come about working with Kevin Heffernan solo on this project?
JC: He worked on a film called “Strange Wilderness”. The writer of that film, Peter Gaulke, had written this script with Gerry Swallow. He gave it to Kevin and asked if we could get it made at Warner Brothers, when we were there. Kevin gave it to me and asked if I would be willing to direct it. I read it and loved it and said “Let’s go for it”. So that is how it ended up being just the two of us. It is a movie about a couple really. It wasn’t able to be adapted to be a five man Broken Lizard movie. The thing about Broken Lizard movies is that it needs to have the right vibe and, of course, be able to star five guys. This was not one of those.

MG: What was your inspiration for the character Ron Jon?
JC: I based it somewhat on a couple of my Uncles. I’ll tell you this, I feel like Indians in Hollywood are always computer guys, cab drives, or nerds that never get chicks. I thought it might be fun to make the bad guy/criminal an Indian. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been imitating my Uncles since I was like 4 or 5, so I really had a fucking blast with this character.

MG: Do you find it difficult both acting and directing on a film?
JC: I have done it now like 6 or 7 times now. I always say acting and directing ruins two perfectly good jobs. But look, it is a great way to get good parts [laughs]. Frankly, I know how to do it. One thing I do is make sure that Kevin is watching my performance and I watch his of course when he directs. I just give a range of sizes for the performance starting at super subtle and get bigger and bigger. And I hope that one of those will make the cut.

MG: Besides film, you’ve been directing a bunch of TV, how do the do compare? What do you enjoy most?
JC: I have been lucky to work on a lot of great television shows like “Arrested Development” and “Community”. I am working with high-end top level comics and actors. I am getting to see how they work and also making new friendships/relationships. Due to this, now I am developing my own television show as well. The business is very different. You have to work faster and generate material a lot quicker. Yet it also has to be on a high level of entertainment. I am having a lot of fun shooting television though. My job there is to make a very good episode. It’s not to make my show. It is to shoot their show.

MG: With “Super Troopers 2” script completed, what are you most concerned about with making this film?
JC: I am concerned about fucking it up for the fans, obviously. There is nothing worse than watching a sequel and being like “What the fuck is that”? We have written what I think is a really great story. I think ultimately we have done 10 drafts of it and we need to do another 10 to ensure it is as funny or close. That is going to require, you know, smoking a lot of joints and sitting around a room and coming up with the right details. There is no guarantee, of course. Firstly, we still need to get Fox to allow us to make the film. Assuming that they do, there is a lot riding on it creatively.

MG: What do you have planned next with Broken Lizard? Solo?
JC: I got the pilot but I really can’t talk about it yet since it is not setup anywhere yet. There is a film called “Shotgun Wedding” that Olivia Munn and I are doing a re-write of currently. Unless the “Super Troopers” issue resolves itself, I imagine I would be making “Shotgun Wedding” next.

Interview with Jay Edwards

Jay Edwards is currently editor and producer of the television series “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” on Adult Swim. Jay also served as supervising editor and producer on the feature film “Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters.” Outside of Adult Swim, Jay also wrote, produced, directed and edited “Stomp! Shout! Scream!” a beach party rock and roll monster movie.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Jay about working on “Aqua Teen” and also his live-action work.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with “Aqua Teen” and Adult Swim?
Jay Edwards: I went to college at Auburn University. I majored in Public Relations because I wasn’t really a “business” guy and I wasn’t really an “engineering” guy, which is really all that’s there at Auburn! And I went in one Sunday morning and I took an editing class. That first day I edited for twelve hours straight. I forgot to eat. I forgot to pee. Time just disappeared. So the next day I changed my major to communications and decided I should be an editor for a living. And I’ve been doing it ever since. When I graduated in 1991 I came to Atlanta and got a job with a small post-production house. I was the gopher. I picked up a lot of lunches. I made a lot of dubs. And while I was there I trained on the first non-linear editor that was becoming the standard in post production. So I learned that system and became sort of the “night manager” guy. I would load the footage into the computer overnight for the next days editing sessions. And after doing that…doing a little bit of everything…for three and a half years I got a job at Turner Broadcasting. They had two editing suites but they really didn’t know how to manage them. So I came in and got them cleaned up and organized and started editing full time. And within about a year “Space Ghost From Coast to Coast” was in production and they were looking for editors. I thought I was getting on the bandwagon really late but I ended up editing episode seventeen or eighteen with Carrot Top, which was pretty early in the run. That was the first episode I edited. It was a really difficult show to edit. Number one, you’re trying to tell this really weird, timed, broad comedy. Technically it’s a really difficult show to put together. They do the interview first and someone pretends to be Space Ghost. Then they transcribe the interview and intentionally rewrite all of the questions for comedic effect. You’re trying to edit based on the voice over by George Lowe, who’s the voice of Space Ghost and this kind of finite interview. You’re trying to make it sound like a natural conversation and there’s nothing natural about it. You have to have comedic timing but it’s also very complicated. The background of “Space Ghost” are composites on top of one another. So we animate Space Ghost by using a series of two frame edits…back to back to back to back. Technically it’s very complicated but for some reason I was able to do it and I stuck around. We burned through a lot of editors that tried and didn’t want to do it…it was too hard of work for them…or they weren’t right. But I stuck around and over the next four or five years I edited over thirty “Space Ghost” episodes. Then in 2000, when Adult Swim was just an idea, Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro were creating a new show…kind of a spin off based on an unused “Space Ghost” script. At the time it was called “Master Shake.” But we ended up changing the title because the Cartoon Network had a show called “Master Flake,” a show about the world of cereal mascots. So “Master Shake” became “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.” I left my staff job at Turner and started editing the pilot for “Aqua Teen.” That was the summer of 2000. Nobody thought it was a good idea. “You’re leaving this really cushy good job to go do WHAT?” (laughs) But it worked out. I went free lance haven’t looked back. I’ve been full time free lance for nearly eleven years now. I do work in different departments. I edit and produce “Aqua Teen” but I also produce extra content for the DVDs. I stay free lance so I can do as much work as I can. If I was on staff I wouldn’t be able to do that. And we’re still going. The show is entering season eleven and a DVD, volume eight, comes out in the fall. It’s a two disc set. One disc is “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” – Final Season and the other disc is “Aqua Unit Patrol Squad” – Season One.

MG: Is there a different feeling working on this season with the new title or do things feel the same?
JE: It’s exactly the same. The only thing that’s different are the opening credits. The credits are different but the show itself is written and produced exactly the same.

MG: I spoke with Dave Willis and he told me you guys were thinking of possibly changing the credits again?
JE: I wouldn’t be surprised. (laughed) Yes, we’re been green-lit for another ten-twelve episodes for 2012. And please note this: “I AM JAY EDWARDS…FREE LANCER. I AM NOT SPEAKING FOR CARTOON NETWORK IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM.” It’s not that it’s off the record, I’m just not speaking as a representative for Cartoon Network or Time Warner. (laughs)

MG: Your primary focus on the show has been producing and editing. Do you find one more difficult then the other?
JE: That’s interesting. I get a producer credit but I mainly just edit the show. But the show has been going on for so long. And Dave and Matt trusted me in the beginning. They write the scripts and do the voice overs. Writing the script is the hardest part in the whole process. I don’t want to belittle that but I’m not involved so I can’t talk about what is involved. But that is usually the hardest part and I want to give them all of the credit in the world. But after they write the scripts, all of the voice characters are recorded separately. So I might get eight or ten or fifteen reads of every line in the script. Plus they take a lot of different detours between what they come up with in the script because they also do a lot of the voices themselves. Then they had it to me and I go to work for two weeks. Two weeks later they come back and want to see something put together. So they hired me and they use me because I think they’re funny and I get what they’re going for. The scripts are pretty loose. They might read: INTERIOR – AQUA TEEN HOUSE and then have three pages of dialogue. Not a lot of scene descriptions. So I either have to give them some busy work or pull out of the dialogue and ad-libs what the action is that they’re doing and try to come up with a visual that isn’t too complicated and can be done on our limited budget and time but also isn’t so static that it’s visually boring. So that’s my job…to take the first path to directing the show essentially. Dave and Matt actually direct it…they give notes and it becomes their vision of what the show should be. But I get first crack at it. So that’s really where I get my producer credit. I keep the machine moving.

MG: You also worked on the “Aqua Teen” feature film. Was that a different experience for you?
JE: During that process we had to go from Standard Definition to High Definition to get it on to film and make it look good. So we essentially had to recreate all of the elements. Getting all of the backgrounds redrawn…characters essentially redrawn and re-scanned to an HD resolution. Just doing that was it’s own process. Then we had to figure out how to get it from inside a computer to film that could be distributed to theatres. We basically made an HD master and then transferred that to film. There are all kinds of variables about what kind of film stock you can use based on what kind of look you want. It gets really, really complicated. Showing a film in a theatre is really a part of 100 year old technology. It’s all chemical and analog as opposed to digital. That was complicated. There was also the storytelling…telling a story that was much longer then twelve minutes. I actually worked on the “Aqua Teen” movie pretty much full time, if not overtime, for two and a half years. And at the same time, currently, I produced and directed “Stomp! Shout! Scream!” and it premiered. Personally, I got divorced. It was a really stressful period of my life. My body fell apart. I’m super proud. I think that this past season of “Aqua Teen” was awesome. But I think the “Aqua Teen” movie was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

MG: Do you think you guys will do another “Aqua Teen” feature?
JE: I don’t think they would ever let us do another one (laughs). We would do another movie in a heartbeat! We think it’s a no brainer money maker to do another one! But it was pretty clear going through that painful process…we didn’t know how to distribute it to movie theatres…we didn’t know anything about that. We were all on a very steep learning curve. As soon as it was in theatres it was decided that we are a television company not a movie company. We know how to make television shows. I think it was a good experience for everybody to go through. The movie made money. Not a lot but it was definitely in the black. Especially when you consider DVD sales. I think the “Venture Brothers” has a long format project in the works as part of their next season but I don’t know if it’s going to be more then a T V special and a DVD. They may have some select screenings. Who knows how they’ll market it? I don’t think they’ll try to distribute it in theatres.

MG: With the success of “Stomp! Shout! Scream!” do you have any plans to direct in the future?
JE: Of course! That’s what I’ve been working towards ever since I finished “Stomp! Shout! Scream!” It premiered five or six years ago and I’ve been very actively taking it to film festivals…trying to market it and get it seen…trying to get a distribution deal. But that’s like a whole ‘nother full time job. Even after your film premieres you’re only really half way done. It’s been a ton of work. It’s not something that I made because I thought I could make a ton of money off it. It’s something I had to do. I was able to make the movie I wanted to make based upon my abilities of the time. I’m very proud of it. I know it’s proud but I’m really proud of it. The film did get a distribution deal about two and half years ago by a group called Indican Pictures. Because it was an older title they re-branded it and gave it a new title. It’s available on Netflix and, supposedly, big box stores as “Monster Beach Party A Go-Go.” Indican didn’t do a whole lot to market it, and I was so out of energy that I didn’t do much either. I’m hoping to move on to my next screenplay that I’ve been working on for a while. It’s set in the early 1960s. It’s about a late night horror host. You get to see a lot of his on air bits as well as bits and pieces of the movies that he shows. But instead of licensing old clips I wrote original movie titles and the scenes that the audience will see I’ve actually started production on the film this year. I went out and shot all of those “B” movie scenes. It was super fun. I spent five days in the studio and shot fifteen scenes from fifteen different movies. In five days. I had miniatures. Sets. Night exteriors Ed Wood style…we literally had three lights and seventeen potted plants. It was a lot of fun. A producer friend of mine helped me put it together. The crew I had was incredible. I’m really excited about putting that stuff together. The script needs one more revision. That was going to be my summer but I’m a little behind on that. So I’m putting the script together with those “B” movie horror scenes. The late night horror host is kind of an endearing ass hole. Everybody loves him. Because back in the 60s shows like that were super rebellious. They would talk honestly. It was like Adult Swim. It talks plainly and honestly to their viewers, which was very rebellious at the time. I’ve already cast Dana Snyder, the voice of Master Shake, as the host. Because nobody mines the comedy of the ass hole more then Dana. In real life he’s one of my best friends. One of the nicest guys I know. The movie’s title is “The VanderGhoul Twist.” It’s got its own pop song, which is a version of “The Twist” but you dance with knives. The song is called “The VanderGhoul Chop!” My plan is to shoot Dana Snyder as VanderGhoul and put it together with the “B” movie stuff and try to raise money to get the script made. Hopefully that will happen this year.