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A Conversation with Seth MacFarlane, Creator of Family Guy

Photo Courtesy of therichest.org

I know I’m only on Day 4, but this will probably have been the highlight of my SXSW experience.  Not just because I love the character Peter Griffin, but because Seth is the guy who’s done everything he’s done with integrity and a willingness to stay flexible.  A bit of history – Family Guy – went about 3 seasons before Fox pulled it off the air.  They did what big TV networks do with new shows and moved it around the different days of the week until it failed.  It wasn’t until several years later that DVD sales inspired Fox to bring the show back.  Now, we are in the 10th season, thank you God.  Why does it resonate?  The humor of course, but he also maintains his own degree of quality control. He uses a live orchestra to record the score for every episode to keep it feeling warm (one of the few shows to do that). They still do all the animation hand-drawn.  Though this process has become more fluid, all the original scenes in every episode start out this way.  As the animation has evolved, so has the edginess.  If you have watched ANY episode, you know what I’m talking about.  If you are offended, change the channel.

Photo Courtesy of Fox

The reason I don’t have any pictures or video from this convo was because we weren’t allowed.  When the moderator told the audience not to film the clips we were seeing, Seth chimed in with “Yeah, it’s not like all this stuff is on the Internet anyway.”  Though Seth is probably the main person who doesn’t want to see his creations pirated, he’s practical in his thinking, and that speaks to his continued success as an artist.  Another company who’s practical?  Lucas Arts.  They allowed Seth to do entire episodes as a parody of Star Wars.  Of course, what this says is that its not just Family Guy who is keeping it interesting, its the flexibility of Lucas Arts to stay relevant. They embraced the parody of this show and so many others.  They are evolving with the new media, and that’s nearly non-existent in this new age.

Photo Courtesy of bemyteddybear.com

Ok, so what’s next for Seth?  Well, we were lucky to be the first people to see the trailer for his live-action directorial debut.  A film titled, Ted, starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis slated to come out this summer.  He also gave us an exclusive look into the first 8 minutes of the movie.  I think I speak for the entire audience when I say, WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE MORE!!  I think this movie is going to be a major hit with audiences, and not just the loyal following from his shows. Though the trailer for this film is not yet available, stay tuned to the websites for updates on the upcoming film (when available in the near future).  www.tedisreal.com or tedthemovie.com.

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