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From Concept to Reality with Max Keane

Adam Korenman

How do you take a great idea from paper to streaming series?

What do you do when you get a great idea? Not just something you enjoy thinking about, but a brain worm that burrows deep and won't let go. Even when we're confident that we have a handle on something great, the road ahead can be so daunting that we just give up. For creator/director Max Keane, failure was not an option.

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Max Keane is the creator of Netflix’s new animated program Trash Truck, which premiered back in November 2020. Keane designed the show for his son, who held a fascination with garbage trucks from a young age (I mean, don't we all?) Max is no stranger to the world of animation, as his won father is the legendary Glen Keane—who you might remember from our recent look at Over the Moon.

Trash Truck centers on the adventures of six-year old Hank and his best pal, a giant trash truck, as they explore the world and their imaginations alongside an ensemble of animal friends. The animation isn't just adorable, it's also incredibly stylized and gorgeous. Check it out.

Max had a long journey of his own, taking this idea from concept to completion. Along the way, he learned a lot of lessons that we can all use in our careers as motion designers. So sort those recyclables...because the Trash Truck is coming.

From Concept to Reality with Max Keane

Show Notes


Max Keane

Glen Keane

Gennie Rim

Angie Sun

Leo Sanchez

David Fincher

Sarah K. Sampson

Caroline Lagrange

John Kahrs

Michael Mullen

Aurian Redson

Eddie Rosas

Kevin Dart

Sylvia Liu

Eastwood Wong


Trash Trucks Trailer

Dear Basketball

Klaus - Trailer

Giullermo Del Toro - Series

Kipo - SeriesPaperman - Movie

Age of Sail - VR Experience


Dwarf Animation Studio

Chromosphere Studio


Ryan: Have you had a great idea while you're in the middle of working on a project, but just didn't really know what to do with it or worse, didn't know if you'd even be able to do anything with it if you knew what you were supposed to do? Now, that's probably happened to all of us. How many times have you been working for a great client or an amazing studio and in the middle of the project, that light bulb clicks over your head. Do you have the confidence to believe that you can turn it into something great? Well, today's guest, Max Keane did just that. Listen in and learn how he took an idea that he shared with his young son and conjured it into reality, actually into a Netflix TV show.

Ryan: Motioneers, today, we are extremely lucky. Fairly often when we're working in the industry, we come up with a brilliant idea, but we're so used to working for other people that we don't know if we could even believe in the idea and once we do feel like we can believe in it, where do we take it? How do we develop it? Is it something that can go somewhere. Well, we found someone that can help us with those questions and it is going to be an amazing journey to go from idea to a finished product that's sitting on a streamer for us all to watch. Today, let's talk to Max Keane. So Max, thank you so much for coming. I can't wait to talk about this process and talk about the show, but I just have to tell you and share with everybody that my own little kid is in love with garbage trucks. Where did you come up with this inspiration? I can get an idea of where you might've seen this before.

Max: Yeah. Thanks Ryan. This is really exciting. I'm just honored to be here. So the idea of Trash Truck came from probably just like your son, my little Henry showing me how amazing garbage trucks were because I never saw them as a grown old man now, feel really old when you start hanging out with a two year old. Whenever the garbage truck would come, it was this big explosion of excitement. He'd rush to the door and we'd watch the garbage truck come and my wife and I just saw this obsession that was uncontrollable with him. I'd have to drive him around in the car for naps and he would wake up from the backseat of the car but this was before we had our daughter, our second one and he'd wake up and he'd be looking out the window going, "Trash, trash."

Ryan: Just hunting.

Max: Hunting. I was like, "Oh man, that's one of his first words. Okay. Trash." So needless to say, became this huge thing in our lives where we would all get excited now when the trash truck came and to Henry, it wasn't a garbage truck. It was specifically a trash truck. I think it was the way the two words sounded together. It felt good to say. And so we started buying all these garbage truck toys and it was this one morning that I saw the garbage truck through Henry's eyes and we were standing outside and it was this cool, foggy morning in Los Angeles. And I was holding Henry and down at the end of the street, nobody was out, but you could hear the garbage truck driving up and down. Some of these neighborhood streets and Henry was really excited, anticipating the truck coming.

And then we saw the flashing lights through the fog and as it pulled up in front of us, I was holding the Henry and looking at this huge like a beast that was roaming the streets and coming to visit us. And it pulled up in front and stopped right in front of us and has these huge hydraulic hoses, lots of interesting shapes and metal structures, all welded on. It's a really fascinating vehicle. And then this big mechanical arm reached out and grabbed the trash and picked it up and dumped it down and slammed it back down. And I stood there holding Henry, looking up at it and I said, "Man." I said to myself, "Wow, Henry, I see this. This truck is amazing." And then the truck made all this noise and did two happy little honks and drove away. And Henry leaned out of my arms and in the most nonchalant way, he goes, "Bye trash truck." And I just thought, "Oh man, I wish that big dump truck knew how much this little boy loved him."

Ryan: Oh, That's brilliant. That's so cool. I think it's such a great story. I feel like that's one of the powers that animation really has, right? It helps you see the world the same way a kid sees the world. There's just that primal sense of just discovery or just wonder that, it's like you said, that something we probably never even see or think twice about, it just becomes something that can be a focal point. That's so cool. What moment did you, once you had this realization that you could see the world the way your son seeing it, did you realize that this is something that you could use or something that you could fashion into a story. Did it come right away or was it something that just was sitting nascent in the back of your head for awhile?

Max: I think it was brewing. It becomes something that's such a part of your life. Your kids, they bring things into your world and your world becomes normal with this thing that was foreign to you. So, I think subconsciously an idea probably starts brewing before we even know it. But it was shortly after that day, I told Henry a bedtime story about a little boy whose best friend was a garbage truck, a little boy named Hank. And it was really long and meandering, but it put him to sleep, so, successful.

Ryan: It's perfect.

Max: Yeah. Later that night I thought, "I like that idea. I like this friendship, this little boy who thinks his truck is really fantastic and amazing, but to everyone else is just a garbage truck." And so, that night I told my wife, I'm like, "Oh, I told Henry this bedtime story. I like it. I'm going to write it down." So I wrote it down. I told it to her and she was like, "Oh yeah, that's, that's a sweet story. You should hold onto that." And at the time I was working with my dad, Glen Keane and producer Gennie Rim, who is the executive producer on Trash Truck. And Glen was also executive producer and character designer and voice and so many things. But so, it was just the three of us at our company at the time. And I think it was the next morning I told them about this and they really liked it and encouraged me to keep digging into that idea and developing it. It takes a long time I think, to find what an idea is supposed to be.

It is like seed planning or it's exploring, it's like you've got to go down the path to find the dead end to what that idea isn't, and it's almost lke lopping off the things that aren't what it is and realizing that maybe the thing that you want it to be is not what it's going to be and you slowly start to find its shape. So, it started to go through that process. And I think I was really going down a path of defining what it shouldn't be and just trying to tack on all these things to it that I just wanted to explore creatively but they weren't really the right match for what that idea was. And shortly after that, I started working with Angie Sun. She's worked everywhere and she's incredibly talented and smart. She comes from Pixar and different companies. So she really has a great broad sense of how to pull ideas together and find cohesion with them and really helped us identify what's the best vehicle for this part of the book.

Ryan: That's one of the big things I was wondering is that there's so many ways you can take and I love what you said, because I think as artists, we always forget the second half of the equation, right? I'm sure everyone listening to this has had a moment where they're in the middle of working on a project and they have that spark of inspiration for something else. Right? I think sometimes you do work sometimes just to get other ideas, but that initial inspiration isn't enough to get that idea to the finish line. There's that idea of, I think what you're really saying is just being patient with yourself to have that discovery, but then to also explore it.

That's probably the hardest thing, but having collaborators like that is awesome. Was there anyone else that you brought in or folded in, in some ways I feel like you could almost give your son credit as a concept developer alongside just the initial inspiration, but was there anyone else that you brought in? I love hearing that sometimes we don't think of producers as creative partners or creative equals, but were there more people that you slowly start to bring in to flesh this out, to figure out what it should be?

Max: I think what was nice about getting to develop this project was that it wasn't the only iron in the fire. So, it was something that, I mean, for a little while there, it was really was thinking about it and doing lots of, what can this be? What can this be? And trying to crack it. And it just wasn't taking the shape. And then Angie came in and we worked with it and we found a pleasing shape to it. And I'm like, "Yeah, kids show that. That does feel right. That's obviously the demographic that's going to really find this interesting." But we didn't want to make a show about vehicles, we wanted it to be about friendship and relationships and characters. So it was like, okay, that that area was defined.

But then at the same time we were doing other projects and at the time, Dear Basketball was a project that we were starting to just get into. And that slowly became or quickly became an all consuming project. So, I was able to put that aside. We put that aside, but it was also, there was a lot of sharing it with people. We shared it with friends, other directors, probably really early on, I shared a version of it that was really wonky and that was a really helpful way to realize that that's not the right idea and that's uncomfortable, showing things when you know it's weird, but you're going to show it anyway, just to force yourself into that uncomfortable space.

Ryan: I wanted to ask you that because that is something I think we all struggle with too, is that there's a certain amount of vulnerability you have to have when something's not working totally but you also know you need the help to push it to the next step. Do you have any tips or can you think of anything that helped you get past that just uncertainty and just say, "You know what? it's time to show it to people. It's time to share it."

Max: I don't know. I think it will always be uncomfortable for me, but I think maybe what I'm learning is that it's the normal part of the process and that the people you're showing it to, hopefully, you're showing it to people that have been on the other side of that and they know that this is iterative and this is a beta version of something or you have to do it in a place where people are wanting to help you and that you like their ideas already. But yeah, I think it's always uncomfortable.

Ryan: Right. It's just something you have to get used to. Right? It's just part of the job.

Max: Yeah. It's just part of it. And you can't say that... The thing that you're showing is actually the representation of what it is you want to make, but it does have seeds of it. Yeah, that is the tough part of developing. There's a lot of unknown. You want to rush almost to the end to be like, "Wait, what are we making here?" But it takes time. Yeah.

Ryan: I feel like it echoes a lot of what I feel from any screenwriters I've ever talked to where they say that they almost hate having to write, but they love having written. The actual process of it is torturous but then by the time you get close to the end and you can see the fruit of it, you're like, "Okay, let me do the next one. I know it's going to be tough, but let me do the next one."

Max: Yeah. Yeah. I think that's totally accurate.

Ryan: So, you now have this idea. You know you want it to be a kid show, you have this really brilliant consideration that it shouldn't just be a show that's ever expanding vehicles, which I think the temptation, if you took it out too early to the wrong people, that's probably what people would say. It's like, "Okay, well you have a trash truck, but maybe we should get the taco truck and maybe we should extend it to jet planes." That is the natural thing I think if you just showed it right away. But I love the fact that you kept the cast intimate and small, and really that, you do feel that feeling of just friendship and comradery. But once you have those things nailed down, the big question is, where do you go with that? How do you assemble this into something that you can take out for real, that maybe you're in the world of not necessarily being able to be that vulnerable, you've got to try to sell it to someone. What's that pitch process like for you?

Max: I mean, first, you've got to have a pretty succinct way of describing your project and you need to be able to talk about it in a way that is interesting and engaging. And I think if it can also have an element of yourself in it where there is a personal connection to the person that's presenting the work, I feel like there's something maybe disarming and that it feels less like a sales pitch and more like talking about something that you're passionate about. We structured a pitch in a way that at the beginning, I talk about Henry. I talk about where the idea comes from, and then talk about some inspirations. I'm trying to remember, I'm closing my eyes, [inaudible], the slides. And it was Henry and some inspiration, and it was like a little test. Oh, that was a really big thing because we had put together this pitch and I had slides and I had a boarded episode. So, I had written an episode and then I had boarded it that I could pitch through, but we weren't getting traction.

And I think it was to that point of, because it wasn't maybe checking all the boxes that you'd traditionally want a project to maybe check if you're an executive or somebody green-lighting things, you'd be like, "Oh yeah, where's the firetruck. Where's the vehicle? So, there's no vehicle." And it took doing a little animation test with this guy, Leo Sanchez, who had a studio in Spain. And he just did this phenomenal test for us, which really sold the promise of what it is we're wanting to make. So to have something that can, I think help give somebody something to latch onto to say, "Oh, okay. I really see what it is you're trying to make." Can really help sell an idea because not everybody can extrapolate all of those thoughts and images into its final form. Not that the thing that we even showed was its final form, but it looked appealing enough and it was really beautifully done. So, it was more like the promise of something that we were going to make. I'm meandering but I think the pitching process was a lot of like, "That's great. No, thanks."

Ryan: Right. I feel that's the defacto line you expect when you walk in, as you do your song and dance, you have your heartfelt plea and then you wait and everyone blinks their eyes twice and you're just wait and wait and then you get their response and then you pack everything up and you either retool or you just push forward. Do you remember how many pitches it took until you landed at Netflix and felt like it was going to move forward?

Max: Well, it must have been seven or eight.

Ryan: Wow. Yeah.

Max: Pitches. And one of those pitches was Netflix early on. And that was a no. And then it was someone else that was a no, it was a no, it's a no, it's a no. But there was enough interest or you felt like people were interested to where you're like, "Well, someone's going to bite. Right?" And then we started to get traction with one place. And then at the time, we were working on Dear Basketball, so it got shelved. It was like, "Okay, we're going to come back to that." And then during that time, Netflix went through this change and they started Netflix Animation and Trash Truck became a really appropriate project for them now, because I think a lot of places were either wanting to take it and redevelop it, which I wasn't interested in.

I didn't want to reimagine what this could be because I felt like we've done that. We want to make it now. And Netflix was at a place now where they could take that project and allow Glen Keane Productions to remain Glen Keane Productions at Netflix and to actually create the thing that's in your head, which I think has been a great selling point for Netflix is that they really did let us take that idea and make that idea. And I don't know if we could have made that somewhere else. I think the show would have been very different.

Ryan: That's something that's so exciting about Netflix. And I've been waiting for the day to happen where the same affordance that they give to live action directors. You look at what's happened with David Fincher there and how it's basically become his home to be an artist, to just do what he's always wanted to do without much interference, but still lots of support and still lots of creative support. But I've always said, "Well, if they're going to support those artists, there's a whole industry full of animation artists just dying to have that advocate." It's so exciting to hear you say that because it really does feel like it's become this amazing home for animation.

When you look at things like Klaus or Guillermo del Toro series, Kipo, all of those things, Over the Moon, they really feel like they're artist driven when you watch them. They don't necessarily feel like things you would see from anywhere else. Once you found out that Netflix was picking up Trash Truck and you are going to, like you said, be able to make it the way you want to make it, that had to be a lading to go through that but then fairly quickly there probably had to be a certain recognition of, now you have to make it. What happens once you get that... You worked for it, right? Seven or eight pitches, including the same team that took it. Once they say yes and you shake hands and the contract is signed, what's that emotion like? Of like, "Okay, we did it." But that's really just the very beginning.

Max: Yeah. That is exactly. It's like climbed up a mountain to find yourself at the starting line of a marathon-

Ryan: Exactly.

Max: And you're like, "Oh no."

Ryan: What have I got myself into?

Max: Well, yeah, it is like a gulp of, "Oh boy, now we really have to make this thing." And there's a little bit of the frog in the boiling water. You're not thrown into the boiling water, so you have a little bit of time to process and muster up the belief that, yeah, you're going to be able to write 39 episodes and-

Ryan: 39 is a big number.

Max: Yeah. Yeah. Because we went from the last project was Dear Basketball and that was six minutes. And now it's going to be 320 [inaudible].

Ryan: Are you sure you didn't want to just make Trash Truck into a feature film rather than an entire series as for that?

Max: Yeah. I think the best thing can do when you're going into a situation where you don't know what you're doing, which is me all the time, is working with people who are smarter than you, know how to make these things work. Gennie, our producer was incredible at assembling this amazing production team. Around myself, I had Angie who was a great producer, had Sara Samson, who was a great producer, Caroline, who was a really phenomenal line producer and Gennie herself was shepherding all of that. So, I felt really supported and confident in that we were going to be able to figure it out, but that doesn't mean we really knew how we were going to, but I just knew that the right team was there to ensure the ship will sail.

Ryan: Right. You know what's awesome about that answer is, as we do more and more of these interviews, everyone almost always has that same reaction that, okay, you might be in over slightly over your head with what you actually win and what you actually get approved to do. But even down to your father Glen, when I asked him about Over the Moon, once you're actually starting to make it, how do you start this process? And he said the same thing, almost word for word, surround yourself with smarter people than you.

And he had a great team, but I was going through the credits for the show and I think besides the fact that that Trash Truck is honestly one of the most beautiful looking shows in terms of just aesthetics and the sensitivity to the animation for a children's show, which sometimes you set low expectations, the animation in the show is wonderful, but I really impressed by the credits in this show as I started flipping through and just watching everything. I'd love to ask you just to maybe say a few words about a couple people, if you don't mind me throwing some names at you and just hear what it was like to work with these different people. Does that sound good?

Max: That's great. Yeah.

Ryan: Okay, great. So right off the list, when I saw that this person's name was on there, because something like Paperman, and Age of Sail, both were I think, high watermarks for animation that still after years afterwards, still haven't been touched or replicated in some ways. John Khars was the, I believe supervising director or executive director and he may have even directed an episode or two in the list. Could you just talk a little bit about what your relationship was like with John Khars on the show?

Max: Great. I mean, yeah, John's incredible. John is like a genius person who he understands animation far better than I do, and has way more experience than me. I always said on this show, I'm like, "Man, everybody is so overqualified. I'm so lucky, so lucky to get a chance to work with these people." And John came in about just when we started production, when we just at the tail end of finishing pre-production, which is board's animatics. And so John just got dropped into a very wild forest fire production. And he just brought order. I think he brought a little bit of calm to the storm and he was really able to become the point person with our CG Production partner to Wharf Studios in France.

And so he was doing a lot of work with them going through animation, but then at the same time helping craft the episodes, sitting in editorial, also helping with records. What's really fun about working on a show is there's so many things happening all at the same time. I mean, you can't be 100% in all of them at all the time. So, to have somebody like John who can do everything and do it all at such a high quality was just amazing to see. Yeah. And then to having somebody that you can just really trust to, knowing that, he understood what we're trying to make. We are trying to make something that is of a higher quality and that we're actually making it, I think in a way, selfishly for ourselves. We have a sense when something looks good and when it could be better. And I think we all wanted to finish this project and look at it and say, "That reflects the kind of work that we want to put our name on."

Ryan: Well, I mean, it, it definitely shows and I wanted to bring up this point, Max, because when I was talking to your dad about Over the Moon, I had to list off the number of roles that he took on that film and it was astounding to me. The number of times his name showed up in that film, it was at least seven or eight, but Max, you have the same situation here and let me just list some of the credits that Trash Truck has for you. Obviously show creator, but you're also listed with a story by credit. You were doing storyboards, you're the episodic director. You're also listed as a character designer. Now, you have a whole team of other directors, but how were you able to balance all of those efforts plus just the, all the different things you have to do just day-to-day, the nuts and bolts things you have to do to keep a show running and moving forward. I can't even imagine the number of questions and decisions you're having to make every single day on top of doing boards and character design.

Max: Yeah. Well, I mean, I guess I cheated a little bit because that first episode I had boarded and I directed, and it was the first one out the gate. So, it didn't really have the whole stack up yet though there it was trickling in. So, I think if I had tried to jump in to do boards and directing right in the middle of production, I would have sunk. I don't know if I could have done that. That was preliminary work that I was able to still leverage. And then throughout the season, I would do little pieces of storyboarding here and there on different episodes, but very small. I didn't hardly do anything, but well, the storyboarding was such a big part of this show and the storyboarders that we had that we had were so great because they would come in and we would give them, it was a very beat it out outline, but it still required so much figuring out because this was the first season.

Our sets weren't built yet. We didn't have this world that was so grounded that you could visualize it. They had to invent where these spaces were that become feeling natural later after we're into CG and into production. And as well as the directors were doing so much heavy lifting on the boarding because our schedule was so tight. Board artists had to roll on to the next episodes. I guess what I'm saying is it's such a team effort and it's always an all hands on deck process.

Ryan: Yeah. I definitely want to highlight those directors that I saw. Correct me if I say anyone's names wrong, but besides you and John, it looks like there was Mike Mullen, Aurian Redson and Eddie Rosas and I think even one of the directors was also storyboarding or at least had storyboard credit along the way. That seemed like a nice tight group of directors. It wasn't one director for every episode, which is probably really hard to manage. People were coming back for multiple episodes. What was that like working because I have to say my favorite episode was Movie Theater and I was really excited to see along the way that the high beam character actually comes back. You actually get to see him as a toy, but especially with, you're saying there's an accelerated timeline. How do those board artists and especially those directors, how did you manage all of that to make sure that there's this neat little callback from an early on episode than later on in the series, there's still these touchstones across the show. It's not just a one and done episode.

Max: Yeah. I mean, a lot of the organization of the production is done by our production staff and by producers scheduling and then talking with the directors and the board artists and schedule is a starting point. I'm sure a producer would cringe at me saying that, but it really is a flexible thing that is changing. And yeah, we had really, really flexible and dedicated directors that were just phenomenal to be able to bring that amount of care to every episode and support to the board artists because we have one board artist per episode and then obviously a director and then two revisionists that were floating.

And so, it was a fierce two men team for every episode. Eddie Rosas, he was a storyboard artist for the Simpsons from, I don't know, 20 years or something. So, he came with tons of experience and his way of thinking about storyboarding was really clean and he would plot out exactly how he was going to do it and how he's going to tell a story. And it was really gettable and very clear and I really, really admired his way of working and the same with Mike and Ryan and John and I think everybody had such just good chops that I was really lucky and I think we just really benefited from all of their expense.

Ryan: Well, again, it really shows. It's awesome to hear that even with such a small team, there's so much trust between all those collaborators and it sounds like they're able to build on each other's work too, that they didn't just exist in a vacuum, getting an assignment and going away and coming back because the show really does feel like it's a lived in world and there's these shared experiences between the characters, which honestly is not something you get very often with children's shows, especially aimed at this age or at this demographic. I wanted to ask you about one more collaborator, if you have just a minute and they are a group of people that we are obsessed with at School of Motion. And I love the fact that they live between all kinds of worlds. They do video game design, they definitely live in motion design and they dabble in animation as well. Can you just talk a little bit about Kevin Dart and Chromosphere and the work that they did for you in terms of production design?

Max: Yeah, well, I was able to meet with Kevin and his team early on and pitch them the show. And we just talked about what it was we were trying to make and what I loved so much about what Chromosphere does is they find this way of simplifying something that can feel complex, down to something that still retains its reflection of it in the real world. And I think that was a big part of production design for Trash Truck was I didn't want it to become so, I don't know, stylized that it lost its connection for the audience to the real thing that exists. And Chromosphere is, they just have that sensibility to be able to make something that feels, I mean, not always so adjacent, sometimes it is more graphic and beautifully designed, but something that could be close to the thing that you've seen before, but it's not exactly it. So, we talked a lot about shapes and styles and a lot of it was lighting too, because this was going to be CG.

Kevin's whole team, they really think cinematically. Visually, they have this very pleasing sense to lighting and shape and design and it was always just a really great experience working with Kevin and his team over there. Sylvia Lao was art director and Eastwood Wong, who's another art director that we've worked a lot with. I mean, they really carved out the look for Trash Truck. I never knew I would get so excited about a design for a mailbox or we were going through house designs and I wanted it to have this suburban California houses built in maybe the '70s or '60s or '80s even, there's nothing very appealing about that as a brief, but what they did was, they came back and yeah, they just gave the houses a little bit of character and the pallets were so appealing and they found so much appeal in this world that I think is fairly unremarkable and every time that they would share work, I was always really blown away and it was always really exciting to see their take on these things that I couldn't have expected to have seen it like that.

Ryan: You took the words out of my mouth in terms of what I was going to say. I love about the show is that, I was really taken aback by how cinematic the show felt in terms of composition and angles and camera and it feels so warm. It feels friendly and warm without being, I guess, what you sometimes get afraid of when you hear you're going to see a kid's show in 3D. Sometimes they're austere and sometimes they're cold and sometimes the animation is a little limited and it's not even taking into consideration the point of view that kids live their lives in and I think all of those things just add up to a show that's really, really unique.

And it made me want to go directly and see those credits to see who was involved because I had no idea it'd be Chromosphere but the moment that I saw Kevin's name, I was like, "Now it all makes sense how much of it." Even though they're not artists that you normally associate with 3D productions, it has all the sensibilities that you would want in a show that it might be hard to even verbalize it to someone else until you see it coming back to you.

Max: Yeah. That's so true. And it's all those little details add up and I think that's something that Kevin and Chromosphere are so great at observing and getting the most mileage out of something that's small. Kevin came out to France with us and talked to the artists and really helped us simplify what this world can be like. A good example of that was we just had all this grass, all this vegetation and when you ask CG to do any kind of populated vegetation, grass stuff, you get something that's generally pretty realistic. And Kevin was really instrumental in just being able to know where to pull back from the realism and replace it with a stylized version of something, but still retain that quality like you're talking about, that feels like a lived in space that doesn't lose its texture to something that feels credible still. I think that that's where sometimes shows, I guess, can go off the dial for me where it's like, "I don't know, this feels like it's so plasticy or something."

Ryan: Yeah. It's a great instinct to bring in somebody who is so 2D oriented because I think like you said, 3D almost always the easy ask is just more, just crank it to 11, but anybody who's worked in 2D animation is always looking for ways to, I don't know if stylize or simplify or get to the abstract core of a shot or a character just because of the pencil mileage involved that it's such a great team of two different worlds. Max, I just want to say thank you so much. I had a list of so many more questions because it's a show that on first blush, if you're flipping through Netflix and you happen to see Trash Truck, if you have kids, definitely watch the show.

But if you don't have kids and you love animation, or you have a fascination with taking something that might be ordinary or the mundane and seeing it whipped into a world that's got a lot of magic to it, Trash Truck is still a fun show to sit down and just watch a couple episodes and see what it's like. There's so many great things in the show, Max, and we didn't even talk about sound design or the voices that there's some interesting stories about some of the people you have for the voices, but I just want to say thank you so much for the time and this is something our audience is really going to appreciate and I'll be waiting for season two eagerly.

Max: Yeah. Thank you so much, Ryan. I mean, it's always so nice to get a chance to talk about this project, but just to connect with you and the whole audience out there who's learning and has ideas, great ideas, I'm sure that are in their head and should come out and get a chance to get made too.

Ryan: What an amazing story and one that should really inspire you to consider taking your own ideas and pushing them further. That's probably one of the biggest things that could help all of motion design grow is hearing more from you and what you love and you obsess over and seeing the results on that energy. Now, it doesn't have to be something as ambitious as what Max has been able to pull off here, but it could lead to that. Just writing down an idea, doing some scribbles, maintaining a sketchbook or a journal, and thinking about putting something together like an animated shot or even something like a web comic, anything that lets you express your voice beyond just the work we do for others, will help us all grow as an industry. Well, that's all the time we have motioneers, but you know the story here at School of Motion, we're here to inspire you and provide the fuel that you need to get through each day as we wake up, look at the blank page and move the entire industry forward. Until next time, peace.

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