Mac Blake is a comedian who has performed at the Cap City Comedy Club in Austin, TX and Randall Hopkins is a filmmaker who has screened his cut out animation at the Austin Film Festival and others. We recently screened one of Randall’s short films “Stationary Robot” at The Show! at the same night that comedian Mac Blake was performing as the Stand Up Comeday act. We caught up with both artists after they recently collaborated on their most recent project “Giraffe Danger” after meeting at The Show! Here is what they had to say.
The Show!: So tell me about how you first met Mac and describe what led up to you guys collaborating on Giraffe Danger…
Randall Hopkins: I actually didn’t meet Mac at The Show! (I’m bad at meeting people), but I did catch his set and knew pretty much immediately that I wanted to use him for something. Really dug his style and thought his voice would be the perfect fit for this dumb idea I had for an animated short.
Mac Blake: Yeah, Randall sent me an email after he saw my set. It sounded like fun and I’m always down for fun projects. It something that would not have come about if not for us both being at The Show!
Randall Hopkins: Still had some work to do on preparing for the short, and once I got that all figured out I emailed him and basically just asked if he’d be down for recording some dialogue for an hour or two for a comedy short. Luckily he was. As far as the actual recording went, I just kind of gave him the pitch on the day of, showed him what the final product might look like, etc..
The Show!: So you already had the animation completed before you casted?
Randall Hopkins: For the most part, yeah. There were a few challenges that I wanted to make sure I could tackle before having someone commit to doing the voice.
The Show!: Was all of it scripted or was there any improvisation on Mac’s part?
Randall Hopkins: It’s mostly scripted, but on the day of I asked Mac if he’d be willing to run through it improvised. He had the idea of going through the whole short and trying different things with the written lines, and we just recorded it all it one take. Got some real gems out of that, too. It’s something I definitely want to try again with future voiced projects.
Mac Blake: What Randall said. He converted a closet to a small recording room and he’d give me direction through the door. It was fun. After some passes on the script I just rambled for abut 5 minutes straight and thankfully something useful came out of it. Randall was well within his right to just say “that was great”, quietly delete the take, pretend to get an important phone call, and then usher me out.
The Show!: Was the testicle line improv?
Randall Hopkins: It was. Very observant. When you hear testicle you think Mac.
The Show!: Nice.
The Show!: So what projects are you currently working on?
Randall Hopkins: Right now I’m mostly focused on some music video/web projects for my brother’s band, Featherface. In the planning/writing stages for a feature length mockumentary, too. We just put out an ABBA cover video, though, which is pretty neat. For anyone following the band, the video stuff will start to surface next month hopefully.
The Show!: How about you Mac?
Mac Blake: I do a lot of comedy projects at ColdTowne Theater, including a monthly comedy variety show called The Hustle Show. There’s always something hilarious going on at ColdTowne. I’m also in a sketch comedy group, Stag Comedy, that’s gearing up for some big shows at the Drafthouse Ritz in February. It’s a mix of live and video sketches and we’re wearing ourselves out trying to get everything ready. Plus a weekly radio show on KOOP called The Mascot Wedding Show. But like I said, no matter how busy I am with other stuff, if a fun project comes along I have a hard time saying no to it and the opportunity to voice an animated giraffe seemed like a ton of fun.
The Show!: What would you like to see from the Show! in future events ?
Randall Hopkins: Keep doing what y’all are doing, honestly. It’s a really cool opportunity for people to get some eyes on their projects. I’m not usually one for cheesy networking games, but maybe you guys should make people participate in some cheesy networking games.
The Show!: Lol- games huh? We’re adding sketch comedy now which should be another opportunity to find talent…
Mac Blake: Sketch comedy you say. Interesting he said raising an eyebrow. But yeah, TheShow always seems to have cool acts and interesting pieces and it’s a great place to meet some other Austin creatives you wouldn’t normally meet. I’m glad Randall liked my set and wanted my dumb voice for a sarcastic Giraffe. Thanks for having me on. Thanks to Randall for sending me that email. Keep up the good work, guys.