Adventures of Tip & Oh Interviews: Chatting with Ana Ortiz and Todd Garfield
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Travel and accommodations provided by DreamWorks.
A few months ago, I flew out to Los Angeles, CA for the Voltron Press Event at DreamWorks Animation. We did a ton of fun Voltron-themed activities, but we also celebrated the upcoming release of DreamWorks Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh. This is a spin-off from the Home movie that we all know and love. I must say, I was totally fangirling when I found out that Ana Ortiz voiced the part of Tip’s mother, Lucy! I was/am a huge Ugly Betty fan, so right when her name popped up in the voice cast list, I was ecstatic! Then, we screened a couple of episodes (which were drop dead funny) and got to interview the actress, Ana Ortiz and the Co-Executive Producer, Todd Garfield. These Adventures with Tip & Oh interviews were priceless!
I have to say that Ana Ortiz was glowing. She was so excited about her role in Adventures with Tip & Oh. She was excited and present during the interviews. This is the first animated work that she’s done, so she talked about it being “the gig of a lifetime.” She said that she was extremely nervous that she’d somehow mess it all up (as if that’s possible – she’s a brilliant actress), but said that the producers made it all seamless and fun.
It was definitely one of my favorite experiences and it was great that we all got to record together. I always thought we wouldn’t be able to record together, but more times than not our schedules managed to allow us all to do group records. Sometimes, I get worried because I’m cracking up too much. It’s hard when they are working right across from you. I’m like stifling laughing.
Also, they give us rough drawings of the scenes and characters before we go in to record and that is just so cool. It gives up a sort of familia feel towards one another because they’ve opened up that side.
Todd Garfield said that it was incredible to get everyone together at the same time for this show because often times, with TV shows, it’s difficult to do. He said that everyone involved gave some piece to the show.
Everyone, from all the actors, to the writers, to the storyboard artists have all brought something to this show. But especially the actors, who have kind of made the characters their own. As we are writing them we are asking ourselves, “How would Ana say this?” We have the actors voices in our heads when we are writing and even the words on the page aren’t always what end up in the recordings. Sometimes the actors will come up with something crazy for their part. There’s a lot of spontaneity that we use that makes it a lot of fun.
The little details in the show come from the writing, but we have a very diverse group of people contributing to this show and that’s why I love working with so many different people with different perspectives. This is such a collaborative show. It’s great! What’s different about the way this show is made is that most cartoons have a script from start to finish, but with Adventures of Tip & Oh it’s like this piece of clay that’s constantly being molded by so many different people.
Before we screened Adventures with Tip & Oh, we had a brief introduction that told us the main feeling that they want audiences to take away from the show is a feeling of fun and happiness. We wanted to know, other than a fun, bonding experience, what they took away from the show. Did they grow? Did they learn anything? Do they feel any different inside? Ana Ortiz responded beautifully.
Well, because I was so nervous about this line of animation, something that I’ve been able to take away from it is that I can trust myself. As humans, we are always second guessing ourselves and I’m queen of that. So, for me, it’s been really fun to walk into the studio and just know that my take on Lucy (Tip’s mother) is okay and it’s great and it’s fun. Jennifer Lopez did that role in the movie and I kinda feel like I’m under that shadow of “can I be as good as her” but they give me so much freedom in this role. Also, this will be the first thing I’ve done that my children can really watch and enjoy, so I’m excited about that.
One more thing that I wanted to know was if Todd Garfield ever found himself studying the actors and rewriting lines to better fit the actor’s personality.
When I’m writing Tip’s dialogue or Lucy’s dialogue, I’m like, “Okay, Rachel would totally nail this line.” In the beginning it’s a lot harder because you kinda write what you think would be funny, but as you get to know your actors it totally starts to shape the way you write the characters.
I thought it was cool because Ana Ortiz said that she never really knew that until I asked that question. So, not only did we learn from the interviews, she did too.
It was truly a pleasure speaking with individuals that were so passionate about their work. Ana Ortiz nails the role of Lucy and Todd Garfield managed to produce one of the funniest animated shows I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to binge-watch it on Netflix.
Available on Netflix 7/29/16
HOME: ADVENTURES WITH TIP & OH: Season 1 – July 29th on Netflix
What happens after a misfit alien named Oh conquers Earth, befriends an adventurous teen girl named Tip and together they save the day? Oh moves in with Tip and her human family and finally discovers the true meaning of home. The galaxy’s dynamic duo are back in DreamWorks Animation’s HOME: ADVENTURES WITH TIP & OH, an all-new Netflix Original Series jam-packed with outrageous laughs, tons of heart and contemporary urban pop music performed by teen singing sensation Rachel Crow (Rio 2, X Factor). Life on earth will never be the same!
Picking up where the hit 2015 animated film left off and building upon their enduring friendship, this coming-of-age buddy comedy follows fearless Tip and overenthusiastic Oh, as they navigate the crazily combined human and alien culture they live in, finding adventure everywhere they go. The series will also include tons of memorable and toe-tapping original music that highlight Rachel Crow’s extraordinary vocal talents.