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Interview With Korey Coleman

Animator. Critic. Toastie

Whether you’re a diehard listener of their podcast or follow their reviews on Youtube, we’re sure you would agree that Double Toasted has cemented itself over the years as an unrelentingly hilarious machine. Thanks to the cast of characters behind the mic and their critical opinions on film, television, video games and current events, the DT crew have managed to make their mark online.

Of course, all of this wouldn’t be possible without one man.

A former animator and the central cog that keeps the madness of the channel together, Korey Coleman is a veteran when it comes to podcasting. Along with a group of fellow reviewers such as longtime-collaborator Martin Thomas, he has managed to turn his vision for Double Toasted into a reality. As a result, he has no shortage of iconic outbursts and poignant viewpoints under his belt.

He was also kind enough to have a chat with us about the channel, the nature of cinema, as well as the state of the world today.

As any fan of yours would know, before you were critiquing movies, you were an animator. Can you tell us about your experiences working on Space Jam? 

“It’s funny how exaggerated my involvement on that has become. I wasn’t exactly looked upon as the best artist at the studio during that time, and fairly so. When they hired us to do effects animation for the movie I wasn’t allowed anywhere near the project. One day, though, the team was so behind they pulled me on to do one shadow of Tweety Bird, who in that particular scene is hooked up to an iron lung. I guessed they figured ‘it’s simple enough that even he can’t screw that up’. It probably took ten minutes to do, but I still received a place in the closing credits, right up there with people who had spent weeks working on the film. It became a funny running joke with the other artists.”

“However, as I told this story on one of our shows people would start saying I was an animator on Space Jam. The story would grow to where I animated the whole thing. I just ran with it and starting joking that I directed, produced, stunt doubled for Michael Jordan, even catered on Space Jam. It got to the point that the Wikipedia page said I did everything and put my name in every credit. That lasted for about a week, maybe longer. And all over one simple shadow drawing that’s on the screen for a second. So, to sum it up, I didn’t do s**t on Space Jam.”

You obviously still have a lot of love for the medium, and in recent years animation from all over the world has been stepping up its game. If you had to narrow it down, what do you consider to be some of the most important animated films to have been released in the past few years?

“I think Hayao Miyazaki is a very important influence in animation. His crossover success, as narrow as it may be, is showing more Americans that animation does not have to be fantasy, comedies, or children’s fare.  While most of his films certainly exist in those categories, ‘The Wind Rises’ is a dramatic historical biopic. The fact that it got an Academy Award nomination is a great step towards broadening people’s perception of what stories can be told in animation. Using animation for mature, dramatic storytelling is something the Japanese do all the time, but it’s rarely ever done over here.”

“I also think Laika Studios is doing important work. Not only do they take chances on telling unique stories, but they continue to make strides in stop motion, an art form many were ready to write off ever since CG hit the mainstream.”

When Double Toasted first launched back in 2014, did you imagine it would end up where it is now or has its rapid progression always been part of the plan?

“I imagined with the hard work I put into it, it did have the potential to succeed. I’m very happy that certain goals I set out for myself have been reached. I also don’t take anything for granted. You never know what can happen when your business revolves around the internet. Moods, trends, tech, and people’s interests change so fast. But I’ve always had the mindset that anyone who starts with an organized plan, is disciplined, and is willing to work hard can succeed.”

During a guest lecture at the University of Texas you gave several young hopefuls some insight into how to find their feet in the world of podcasting. If you had to choose, what would you say is the best and worst pieces of advice you could give to some poor soul who saw themselves as the next Korey Coleman?

“Hopefully they’ll be much better than me! One sentence can sum up both – anyone can do it.”

“Podcasting, despite now being an important part of many professional news outlets and businesses, is still looked upon almost as a hobby. People are fascinated by podcasts, listen to them all the time, working them to into their daily lives. They’ve diversified into so many forms, becoming a legit business for small entrepreneurs to big corporations. Yet a lot of people still picture a couple of guys sitting in a bedroom with a cheap microphone.”

“This makes some people think it’s so easy to jump into, and it is – if you just want to be those two guys sitting in a room having fun. But others hear the success stories, thinking it’s also something that will lead to making money. They don’t realize how consistently you have to turn out shows, the marketing, the time, and the talent. If you don’t have a good format or the mind of a performer it will be difficult to gain listeners. So yes, anyone can do it, but to make it a business requires one to be smart and work hard.”

A Double Toasted Review never fails to tear a bad movie apart in the most hilarious of ways. After sitting through so many schlockfests, do you think there is anywhere left for the bar to be dropped, and are you eager to see if it can?

“There will always be new ways to make a bad movie, and yes, I’m VERY eager to see it. A truly bad movie is often so much more fascinating than a good one.” 

You and Martin are proud nerds that grew up in the golden age of comics, and like the rest of us are eager to sing the praises of superhero movies when they gets things right. That being said, what the hell is up with Warner Bros and Sony at the moment? 

“All the DC fans hate us now because of our reviews for the current DC films, even though we enjoyed Wonder Woman. It’s great to see how loyal the geek and nerd fanbases are for certain properties, but it’s obvious both DC and Sony are making the mistake many studios are now – everyone wants a universe. This, of course, was made popular by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They’re business plan was made to plan their movies out for years, they’re business strategy tightly controlled by certain individuals who maintain that vision. The result is that their films feel organic.”

“Warner Bros and Sony are rushing to play catch up, and it shows. Even when making money you can feel the tinkering going on to cover up things that didn’t connect well with audiences. Even with Wonder Woman, you felt they got lucky with a film that still might or might not work in their bigger universe. I do hope the best for future films. Despite what people may think we’re not ‘Marvel bitches’. We love all these characters and want to see them represented well.”

Its been announced that A Silent Voice has been nominated for Best Animated Feature at next year’s Academy Awards. In your mind, why do you think that animated films from Japan have started to really come into their own and find mainstream success over here? 

“Anime has such a huge influence on young people now. It was hitting the mainstream when I was a kid. ‘Star Blazers’, ‘Battle of the Planets’, ‘Robotech’, and the explosion of ‘Akira’ when I was a teenager. It was still a novelty, but always a presence. By the time I was in college Japanese animation was very familiar to Americans, especially the college crowd.”

“Now the anime style is a norm where it’s even mimicked by American studios for both family and adult animation. Look at ‘Avatar The Last Airbender’ which was produced in Burbank at Nickelodeon Studios. Or the recent ‘Castlevania’ animated series on Netflix, some of which was animated here in Austin at Powerhouse Studio. All of these factors make it easier to accept animated films from Japan. We love and have admired their work for years, it’s just increased with each generation”

Aside from movies, TV shows and video games, you guys also share your thoughts on current events. With the state of the world being what it is, do you see a silver lining in all this political unrest?

“The silver lining hopefully is that people are now pushed to be more involved, more active, and more vocal. It gives me great hope when I see the number of people opposed to the hate that bubbled up during this political climate. The opposition to the usual list – racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia.”

“I also hope that people just don’t fight back but actually talk. More important than anything are the dialogues that are happening between so many extremes. That some we consider racist are actually listening, not fighting, but listening to members of Black Lives Matter. That’s the only way we advance as human beings. Fighting ignorance and understanding that, in many ways, we’re really not all that different.”

When will the likes of Canada and Europe get to experience the thrill that is a DT Anniversary Party? We’re feeling left out over here! 

“We were fortunate enough to sell out New York so I’m feeling more confident now about playing more major cities and other countries. We actually have a large demographic in London and parts of Canada so hopefully we can go to both places soon! There’s been a big push for London, so maybe summer of 2018.”

Where do you see Double Toasted in a few years from now? And in that time how many more Batman reboots do you think will we get? 

“They can reboot Batman as many times as they like as long as it’s good. As for Double Toasted in the future, I really hope to get back into animation. I feel like I’m neglecting a part of myself that’s been very good to me. I’d also like to expand our content outside of the studio and outside of the formats we have now. Treating the brand more like a production company. Of course, things often work out in ways you never can tell. I might retire from all of this and move to Europe. However, as long as this has promise and success I’ll push to always do more.”

Korey, thank you so much for your time! If fans want to get in touch and send their love to Cat Daddy Martin, where can they find you and the rest of the DT Crew on social media?

“Thank you! This has been a pleasure and I appreciate you giving us the exposure. People can find us on our site doubletoasted.com where they can subscribe to watch nightly livestreams. They can also see our highlights and edited clips on our YouTube channel, and our audio can be found on Soundcloud and iTunes.”

And finally, as an honorary member of WatchMojo, if you could choose a subject for a top ten list, what would it be?

“My Top Ten Favorite Scenes I Directed in Space Jam”