Fans have been puzzling over the logistics of the incoming “live broadcast” of iconic animated series The Simpson since the stunt was announced in February. And now, the show’s producers have revealed new details of how they’ll pull off the “Simprovised” event on May 15.
Entertainment Weekly revealed an image of Homer Simpson from inside a budget restrained “Fox Studios Secret Bunker.” It’s via this location that we’ll see the character answer fan questions submitted via Twitter with the hashtag #HomerLive. A separate version of the broadcast will take place in the last three minutes of both the East and West coast airings.
Longtime executive producer and show runner Al Jean told the magazine that a new use of mocap technology will enable actor Dan Castellaneta to riff on fan questions live on air. “Well, it’s certainly us making it a lot harder on ourselves than we have to, but the interest in it has been so enormous, it’s definitely worth it,” he explained. “When you have a show like this that has so many things going for it, you gotta use that capital and do interesting things because you can.
“There is less of a variety of motion, and after awhile, it might start to look a little repetitive,” Jean said of the tech in play. “That’s why we’re not doing any more than three minutes. You have a limited number of lip assignments and motions that Homer can make, and you see him run through those in the course of the three minutes. The reason I don’t think they’re going to be doing half-hour motion capture shows in the near future is because although it is much cheaper and you can just film it live, you can’t do the complicated set pieces that people want from animation. We do everything we can in the three minutes that’s possible.”
The “Simprovised” episode airs on May 15 on Fox.
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