Home Channels Industry Toonzone Interviews Steve Borst and Gary Di Raffaele For “Breadwinners” UK Premiere

Toonzone Interviews Steve Borst and Gary Di Raffaele For “Breadwinners” UK Premiere


Gary Doodles DiRaffaele and Steve BorstBreadwinners, Nickelodeon’s latest hit comedy focussing on duck buddies SwaySway and Buhdeuce as they deliver bread in their high tech rocket van, has arrived on Nicktoons in the UK. We recently got the chance to pose a few questions to series creators Steve Borst (Teen Titans Go!, MAD) and Gary “Doodles” Di Raffaele (MAD, Metalocalypse) about the show and their inspirations.

TOONZONE NEWS: What do you consider to be the major difference between child and adult audiences and which do you prefer creating for?

STEVE BORST: I think that child audiences have a better appreciation for poop jokes. So we prefer to create a show for kids.

TOONZONE NEWS: There’s been a lot of recent criticism that modern cartoons use designs that are too simple. Do you agree with this and if not what do you feel to be the highlight of the current style of mainstream TV animation?

GARY “DOODLES” DiRAFFAELE: I do agree that modern cartoons today are simpler. With Breadwinners, my approach in terms of design was definitely to keep it simple – that way you can focus on so many different parts of the process like storytelling, and putting simple characters on the cool detailed backdrops to really make them pop. For animation it’s easier on the animators and we can create more content by not being weighed down by complicated designs.

TOONZONE NEWS: How does inspiration strike you? Is it through discussion and experimentation or were you blessed with surreal minds?

Gary Doodles DiRaffaele and Steve Borst Breadwinners Rocket VanSTEVE BORST: I think inspiration can strike in any number of ways. Sometimes I’m in the shower and I’m struck with an idea that leads to something, or Gary will make a funny drawing that just popped into his head that will then inspire an entire story. Deadlines make you very inspired because of the way the animation production pipeline works. It’s very fast-paced, so you have to be constantly generating ideas. And there’s nothing like a deadline to inspire you quickly.

GARY “DOODLES” DiRAFFAELE: Being up pretty late and being pretty delirious – there’s weird inspiration that comes from that. Even some inspiration over a nice bowl of oatmeal! I’m inspired by many different things and it can come from anywhere. When it does I’m always ready to capture that moment – whether in my sketchbook, calling up or texting Steve and being like “hey man what do you think about this idea?” We always try to have this constant dialogue to inspire each other and we do have creative minds, but it definitely helps when there’s a seed that’s planted to build from.

STEVE BORST: Some of our inspiration comes from our daily lives. We have one episode where Buhdeuce gets a terrible haircut and that’s something that anybody can relate to – everybody’s had a bad haircut. But what we do with it after that is that Buhdeuce goes berzerk and becomes this giant berzerk monster every time he sees his bad haircut. So inspiration can start with just a tiny little kernel of an idea and then it’s just what you do with that idea and how you build upon it that makes it special.

TOONZONE NEWS: Are there particular things you’ve learned from your prior credits that helped shape Breadwinners?

GARY “DOODLES” DiRAFFAELE: All my previous animation jobs have definitely prepared me for Breadwinners, especially the sketch comedy show I worked on, MAD. I would have to animate, design, storyboard and work on the sound design. I would build a cartoon based on the script I was given. When we were developing Breadwinners, I made this short within two months because I was already in that rhythm of constantly creating and making cartoons. So it wasn’t a challenge for me anymore, I was like “yeah, bring it on – let’s make another cartoon!”

STEVE BORST:I used to work on Nickelodeon’s on-air promos team, so I spent many years writing promos and commercials for the shows that were on Nickelodeon. It was a really fantastic experience for me because I became immersed in the sensibility of the network. And I got to watch tons of Nickelodeon shows, which helped prepare me for making my own show.

GARY “DOODLES” DiRAFFAELE: I had a bunch of folders on my computer with ideas that I would constantly develop. Before Steve and I met, over the course of eight years– I had all these ideas that I was constantly doodling and trying to create. So creating Breadwinners came a little naturally to me because of the whole development aspect of it and creating characters and the whole process from start to finish has been something that I’ve been practicing without knowing where it would potentially lead to. But then when we were developing Breadwinners it just felt really natural to find out who the characters were and develop the style as we went. It was part of my DNA.

BreadwinnersTOONZONE NEWS: What do you hope that kids will get out of the show?

GARY “DOODLES” DiRAFFAELE: I hope kids get a lot of laughs.

STEVE BORST: I hope they get an appreciation for the value of friendship. At the end of the day, SwaySway and Buhdeuce are best friends and they are always there for each other.

GARY “DOODLES” DiRAFFAELE: Best baps for life!

TOONZONE NEWS: What type of bread would you personally order for delivery?

GARY “DOODLES” DiRAFFAELE: If I was to order bread from SwaySway and Buhdeuce I would probably order Rainbow Confetti, because I’ve never barfed rainbows before and I’d love to see what that looks like on the wall.

STEVE BORST:If I was going to order bread from SwaySway and Buhdeuce I would order Quazy Mane Whole Grain, because when you eat it, it makes your hair grow crazy-long and I think that would be really fun!

TOONZONE NEWS: Is there anything you’d like to say to UK fans of Breadwinners?

STEVE BORST: Hey Nick UK viewers we’re really excited for you to check out Breadwinners.

GARY “DOODLES” DiRAFFAELE: We hope you loaf it!

Toonzone would like to thank Steve and Gary for taking the time to answer our questions and the Nickelodeon UK press department for helping to arrange this interview.

Breadwinners airs weekdays at 4:30pm on Nicktoons UK (Sky 606, Virgin 717 and through BT Vision).