THE SHIVERING TRUTH EXCLUSIVE Interview: Creator Vernon Chatman Discusses The Show's Talent

THE SHIVERING TRUTH <font color=red>EXCLUSIVE</font> Interview: Creator Vernon Chatman Discusses The Show's Talent

Adult Swim's stop-motion dark comedy The Shivering Truth is currently halfway through its second season. To promote the show we spoke with the creator, Vernon Chatman, about his fellow talent on the series.

Fans of the short-form anthology story format who haven't looked into The Shivering Truth yet are missing out. The Adult Swim show is currently in its second season, but it boasts so many talented and well known voice actors and actresses that it would seem that the show has been running for much longer.

A big reason behind this is because the creator, Vernon Chatman, has also been the producer on Trey Parker and Matt Stone's South Park on Comedy Central for the past two decades. Reaching out to people he knows and is interested in working with has helped spread the word about the series, even though it is only in its sophomore outing.

We had the opportunity to chat with Vernon recently and we took the chance to ask him a few questions about the voice actors that work with him as well as his co-director Cat Solen. While speaking, we also learned a bit about his voice roles in the series as well. 

Joe: I understand that in addition to producing the show you also co-direct it alongside Cat Solen. Can you share a bit about how each of you contributes to the job, or do you both do the same thing?

Vernon Chatman: I write all the scripts, then she and I sit down and talk about every single detail. I write them so that the words on the page are just a small percentage of what the show is and then I kind of explain everything on scene to here and then we figure out references and she makes a whole bunch of drawings and she does these incredible storyboards. And then we have a storyboard team and together we work on crafting.

Before we get the storyboards really together, I then cast it and record it and cut a radio play so we get all the audio and then she and I work together on a storyboard and an animatic (a moving storyboard). Because of the nature of stop-motion we have to have an animatic that is 99.99 percent representative of the final product. So we block our animatic and it's exactly what it is.

And then Cat is on the ground in Portland at our studio House Special. Directing and picking the animators that animate each scene. And she and I communicate each day but she has all of those practical skills from taking something visual in her mind and putting it on the page, to building and sculpting a face, to drawing bodies and creatures, and all of the practical skills on how to make it move and do crazy things in stop-motion frame by frame.

And then I get the show in New York and I run the post-production with the team because there’s a ton of special effects that we try to integrate into the stop-motion style so that its pretty seamless where it can be. And so all the elements that are ethereal are CG and we mostly do them in New York with my post-production team and everything else, everything we can is a completely tangible practical physical object moving through space frame by frame.


Joe: An outstanding number of talented actresses and actors lent their talent to the project. Did you reach out to them all or were you approached by any of them?

Vernon Chatman: They’re all either friends of mine and people I’m big fans of. There’s so many people. In the first season we had Jordan Peele, and Jonah Hill, and Michael Cera, and Jeanine Guraffalo.

And the second season, I just love getting all these different voices and different interpretations all heading in the same direction so people like Jason Montzukas who has such a great voice and is so inherently funny. Miranda July, I love her voice and the atmosphere she has with her presence. Chris Elliot is a friend of mine and is a hero of mine that I reached out to.

Those are people that I knew through people which was super helpful but I also had a casting director and I would let them know who my dream person is and luckily eighty percent of the time we get them. Julia Davis is an incredible British comedian. And Will Forte who I’ve known for a long time and Ego Wadim who is on SNL and is so funny.

I can’t name them all but almost every single one I have some sort of personal connection to. People like Josh Ruben, Joseph Gora, Kate Micucci, Bobby Kelly - who is one of the only people who did a recurring voice on the two seasons - I try to keep it fresh and new but he is so funny I had to have him back.

And then we have a different musician perform the same ending song every time. It’s an old dark, Scottish, folk-ballad, a kind of nightmarish lullaby called Long Lenchin. Last season we had Will Oldem, and Matt Singer from the National and incredible people, and this season we have Panda Bear doing one and there’s just a million collaborators who lend themselves to this thing and I try to direct it.


Joe: Which character or characters do you provide your voice to?

Vernon Chatman: I do the announcer who is just this deadpan, self-serious, obnoxious, fully profound idiot. The executive function of the brain guy, who sort of bullies the narrative along and asserts himself along the stories.

And then I just do a million different characters here and there. I get really excited about hearing other voices but if we run out of time or we can’t get somebody I’ll do the voice. Or if I have a specific character in my head that I don’t have the stomach to explain to somebody else how to do it, I’ll do it.


Joe: Would you like me to share anything else with your fans?

Vernon Chatman: Watch the show and tell people about it. Enjoy it, good luck, and wear a seatbelt while you’re watching.


What do you guys think of these coments from creator Vernon Chatman? Check out the trailer and synopsis for The Shivering Truth and share your thoughts in the comments section!


The Shivering Truth is a delicately crafted, darkly surreal anthology comedy.

Each episode is a miniature propulsive omnibus cluster bomb of painfully riotous daymares all dripping with the orange goo of dream logic. A series of loosely linked emotional parables about stories within tales that crawled out of the deepest caverns of your unconscious mind and became lovingly animated in breath-slapping stop motion -- in other words, it is the TRUTH (squared).

New episodes of The Shivering Truth air on Adult Swim every Sunday night at midnight.
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