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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sabrina “Sibsy” Alberghetti on EverFree Radio

By CTB-36

EverFree Radio strikes again—this time surprisingly surprising, as they didn’t post a teaser a few days prior to the interview release. Sibsy has been storyboarding for My Little Pony from early on, with her first episode being Dragonshy according to Raven’s list of storyboard artists per episode, for which Sibsy herself provided a great chunk of the data. Sibsy, as well as Raven and Dennis Hu, were interviewed before during Bronyville’s Happy New Season Celebration Mareathon 2011 (recordings here). You can follow her on DeviantArt and Twitter.

  • She explained how her name “Sibsy” developed while she was in her teens and stuck afterwards. (0:34)
  • Then she went on to describe her path into the storyboarding business, and in particular how, being from a town near Toronto, she applied for animation courses at Sheridan College and afterwards moved “out west to Vancouver.” (1:27)
  • The storyboard artists are the second stage in the development of an episode. They “get a script from the writers” and “have to conceptualize everything visually that is written down on the paper in the best way that we possibly can to tell the story effectively.” (2:27)
  • When she started working in animation professionally, “it almost felt like everything I learned at school I had to through out of the window,” “it was pretty harsh, but it was very educating at the same time. I learned a lot at the first studio I worked at, and I wouldn’t give up that for the world.” (3:18)
  • This first studio was probably A.K.A. Cartoon, who appear to have a domain, but only for email, without a web server behind it. It also looks like Jim Miller (there is also an interview with him), Scott Underwood, and Joel Dickie worked there for a while.
  • She had to delegate Lesson Zero to Raven to work on some Darkwing Duck for a few weeks. (6:32)
  • In EverFree Radio’s episode review of MMMystery on the Friendship Express, Final Draft seemed very confident that the switching of the hats between Twilight and Pinkie Pie was not scripted. I wondered about that at the time, but maybe they had already recorded the interview at that point, because here Sibsy explained: “A lot of those little gags are put in by us storyboard artists.” (9:13) [Nope, they hadn’t; they just have the superior hunches.]
  • There is a certain trademark Sibsy motion where a pony lifts one of their hooves up. (10:45) It’s a cute and slightly coy gesture that other storyboarder may also have picked up. [Thanks, EverFree Radio, for the clarification.]
  • She’s the one who turned Berry Punch into an alcoholic during the cute-cea├▒era in Call of the Cutie. (10:54)
  • She frequently uses our pony names, but many of her colleagues are not as fluent with them. (12:40)
  • She likes The Mysterious Mare Do Well for its action scenes, which are challenging for her. The same goes for The Last Roundup, but her favorite episodes are the finale episodes (which haven’t aired yet): “Visually, musically, just all around, … we’ve set the bar so high with that episode” (or these episodes). “I’m so excited for it to air! I wish it was next week!” (14:12) Another indicator that the recording took place at least a week ago.
  • She enjoys our feedback, preferably that of constructive nature. (16:22) Also, our “creative outpouring” (Final Draft) is overwhelming—in a positive way of course. (17:18)
  • “There is so much more story left to tell. We finally have these characters figured out; there’s so many places to go with them, so many ways to develop them even further, and I really look forward to that.” (19:04)
  • All those visual references to Star Wars, martial arts movies, or James Bond are also the work of the storyboard artists. (20:54)
  • Flat hierarchies rock. “Jayson and Wootie, we’re friends first. It’s kind of stage having them as a boss, because … they’re my friends.” (22:20)
  • She doesn’t think that it “always the case” that references are woven into the show for the fans, but if we love them, “that’ amazing!” (23:41)
  • Storyboards usually remain black and white, but sometimes colors need to be specified or are used to let elements “[stand] out on the page.” (25:00)
  • Here she inserted a shoutout to OtakuSquirrel, who made a custom of her OC for her as a gift, and is generally a great artist or craftsperson. (27:29)
  • She hopes that in the future she’ll be able to post drawings online, e.g., of Raven’s OC, but she’s not allowed to at the moment. (31:24)
  • More confirmation that Twilight Sparkle is best pony! (32:36)
  • She’ll be “moving on to Pound Puppies for a little while, and then hopefully back to more ponies after that.” And there may also be more comic work from her, related to The Disney Afternoon. (34:20)
  • Sonic CD, with the American soundtrack, is her favorite Sonic video game. (35:20)

Update 2012-04-14 17:08Z: Updated with a bit of inside scoop from EverFree Radio. Thanks!

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