Back in November 2014, Prototype TV’s Lindsey Zarate picked the brain of Bill Schultz (over the phone) about his new animation project with James Manos Jr.
What is Jimmy Stones? Jimmy Stones is an animated show. It is an animated (one) half hour show that would fit into the comedy realm with a little bit of drama and dark comedy. Dramedy. It makes it quite different.
Who is Jimmy Stones? Jimmy Stones is a guy just like a lot of people with post-financial crisis who thought that the system could be beat, and realizes it cannot, and decides (that) he is going to check out. He goes through a miserable divorce and is ordered to pay alimony. So he decides he is going to check out and not do work, only have menial jobs, and that is how he is going to cope with this existence. I think a lot of people probably feel that way, but not many do it. Here, he is a guy, a stock broker who can be making six figures, and he decides to make minimum wage instead.
How about the animals on the show, and their roles? The animals of New York become the voices in his head telling him that he can’t give up, and actually does not have it so bad.
What network would you like to see Jimmy Stones on? With networks, you want as many eyeballs as you can (get). Since it is a genre buster, it is a little hard to say which network. I would really like to see Jimmy Stones on Showtime or even AMC, some place where the millennial audience can really enjoy it. Any of the digital platforms.
What makes this series different? The thing that really sets this series off is (that) the animals become the voices in his head (and) telling him that he cannot give up.
What advice you would give Jimmy Stones? The animals telling him not to give up is probably number one, I think. The advice I would get from other people is: “do what you love doing, and keep going at it. And if you do, you will succeed.”
What inspired to help the public get Jimmy a network? I got into this business because I love story telling, making film, the craft of bringing pieces together. With Jimmy Stones crowd funding, we felt like we could really reach out to people who would want to watch this content. What is proven on the internet, is as much as people love content, they also love how things are made, and if we could convince them to contribute enough money, we can actually make the show the way we want to make them. And if we miss the mark, at least it is the way of getting something going with higher integrity. It is not a broad audience, I don’t think that a nine year old will be interested in the show, nor should she be watching it.
Television has become a medium where there are thousands of channels with millions of viewers and consumers. And now, with the internet and crowd-funding / crowd-sourcing, it is a place where there are millions of destinations with thousands of viewers each. We are looking for those thousands of viewers to help bring Jimmy Stones to the screen.
How do you like working with James Manos Jr.? Jim is amazing, he is brilliant. I just want to write down everything he says. He has so many great story ideas, so many great characters. Being able to work with a writer of that caliber is such a pleasure.
How do you feel about your fans? It won’t happen without them. If you’re a fan of animation and you like Dexter, or the Simpsons, or the Sopranos, then give us a chance to create your new favorite show, and go on the crowd-funding and give us one dollar and share the site with you friends! It is more about building a niche audience and having that audience connect, and having them support the creators and content that they want.
What more can we expect from Jimmy Stones? From the depths of his torture, to redemption. The series work best when that doesn’t happen. What you can expect is for this puzzle of Jimmy Stones mind is one of anguish, torture, and hopelessness. He starts the episode that way and as he paints the picture, the hope is one of redemption. Something, somehow, someone is going to change him. You’re gonna hope Jimmy Stones will find a reason to get back in the game.