Persistence pays off big time for ‘Final Space’ creator
What started as a simple web series has blossomed into a hit show for Olan Rogers, creator of “Final Space.” The animated adventure revolves around an astronaut named Gary and his alien friend, Mooncake, and focuses on their intergalactic adventures as they try to solve the mystery of the so-called "Final Space."
We sat down with Rogers to discuss all things “Final Space,” as well as his unique path from posting a web series on his own YouTube page to casting Jane Lynch for season 2 of his hit show.
Season 2 of “Final Space” premieres Monday, June 24, at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on Adult Swim, with encores airing on TBS. To learn more, check out Adult Swim's website.
First, thanks for speaking with us. So, stoked about the big season 2 premiere of “Final Space?”
Olan Rogers: Oh yes, yes, yes, majorly!
You have a huge following among Adult Swim fans. How does it feel to now have your show premiere each week on the network, which is already the #1 destination for young adults?
OR: It's definitely interesting because it's premiering on Adult Swim and then the encore airs on TBS, which is the reversal of what season one was. But it's pretty exciting because Adult Swim is the go-to place for adult animation. They were the original source for people that liked cartoons and that wanted to see something a little bit more mature, so I think it's great. I feel it's one of the best case scenarios that could happen.
Is there anything that will change about the show, or will it pretty much remain the same?
OR: It’s still the same show it’s always been, nothing has really changed from before.
“I never stopped making videos, even if people didn't like something.”
The story of how “Final Space” came about is pretty incredible, as it started as a web series on your personal YouTube channel. What advice would you give to others who are looking to break into the business as you have?
OR: Yeah, it started as a really terrible web series called “Gary Space!” I think essentially, the best thing I can say is that it’s about persistence. I never stopped making videos, even if people didn't like something. I just kept making stuff. Stuff that I wanted to see.
I just kept at it, and I think that's the difference between people who end up making it and people who don't. They just don't give up. I think that's the underlying factor, it’s just persistence and to just keep making stuff.
Was there anyone who was an inspiration to you in your journey or who helped along the way?
OR: I grew up with the original VHS copies of “Star Wars.” At the beginning was a “making of,” and that always fascinated me – just seeing the creation of film and this sci-fi movie that I just loved. After that, I started watching all the behind-the-scenes on “Lord of the Rings.” So really, as strange as it is, all these directors doing their own passion projects really inspired me to want to just go and make stuff.
And the people that really helped me along the way are probably my parents. They supported me from day one, even though I kept stealing my dad's Handycam and going out and doing crazy stuff. I even went to jail a couple of times after doing some stupid stuff. But they always kept supporting me.
We hear Jane Lynch is joining the cast as the new AI. How did that come about?
OR: It was pretty easy, actually. We were just like, "We have this new ship's AI in the season. Who would be a really good, snarky counterpart to Hugh?" And immediately we were like, "Jane Lynch! I wonder if we can get her…?" And she instantly said yes. We all agreed that was the smoothest casting that we could have hoped for.
“… It's got a lot of crazy, absurd comedy in it, but it's also got a lot of heart…”
Can you give us any juicy tidbits about what to expect for season 2?
OR: I think this season is really, really fun. I just showed the first two episodes after a show I did in Texas this past weekend, and people were cackling throughout. It's a big adventure, and it's got a lot of crazy, absurd comedy in it, but it's also got a lot of heart, and there are some really sad parts in this season. So, it's got it all.
Season 2 of “Final Space” premieres Monday, June 24, at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on Adult Swim.