Hi Reddit,

Have you seen the new animation Hot Water we released this week?

Here's a small selection of our previous films (we've made 39 now!)

We're also trying to crowd-fund a new extended-length episode on Indiegogo. We've only got 6 days left! Check it out:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/simon-s-cat-in-off-to-the-vet

On this AMA is:

  • Simon Tofield (Creator of Simon's Cat)
  • Emma Burch (Crowd-funding)
  • Edwin Eckford (YouTube Producer)
  • Mike Cook (Licensing and merch)

PROOF:

https://twitter.com/SimonsCat/status/495230459673329665

Ask us anything!!

EDIT- THANK YOU everyone for your questions. It's been fun! We're going to take a break now. We will try find some time over the next few days to answer any other questions that come though. Meow!

Comments: 149 • Responses: 51  • Date: 

Shits_Kittens48 karma

Hi! My daughter and I are huge fans! We love Simon's Cat and have been following your shorts for years...ok, I have, she's only 7, but a big fan nonetheless! In fact, she drew her first fan art (attached) of Simon's Cat, so thanks for inspiring her!

Anyway, I'd like to know if is there any chance you will ever try to bring Simon's Cat to TV? My daughter was wondering how you became inspired to start drawing him, and also, how old were you when you started.

Cat-Man-Do will always be our favorite! Thanks for the AMA!

http://i.imgur.com/CQQKDQz.png

simonscat_team35 karma

Please tell your daughter that her drawing is fantastic! Very accurate. I was around 4 when I first knew I loved drawing. And my inspiration for Simon's Cat comes from my love of animals and cats which I've lived with for many years. - Simon

simonscat_team26 karma

Hi Mike here. We'd all love Simon's Cat to get a regular TV show. Hint hint anyone that can make this happen! :)

chooter27 karma

How do you get your cat sound effects?

simonscat_team40 karma

Hi Simon here! I make all the cat sounds myself. My friend Russell helps me record them and he does all the foley (sound effects) for the films.

Gugubo14 karma

When is the next short coming out?

What's your favourite one so far? (Question for all of you)

Also: I drew this an hour ago when I heard you were going to do an AMA. :D

simonscat_team12 karma

The next release will be released in September. Then we hope to release one in October, November and December! So we're very busy.

Simon's favourite film is 'Double Trouble' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VLcLH97eRw

Mike's favourite is - 'Icecapade' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dzz6lUsF19g

Edwin's is the latest one - 'Hot Water' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApN73TUVMEU&list=UUH6vXjt-BA7QHl0KnfL-7RQ

It's the first film Edwin produced!

For me, that's a really tricky question! I have a couple of favourites. Definitely love Double Trouble. I really like Smitten as I think 'Chloe', the female cat, is a great character. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE_gN8fA2xE And of course, 'Cat Man Do'! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0ffwDYo00Q

Thanks for your question! - Emma

PepperRoss13 karma

Hi Simon's cat team. Firstly, thank you for all the great animations and drawings, I love the books and have had many people stare at me as I laugh out aloud involuntarily on the train! You should do a strip in a newspaper one day.....

I wondered if Simon's cat has changed at all since you first started to draw him? Or is there something you wish you had done but now cannot change? Like have made him a tabby!

simonscat_team9 karma

Hi, Thanks for your support! Simon's Cat was actually a strip in a daily UK newspaper, but I had to give it up due to the mounting work of the films and books.

Simon's Cat has changed a lot since I first started drawing him all those years ago, he has become more refined and his character has tightened up. I used to wish I had drawn his tail taper to the end, but now i like his club tail as it makes him very distinctive! - Simon

DanezTHEManez11 karma

Hey simon! what's your favorite cat breed? Also there's a sub-reddit for simons cat! /r/Simonscat

simonscat_team15 karma

My favourite cat breed is the Maine Coon because I love the idea of having a cat the size of a dog! - Simon

monkeymaker8 karma

Hi Simon's Cat team! My son and I are huge fans of your work and have everything crossed that you hit your target! You have inspired my son so much with his art work and he has come along with his cartoons and story ideas the past few years.

'Crazy time' perfectly depicts our 2 Bengal cats to a T. To the point that as we were watching it for the first time they were playing chase around the house with nothing left safe ;)

And a question. If you were to be a cat what would you enjoy most about it?

simonscat_team9 karma

If it was role reversal and my cat Sniff was my owner, I'd love running up and down the stairs in the middle of the night like a crazy kitty. (Getting my own back! ; ) - Emma

simonscat_team9 karma

I'd enjoy being able to sleep in trees an no-one think it's weird - Mike

simonscat_team8 karma

Sleeping 16 hours a day. I'm not surprised Crazy Time reminded you of your own cats. Bengals do love to climb everything and anything. I bet you have your hands full! - Simon

ThatSteeve8 karma

Does the size of Simon's Cat fan following surprise you? The YouTube videos seem so simple yet are captivating!

Side note: thank you for creating one of the best mood lifters out there. No matter how rough the day your shorts almost always boost me!

simonscat_team9 karma

You're welcome! Glad you enjoy the films. I take it you must be a cat person at heart. It does help when watching my films. Yes I am totally surprised. I never dreamed that so many people would like it. - Simon

ThatSteeve2 karma

Technically a dog person. Not because if I said otherwise my wee beastie would get me in my sleep...

I love cats too. Allergies keep me from having any. :(

The aforementioned beastie: Ears! Patience Viciousness GIF

simonscat_team5 karma

Simon's Cat is perfect for you then. No allergic reactions! - Simon

StampMotionStudio7 karma

I heard a while back that these shorts were made using Adobe Flash, why not use ToonBoom Animate?

simonscat_team6 karma

Hi, That is correct, we use Adobe Flash to create our black and white films, however we are trying out TVPaint, on one of our new films that will be released in October, which is also great. We use these programmes as we love the particular style that is unique to traditional frame by frame animation!

Thanks - Edwin

dundua7 karma

Does the team make a living from just producing Simon's Cat or do they do it as a part time job?

simonscat_team6 karma

It's definitely a full time job! We're a small team and there never seems to be enough hours in the day to do everything we would like to. Especially during the crowdfunding campaign. We've been doing in excess of 10 hour days, including the weekend, just to keep on top of all the messages and comments that come in.

We've all worked in the animation industry for many years before Simon's Cat. Most of us started working at London based production companies that made TV commercials, but working on a YouTube channel is a lot more fun! Especially with such an engaged fan base. We all love film release days as we get immediate feedback for the weeks of work we've put in to the films.

It can be a little scary in case a film doesn't seem to be well received. Mostly, it's very rewarding though!

Thank you for your question - Emma

PepperRoss4 karma

Thank you to all the team for working so hard, I cannot imagine how stressful it had been for you all ... And hopefully a little fun? I'm sure I speak for all your fans in that we appreciate your responses, your reaction to suggestions... (Like more signed books!) and the hard work you must have put in to get the site up and running. The crowd funding process has had me checking the site every few hours too..!

simonscat_team2 karma

Thanks for your support! We've been really touched by the messages we've received. And really hope people have enjoyed the campaign. Despite the long days it's been an amazing journey. Just over 5 days left! - Emma

gyrfalcons7 karma

Just wanted to say I hope you guys make it for the Off To The Vet video. And questions wise - there was a mention of notebooks of potential video ideas and that the vet video started out as one. What are some ideas that you've wanted to make into videos but haven't been able to yet? Or what are some ideas you wanted to put into a video but for some reason or the other couldn't?

simonscat_team10 karma

Hi, Thanks for your support for our Indiegogo campaign! We have lots of story ideas that we try and get into our films. We thought the vet story was just too detailed to fit into our usual short black and white films, and also it was a story that lots of fans have requested so we wanted do something special and make it 11 minutes long! In regards to our film other ideas, Simon draws upon his 4 cats for ideas and gags for most of his story lines, for example in one of our films coming up Simon's Cat discovers cat nip with hilarious results!

dundua6 karma

Hey guys, really love the what you guys put out. Been watching for many years and love them all.

Will the short length Simon's Cat videos still be produced while the extended length movie is being made?

simonscat_team6 karma

Definitely! It's really important to us that the black and white episodes continue to be made. We plan to release at least 8 a year. And we have one being released every month for the rest of this year from September (including a great Halloween special!). That's why we've had to turn to crowdfunding, so we can make the black and white episodes going AND 'Off to the Vet'. Thanks for your question! - Emma

aba19646 karma

How much more do you need to raise for At the Vet to be produced?

simonscat_team9 karma

We have just over £24K! And still 5 days to go. It's been an amazing journey so far and we've been overwhelmed by the fans response! - Emma

tmohr5 karma

Simon -are there any plans to make a film featuring the kitten in a solo adventure?

simonscat_team7 karma

Maybe in the future. He's certainly a popular character. If there was, it would probably be more aimed towards children. - Simon

Torfix5 karma

Can't believe I got this opportunity! I learn't about you guys roughly 4 or 5 years ago and have been a huge fan/Youtube subscriber ever since. You're cartoons are hilariously accurate, thank you for producing them!

My question - how do you find the ideas/inspiration to continuously create new cartoons?

AND

What's your favourite unproduced cat story?

simonscat_team4 karma

Hi, Thanks for your support for all these years! Simon's four cats give us constant hilarious situations to base our films on, so there are many stories that we are developing into film ideas. Simon's favourite un-produced story is Off to the Vet, Simon had the idea along time ago and kept the story back because he wanted to wait for the best time to make it, That time is now! - Edwin

cmardeezy815 karma

When coming up with ideas for new episodes for Simon's Cat, other than the cats, what else helps inspire you? Also thank you for the laughs an wanted to say that I'm a huge fan and always tune in when new episodes, as well as being one of the Simon's for whom my own cat is named after :)

simonscat_team6 karma

Hi, thanks for your support! My childhood experiences help to inspire me when coming up with ideas for Simon's Cat. His character is very childlike sometimes and I can see my young self in him. - Simon

Feij4 karma

Do you all have cats? Show them!

simonscat_team9 karma

Nearly all of us have cats! Although it's not essential to have a cat to work here. We have been posting about the Simon's Cat Team and their cats. Here's the ones we have posted so far... http://www.simonscat.com/Blog/2014-07-28/Meet-the-Team-Laura-Nailor/ http://www.simonscat.com/Blog/2014-07-26/Meet-the-Team-Liza-Nechaeva/ Thanks for your question! Emma

doctorish3 karma

If you had brought a dog instead of a cat, what would you do for a living?

simonscat_team3 karma

I would have still become an animator - probably the creator of 'Simon's Pug'! - Simon

Frajer3 karma

Is Simon based on a real cat? What type of cat is he supposed to be?

simonscat_team7 karma

Simon is the name of the man in the cartoons. Simon's Cat hasn't got a name but he's based on my real cat called Hugh. Simon's Cat is supposed to be a British Shorthair that we here call a 'cobby' because of his chunky build. - Simon

david_treblig3 karma

What happens if you don't raise all the money? (Which shouldn't happen at the rate you're going ahah)

simonscat_team7 karma

If we don't reach the target, we won't receive any money and we won't be able to make the film- and everyone will be refunded. So it's very nerve wracking! We chose a fixed funding campaign as we didn't want to end up with half the budget and not be able to make the film and disappoint all the fans that had supported us. Thanks for your question! Emma

Mrs_Bohica3 karma

Will there be any more additions to the Simon's Cat family -- human or animal?

simonscat_team7 karma

Yes! In the future there will be loads more! - Simon

pjarosak3 karma

Any recommendations for wanna be animators?

Love your work!

Any recommended tools that you use, habits, etc?

Edit: typo and added clarification.

simonscat_team8 karma

Keep a sketchbook and make sure you write down all your ideas. I've lost so many good ideas by not writing them down immediately. Also it's great for your drawing skills. Plus try to develop your own style and don't worry about trying to look like anyone else. - Simon

Peter-Gibbons3 karma

Hey Simon!

What was your very first cat's name? Do you have a photo you could share with us?

simonscat_team9 karma

My very first cat was a little tortoiseshell called 'Shelly'. I was 9 years old and I rescued her from a local farm. You can see a picture of her here https://www.indiegogo.com/individuals/8119847/x/7983354

Black-footed3 karma

Why did you choose Indiego and not kickstarter ?

simonscat_team9 karma

It was a tough decision but ultimately Indiegogo meant we could keep our target figure down. Indiegogo have lower fees. And because money is taken at the point of pledging, we are guaranteed to receive all the funds pledged. We were advised by other crowdfunders that there can be an element of 'drop out' pledges on Kickstarter - as much as 10%! Which again we would need to budget for, to make sure our production budget wasn't left short. Indiegogo have also been extremely supportive, by giving us feedback on our campaign. It's very tricky budgeting for crowdfunding. I hope to do a write up after our experience to help others. Thanks for your question - Emma

plaisthos3 karma

When Simon's cat gets old, will it turn orange and lazy?

simonscat_team4 karma

The good thing about him being a cartoon is that Simon's Cat will never get old! - Simon

Eryri933 karma

Hi I love Simon's cat, reminds me of my cats! I just bought the laptop stickers as well and looking forward to Off To The Vet :)

I was wondering what inspired you to start drawing and animating? Did you think it would grow like it has?

simonscat_team3 karma

I used to watch Transformers cartoons as a kid and that got me into wanting to be an animator. And I started to make my own flip-books when I got a little older. I never expected Simon's Cat to grow like it has. - Simon

I_Am_Hank_Hill_AMA3 karma

Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or one horse sized duck?

simonscat_team4 karma

I'd take my chances with 100 duck sized horses - Simon

janebrunt3 karma

Will there be a happy ending to "Off to the Vet"- how can the destination be worthy of the journey?

I’m a cat-only vet and LOVE your movies -they show how hilarious and clever cats are! Like you and millions of others, I’ve experienced challenges getting my own cats in their carriers to go off to 'their' vet <g>. Studies show that more than half (58%) of cat owners think their cat hates going to the vet, and over a third (38%) of cat owners get stressed thinking about it. That’s lead to more than half of pet cats not going to the vet for their yearly checkup. From a large study (Banfield, State of Pet Health) of over 500,000 cats, we know that 85% of cats over three have dental disease- what would happen if our teeth looked like those 425,000 cats? I’m eager for your delightful solutions to help cats all around the world! PS I’ve funded your campaign and the updates engaging and fun-thank you!

simonscat_team6 karma

There's always a happy ending for Simon's Cat. But not so much for poor old Simon!

grocal2 karma

Hi Simon's Cat Team! Hi Simon! Hi Cats! ;)

What's hardware and software you are using during development of typical 'Simon's Cat' episode?

simonscat_team2 karma

Hi! We've used Adobe Flash for most of the films, but have recently been looking at TV Paint -http://www.tvpaint.com/v2/content/article/home/ TV Paint has been made specifically for 2D animation. Our longest serving animator - Laura Nailor, has said she's really enjoying using TV Paint, compared to Flash. It gives a better, smoother line. If you're interested in 2D animation, it's worth checking out the demo version. Thank you for your question - Emma

InappropriateSurname2 karma

How would you feel if I time travelled back to 2008 and said "Hey, Cat Man Do is going to hit 50,000,000 views in a few years."?

simonscat_team3 karma

I'd wonder where you found 1.21 gigacatts of electricity to make it back - Mike

simonscat_team2 karma

I wouldn't believe you. - Simon

Black-footed2 karma

With the big cats looking like they will become extinct in only a few years, have you ever thought about doing a short film to help promote their plight?

simonscat_team3 karma

I did a cartoon for International Tiger Day last year http://www.simonscat.com/Blog/2013-07-29/International-Tiger-Day/

And I would love to do something about Snow Leopards as they remind me of my cat Maisy - Simon

Rogue14k2 karma

What's stopping you guys from making a TV show with Simon's Cat? I'd kill to watch it. It's just that getting home from a long day to find out that a new video's released just brightens up my day!

simonscat_team2 karma

We're totally dedicated to making sure the YouTube films are as good as we can make them. With our small team it doesn't leave much time to work into TV series development. But we'd all love it to happen so we're trying to figure it out. Thanks for supporting us - Mike

WetChocolate2 karma

Which cartoonists are your biggest inspiration?

simonscat_team8 karma

I know you asked about cartoonists, but I used to love the Transformers cartoons as a kid - it's what got me started on animation. Cartoonists... I really like Gary Larson. - Simon

TygerC2 karma

If this crowd-funding succeeds (we are almost there!), do you want to consider making another one? For another long film?

simonscat_team6 karma

Crowdfunding is extremely stressful! I don't think any of us have slept properly for the last few weeks so we wouldn't rush in to doing another campaign. But it would be great to make a series of longer Simon's Cat films!

Thanks for supporting the campaign! Today has been a real boost to morale and we can now see light at the end of the tunnel! We hope everyone who has come on board has enjoyed the journey so far!

Thank you for your question! - Emma

samjuan2 karma

Good day, crew! I'm just curious: Will Simon's sister's dog make any future appearances, perhaps in a comedic setting alongside the cat?

simonscat_team4 karma

He's a great character and I'm sure he'll be sneaking back into more films in the future. I know for a fact he'll appear in more books as I love drawing him. - Simon

MeloneyParker2 karma

Simon, how old are your "real" cats now, and, do you plan on getting any more?

simonscat_team7 karma

Jess is 14 and has unfortunately started to show her age. Maisy is 11. Hugh is 8. And Teddy is 4. - Simon

mikekabala2 karma

I remember you did a Simon's Cat version of Gromit a while back. Any chance on further collaboration with Nick Park? I am a big fan of both series.

simonscat_team4 karma

Anything is possible... :) - Simon

PM_ME_YOUR_WALRUS2 karma

What cat treats do your cat(s) prefer also, what is the worst part about making Simon's cat? I'm a big fan of the show, thank you for making this awesome show!

simonscat_team3 karma

Thanks for your support! Teddy, one of my cats absolutely loves ham, whenever he hears the fridge door open, he comes running!

There isn't really a bad side of working at Simon's Cat, I am very fortunate to do what I love every day, and it is great to know that people like watching it! - Simon

aemarques2 karma

Hi. António here, from Portugal. I've just contributed with £5 to "Off to the Vet". :-) I have had a cat and I currently have a dog – and I love both pets. Hence my question: do you really feel there are "cat people" and "dog people"? And if so, are they really that different?

simonscat_team3 karma

I think it's safe to say that there are definitely cat and dog people. I was always just a cat person for many years, but when my sister got two Jack Russells I realised I actually liked dogs as well. And this comes out in my books especially. - Simon

Al-Capony2 karma

[deleted]

simonscat_team7 karma

The cat behind the madness is a fat black cat called Hugh, who is always hungry and very cuddly. Although my other three cats do help with the ideas as well. - Simon

iamOshawott2 karma

Thank you for doing the AMA! I can't wait for the car decals to arrive, my SO and I are huge fans. :)

How's Teddy doing? Get well soon!

simonscat_team5 karma

Awwww. Thank you for asking. Teddy is doing much better, and he's back to his naughty cheeky self now - though he did scare me to death when he got lost. - Simon

Henge1 karma

Simon, what was it like seeing your creation as a plushie for the first time?

simonscat_team3 karma

Great! It's one of the things I've always dreamed of, so I spent a lot of time getting it just right. We've recently made an improved version and it's available as one of our Indiegogo perks, and I love it! Here's a video of Mike showing it [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMvgTFqqKR0] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMvgTFqqKR0 - Simon

Severen7771 karma

Hi. I love the animations, but I just feel they are getting too samey. Have you thought of doing other themes, such as love, thought-provoking, horror, musical!?

simonscat_team2 karma

It's always tricky developing new ideas and always coming up with new content so looking at other themes definitely helps.

We did a love themed film in Smitten - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE_gN8fA2xE and will work on another idea for next year's Valentines Day.

And we're working on a horror theme for this year's Halloween.

We've just released Hot Water - Could you call Simon singing in the shower a musical? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApN73TUVMEU

Thanks for your question - Emma

cysticfibro1 karma

Do you actually have a cat? and Does it do anything that is portrayed in the videos? I love the videos btw definitely good for a laugh.

gyrfalcons3 karma

Simon's actually got 4 cats, you can see them (plus his background) in this vid.

simonscat_team1 karma

I think we have a real fan here! Thank you for answering. - Simon

Ftumsh1 karma

The animation even first cartoon was captivating, particularly the brilliantly observed cat behaviour. What was your history before making the first cartoon? You were clearly already an accomplished cartoonist; were you an animator too?

simonscat_team3 karma

Yes I was a freelance animator for 16 years before I before I animated Cat Man Do (the first Simon's Cat film). Most of the work that came along was TV commercials. - Simon

gapmunky0 karma

How do you respond to the criticism from renowned online animators such as Harry Partridge stating that the budget for your crowd-funding campaign is ridiculously large?

simonscat_team1 karma

Our campaign has been transparent, open and honest (http://www.simonscat.com/Blog/2014-07-11/Off-to-the-Vet-A-Breakdown/). Our figures are born from experience of running other crowdfunding campaigns and years of experience of producing professional animation out of an established animation studio. We stand by our budget and our crew by paying a fair wage. Crowdfunding is not as simple as holding a hat out and takes a lot of planning, coordinating and hard work. Our focus is on producing a great film that our funders are proud to have been a part of, along with producing and delivering quality perks, all on time - Thanks for your question - Emma Edit: Forgot to sign my name!