The Simpsons are going live!
The mere thought alone of the long-running animated series airing a live broadcast may seem nearly impossible – especially when you consider the work that goes into animation behind the scenes for each episode.
— Mashable (@mashable) February 16, 2016
However, Entertainment Weekly reports that the popular FOX series has found a way to turn this into a reality thanks to motion-capture technology.
According to the report, three minutes of an upcoming episode will feature Homer Simpson discussing current events live. The episode, which is scheduled to air on May 15, will also have Homer answering questions submitted by fans.
Show runner Al Jean confirmed the news of The Simpsons going live on his official Twitter page Tuesday.
— Al Jean (@AlJean) February 16, 2016
For nearly three decades, Homer Simpson and the other memorable characters of Springfield have been animated. However, in order to allow Homer to go live for those three minutes, a special version of the married father of three is going to be created using motion-capture technology.
Al Jean opened up about the live segment of The Simpsons in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. According to Jean, the Simpsons cast and crew may actually be making history with this impressive accomplishment.
“As far as I know, this is the first time that’s been done by any animated show. And Dan [Castellanata] is a great improviser.”
The motion capture technology will reportedly be used to control Homer Simpson’ motions and voice within an animated scene discussing things that he “could only be saying live on that day.”
Actor Dan Castellanata has voiced Homer Simpson – and a number of other characters on The Simpsons – since the show first premiered in 1989.
During a December 2007 interview with the AV Club, Castellanata opened up about the flawed expectations that he has faced over the years due to being the voice of Homer Simpson – especially during auditions.
“It’s only annoying in that Homer—the character Homer, if he was a real actor and if I was Homer Simpson—I would be getting all kinds of scripts and offers. But since I’m not him, he’s not getting any. That’s the irritating part… When I do go to auditions, I always walk in with a little bit of goodwill, because most people are huge fans of the show… The only thing is that they’re setting up people with expectations like they’re going to see Homer or something similar to that, and it’s going to be the complete antithesis.”
How can fans submit their questions for Homer Simpson to offer? That is apparently where the #HomerLive hashtag comes into play!
From May 1 and May 4, fans will be able to use the #HomerLive hashtag to submit their questions via social media. Keep in mind that it usually takes several months for the Simpsons crew to prepare the animation for their episodes. Therefore, being able to answer questions submitted several days before the episode airs will add to authenticity of the live broadcast.
If the live segment of the May 15 episode ends up being a huge success, imagine how that could potentially change so many other popular animated shows!
Chances are that Seth MacFarlane will start making plans to follow The Simpsons lead with his own string of popular animated shows – such as Family Guy and American Dad.
— Alleshia♡ (@a_mcgillen) January 31, 2016
By lasting nearly 30 years on the air, The Simpsons has already made history a number of times over the years in one way or another. Adding a live segment to the May 15 episode, though, will speak volumes about the show’s success, popularity, and the fact that the cast and crew are continuously searching for new ways to push the bar of expectation for their fans and followers.
[Image Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]