Futurama

Interview with Javier Sanchez

Javier Alejandro Sánchez Soria is the founder webmaster of The Futurama Point and he's managed the site since September of 1999, longer than any other webmaster of any active Futurama website. He's from Equator, but his site's completely in English to reach people from more countries. He's also made a lot of scans that can be seen in our Fan Art gallery.

Leandro: Let's start this with the question: Amy or Leela?

Javier: Amy.

Leandro: Dry answer straight to the point, guess I better don't ask why. How did you become aware that Futurama existed?

Javier: I learned about it when I visited sites about The Simpsons in 1997-1998, and after that with FOX Latin America's promos.

Leandro: What was the first episode you saw?

Javier: The first episode was Space Pilot 3000. I was travelling away from home, and a cousin recorded it so I could see it after the premiere in FOX Latin America. Wait, now I remember I saw it before that, I downloaded it from the Internet, but in really bad quality... I think I downloaded the episode from The Futurama Archive.

Leandro: And what is your favorite episode?

Javier: My favorite episode is Time Keeps On Slippin'. It's a great episode and Bubblegum Tate was a neat addition to it.

Leandro: What's your favorite TV show besides Futurama?

Javier: I really don't have any favorite show that comes near Futurama's level. One of my favorites is Rocko's Modern Life. There's a lot of good shows but I couldn't name a favorite besides Futurama.

Leandro: What motivated you to open The Futurama Point?

Javier: What motivated me most to open TFP was that, back then, I tried to look for a single site with a lot of quality content, but it was all dispersed around in several sites. Then I decided to collect downloads from all those sites to put 'em in mine . The name The Futurama Point meant (at least to me) the "meeting point" of all that Futurama content.

Leandro: Star Trek or Star Wars?

Javier: Star Wars. I think Star Trek's style is a bit too old for me.

Leandro: The Futurama Community lost a lot of good sites for several reasons. What's the site you miss the most?

Javier: One of the sites I miss most is Futurama Online. It wasn't updated as often as others at the time, but it had very good content on the series. Its webmaster, Ovi Demetrian is also a great person.

Leandro: College keeps you busy and away from TFP. What career are you following?

Javier: I guess a lot of people wonder why I'm so busy and what I'm studying. The answer is Engineering of Computing Systems. [I'm told this translates to "System Administrator", but I left a literal translation of the spanish name 'cause I like it more. -- Leandro]

Leandro: Would you consider to have another webmaster helping wiht TFP, or do you consider it "your" site and nobody else's?

Javier: I've thought about it a lot of times. Many people have offered to help me but it never was the right moment. Besides, since I'm the only webmaster, I don't need to use an update manager (that I should develop someday), and besides, I really should organize a lot of the site before it's possible for it to have another webmaster.

Leandro: Did you have a chance to play the Futurama game?

Javier: No, never. I don't have and I never had a game console (PC games rule!). Even though I can buy the pirated PS2 game for $5 here, I've never looked for it because the only way to play it would be in my PC and it wouldn't look its best.

Leandro: PS2 emulation's on diapers, they really should release a PC version of the Futurama game. So what's your favorite game?

Javier: My favorite game is between Test Drive 3 and Wolf3D, and another one that's equally good is F-15 (the color, 3D version). If we talk about more recent games (well, not so recent) a good one's Silent Hill, but I could never play it on PC.

Leandro: An old-school gamer! Fun gaming without having to use a jet's turbine to cool your video card. And since I sorta went to the topic of flying, what if you had an intergalactic ship and you could visit any planet of the series? Which one would it be?

Javier: Wormulon. I really want to know exactly how addictive Slurm is.

Leandro: Do you have any favorite Fan Artist?

Javier: My favorite artist is Paul A. Metcalfe, and not just because of his great ability in scans and fanarts, but also because he's a great person who's inspired me to make much more complex scans than I did before.

Leandro: And what about an artist that makes original drawings, and not mainly scans?

Javier: Cap'n Skusting is one I like the most, because of his drawing's style. Of course that FemJesse and TheVoices have almost no match in quality and good ideas.

Leandro: Practically all your images are scans from the series' framegrabs. Ever tried to draw something without a grab for reference? How did it turn out?

Javier: I've tried, but never enough to say I can't make a good drawing. The times I've done it I couldn't see the characters at all (I was in class) and I'd say they rank at 5/10.

Leandro: TFP doesn't have a Fan Fiction section. Any reason for that?

Javier: That's something I've asked myself. I'm certainly willing to open a new section if I'm sent content that doesn't fit in any section that already exists, but I've never received fanfics. I almost never look for people and ask them to put their works in my site, and when people send something it's always for sections that already exist at TFP.

Leandro: Ever wrote or tried to write a Futurama story?

Javier: No. I dunno, I was never good at writing.

Leandro: So what's your opinion on Futurama fanfics in general

Javier: I think every person who writes them is trying to make the series live on. Trying to capture Futurama's kind of humor is difficult, though not impossible. Of the few fanfics I've read, some are really good.

Leandro: The Futurama Point has a lot of original sections. Where do you get your ideas?

Javier: When I can't update the site because I'm not inspired to make scans, wallpapers, skins or whatever, out of nowhere I get the idea of doing something new. It might be something I did just to have it, and then I realize no other site has done something like that before.

Leandro: So, ever has an idea for a seccion that just iddn't work?

Javier: Yeah, but I think they were just ideas I later rejected myself because I knew they weren't going to work. I really don't remember what they were.

Leandro: Do you have any idea for the site that you couldn't add for lack of time?

Javier: No. When I get an idea for the site and I think it's possible to do it, I take time from whenever I can (from 23:00 to 02:00 usually!).

Leandro: While in the topic of time, if you were able to time travel, would you go to the past or the future?

Javier: To the future... I think it's theoretically impossible to travel into the past . The future is something unknown, while the past is already known.

Leandro: Did you read the Futurama comics?

Javier: I read the first 4 or 5; then I couldn't find where to get them online. Over here they don't sell them so it's quite difficult to get an original issue. Besides, some of the ones I read were really bad quality and I couldn't see the drawings clearly.

Leandro: You think the comics can keep the Futurama universe alive?

Javier: They can maintain the hope of fans, old and new, they can help Futurama somewhat, but the serie's essence is for it to be animated. Comics could work for a time, but I wouldn't know how long.

Leandro: What's your favorite Futurama comic?

Javier: Of the ones I've read, it would be... it would be... I don't remember the name, it's the one in which Zapp uses his special Leela firework signal, I don't remember the story very well but it's the one that made me laugh the most.

Leandro: That's #4, "DOOP: The Right Thing". Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro?

Javier: No other options?

Leandro: They're the most diret competitors and they generate an almost religious fanatism among their users

Javier: I think that Paint Shop Pro. I never liked Photoshop, I'd rather use CorelDraw. I use Flash and only Flash, and the good ol' MS Paint.

Leandro: Let's say Futurama can come back, but only as a movie with more to come if the box office helps, or as a single season of the series depending on ratings and timeslots to survive. What would you pick?

Javier: As a fan I'd prefer the movie. It's something in which few animated TV series gave good results and affirmed the story. Besides, it can have a background story that may stay unsolved by the end of the movie, and it'll make more people want to see it if the series were resumed later on.

Leandro: So what's your favorite movie?

Javier: American History X

Leandro: Futurama has a lot of background stories and continuity than The Simpsons. You think it was an advantage, or a weakness?

Javier: It was advantage for those who watched the series regularly, it made it much more interesting. Futurama was at a disadvantage because its humor wasn't ordinary and obvious, and so they weren't very funny for ordinary people (like FOX's execs), and for that reason it didn't have the promotion it needed to become more known.

Leandro: The relationship between Leela and Fry received a lot of attention towards the end of the series. Was it a good evolution for the characters, or was it unnecesary?

Javier: That evolution was what makes you like the series more. But it would be bad if you saw Fry and Leela already as a couple, because it would make the series lose a lot of its jokes and its charm.

Leandro: Imagine that Cartoon Network decides to continue the series, but making it in its own studios, without the original staff, keeping just the voice actors. Would it be worth seeing, or a disaster from conception?

Javier: If by staff you mean the producers and directors, no. I think they've done a lot for Futurama, and it wouldn't be the same.

Leandro: And what if the producers and directors remained, even the writers, but the animation was done by Cartoon Network, which tends to have a very different style?

Javier: Wouldn't work either. I think neither the producers nor directors would allow the change in Futurama's style; you could say it would lose its identify. If CN could provide the same style, even if its not as high-quality with the 3D animations and all, it might work.

Leandro: There's a lot of Futurama animations made by fans with Flash and CGI, usually very short and without a story. You think it's possible for fans to gather together and create an entire episode of Futurama, animated with a combination of Flash and CGI?

Javier: Is something that can be done, but it would require a long time to develop an entire animated story.

Leandro: Is there any particular scene that you always hoped to see in Futurama and it never happened?

Javier: To see Bender as human... wait, that actually happened! I would've liked to see what the Scruffy's did in The Farnsworth Parabox.

Leandro: What's your favorite genre of music? And your favorite band?

Javier: I'm between Indy and Alternative. My two favorite bands are Mew and The Pixies, but only because they're not as known and famous; though I like a lot of bands, like Bersuit Vergarabat (you might know them ) and the Ska in general. Another band I like a lot is System Of A Down.

Leandro: Would you rather be frozen by a thousand years and have your body, but without knowing what happened in all that time, or become a head in a jar and live for a thousand years, without a body?

Javier: Frozen. I'd be very boring to be a body with nothing to do for a thousand years, and then all the years after 3000; much worse than be frozen.

Leandro: Any closing comments?

Javier: It was great to chat with you Leandro, it's really nice to know (for some time already) another latin american who likes Futurama as much as I do, though we've had to maintain English sites in order to spread our love for the series. To all the fans, I tell you to not lose interest in the series, is one of the very few that shows that much dedication from the staff in every episode. My site will keep on evolving and it'll never close, no matter what, even if the series never returns and even if sometimes, I just can't update it.

Leandro: That's the spirit! And certainly TLZ will stay around as long as TFP does, the oldest living Futurama fansites always ready to give the loyal fans something new to browse.

November 29th, 2004

Buddies