Thursday, February 9, 2012

Interview with Nicholas Quixote of Rabbit Bites


I am glad you joined us here! We have a very special guest here today! I have been a big fan of his work since it came out. I will admit that the first thing that attracted me to his work was the use of rabbits.  What kept me coming back besides the rabbits was the creativity, the feel,the "retro" and the sharp wit to say the least. This can be none other than Rabbit Bites, part real bunny video, part animation, fun music, oh I could go on.  When we had dial-up internet (we caved to DSL later than most people), I would not allow anyone to touch the computer for the hour it took the latest short (a few minutes long) Rabbit Bites episode to load up! This always was short of a war starting or conceding special privileges for other things. The bargaining, although painful sometimes, was always worth it. Can you tell I love Rabbit Bites?

I need to gain my composure! I am so excited to introduce Nicholas Quixote, the creator of Rabbit Bites!  Let's give him a big hand!  When people are asking why you are clapping at your computer, just tell them why! It's Rabbit Bites and Nicholas Quixote time!

RS: Thank you so much for joining us Nicholas! Would you tell us a bit about Rabbit Bites in your own words? What brought on the idea for Rabbit Bites? 
NQ: The idea began when I was working in another field and saw an opportunity to make short films and get a job. 6 months after I started, I was a paid contributor at and was soon sponsored by Purina. Making money and films at the same time was all I had hoped it would be.

In the beginning Rabbit Bites was about having fun by poking fun at things we found on the Internet. The primary theme that drove it in the beginning was to counter one of the key themes of the time about the democratization of publishing and image use, and it's affect on the image of the self. All that was ever said about these developments were positive at the time because much of the knowledge of how things worked technically was held by the folks pushing the technology - they all wanted to make a buck.  The new person was a public one? Then Rabbit Bites was going to see how they liked that, indeed! Bite! Bite! Bite! The thing you threw together in 5 minutes is your artistic expression? Reeeaaaaally? Bite! Bite! Bite! We poked fun of people that couldn't keep their face off the new "TV" like Steve Garfield or Blogger Robert Scoble. We liked many of these guys and felt that we came to know some over time, but hey, a rabbit's got to have fun.  I wish I could show you the one with Steve.  I just looked for it...I thought it was on Revver but I see that that is gone, poof: It only took me 9 months to know about it. That shows you how much I pay attention these days.

The collusion of positive spin on technology is kind of sad. All we hear about for years is the randy anarchy of flash mob Santas and free hugs from every home page for years. It's the Id that will mainly get expressed on this Internet, not much more in the Age of the Screen: Don't worry, I'm aware of the irony that I use it but there's no choice is there? Besides, it's a great tool! I have an iphone. I have a, gulp, 4 computers.
Buns of Rabbit Bites

RS: Please tell us a little bit about the characters of Buns and Chou Chou?
 NQ: The characters were sketched out quickly but evolved over time. Buns is British,  prickly and likes to eat. He's an "everyrabbit" of the Jackie Gleason school, BUT he is educated at Oxford. He rubs elbows with everybody from truck drivers to professors but will not suffer haughty fools who speak without knowing. We felt that folks would appreciate stinging criticism with a British accent as this had become popular on TV with folks like Simon Cowell dressing people down nightly. 

Chou Chou is the nice one: She's from California and likes to do things like play volleyball I guess. She could hold her own against Buns and would really earn the most money by hosting a daytime talk show.
Sweet Chou Chou of Rabbit Bites

RS: Did you expect and hope Rabbit Bites to become the big hit that it has become?
NQ: Not in my wildest dreams. I expected it to be much bigger.
Sarah Palin: Queen of the Wild Fronteir

RS: What makes Rabbit Bites different from other animated series?
NQ: That it was done by a complete amateur and is only half animated.
RS: Rabbit Bites  almost seems to have it's very own niche. Would you say that it fits into any categories or has created a new one perhaps?
NQ: Well, I think you have definitely cornered the niche on Rabbits. Somebody had to do it - Pictures, stories, business reviews, interviews. It's got it all. 

Two Hollywood Rabbits named Buns and Chou ...

RS: I have never found anything comparable to Rabbit Bites. I love it, of course, because of the rabbits, but also because its of its sarcastic wit and creativity. It is chic, retro, uses adorable bunnies, but has such wonderful characters too. It also has a quality that seems to give you a freedom to comment on things, do things that other commentary media couldn't comment on in as bold and creative a way. In ways, there's a simplicity to it, but also, it's very smart and sharp. I love that it let's me laugh and let loose on topics that stress or annoy me- such as politics for example, or ridiculous people that really have no basis for being in the news except that they are celebrity. I also think of Rabbit Bites having a quality like the original Star Trek or the Planet of the Apes movies, you can can make social and cultural commentaries that it would be otherwise much more difficult to get away with in more mainstream "real-life" commentary or stories. Rabbit Slippers also is just extremely creative and silly. Watching Rabbit Bites almost feels like being with a friend that one can let their guard down with and say what one really feels. What do you think of all this?
NQ: We couldn't have said it better ourself, we hope others feel like we are friends.

RS: What role has the internet played in the life of Rabbit Bites? What changes have you seen in the internet and media since you started Rabbit Bites?

NQ: The Internet played a huge role: as home for Rabbit Bites, as subject matter,  as a learning process, etc.  The Internet has become more corporate and mainstream. The sad thing is much of the good promises of it  get subverted by money. RSS is great but many sites have been leaving it off. I think Marshall Kirkpatrick has written on this:  As for media, it could be good, but I'm leery about the prospects. I don't find more to like with cable. That's going to be 100 fold true with Internet media.  Give me the old days of less choice. Fred Willard expresses it perfectly right here:

RS: How do you get ideas for Rabbit Bites? How much are you inspired by what's going on in the world of popular culture?
NQ: I went to pop culture because I realized I couldn't just make fun of folks on the internet. What the heck, it's beating a dead horse.  I'm not really inspired by pop culture, it's like, the opposite.

I found the 50's to the 70's inspiring in popular culture because more people were funded and free to do something special. Now they try and count the money before they do anything, and the results are abysmal.  This is true of Broadway and other areas of popular expression.  It's not just the money though, more of the folks making things today are not working with the same cultural toolset as their elders, and it shows.

 One of my favorites of Rabbit Bites videos: Florence Henderson Hair

RS: Do you think Rabbit Bites has affected pop culture at all?
NQ: No

RS: Is it a part of pop culture?
NQ: It's not really that popular, so I'd have to say no.
RS: Is Rabbit Bites a satire on pop culture and those that report it as well (such as Entertainment Tonight, Perez Hilton, etc.)? 
NQ:  It has satirized both, but Rabbit Bites is focused more broadly, on all of us.

RS: I have seen it change from its own web page to also having a YouTube channel. I first saw Rabbit Bites through I believe in 2006. I found them quite by accident. How would you say Rabbit Bites has changed over the time of it's existence? What has influenced these changes? 
 Bionic Buns Episode

NQ: To an extent, it was to broaden the audience and have more folks become aware of it. More people know and read about pop culture than the Internet's heros and zeros.
Paris Hilton interview given before Larry King interview

RS: I see in some of the video credits there are mentions of different bunny organizations, groups and mentions of things familiar to the "bunny lovers community"? Do you support or have any favorite organizations or have ones that you have a liking toward? 
NQ: We have been friendly with the House Rabbit Society and a few others from the beginning.

RS: Are you the headless guy in the suit who plays Buns and Chou Chous' boss? (Love the effect of a faceless human- a bit like Charlie Brown and the "wa wa wa" voiced grown-ups!).
NQ: Yep, that's me. I really have a head though.
 Nicholas Quixote plays the "headless" therapist in this funny episode!

RS: Is there anything we might be looking forward to or that you might wish to announce to readers in regards to Rabbit Bites?
NQ: I really appreciate any fans that stuck with Rabbit Bites throughout the time and made it until today. I would like to make more but was stopped in my tracks when I had a child. I plan to do something else in the future.

 Rabbit Bites and The Apprentice with Donald Trump

RS: Is there anything you may wish to add that we didn't cover? Is there any other place that we may find any work you have done unrelated to Rabbit Bites?
NQ: Rabbit Bites is it, but stay tuned. That's not all folks!

RS: Nicholas, thank you so much for the time that you spent with us sharing all about Rabbit Bites and the inside story!  I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future. I'll definitely be looking for it. For me this is like some Tweener getting an autograph from Justin Bieber, except you actually rock! 

Rabbit Bites can be found on:
You Tube: Click here: Rabbit Bites on You Tube channel
Rabbit Bites Website:
Facebook: Click here: Buns and Chou Chou of Rabbit Bites

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