Step 1: Make Room for Others.
Step 2: Watch the pilot for the DELIGHTFUL animated series, Limited Space!
Step 3: Watch it again and geek out over the last 5 minutes because that song was FIRE.
Step 3: Read this FJTW exclusive interview below with Writers, Creators and Animator – Tiffany So, Saba Saghafi and Margaret Spencer! (They also happen to be my peers and my friends so I’m geeking out x 10000)
Joy: From where did Limited Space arrive?
Tiffany: I was driving home from my internship one day, singing a song about two people stuck in space who didn’t want to be there. I got all excited by this stupid scenario and approached Saba Saghafi about co-creating an animated musical comedy set in space. To this day, I don’t know why he agreed to do it. We brought on Margaret Spencer, Alan Chung and Andrew Setiawan for animation. At our first meeting, we sat in the nook of the Delta Kappa Alpha house and talked about story ideas for hours, falling in and out of loopholes. It was magical and I’m still baffled at how we all clicked instantly.
Saba: […]When Tiffany approached me, I was sure she had somehow gotten a hold of my private journal. An animated musical comedy was exactly what I was longing to take on as my next project. […] With the addition of three brilliant animators whose minds just reverberate to the tune of rich storytelling, we became a rag-tag team hell bent on creating a deeply moving, funny tale. At that point, we honestly just had to all show up, and the show poured out onto the table.
Joy: Limited Space seems like Wall-E & Xenon concept meets Nightvale V/O meets 6teen animation. And it’s incredible. Were either of you afraid of doing something that has already been done before?
Tiffany: Not really. I think that when you approach something authentically, it’s hard for it to be anything but original.
Margaret: Where I feel that Limited Space differs is that it’s not about the apocalypse, or exploration, but about empathy and human relationships. Stick a bunch of random, undeniably realistic, unique-yet familiar people on a spaceship they don’t particularly want to be on, with the dangling tease of a ways off, you have yourself one hell of a dynamic.
Saba: We love this project too much to not leave our fingerprints all over it!
Joy: The animated characters seem to have insanely diverse backgrounds – I count at least 5 different racial/ethnic groups and an 8-80 age range! How important was it for you to have those identities represented?
T: Super important! It wasn’t just a social responsibility, but a storytelling responsibility. It’s more interesting for us to write characters who come from different backgrounds. Even more, Limited Space at it’s core is about the minority of people left to idle in space. It’s about the kind of community and family that arises from isolation.
S: The way I see it, when you write from a completely honest place, it is inevitable that your own cultural background, as well as those that you have taken the time to invest your heart into, understand, and celebrate, will seep into the work. In our day to day lives, we must always be going out of our way to recognize, appreciate, and uphold other ethnicities, cultures, sexual orientations, genders, and even ages, so that when the opportunity arises to write something that draws on our genuine experiences, their stories spill onto the page.
Joy: Did you ever think you’d launch an animated series into the universe from USC?
T: I don’t think we knew to what extent this series would evolve, but our team did feel that we had something special. Nobody was getting paid and yet all of us were working insane hours to see this passion project through. We only submitted to one festival and the reason we did was to give ourselves a due date for the pilot. I think we were just so happy to be working together and to be given the opportunity to do exactly what we want to be doing creatively. With our tiny crew of 8 people and cast of 7, everyone has a creative say in the story which is rare and extremely inspiring.
S: Originally, I did not. In hindsight, I realize that my experiences here at USC are precisely what allow me to tell such a story. In many ways, this gigantic school can feel just like the Ark, and the experiences that come with this campus are not unlike ones our characters face on the ship. In spite of the immense crowds and “thrilling” social opportunities on campus, my first couple of years at USC were deeply isolating and lonely. The loss of my strong community from high school and drift to the margins of the college’s social scene left me feeling like I myself was floating through space, away from all of the things I considered home. Tragically, many of us go through this ritualistic disconnection right beside each other, and opt to fold into ourselves, rather than into each other.
Joy: What are your current hopes for the show and what do you hope people take away from it?
T: Our main goal is to continue to be able to tell this story. We have 10 episodes in mind and a buttload of ideas. Gosh, I hope people resonate with the story. I want people to understand that an animated series doesn’t necessarily mean it’s “for kids”. We’re definitely going to tackle some heavy matters in this season, but we hope to have fun along the way!
M: Animation, to me, is pure magic. Being able to do animation work with my insanely talented and creative team has been an honor that is infrequently offered at my age in my field. I love keeping the magic alive, and my hopes with Limited Space are to encourage the ambitions of other aspiring animators.
S: More than the laughter, more than the narrative engagement, more than enjoying the artisanship, the writing, or the music: I hope people realize that community is how we get through the abyss. And, luckily, building it is in our hands.
Remember: Make Room for Others!