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A boy and his horn

Written by Bryan Roth '07

Unicorn Boy

When Peter Berg and Mike Wechsler set out to make The Race, they already knew how much effort would be needed to produce ground-breaking collegiate TV. Just one year earlier the pair had created Unicorn Boy, an animated comedy that went on to win several local awards.

A unique production at ICTV (and just about any college TV station in the country), Unicorn Boy is a 30-minute cartoon animated by the two friends. As fans of shows like Aqua Teen Hunger Force and other content on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block, Berg and Wechsler decided to try creating their own story of a teenager and his daily life—albeit with a horn sticking out of his forehead.

“If it was easy to make a cartoon then people would do it,” says Berg. “It’s pretty easy to make a live studio show because you have your studio and your set and your lights already there, and you use people for a few hours. But, making a cartoon is hundreds of hours of work.”

Friends since their first year at Ithaca College, Berg and Wechsler have worked together on various projects, but nothing of the same magnitude as Unicorn Boy. The pair kicked around ideas for a cartoon—including one that involved the Photoshopped heads of dead U.S. presidents and celebrities talking and interacting—but Unicorn Boy stuck. After hundreds of hours animating and recording voices with eight actors, the dynamic duo released their first episode in the fall of 2005. “Every time we’ve had an occasion to work on something like this we’ve tried to do something new, something that no one’s seen before,” explains Wechsler.

Following their debut, Berg and Wechsler went on to make a special short for the release of the movie Snakes on a Plane, and the pair plans on releasing another episode of Unicorn Boy before they graduate. Berg says that getting the episodes together may be stressful, but it's well worth the effort. “We knew it was possible to do, so we just decided to figure out how to do it ourselves,” said Berg.



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