If you haven't jumped on the app bandwagon yet, there's no better excuse than to download Bill & Ted's Excellent Soundboard from Widebeam, now available at Apple's iTunes Store for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad! And we were most pleased to be able to pick the brains of the two creative personages behind this most excellent app, U.K. based programmers and designers Dave Sleep and Joe Morsman, who filled us in on all the inspiration, work and fun behind this project!
Dave & Joe's Excellent Interview
Bill & Ted?s Excellent Online Adventure: Were you fans of Bill & Ted before working on Bill & Ted?s Excellent Soundboard? Did that inspire you to create the soundboard in the first place?
Joe: Honestly, I wouldn't call myself a fan but it is one of the few films that take me back to my childhood. I must have watched it about 15 times whilst growing up . . . I definitely remember watching it at least 3 times in one day once and then copying all the expressions!
Dave: Being an eighties child yes , I grew up watching Bill and Ted and quoting the famous expressions.
B&TEOA: Are you pros at designing apps or was this one of your first projects?
Dave: This is one of many already available and much more to come.
Joe: We have designed many apps but this is one we are especially proud of and feel very lucky to have worked on.
B&TEOA: Once you decided to do it, how did you go about narrowing down which sound clips and photos to use?
Dave: We used what was best really . . . [our] main struggle was the audio, but Joe persevered.
Joe: There was a lot of content to sift through, and as no 'clean' audio exists we had to work with what everyone else has -- DVDs! This means that the quality of the sound depended on what was happening in the film at the time. It does mean we have had to lose a couple of sayings but all the good ones are in there, and we hope it brings a smile to many a fan.
The photos were great to see . . . some I have never seen before. But it is quite tricky choosing what may be great as a photo, only to find it doesn't actually work in the interface of an app. We had a great source of material, with courtesy of Rand Marlis at CLC to thank for that.
B&TEOA: Were there any sound clips you really wanted to use but couldn?t for whatever reason?
Dave: Just the other characters we would have liked to use but due to the licensing was not possible . . . also the original guitar riffs would have been great, although Joe's brother managed to do a great reproduction.
Joe: We are [hoping to eventually track down a DVD release which] may allow us to extract slightly cleaner audio and which would mean we could see another saying or two make it into an update, but we can't promise anything.
B&TEOA: The app focuses on Bill, Ted and Rufus. Will there ever be updates where other characters from the movies may be added later on?
Dave: At first the idea was going to be the time travel element and to use all the characters from the film. I was excited to be able to use the Cowboy, Napoleon, etc. but the licensing held this back.
Joe: At the moment we are only able to work with these three characters, but if this changes there is no reason why not.
B&TEOA: Was there anything you wanted to do but couldn?t?
Joe: Not really, we wanted to add a few more features but decided to keep this app very sound based.
Dave: The music we would have liked to include but due to licensing restrictions was not able to.
B&TEOA: How did you get the idea for the air guitar portion? That?s sheer genius, if you ask me!
Dave: This was Joe's great idea.
Joe: It just came to me . . . we actually couldn't use any music from the film for artist's copyright reasons, including the famous air guitar sound. My brother works in 'sample recreation' and helps current musical artist recreate similar sounds and samples for records. I asked him to create an air guitar similar to the one in the film, then we thought - if we are going to do that we might as well just do a whole load of stuff, and thus the air guitar section was born!
B&TEOA: Was it fun creating the Soundboard?
Dave: Yes was great fun , an excuse to relive my childhood.
Joe: Absolutely! We enjoyed the chance to work on what is probably the most excellent film soundboard material available and having a day job of watching Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure 10 times is hardly a bad job, is it?!
B&TEOA: Who created what portion? In other words, which skills did each of you bring to the project?
Joe: We both have a great balance of skills. I think I usually try to think more about design and functionality whilst Dave is an amazing coder and ideas person.
Dave: We both just wade in and do what's needed. I like to do the back end framework and layout.
B&TEOA: What other apps have you created, both together and individually?
Dave: First app we have made together . . . my previous apps are mainly corporate freelance. Big and Small is a children's TV show over here that has done well.
Joe: This is one of out first collaborations, but we have many in the pipeline. My biggest app so far is Fonejacker, an app for the hit award-winning UK TV show of the same name. I believe they show it on Comedy Central, too.
B&TEOA: What does the future hold for you two most excellent programmer dudes?
Dave: More great brands to bring to the app store!
Joe: More apps, more great licenses to work with and hopefully an official Bill and Ted 3rd movie app? ;-)
B&TEOA: Any chance we will eventually see a Bogus Journey-based Soundboard in the future?
Joe: I don't see why not!
Dave: I certainly hope so!
Many thanks to
Dave and Joe for their time, and we
hope to see many more excellent apps from them soon!