Ed Skudder and Zack Keller are living the American Dream. They do what they love, make good money for it and get to share their art with the world. Thank God their art involves farts, animation and, did I mention, farts.
Their hilarious (no, this is not hyperbole) short series, “Dick Figures” (now in its fourth season), is currently the stick figure voice of a stick figure generation. Telling the story of Red and Blue, two best friends in a bizarre-ass stick figure world, this hit YouTube show has blown the animation door wide open with its recent mind-boggling Kickstarter success, raising over $300 thousand for a full-length “Dick Figures” movie. Of course, it didn’t start out as a full-length movie, but when the fans demand it (and pony up the green), how could the guys refuse?
Now, as we eagerly anticipate a drop date for the film, we decided to drop in on Ed & Zack, email-style, and see how they chose to spend their recent windfall. Turns out, it isn’t on a Ferrari.
NMR (and a lot of other people) can’t friggin’ wait for the the movie. Can you promise us that it is going to blow our collective friggin’ minds?
We can’t make any promises… but absolutely.
Did you guys grow up watching Spike & Mike’s Animation Festivals or what? Who were your influences?
We were influenced by all the small, indie, art-house filmmakers from the 1990s: Spielberg, Lucas, Pixar. You probably never heard of them.
How is working on a movie different from working on a series of shorts?
It’s exactly the same only 100 times harder and completely different. We tried to maintain the quick, stupid humor of the show but at the same time amp up the production value and story to live up to the expectations of a feature film. We’ve wanted to tell a story this big about Red and Blue for a long time so we’re really thankful to all of our fans who made this possible.
How is the “Dick Figures” feature-length movie going to be released — just through your website, or will there be DVDs for sale, or what?
We’re still working on that, but we know it will be available to all the Kickstarter backers and as a digital download through our website (www.richardfigures.com). We’re also looking into as many other streaming and download options as we can get our hands on. We want to make sure that everyone who wants to see it can see it easily.
Is there anything funnier than a good fart joke?
We have been conducting experiments for two and a half years but our results are inconclusive, yet there is a strong likelihood that flatulence might be the victor.
You raised $300 thousand on Kickstarter for the movie — how much were you initially trying to raise and how difficult was it to not buy a Ferrari with all that money?
The Ferrari that we wanted to buy was out of our price range, so unfortunately we had to put all that money towards making a movie instead. Originally, we wanted to raise $250 thousand to make a 30-minute special, but after seeing the amazing and overwhelming response from our fans to make a feature animated film we knew we had to do it. We stretched out the budget, reorganized everything, and found a way to make it work. We’re now happy to say that it will be a full-length feature animated film.
Why do you think Dick Figures resonates so much with people?
Beneath all the kung fu fights and dubstep dance jams, it’s really just about two friends. We’ve noticed that a lot of people comment that Red and Blue remind them of themselves and their friends. That’s a pretty universal theme. Plus, we try to keep the episodes really fun and fast-paced with awesome music and lots of aforementioned fart jokes.
With the success of your Kickstarter, how do you think this changes the way creative stuff happens?
We think it’s great. YouTube, Kickstarter, and the internet in general have democratized creativity. If something is good and people like it they will vote with their views, and, amazingly, with their wallets. The success of the show and even the existence of “Dick Figures The Movie” is solely due to our incredible fans who have supported us since we
uploaded our first episode to YouTube. We hope this opens the door for more creators to get their projects off the ground and seen by the world.
With your production diaries and behind-the-scenes stuff, you are being very transparent about your actions — how important is it to connect with the fans and show them where their money is going?
Our fans are our greatest champions. Word of mouth is what has made the show successful; we haven’t spent a single dollar on advertising. We’ve been very open and honest in our behind-the-scenes videos not only to show how animation gets made, but to let the fans know that “Dick Figures” is their show too and they made this project possible. A lot of people put their hard-earned money into the Kickstarter, so we want to make sure they know it’s going towards something they can be proud of.
Is this film going to be the foreseeable end of “Dick Figures”?
Not to worry. Season 5 of the series was recently announced and the team here at Six Point Harness is in it for the long haul. Keep your eyes on Mondo Media’s YouTube channel for more “Dick Figures” episodes.
Any chance of a feature length “DogSnack” film?
Lynn (co-creator of “DogSnack”) and Ed would like to defer to a question you asked earlier: “Is there anything funnier than a good fart joke?”