Recently we had the opportunity to interview the creators behind Dick Figures, the highest rated animated web series on YouTube. Ed Skudder and Zack Keller recently began a campaign on Kickstarter to raise the funds to try and create a feature film set in the world they have created in Dick Figures. The YouTube series generates over a million views per episode and already has a large fan base on Facebook.
Q: Where did the idea for this film come from? What is your background in film-making?
A: For the past two years, we've been releasing 2-3 minute episodes of Dick Figures every two weeks and are now on Season 4 with 37 episodes completed. In that time we've amassed over 135 million views, 100,000 fans on Facebook, and several award nominations for the show. More and more, the fans have been asking for a Dick Figures feature film and we've always wanted to tell a longer story with the characters and world so we launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the financing for the movie.
We both went to USC's School of Cinematic Arts and were trained in feature film production; afterwards Zack went to Pixar Animation Studios and Ed worked as a freelance artist for Nickelodeon and Dreamworks. We combined forces and began directing together for commercials (McDonalds / Microsoft), music videos and short films at an animation company in Los Angeles known as Six Point Harness. Our dream has always been to do a feature animated film and with the success of Dick Figures it made perfect sense to combine the two.
Q: How would you categorize your movie with regard to genre?
A: Dick Figures: The Movie is an action-adventure comedy. The movie will be filled with the golden ratio of laughs to Kung Fu fights.
Q: Who do you expect your audience will be? Who are you trying to reach out to?
A: YouTube, where Dick Figures is distributed, has excellent tools for tracking our fanbase worldwide. We've learned our audience is comprised primarily of the male teen demographic ages 13 to 18 and we expect the movie audience to be similar. We have a strong international fanbase in Germany, the UK, and several Spanish speaking countries (our episodes are in English, German and Spanish). While staying true to the original characters and world of Dick Figures, we're hoping to reach an even larger demographic with the movie.
Q: What is the draw for your audience? What is your film about and what makes it unique?
A: The draw for our audience is multi-faceted: most fans like the show for its humor and epic action scenes, while many others for its slant on pop-culture and movies, and even more for its killer soundtrack. The show has a wide range of characters and stories that we hope appeal to just about everyone. The basis for our storyline is about two characters, Red and Blue, and the exciting world they live in. As such, when creating the story for the movie, we realized it was about friendship: where it starts, how it evolves, and, sometimes, how it ends. Releasing content online has allowed us to be very free in our storytelling and fans can expect an incredibly original story when they go see the movie. Plus, it's going to answer a lot of questions we've raised since the very beginning!
Q: Did you draw influences for this Youtube series from any outside sources?
A: We draw inspiration, as we always do for the show, from what we're interested in. A lot of that comes from sites like Reddit where we are actively keeping up with what the world is talking about and any emerging trends to keep track of. We're both huge fans of big adventure movies like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Lord of the Rings so expect similar elements when you go see Dick Figures: The Movie!
If you are interested in seeing this web series, you can check it out on their YouTube Channel here: http://www.youtube.com/show/dickfigures
To make a pledge to their Kickstarter campaign and see the first five minutes of the film, you can visit: http://kck.st/NjrPMl