A FEATURE FILM, BASED ON THE IMMENSELY POPULAR WEB SERIES
Dick Figures The Movie tells the story of best friends, Red and Blue, who race around the world hunting down the ultimate birthday gift – The Great Sword of Destiny. Instead of finding a gift for his girlfriend Pink, Blue discovers that Red was never his friend at all. Not only must Blue get home in time for Pink’s birthday party, but together Red and Blue must work together to save the world… and their friendship.
From the creative minds of Ed Skudder and Zack Keller comes a 72-minute animated feature, which launches digitally on September 17th, 2013. Skudder, a USC film grad, and Keller, a Pixar veteran with credits on WALL-E, and Up, produced the feature at Six Point Harness, a prominent independent studio based in Los Angeles.
The movie follows 40 episodes of YouTube domination, which all began on November 18th, 2010 with a short episode titled A Bee or Something. 300 million views later, the animated series is an international phenomenon on the verge of releasing a full-length feature film!
Okay, so get this: the story of how Red and Blue became best buds is pretty typical. On the first day of kindergarten, bullies were beating up Blue when Red blasted through outer space, crash landed at the elementary school, and kung fu kicked everyone in the face with his super-human strength. Pretty typical, right? Ever since that awesome day the two have been best friends. Kind of.
Years later, Red and Blue have gone from pip-squeak pals to full grown losers. Problem is, Blue needs to buy his girlfriend, Pink, an uber-awesome birthday present but is flat broke and all out of good ideas. On the sage advice of their Raccoon friend, the two embark on a globe-spanning journey to find The Great Sword of Destiny which will reveal to them “the greatest gift a girl, no, a woman, no, a goddess… could hope to ever receive.”
But what’s this? Just as their adventure begins, Blue discovers that Red, all those years ago, didn’t save his life to be his friend, but to impress all the chicks who were watching. Best friends quickly become worst enemies at the worst possible time, as Red and Blue find themselves in a race against time, and the Takagami Demon Army, to recover the three pieces of the Great Sword of Destiny and rebuild their friendship before literally everyone is killed. Yup, this is gonna be epic.
CHAPTERED DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION
Dick Figures was born on YouTube, so the Dick Figures team is making sure the YouTube fans will all be able to see the movie on the YouTube platform in its entirety, whether they have the ability to pay for it or not. So starting on September 17th, 2013, twelve chapters will begin rolling out on the ad-supported YouTube platform, one per week for 12 weeks. At the end of each episode, impatient viewers will be encouraged to go rent or buy the entire feature at the digital outlet of their choice. Fans that are willing to wait 12 weeks will get to see the film in the ad-supported, chaptered format, but we’re confident this approach will also serve as a 3-month long promotional campaign for the transactional outlets.
STICKSTARTER – CROWDFUNDING A FEATURE FILM
With the imminent end of Season 4 and the future of Dick Figures uncertain, the show’s creators, Ed Skudder and Zack Keller, considered their options – make another season or try to get Dick Figures on TV. Or maybe there was another option out there. The answer was buried in the YouTube comments, where fans begged Ed and Zack to go bigger and make a feature-length film! What followed was a perfect internet storm. On May 31st, 2012, the episode “First Day of Cool”, which told the story of how Red and Blue became friends back in elementary school, was released on YouTube with the ending title-card: YOU’VE JUST WATCHED THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES OF DICK FIGURES THE MOVIE. What? Yes. Just a mouse-click away, viewers hopped over to Kickstarter where Six Point Harness/Mondo Media had created a donation page for fans to make pledges to support the production of the movie. From as little as $1 all the way up to $10,000, pledges came pouring in from around the world. Kickstarter backers would not only be the first to see the movie, but they could also purchase signed, original artwork, behind-the-scenes documentaries, and even contribute a spoken line and an animated version of themselves to the film. After six weeks of non-stop social media and many sleepless nights, the Kickstarter ended successfully, amassing a colossal 5,616 backers and $313,411, a Kickstarter record at the time for an animated project.
The fans asked for a film, and now Dick Figures The Movie could begin.
In November 2010, Dick Figures launched on YouTube. At first, Ed and Zack thought they were only going to do a single episode, but when the show ballooned to over 300 million views and nominations for several prestigious awards… they knew it had to continue. Forty episodes, a music video, soundtracks, and a plethora of merchandise later the show was hitting its peak of popularity along with the fan-fervor over seeing a feature-length version of their favorite internet cartoon. Knowing Dick Figures existed due to its incredible fan-base, Ed and Zack decided to go directly to them to crowd-fund Dick Figures The Movie. Instantly, the project broke the record for highest funded animation project on Kickstarter.
After working on the Dick Figures web-series for two full years, the team behind it were seasoned veterans. However, knowing that this time around they were making a feature animated film there was a unanimous decision to bump up the quality to the highest possible level (for stick figures). Ed and Zack pulled out all the stops with the screenplay and decided to do every single action sequence they had ever wanted: exotic jungle temples, car chases, plane battles, sword fights, and a worldwide quest that not even a Hollywood budget could afford. Thankfully, it’s just stick figures. Recognizing that the show thrived on simple storylines and irreverent humor, they decided to focus on Red and Blue’s friendship, a story everyone can relate to, while dropping them into the world’s greatest adventure, a story everyone wants to see.
Since the story was written for the big screen, the artwork had to match the ante up, so Ed completely redesigned the look of the show. Since the animation would no longer be seen highly compressed and tiny on YouTube, but rather 70-feet wide in a theater or on an HDTV set, the style had to be completely rethought. Great care went into improving line quality and giving realistic weight and movement to all the characters. The plain white backgrounds with simple gray line art were replaced with richer environments exhibiting tone, lighting, and depth to add dimension to the world. In fact, in one of the film’s most spectacular sequences, the team built a full 3D model of stick-figure-Paris for the daring chase. Over 100,000 frames were hand drawn by a team of only seven animators over the course of the year-long production making it perhaps the fastest animated 2D feature in history. Exactly one year passed between funding and final delivery.
Music is one of the biggest success stories stemming from the show. The composer, Nick Keller, created over two hours of music for the four seasons ranging in styles from orchestral, electronica, dubstep, blue grass, rock… really any and every genre they could fit. Thousands of soundtracks were sold and Seasons 1-4 maintained a Top 5 position on the distributor’s charts for months. Now for the movie, nearly an hour of booming orchestral score and high-energy electronic jams keeps the intensity pumping for every single beat. There are new songs from Ed Skudder, another rockin’ parody by Nick Ainsworth, and a special credit song by the internet sensation, Ninja Sex Party. Backed by the show’s first Dolby Certified 5.1/2.0 Sound Mix, Dick Figures The Movie will sound better than ever.
Instead of following the traditional release pipeline for theaters the brains behind Six Point Harness and Mondo Media decided on a forward-thinking approach to distribution. The movie would be split into twelve chapters and released weekly for three months to Mondo’s massive 1.8 million subscriber base. For those who couldn’t wait the full twelve weeks, at the end of each chapter there would be a link to online distributors where people could purchase the full 72-minute movie. Why force people to leave their houses and go to the theaters instead of just watching it instantly, streaming or download, right on their computer or TV? Dick Figures was born on the internet so that is where it will forever stay.
Dick Figures The Movie follows our heroes on a once-in-a-lifetime journey for love, friendship and a race against time to save the world from an ultimate evil. For just a couple of stick figures, that ain’t half bad.
Red – The self-professed most awesome person alive, Red will live up to that name, or die trying. Scratch that. Kill everyone trying. Everything about him is loud, including what comes out both of his ends. A typical day for Red consists of sheer rock-n-roll power-mayhem. Blood, booze and boobs. A typical night consists of the same things except its dark out.
Blue – Blue is, well, blue. He loves movies, videogames, and a girl named Pink who he just can’t seem to win over with his obvious charm. Look how charming he is. Whenever his best friend, Red, gets them both in trouble he’s always there to try to get them out even if he ends up making things worse. Every Yin must have a Yang as every Red must have a Blue.
Pink – Pink may be the only normal person in the world (and the only employed one for that matter). She’s cute but she’s getting pretty tired of Blue’s lame attempts at courting her. An invitation to play D&D? Really? She wants to be treated like a princess but not like that. Still, she hangs on the hope that one day Blue will finally pop the big question: “Will you go out with me?”
Lord Takagami – A very ancient, and very stupid, villain who has protected The Great Sword of Destiny for ten-thousand years! Little is known about this mysterious enemy except that he will stop at nothing to take over the world for a reason so crazy, so shocking, you will literally die when you find out.
Raccoon – An English-speaking Japanese raccoon who runs a pawn shop. What else do you need to know? Oh ya, he’s known as Nature’s Ninja. When not helping the boys with one of their cockamamie schemes, Raccoon can often be found hunting for octopii and his long-lost wife. Konnichiwa!
Captain Crookygrin – Why, you’ve never heard of the famous WWII bomber-pilot with alcohol blindness called Captain Major Lieutenant Crookygrin, Private First Class Retired? He probably hasn’t either since he’s so drunk all the time. Crookygrin has a perfect record of one-thousand flights and one-thousand crashes and will likely be adding one more after becoming entangled with Red and Blue in a spectacular mid-air Jetpack Demon Ninja killing-spree! Tallyho!
Lord Tourettes – The nicest little harp-playing fairy creature who also happens to swear like a sailor. Constantly, vigorously and without regard for any children that might be within earshot. He loves giggling. He loves pixie-dust. He loves to eat bears alive.
Mr. Dingleberry – Please speak up, Mr. Dingleberry can’t hear you. Well, he probably can’t see you either because he’s so old. As Red and Blue’s landlord he has put up with more than his fair share of insanity. Whether it’s missed rent payments, toxic fumes (Red SWEARS it wasn’t him), or bazooka troubles. If the geezer wasn’t so forgetful he would have remembered to evict them long ago.
Stacy – She rivals Red in volume and drunkenness. Possessing “The Perfect Boobs”, she and Red have a hot, spicy relationship that usually ruins Blue and Pink’s dates (and their appetites). You will almost certainly find her either in someone’s bed, a hospital bed, or the cluuuub.
Broseph – This guy is a total douchebag. His whole world revolves around pumping iron, crushing beers and pounding chicks… if he could ever get one. Back in college, Broseph joined every single fraternity on campus and still lives that lifestyle today, since he’s still a senior.
Ed Skudder is a creator, writer, director and voice of “Red”, “Raccoon”, “Mr Dingleberry” and several others in Dick Figures The Movie. After animating on commercials and award-winning shorts at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Ed found his way to the animation studio Six Point Harness. He worked on a wide range of feature films, television shows and more until starting the production company Remochoso with his long-time friend Zack Keller where the two spent time creating music videos, short films, commercials and more for companies ranging from McDonald’s to Jim Henson to Lionsgate. In 2010 Ed created the hit show “Dick Figures” which has become the highest viewed and rated animated web series on YouTube with more than 300 million views and counting. After four successful and award-winning seasons, and co-creating another show “Dogsnack” with Lynn Wang, Ed teamed up with Zack, Six Point Harness and Mondo Media to successfully crowdfund “Dick Figures The Movie”, raising over $313,000 on Kickstarter. With his first film wrapping up, Ed looks forward to more animated features, series and music videos coming soon!
Zack Keller is a writer, director and voice of “Blue” in Dick Figures The Movie. After attending USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, he joined Pixar Animation Studios where he worked on the Academy Award winning films Ratatouille, WALL-E, and Up. Zack founded the production company Remochoso with Ed Skudder and directed high-profile commercials (McDonalds, Microsoft), music videos, and “Dick Figures”, the highest viewed/rated animated web series on YouTube with over 300 million views and counting. Thanks to the overwhelming support of their fans, Zack and Ed were able raise $313,000 through Kickstarter to fund a feature-length version of their popular web series. Zack has been nominated for Best Directing for an Animated Television Production at the Annie Awards and Best Animated Series at the Streamy Awards and IAWTV Awards. Next on the horizon for Zack are more feature films along with his second novel and comic book.