The Dick Figures feature film from creators Ed Scudder and Zak Keller is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. To celebrate the successful series transition into a successful feature film, they sat down with me to answer a couple burning questions. The film follows Red and Blue, two lovable doofs that discover the true meaning of friendship when they travel on an epic journey to find the perfect gift for Blue’s girlfriend. The film was kickstarter funded and released both as a full download and in 12 chapters starting on September 17th.
Nerdist: Where did the decision to crowdfund the film come from?
Ed & Zack: It was actually a reaction to the fact that we had gone to talk to a few studios and, while there was some interest, it felt like they didn’t really “get it.” So, we figured we’d go back to the fans to see if we could pull it off together.
Dick figures started as something we didn’t even plan on pursuing, really, and now we’re 43 episodes in and it’s really just grown organically, and because the fans have gotten us this far we hoped they’d take us the rest of the way.
N: How much of the fans input shapes the show and it’s characters?
We definitely read all the comments and like to keep up with what everyone thinks of each episode and that way we’ve found out what sort of characters are favorites and what people don’t respond to. And the fans ask for a lot of specific things, like there have been a lot of people asking to see a gender bender episode, so in season five we’re trying to work that in.
Also because the show is so simple there’s been a really good amount of fan art for the show on deviant art, on the mondo media web site, and we’ve done a bunch of poster competitions where fans can submit posters, people have even submitted their ideas in comics so we did an episode based off the comics.
N: Any particular fan art that stands out to you guys?
There are definitely the shocking ones; you know, like everything else there’s the porn version of Dick Figures but then there’s also some really awesome fan art- like people have drawn Zak and I just as human beings. We’ve even seen a couple tattoos!
We actually did a whole music video that was fan created where we separated a song into 5 or so second chunks and had fans animate whatever they wanted in the dick figures universe, then we cut it together. There was some really phenomenal animation that was submitted; claymation, legos, 3D, hand drawn in pencil; it was all super cool and probably one of our favorite episodes.
N: So since people respond to you guys as personalities, how much of the characters would you say comes from how you really are?
Ed is definitely red and I am definitely blue, but to a hyper degree. All the characters have a lot of aspects of our personalities in them naturally, and I think that’s the case with a lot of creators using facets of their personalities, so it’s fun making episodes together because it develops out of things we’d say naturally and just going back and forth, but amplified by a billion.
N: You guys bumped up the production value for the film a lot- how did you walk that line between making it look shiny and nice for a feature while keeping the signature, very simple animation style?
We started off going pretty crazy with colors and beefing up the backgrounds, but then we realized that it might be a step in the opposite direction- we didn’t want to make it too fancy so we just decided to clean it up a little. A lot of it also came from the camera work and sound design, which are things you might not notice right away but definitely help make it look like a more professional movie.
N: Tell me about the sound design and your composer. You guys have such a wide range of music genres, how do you find what fits?
We like our music to be all over the place, you’ve probably heard anything from dubstep, to cinematic, to hip hop; and it’s all done by one guy, Zak’s brother Nick Keller. The kid is a powerhouse, and so it’s been so fun to see what he can turn around all across the board. We’ve been so impressed by him.
[For more on the music of Dick Figures, check out our behind the scenes, making of clip.]
N: What would you say are the big differences with creating a feature versus 1-2 minute shorts?
A big thing with bridging the gap between a short video and a full 72 minutes was figuring out what the core of Red and Blue’s story is, and at the end of the day it boils down to a story about friendship. The whole thing is just watching them be idiots together, and why they hang out at all- so the script we wrote is about the genesis of their friendship.
N: What’s next for you two and the Dick Figures universe?
We’re finishing up season five, which comes out in December- and that includes a super cool music video that Ninja Sex. There have been talks (unconfirmed!) of a game, and we’re definitely going to keep the characters alive into the future.
What did you guys think of the Dick Figures movie? Where do you want to see the characters go from here? Would you play a Dick Figures video game? Tell us your thoughts by leaving a quemment below or giving a shout out on