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“Dick Figures: The Movie” Attempts Unique Distribution Model

If Ed Skudder and Zack Keller’s Dick Figures – The Movie is any indication, the animated feature revolution will not only be televised, it will be fan-funded and delivered directly to its audience through an innovative multi-tiered distribution strategy.

On = September 17, the entire film will be available for purchase or rental in a variety of digital platforms, including Google Play. However, the 73-minute movie adaptation of the popular webseries Dick Figures will have a day-and-date episodic release. It will be made available free of charge on YouTube, distributed in twelve weekly ad-supported installments.

“We want to give people the option to download or stream the movie from wherever they’re comfortable, from wherever they have accounts, from wherever it’s easiest for them to get access to the movie,” co-creator Keller told Mashable. “We operate in online space, so we wanted to keep it in an online space. People don’t even have to leave their couches or their desks or wherever they are.”

Since its premiere in 2010, Dick Figures, which follows the comic experiences of two juvenile young adult stick figures, Red and Blue, has racked up 43 short episodes and over 350 million views on YouTube, making it one of the most popular animated webseries to date. Creators Skudder and Keller raised over $300,000 in crowdfunding for the feature project on Kickstarter last year. (Most of the Kickstarter backers will be able to download the film at no cost.)

Tailoring the film’s release primarily with its core audience in mind, distributor Mondo Media and production company Six Point Harness partnered with digital platform manager Cinedigm, (who will also release the film to DVD in December) and Yekra, a VOD provider that enables viewers to stream and download content through blogs and social media sites.

  • James Fox

    Releasing it in that kind of a structure defeats the purpose of it being a film now does it?

    • M Rahman

      Not really, you see movie parts online on plenty of hosting sites.
      Theirs is just more calculated on selling more copies.
      If you want to see the feature length product, buy/rent it now.
      If not, be patient & watch chapters on a weekly basis

    • CG Animator

      If anything, this method, for me at least, is just an incentive to rent/buy the whole thing.

      It’s quite genius actually. I think unless you are REALLY cheap (ie, won’t-shell-out-$4 cheap), most viewers will opt to just rent or buy the film. It’s much simpler then wasting time waiting for the next part and wading through a bunch of ads.

      I opted to rent it and I DO NOT regret it in the slightest! The film looks amazing, especially considering the ultra-low budget. A lot of it is drawn frame-by-frame too by the looks of it (hand-drawn animation is dead… YEAH RIGHT!).

  • jmahon

    I’ve had a few friends who have worked on this film. The creators really had a vision for it, and wound up with some incredible feature-length quality- the characters may be simple but principles are always the same, and it looks great. The story may seem raunchy but it’s easy to tell if you’ve watched any of their similarly well animated shorts on Mondo’s youtube channel you can tell the creators have more faith and more heart behind them than any Family Guy episode.

    This movie is going to change how animated movies are made, and when you can harness the spending power of consumers/fans directly you can do a lot more than The Committee wants to admit. I can’t wait to support this with my money, if for anything than for the principle of the matter.

    • pizzaforeveryone

      i was really surprised by the quality of the shots. i mean, dang, these are really nice shots.

  • Chris

    it’s finally out but they want you to pay everybody was outraged at this

    • Brock

      Yes, everybody who could not or would not donate to their kickstarter, or afford a $5 rental today is fuming mad. Everyone else who’s seen the movie are reporting back quite satisfied. Can’t win them all! There is a no-pay option for the folks who just wanna watch, and its delivered in exactly the same method those YouTube fans are used to: weekly, and on YouTube.

      • z-k

        Which begs the question of how this is a long-term financial benefit to the studios involved that have a stake in selling the wares, and not rather a promotional tool for the two show runners regardless of where they plant their flag in the future.

  • Bob Harper

    I wish it would’ve had a theatrical release just so they could submit it to the Academy.

  • smoothoperator350

    I’ll probably watch this on youtube with good ol’adblock, ON after the first part.