March 23, 2007


In 2003, three friends and I set out to chase a shared dream. The dream involved us making a film and a snake wearing a vest (well, that snake part wasn't actually shared by everyone.) Anyway, we decided our first project would be to adapt and expand my first Flip web toon into a live-action short.
We chose this subject matter because...
A. My friend's son looked like Flip.
B. We shared an interest in the themes of the story.
C. Little dialogue meant less chance for poor line delivery.
D. We'd get to buy a bunch of fun 1960s "props" on ebay.

A year's worth of weekends and "free time" later, we had ourselves a fifteen minute film that we were more or less happy with. In aught four (2004) we started selling DVDs online and showing it at film fests. Since then it's been featured in numerous festivals, conventions, lectures, and even on TV thanks to Nashville's Dr. Gangrene and Austin's Professor Griffin. We even picked up some cool awards including the beautifully horrific Rondo. Anyway, the whole thing has been a wonderful and even life-changing experience, and I could talk about it for hours, but I'd rather just show it to you.

I was inspired to post about it now because the HD Film Fest web site is currently featuring it for a limited time. But having seen how compressed it is over there I just decided to upload it to good ol' Google video. So I present you with Flip: a short film. If you like the junk I usually blog about then you just might get a kick out of the next fifteen minutes (oh, and for those curious, at the end you can see what I (sort of) look like)...

If you'd like to own it on DVD it's available here.


Steven Altis said...

I bought the DVD awhile back and I can say that it is well worth the ridiculously low price... especially since it's chock full o' enough bonus features to choke a mad scientist.

Flamen Dialis said...

I concur wholeheartedly - anyone with even a passing interest can't afford to pass up the DVD for such a low price. It's funny because, for a short film, it gets more playings than just about any other disc in my getting-out-of-control-enormous DVD collection. It's one of my son's all-time favorites. There's an undeniable charm and and a certain nostalgic innocence that will resonate with anyone over 30. In short, it's got a lot of heart; something that is sorely missing in almost any major feature these days. Kirk has created a masterpiece, and one can't help but sympathize with the young Flip. Just a wonderful short film.

Anonymous said...

What a treat this film is! Thanks a million for posting it.

Is there another film in the works?

Brian O.

Rob H. said...

I love Flip! I will be placing an order soon as I am able! I have created a Backyard Drive-In and can't wait to include it in one of our family nights!

A request for future blog entry....

Flip - The offical soundtrack.

Thanks again Kirk for a wonderful site and Film.

Rob H.

Travis said...

Great, as always, Kirk!

Erick Monsterama2000 said...

I really enjoyed FLiP. Thanks.

sweetheartville said...

Nice work!

Kirk D. said...

steven- Thanks for the plug! hopefully those features have ended the reign of at least a few mad scientists.

flamen- Thanks for the extremely gracious review. I'll always enjoy the thought of you and your son watching together.

brian- you're very welcome. I'm working on an animated short at the time (details will show up here when the time comes). We've had some recent interest from an outside party in regards to more flip-like material, but nothing solid at this point. I hope to keep messing with film for many years to come.

rob h. Awesome! Oh, man the thought of Flip playing in a drive-in atmosphere gives me joy.
I'm surprised at myself for not thinking of a soundtrack prior to your suggestion! I just did some digging for the music files. Looks like I'll need to pluck them the next time I have access to the raw movie file.
Although a soundtrack is bound to be disappointing because most of the segments I used are incomplete tracks that were swiped from 16mm films when no other audio was present. The quality is also pretty lousy. Anyway, thanks for the idea. I'll keep it in mind.

travis, erik and sweetheartville- I appreciate the encouragement and I'm happy you enjoyed it!

Rozum said...

This is a film I push whenever I can. Besides the excellent title film and the flash cartoons that led to it, this DVD has one of the best, and most informative making of documentaries I've ever seen. It should be required viewing for any aspiring filmmaker.

The CDP. said...

I loved it.

This reminded me of an episode of Oliver Beane from a few years back.

Todd Franklin said...

This film gets the stamp of Neato Cool!!!

Mystro said...

Hi Kirk, That was a great short film. The boy playing Flip can act well. I would love to buy a copy of it but I live in England and that might be a problem. Not to worry I enjoyed watching it and seeing you at your computer!

Thanks for sharing your film.

Kirk D. said...

rozum- Thanks so much for supporting Flip. It's good to have peeps in MI

cdp- thanks. I hope Flip came out after that episode so that we can sue them and not the other way around.

todd- the honor is all mine.

mystro- Thanks! We've sent overseas before. If you really want one email me at kirkd [at] and I'll give further instructions. We'd simply adjust the shipping to whatever it costs.

Anonymous said...

I also recommend the DVD when I can, there's just too much cool stuff in the movie itself and in the extras. Too much, Kirk!! FLiP definitely deserves more recognition.

-Plastic skeleton Mike

Gene Rickman said...

I really enjoyed watching flip here online, so much so that I plopped down mere $7.50 and shipping. I am so glad I did it was so much better on the big screen. I loved the making of...mainly because like it was a trip back to JBU. It was great to see Claybs,Kirk,John,Heidi and think I even saw Zedler. Flip is GREAT!!!

Kirk D. said...

Thank you Plastic Skeleton Mike. )I wish I would have thought to call myself Plastic Skeleton Kirk a long time ago.)

Hi Gene! Great to hear from you after all these years! Thanks so much for buying a copy. Glad you enjoyed it too.
Yes, I still see Claybs on a daily basis and everyone else seems to come through town now and again. You are correct in identifying Zedler. He was dressed as Tony Clifton. The life of the party he was. Anyway, it's good to know you're lurking around out there.

Michael Duggan said...

Hi Kirk!

LOVE your movie!

Brings back the memories when I took my Johnson-Smith catalog to the 1st grade only to have it confiscated by the nuns. They got me in huge trouble with the parents because of the Raquel Welch poster that was in the catalog for sale. I could have cared less about that, at the time anyway! I wanted the X-Ray Spex and the monster masks!
When I finally got my catalog back I begged my Mother for weeks to let me get something and I settled on a whoopie cushion which the parents would break during a night of hi-balls with visiting relatives.
But I can remember as if it was yesterday of the seemingly never ending wait for your order from one the magic-gag houses like SS Adams or Johnson-Smith. Often when it arrived it wasn't always what it was cracked up to be and all you could mutter in disgust was "what a gyp!"
Again, EXCELLENT job. Let's see some more adventures of Flip. Thanks for the great blog!
- Michael Duggan

Kirk D. said...

Hey thanks!
Sounds like you lived the true Johnson Smith lifestyle. Confiscated by nuns? A family party with hi-balls and a whoopie cushion? That stuff makes the Wonder Years seem boring.
Thanks for sharing the great memories, and for the encouraging words!