‘STRIPPED:’ To iTunes and Beyond - An Interview with Co-Directors Dave Kellett and Frederick Schroeder

Filmmakers (and comic strip lovers) Dave Kellett and Frederick Schroeder recently sat down with FBC Managing Editor Barbra Dillon to discuss their film, STRIPPED, which brings together the world's best cartoonists to talk about the art form they love and what happens to it as newsprint fades away. The film premiered on March 26th, 2014, in Hollywood, CA, to an exuberant crowd, and it skyrocketed to #1 in the Documentaries section of iTunes on the first day of its launch. Co-directors Kellett and Schroeder were very kind to chat with Fanboy Comics again following the release of their film to discuss its continuing and overwhelming success, their experiences at the premiere, and where the film will go from here.

This interview was conducted on April 3, 2014.

Barbra J. Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: Congratulations on the recent release of STRIPPED! How would you describe the experience of viewing the film for the first time with a full audience?

Dave Kellett/Frederick Schroeder: Thank you so much! Showing the film to a packed house at the world-famous Cinerama Dome in Hollywood was a culmination of four years of work and really gratifying on a personal level, especially having seen so many movies over the years at that amazing venue. It was also humbling to see how many people - friends, family, and fans - came out to support the movie that we’ve spent so long putting together.

BD: Many of the film’s participants – ranging from Matt Inman (The Oatmeal) to Cathy Guisewite (Cathy) – were in attendance at the premiere. Did you receive any feedback from the creators, and what was their overall response to the story that you told with the documentary?

DK/FS: We were so lucky to have such great participants join us after the screening to answer questions from the audience. The best reaction I think we’ve received was from Dan Piraro (Bizarro) who told us he’s done so many interviews with filmmakers over the years whose films either go nowhere or turn out terrible that he was pleasantly surprised by our movie and proud to have been a part of it.

BD: Tuesday, April 1st, was the official launch date of the film on iTunes, and you challenged audiences to an exciting goal. What did you hope to accomplish on the opening day, and was your goal achieved?

DK/FS: We basically set a goal to become the number one documentary on iTunes. We had no idea if this goal was realistic or not, but we sort of just plowed ahead with the hope that enough fans would support the movie. As it turns out, there are a lot of STRIPPED fans out there, and we shot to the top of the charts and have stayed there! Our hope is this opens up more opportunities for our movie and for many other movies about comics. Comics are a powerful medium, and they deserve more attention and recognition!

BD: Given the overwhelming positive response that the film has already received, do you have hope that comic strips will live in, no matter the medium?

DK/FS: Oh yes. We don’t doubt for a second that comics will continue to be a powerful medium to communicate any idea or story through forever. There is no stopping comics, and, if anything, they are getting better and better!

BD: Now that the film is available for purchase, what do you hope to take the film from here?

DK/FS: Our hope is that as many people as possible hear about the movie and through it rediscover the medium of comics. We are really excited about the possibilities of expanding the film’s scope in the near future and hope it reaches an international audience.

BD: At the film’s premiere, I believe that you had mentioned having over 300 hours of footage from your interviews. Do you have any plans in mind for releasing bonus footage or other special features?

DK/FS: What is fantastic about the modern distribution model for movies is that your film can now expand beyond the borders of the frame. What this means is that we have released the full interviews with 15 amazing cartoonists here. If this proves popular enough, we can keep adding to it!

BD: What is the best way(s) for our readers to purchase their digital copy of STRIPPED and to learn more about the film?

DK/FS: Our site, www.strippedfilm.com, has everything, and we’ll continue to update with new material if demand is strong enough, so please tell your comics-loving friends!

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