Kip Mulholland - ADR Fart Artist

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: June 15, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 15, 2016



Kip Mulholland - ADR Fart Artist


“Cut! Check the gate!” The entire cast and crew wait nervously for the camera operator’s words that the gate is clean. Exhaustion takes its toll by this point in movie making, however, most of the crew will soon find that ‘miracle second wind’ which will send them drinking well into the morning.

“The gate’s clean.” calls a voice heard by many pairs of perked up ears. Now they wait for the money line.

“That’s a wrap.” yells the director. The sound stage erupts. Grips, electricians, best boys, hair and make-up specialists, assistants and actors all begin the sprint that will see the dismantling of everything before their very eyes. The only thing that these people love more than movie making, is not movie making. Tonight will feel like christmas to many. But not to all.

It is at this time that a second team will take over, and turn the raw footage that has been captured into the final, slick looking, slick sounding piece of art that the general public will pay good money to enjoy. Editors, sound mixers, foley artists and musicians will start their work with the director to carefully craft their masterpiece, Wind in the Denim - The Untold Story of Flatulence in the New Millennium. This will include ADR, or, additional dialogue recording. This is where the actors reproduce much of their dialogue synced to the original footage that was shot. All movies have to do it. Some more than others. But this film is different. Most of the dialogue in this film comes in the form of ‘slight explosions between the legs’. Even the best actors can’t fill this role. A specialist is needed. And in show biz, there’s only one man with the necessary skill set. Kip Mulholland. 

Kip comes from a long line of fart doubles, or Anal Acoustic Reproduction Artists for the discerning among us. His great grandfather was Charlie Chaplin’s fart double during the silent era. Now, for those of you who are questioning the need for this before talkies, where do you think the term ‘silent but deadly’ comes from?

His grandfather stood in for John Wayne, Clark Gable, and Jimmy Stewart. This was in the days before ADR was invented so he had to stand off to the side, out of view of the camera, and wait for his cue. Legend has it that he gave himself a hernia doubling for Fatty Arbuckle. While recovering, he taught himself how to fart for women. At that point, it was believed that women couldn’t fart. We now know different, right Amy Schumer?

Kip’s father carried on the tradition by tooting for the best of his generation. Elia Kazan said he’d never make a movie without him. After doubling for Liz Taylor in Butterfield 8, she asked him to marry her. He declined saying that he was married to his work. But his big break came in Blazing Saddles. It’s said that the Academy wanted to create a new award category based on his performance. That’s when he broke into television. The early seventies crime dramas were his biggest supporters. Mannix, Cannon, the Streets of San Francisco. To this day, Michael Douglas still carries a picture of him in his wallet. 

So Kip Mulholland comes by his craft honestly. Unlike his forefathers, he started as a child boomer. By the time he was ten, he’d already made a name for himself. The eighties and nineties were the glory years for child actors where there were plenty of family oriented tv shows, but he spent most of his time doing Eight is Enough. Busting for eight different characters taught him how to create accents that would be unique to each actor. Kip took cheesin to another level.

He thought about quitting the business when Macaulay Culkin’s parents insisted that Kip’s scenes be cut from Home Alone, fearing that his exquisite work would steal the show. There are many who claim that this is an urban legend, but think about it; a story of an eight year old boy, home alone, and there’s no farting?  Stage parents are the worst.

As he grew into his teen years, he began venting on shows like Saved By the Bell, Degrassi, and Beverly Hills 90210. Kip was in the ADR booth one day, set to explode a wet one after the Hills gang had a burrito night at the Peach Pit, when Luke Perry burst in and yelled, “Hey, hit the road ass blaster. No one honks for me.” Kip paused, looked into the eyes of this brash newcomer, and smiled. Few actors chose to do their own stunts. Luke would go on to do his own farting for the rest of his career.

However, Kip’s biggest breakthrough came when they did a remake of Lassie. No one - not even his progenitors - had what it took to squeeze one for an animal. So extraordinary was this accomplishment that it landed him an interview on Entertainment Tonight. With Mary Hart, no less. Mary asked him about the glamorous life that he was now enjoying. “Well, Mary, whenever I think I’m getting a bit big for my britches, I remember what my father told me when I was about to do my first butt burp. He said, ‘son, never forget, a fart is nothing more than shit without the mess’. And I never have”. If you ever see a replay of this interview, look closely at Mary. There are tears in her eyes.

That interview brought him to the attention of Milos O’Toole. O’Toole was a director of some renown. He had already directed the classic hits, Skid Mark and Flo, The Designated Belcher and the award winning, The Old Man and the Sea-mon. He was about to start post-production on his most recent effort, Roids and Fizzures, when he realized the talents of this young man. The meeting of these two giants was similar to Lennon meeting McCartney or Lady meeting the Tramp. Their collaboration would go on to be the envy of the industry. Scorcese was quoted as saying that ‘compared to those two, De niro and I might as well be strangers’. 

After Roids and Fizzures came Through the Anals of History, Cankers Away, and the deeply disturbing Thongs of Glory. They next worked together on a light hearted comedy called, Please Don’t Ride Me Bareback, a story told from the perspective of a racehorse. After the romantic comedy, All I See is Fog, the story of a waitress in a beanery who loses her sense of smell, they did the epic sci-fi thriller, Through the Worm Hole. 

And now it’s time for Wind in the Denim. Kip would approach doing this film the same way he did with all of the movies he worked on. First, he would read the script and determine where he was needed. This movie would give him many challenges, but that’s the way he liked it. Next, he would dissect the characters noting their gender, weight, emotional range and eating habits. While making these determinations, he would begin the physical process that it would take to ply his craft. This included a steady diet of refried beans, cabbage, asparagus, and a secret concoction of his own that he liked to call ‘methane brownies’. When asked about this, he’d give a sly smile and say, ‘All I can tell you is that the secret ingredient is not love’. 

As the day of taping drew near, he’d begin his physical exercises. Deep knee bends to loosen the colon, Kegel’s for abdominal control, and sphincter puckers - an exercise that picks up where Kegel’s leave off. Then he’d top it all off with a Kaopectate spritzer and bran muffins. The end result? Movie magic.

On the way to the studio, Kip stopped to scarf down a couple of fish fillets, the final additive to intestines that were now percolating with eruptive energy. He knew he was ready when he heard a particular gurgle coming from behind his happy trail. As he got out of his car at the studio, he heard it. It was uncomfortable and satisfying all at the same time. 

Kip enjoyed anonymity throughout the world he lived in. No one ever suspected that he was the flapper behind all those memorable hollywood moments. All that changed every time he crossed the threshold of any set or studio. Today was no different as he heard the whispers of all those who witnessed his entry. His head would grow a size or two each time they referred to him as King Kong, Lord of the Pants, the Rectifier, Nose-tradamus, and god. Eric Clapton called him that after a private screening of For Whom the Smell Tolls saying, ‘I don’t deserve that name - Kip does. I’m a fraud.’ 

Kip opened the door to the soundstage and poked his head through.

“Did someone send for a fog monster?”, he yelled.

“Kip!”, came a chorus of voices, Milos’ chief among them. Milos jumped from his chair a wrapped Kip in a gripping bear hug.

“Hey, take it easy boss or you’ll have me poofing before the tape’s running.” Milos burst into the kind of laughter that only a Slavic Irishman could. Once the alpha male greeting ritual was over, they commenced to work. Kip went to his booth - one that was built just for him, without ventilation, allowing him to use his nose to determine what part of his intestines were being activated for each scene - and Milos took his place behind the mixer. Microphones and speakers allowed them to communicate.

“Okay, Kip, I thought we’d start with the montage. You’ll have to pull out all the stops for this one. What are your thoughts?”

“Well, since this film is, in essence, a documentary, I broke the wind sequences into three categories. For the older footage I’ve gone with colon-ists. That will give the farts that old fashioned feel. For the sixties and seventies I’ve tried to use more of an analogue overtone. Deep intestinal stuff. The later years need that digital feel so, I figure, pure sphincter. And I’ve got a couple of surprises for the future perspective.”

Milos turned off his mic and turned leaned toward his assistant. “The man’s a fucking genius.”

“You’re the man, Kip. I’ll cue the footage and we can begin.”

The early years footage was a breeze, both literally and figuratively. Kip employed all of the tricks he learned from his grandfather - colon pops, stove pipe yawns, and a few sonic booms he liked to call ‘licorice twists’. Milos stopped him only once. It was while he was doubling for FDR during the war years.

“Kip,” Milos said through the console. “You need to remember that FDR was always sitting. That last take sounded a little dry. Can you give me something wet? And end it with that trailing squeak that happens when your ass is glued to a seat? Similar to what you did in Any Last Requests when Eddie G. dies in the electric chair.”

“That’s why you’re the director, Milos. I didn’t even think of that. Give me a couple of minutes on the stationary bike. I’ll give you wet.” Collaboration is the heart of artistic achievement. 

By the time they finished the early years, lunch had arrived. Kip had a strict regimen for eating on days that he was working. It started with Indian food with extra curry, dill pickles, sour-croute and pumpkin muffins with a buttermilk chaser. If it looked like the session would go into overtime, he’d open a can of pork and beans. 

With lunch in the bag, it was time to start the analog years. Kip preferred this period claiming that analogue sound was much warmer than digital. Once, he shared this sentiment with a reporter who was interviewing him for GQ. The reporter wondered if this was more of a nostalgic reaction elicited by memories of Kip’s formative years. 

“Perhaps, if I was the only one. Even today’s young Fricatives, fresh out of rimshot schools are saying the same thing. Digital captures are flatter than pee on a plate.”

However, digital is now where it’s at. Kip was digging deep into his bag of tricks to recreate the best of this world while sub-woofing his way through the nineties and the early twenties. His sphincter snaps were exquisite, especially when they got to the part about Courtney Love’s outbursts on the set of Man in the Moon. You could almost smell the green cheese. Milos was, as usual, astounded by Kip’s ability to hit his marks.

“How are you holding up, Kip? Do you want to stop for the day and pick this up tomorrow?”

“No way. I’ve got just enough left in the tank to finish up. And, the last part requires a fairly empty system to get the right reverb effect. So here’s what I was thinking - future flatulence isn’t analog and it isn’t digital. It’s both. Why don’t we capture an anus accent on analog, and a colon cough on digital, double them on two different tracks, and then play them backwards.”

“You crazy son of a bitch genius. Where did you come up with that?”

“I was pinching a dukie in the big bathroom at the mall one day, and I heard it. At first, I didn’t know what i was hearing. It wasn’t until I was wiping that I could put my finger on it. Combine that warm console mix of an Abbey Road or Muscle Shoals, with Trident or Sunset Sound boards. I call it FART or Finding Alternative Recording Techniques. And this could work with other art forms. Belching, dry heaves, protein spills, anything you want.”

Milos was tempted to ask him if he thought about sampling these results, but he knew better. Kip was a live performer. Samples were akin to a photocopied Van Gogh. But he had another idea.

“Kip, how would you like to go to these studios and do it the way you see it, er, um, I mean hear it?”

“Are you kidding? You mean, fart in the same studio that the Beatles farted in. Well, I mean, that is sang in. But I’m sure they farted in there too. Surely Ringo did.” Kip fell silent as he thought about the giant leap his career that was inevitable. Before he could answer, Milos broke in.

“Kip, this movie is my Citizen Kane. I have the budget and I’d like to do it in the best places, with the best people. What do you say? Empty that magical colon of yours and you can refill it on the other side of the pond?”

Kip didn’t need to answer. His tears did that for him. 

Kip and Milos traveled to the hallowed grounds of those studios. They completed their masterpiece unleashing it on an unsuspecting world. Its release broke more than wind. Fans loved it; critics loved it; and the people who gave Milos O’Toole the academy award for best director loved it too. Milos’ speech told the world something that they didn’t know. “As I look at this statuette, I realize something.” Milos said. “This movie could have been made with a different director. It could have been made with different actors, different DOP’s and editors. Hell, everyone could have been replaced, and you would have had an equally great epic. But there is one person who could not have been replaced. One person who’s talent is unique only to him. You don’t know his name, his face or the sound of his voice. But you have heard him time and time again. You’ve felt his heart, his pain and his insight. His thunder has resonated in your ears, and felt his emanations move the ground beneath your feet. He plies his craft loudly while he moves among you unnoticed. I’ll respect his need to blend into this world, but I will say that his work is heaven scent. KM, this one is for you.”

Kip was watching this broadcast from the quiet comfort of his favourite armchair, deep within the hidden world of everyday living. He was finishing the last of his Taco Bell special - he had a laxative commercial in the morning - as his friend and collaborator thanked him anonymously. He didn’t get into this business for popularity or awards. Booming was its own reward. Still, he couldn’t help being moved by Milos’ sentiments. At this point, Kip lifted his leg, arched his back, and let loose with a broadcast of his own. A ten second salute that Milos would have cherished. 

“This one’s for you.” he said to the tv, Milos still on the air, holding his award over his head. 

“This one’s for you.”

© Copyright 2020 Norman K. All rights reserved.

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