Flipping out for analogue

Books, records, even print publications – OK, perhaps that last one is wishful thinking – are coming back in vogue, but video has never been an analogue form of media, so how is that supposed to work?

One company has figured out a way.

Put down your cell phones and your laptop computers, because the next big viral video might just come from a good old-fashioned flipbook.

For those raised on YouTube and Instagram, flipbooks are animated images generated through a small book of photos or drawings you flip through to replicate a moving image.

Dexter Cura, owner of Forest Park’s Escape Factor escape room, 7228 Madison St., has been making flipbooks for years.

He recently brought his mobile flipbook maker to Oak Park Public Library for a free demonstration at the Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours event.

Cura said the flipbook mini-studio shoots seven seconds of video and creates a 60-page flipbook on the spot. The whole process takes about a minute, he said.

Flipbook fans can also send in a digital file and have it converted to analogue for $12.

Cura started the company as a photo-booth rental service in California about nine years ago. The photo booth could be rented for weddings, parties and other events, but a couple of years into it, he started making flipbooks.

Cura recently sold his California-based company, The Laugh Box, but has begun renting out a mobile mini-flipbook studio here in Chicago under the name Bespoke Flipbooks.

“I started this thinking I was going to stick with the online service where people send in the videos, but then I realized there is a big market for entertainment and party favors for events,” Cura said.

Renting the flipbook studio runs $1,295 for two hours and can produce about 60 flipbooks an hour. Any more time after that will cost $300 an hour.

“If a party has a large guest count, we would recommend extra time,” Cura said.

Those purchasing flipbooks online can choose from a variety of custom covers and grommets that hold the flipbooks together, Cura said.

More information about Bespoke Flipbooks is available on the company’s website at bespokeflipbooks.com.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

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