FREE ENTERPRISE, the cult-classic comedy starring ERIC MCCORMACK (Will & Grace), RAFER WEIGEL (Rafer Madness) and WILLIAM SHATNER, was released theatrically June 4, 1999, a week after Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace and 17 years after Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan debuted in theaters.
A love letter to Star Trek and all things geek from two lifelong fans of genre filmmaking, FREE ENTERPRISE was not a box-office smash, but has subsequently become a beloved fan favorite and international success around the world and gone onto new life on cable and DVD.
In so many ways, FREE ENTERPRISE was at the forefront of a cultural shift in part fueled by Edgar Wright's similarly themed comedies Spaced and Shaun of the Dead, the rise of Comic-Con, and smash success of genre movies and series including Lost, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Game of Thrones, The Avengers and even The Big Bang Theory.
Yep, all manner of things "geek" have gone global, but it's now time for our favorite form of pop-culture aficionado to have their own TV show made for and by them. Each episode will follow this tight-knit group of geeks who realize it's never too late not to grow up...
Now, to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of FREE ENTERPRISE, the original filmmakers are ready to revisit this realm by launching a new TV series based on their innovative indie movie and featuring a new cast, new characters and a stellar array of famous nerdlebrities that they will encounter in their travels. Retaining the wit, fun and genre savvy of the original film, the FREE ENTERPRISE TV series, will get you loving long and partying like it's 1999.
For more than a decade, fans have DEMANDED a sequel to FREE ENTERPRISE, so this is your chance to see the FREE ENTERPRISE universe return to screens… and ONLY YOU CAN MAKE IT SO!!!!
Our characters are going to be talking about the same things you’re talking about right now with your friends; what’s the new Star Wars movie going to be about, should do they do a new Star Trek series, what does God need with a starship? The only way to make this happen is if we all get together and make this happen. We can prove that geeks HAVE a life and have some fun doing it.
So let's not just KICK-start this sucker, let's KIRK-start FREE ENTERPRISE - THE TV SERIES. So if you're truly enterprising, this may just be a risk worth taking. Let's boldly go today because after all... wait for it... risk is OUR business!!!
PRAISE FOR THE ORIGINAL FREE ENTERPRISE MOVIE
FREE ENTERPRISE has been hailed as "fast, funny and inventive" by Variety and a "nifty romantic comedy" by The Los Angeles Times. The film earned raves around the globe, including the 1998 Sitges Film Festival in Spain, and "Best Feature Film" at the American Film Institute's Los Angeles Film Festival which also honored writers Mark A. Altman and Robert Meyer Burnett as "Best New Writers."
"A bright, clever romantic comedy" - The New York Times
"A very funny comedy that jubilantly celebrates geek culture… deftly combining the sensibilities of Swingers and Clerks" - US Magazine
"The best film Woody Allen and Kevin Smith never made" - Toronto Sun
"Swingers meets Play It Again, Sam. A very funny comedy about geeks in love, who never make a move without consulting their inner Kirk for guidance" - L.A. Weekly￼￼
THERE IS SANCTUARY!!!!
In addition, much like the crazy LOGAN'S RUN homage in FREE ENTERPRISE in which Mark imagines he's a Runner pursued by Rob's deadly Sandman, every episode of the series will feature tributes to classic genre masterpieces as well as bizarre dream sequences and mash-ups featuring state-of-the-art visual effects and some surprising detours into film and television classics and settings.
ASSEMBLING YOUR TEAM
There's a very accomplished, experienced away team of Hollywood professionals working behind the scenes, including the film's original writer/producer, MARK A. ALTMAN, who has been a producer on such established hit series as ABC's Castle and USA Network's Necessary Roughness, and the film's director, ROBERT MEYER BURNETT, who has produced such films as the spy comedy Agent Cody Banks and indie horror hit The Hills Run Red and is currently part of the team creating the incredible bonus materials for CBS/Paramount's Star Trek: The Next Generation Blu-ray special editions.
In addition, the pilot will be helmed by a brilliant comedy director and lifelong geek, DAVID ROGERS, who is a producer and director on The Mindy Project and, previously, The Office. He was also an editor on Seinfeld, so he knows a little something about nothing.
Other members of the creative team include writers STEVE KRIOZERE, who worked on N.C.I.S., Castle and V.I.P., and DAVID E. WILLIAMS, the editor-in-chief of GEEK Magazine (which was, in fact, inspired by FREE ENTERPRISE) and Executive Producer of Femme Fatales, as well as FREE ENTERPRISE's original executive producer (and groover!), MARK GOTTWALD,
It's no brag to say that the creative talent and experience behind the FREE ENTERPRISE TV pilot makes it unique in Kickstarter history, as it marks the first professional-level TV pilot project to seek crowdsourced financing.
And thanks to your support, Bartles, much like Frank Sinatra, we can do it OUR WAY without having financiers, network or studio executives dilute what made FREE ENTERPRISE so special… we can deliver a show that honors the spirit of the original movie and boldly goes… well, you get the idea.
The KICKSTARTER TEASER TRAILER is currently playing on this site. The OFFICIAL FREE ENTERPRISE TV PILOT TRAILER will debut at SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON on Friday, July 25th at 3:30 PM at the "FREE ENTERPRISE: 15th ANNIVERSARY REUNION" panel and begin streaming exclusively on this page Saturday.
To follow all the latest developments with FREE ENTERPRISE- THE TV SERIES, visit FREE ENTERPRISE - TELEVISION SERIES on Facebook and @freeenttvseries on Twitter. And don't forget to check this page often for additional surprises throughout the next few weeks as we countdown to the launch of FREE ENTERPRISE-THE TV SERIES.
Fore more about FREE ENTERPRISE - THE MOVIE and FREE ENTERPRISE - THE TV SERIES, check out this interview with creators Mark A. Altman and Robert Meyer Burnett at:
Have you checked out our latest reward for backers of FREE ENTERPRISE: THE TELEVISION SERIES? An ULTRA-RARE toy prototype from the feature film, FREE ENTERPRISE…
TREK TO MADWORLD (a/k/a LAS VEGAS)…
Come meet the FREE ENTERPRISE Kickstarter team at Creation's Las Vegas Star Trek show this weekend.
Creators Mark A. Altman, Robert Meyer Burnett and Producer David E. Williams will be attending and they'll also be making some cast announcements at the show as well.
Also, don't miss their panel tribute to 50 YEARS OF STAR TREK: FROM THE CAGE TO DARKNESS on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 PM in the DeForest Kelley Theater.
We would be honored if you would join us (hey, that's a Star Wars reference).
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge is distribution – FREE ENTERPRISE-THE TV SERIES does not have a network or cable broadcaster set... YET. As such, we are making a 30 minute pilot presentation to sell the idea for the series.
Even more exciting, if we reach out STRETCH GOAL, we will produce multiple episodes of the series for TV broadcast and future DVD release. And we can afford to put bigger stars, more locations and visual effects in the pilot!!!
Despite the fact that all those involved have EXTENSIVE experience in the television industry and can bring a pitch to any TV station or cable company, WE want to make this film the same way we made FREE ENTERPRISE - THE MOVIE, without a distributor or financier demanding we adapt it to fit their needs who don't really understand real geek culture.
Our goal is to produce the pilot presentation and shop it to major broadcasters, cable TV stations as a weekly television series: "The Big Bang Theory" meets "Curb Your Enthusiasm" or, as one person described it, "Entourage for geeks."
If you fund the project, we intend to start pre-production right away, tentatively shoot this fall subject to availability of talent and locations and finish the pilot in time to submit it to broadcasters immediately thereafter for next year's broadcast season.
Some of you may be wondering, what does this mean for the sequel feature film to FREE ENTERPRISE. The fact is the TV series compliments the events of the proposed sequel and the success of a TV series will only make a film that much more likely to happen in the future.
There's a very accomplished team behind the scenes including the film's original writer/producer, MARK A. ALTMAN, who has been a producer on such established series as CASTLE and NECESSARY ROUGHNESS, the film's director ROBERT MEYER BURNETT who has produced such films as AGENT CODY BANKS and THE HILLS RUN RED and is currently part of the team creating the amazing bonus materials for CBS/Paramount's STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION Blu-Ray editions.
In addition, the pilot will be directed by a brilliant TV comedy director and lifelong geek, DAVID ROGERS, who is a producer and director on THE MINDY PROJECT and previously THE OFFICE. He was also an editor on SEINFELD so he knows a little something about nothing. Not only that, the man owns K.I.T.T. - who might just make a cameo appearance in the series.
Other members of the creative team are writers STEVE KRIOZERE, who worked on N.C.I.S., CASTLE and V.I.P. and David E. Williams, the editor-in-chief of GEEK Magazine and Executive Producer of FEMME FATALES as well as FREE ENTERPRISE's original Executive Producer (and Groover!), MARK GOTTWALD,
For those of you who are attending an event or joining us on set, we will do our best to keep you in the loop on our schedule as well as progress-to-completion.
THE FINE PRINT
• For those of you visiting our set, we anticipate shooting in Fall 2014 in LOS ANGELES (this is stay-at-home production, we're not running away anywhere!). However, this has the potential to change. We will keep you updated so you can plan ahead to visit us.
• If you become an extra or receive a cast credit, you must be a US citizen or have a US work visa, and not be a member of SAG/AFTRA.
• You must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will count as your plus one) to attend the premiere or visit the set. Extras must also be over 18.
• Some rewards may require additional paperwork. If you are appearing in the film or have a character named after you, you will have to sign a release.
• All shooting locations are subject to change for a variety of reasons, including the amount of money we are able to raise and the particular locations giving us the right to shoot.
• This fundraising campaign is all subject to applicable Kickstarter rules/regulations, movie guild rules and applicable law. if any of this conflicts, we will work with you in good faith to give you a substitute reward.
To sum it up, creating a television series is a challenging experience. We start with a pilot script and assemble the best team possible, get insurance, and make contingency plans. It's impossible to guarantee everything will come together exactly as planned,
After all, it took TWO STAR TREK pilots to get THAT show on the air, but in the end, we will have created a TV show that hopefully all of us can be proud of.
CAN THAT BE ONE OF THEIR CREW? // Thanks for being a FREE ENTERPRISE supporter!! You'll get a thank you letter via email and an exclusive digital .jpg image from the set when filming begins to show our appreciation for helping to make it so...
NOT THE PRODUCTION DIARY OF LAURA PALMER// You're now a part of the FREE ENTERPRISE family, and we want to show you the process, from start to finish, warts and all! You will receive our Production Diary sent out during pre-production, production and post production. This will include a video memo from the stars (with cameos from the cast and crew) detailing the process of making the pilot. You'll also get casting and production news first, before anyone else. And, we'll email you a PDF of the "GEEKS (Pilot)" screenplay right before the series premieres.
STILL LIFE // Get an AUTHENTIC BLACK & WHITE STILL from the original press kit to FREE ENTERPRISE featuring Rafer Weigel, Eric McCormack and William Shatner autographed by Mark A. Altman and Robert Meyer Burnett. These super rare press photos are available in limited quantity and once they're gone, they're gone.
NOT AVAILABLE ON LASERDISC // Unfortunately, that's true. But you can get a secret code (no, not THX-1138) to stream the pilot on a private site to view the pilot on your television, tablet or phone in the privacy of your own home, office or battlestar. We're living in the future, so why not enjoy it?
YOU SPIN ME ROUND // Get a SUPER-RARE out of print copy of the original edition of FREE ENTERPRISE on DVD. Features audio commentary, deleted scenes, featurettes and much more. This long out-of-print DVD features the original theatrical cut of the film.
POSTER NO BILLS // Get an original FREE ENTERPRISE movie one sheet from the theatrical release of the film. These authentic movie posters are not replicas, but the actual movie posters sent to theaters. Available unsigned or autographed and personalized by Mark A. Altman and Robert Meyer Burnett. We'll even make them out to eBay if you want. These will be mailed rolled in a sturdy tube to protect the oversized movie poster suitable for framing and featuring the image of a martini glass in space with William Shatner, Eric McCormack and Audie England.
GET CARDED // Get an exclusive, limited edition FREE ENTERPRISE original trading card from the feature film. When they're gone, they're gone so get them today… (We can't promise which character you'll receive, all mailings will be at random. No requests please). You'll also get access to stream the pilot as well as the production diary.
FREE ENTERPRISE TV-SHIRT // You'll literally get the shirt off our backers. an exclusive "FREE ENTERPRISE - TV SERIES" crew shirt. We promise you, these won’t just be your average giveaway tee shirts, but a rare, limited edition T-shirt never to be reprinted exclusive to our Kickstarter backers. You'll also get your very own prefix code to stream the pilot on our Free Enterprise Backers Thank You Site and the Production Diary.
FILMMAKING MASTER CLASS // Sit down with director Dave Rogers, writers Mark A. Altman & Robert Meyer Burnett and producer David E. Williams along with some other special surprise guests and pick their brains about working in the industry, selling your scripts, directing and more. This once-in-a-lifetme workshop will be held in Los Angeles in the fall. Details to follow. You will be responsible for providing your own air fare and hotel if you live out of town. NOTE: The Master Class is not offered as part of any other package and is only available as part of this reward.
YOU MAY NOT MEET LINCOLN, BUT YOU CAN GET OUR JOHN HANCOCK // You'll get an AUTOGRAPHED SCRIPT of an actual teleplay used on set signed by the cast and crew of the series. You'll also get our exclusive T-shirt and our Production Diary.
DIRECTOR'S CHAIR BACK// A Director's Chair Back printed with the series logo, just like the ones we will use on set for the cast and crew. Often the director and stars of the film will keep this piece of their chair to remind them of making the show. Now you can too! Chair not included.
SIGNED "FREE ENTERPRISE - TV SERIES LITHOGRAPH// A lithograph print of an exclusive "Free Enterprise" TV series poster signed for you by the principal members of the cast. Once they're gone, they're gone... never to be reprinted.
You'll also get the production diary, T-shirt and autographed script.
ADVANCE SCREENING AND Q&A IN LOS ANGELES OF ORIGINAL "FREE ENTERPRISE" MOVIE & TV PILOT FOR YOU AND A GUEST // We will preview the final cut of the TV pilot as well as the original "FREE ENTERPRISE" motion picture just for you special backers before it’s released. After the screening, we'll have a live Q&A session. You will have to provide your own travel and accommodation in Los Angeles.
ADVANCE SCREENING AND Q&A IN NEW YORK OF ORIGINAL "FREE ENTERPRISE" MOVIE & TV PILOT FOR YOU AND A GUEST // We will preview the final cut of the TV pilot as well as the original "FREE ENTERPRISE" motion picture just for you special backers before it’s released. After the screening, we'll have a live Q&A session. You will have to provide your own travel and accommodation in New York (Brooklyn, technically).
GET A PIECE OF THE ACTION (FIGURES): Get an ULTRA-RARE BOMBER BILL Action Figure Prototype that was created for a FREE ENTERPRISE MOVIE toy line from EMCE Toys. This is 1 of 3 prototypes featuring Bomber Bill as seen in the film in the original packaging. Once they're gone, they're gone. Never to be duplicated so get yours now while helping to make FREE ENTERPRISE: THE TV SERIES so...
UP CLOSE & PERSONAL MEET AND GREET// This reward is for you and a date to spend some private time at a cast and crew reception for backers in Los Angeles. We will most likely drink a lot of tranya (if you're of age). Also included are two tickets to the "Free Enterprise" movie & TV pilot screening and Q&A. You'll have to provide your travel and accommodation in Los Angeles.
TWO TO BEAM DOWN (TO OUR SET) // Watch us film a scene, have lunch with the cast and crew, and take part in the movie making magic! Who knows, maybe you will make your own Hollywood cameo in our Production Diary! We'd like to film the pilot in Los Angeles this fall. You'll have to provide your own travel and accommodation.
WE'LL GIVE YOU YOUR PROPS //You will receive an actual AUTHENTIC FILM PROP used on the set of the TV pilot signed by cast and crew. You'll also get art prints, our exclusive T-shirt, our Production Diary and the script.
NAME OF THE GAME// Now you can name a character in the "Free Enterprise" universe yourself. A once in a lifetime opportunity. You'll also get art prints, our exclusive T-shirt, our Production Diary and the script. (Subject to name clearance by legal).
BE AN EXTRA FOR TWO// Spend the day on our set with a friend, and if you want, you can also be background actors. You will get to meet the actors working that day, and have lunch with the cast and crew. We can't guarantee you show up in the final cut. Production will take place in L.A. this fall. You will have to provide your own travel and accommodation in Los Angeles. You'll also get art prints, our exclusive T-shirt, our Production Diary and the script.
BE A FEATURED EXTRA// Spend the day on our set, and if you want, you can be a FEATURED background actor. You may even have a line, but you will definitely be prominently featured in the scene we're shooting. You will get to meet the actors working that day, and have lunch with the cast and crew. We can't guarantee you show up in the final cut. You will have to provide your own travel and accommodation in Los Angeles.
You'll also get art prints, our exclusive T-shirt, our Production Diary and the script.
ADMIRAL'S CIRCLE // You and a guest get to visit the set, meet the stars, get two V.I.P. tickets for the premiere (you're on the hook for airfare and accommodations, however) and an authentic prop from both the original FREE ENTERPRISE motion picture and the new TV pilot. You'll also get an autographed copy of the original movie DVD and one sheet!!!! Finally, you'll get to have dinner with the creators and members of the cast at a local Los Angeles restaurant and love long and party like never before. And, if you want, everyone will refer to you as Admiral while you're there too… and we will check on your progress too.