Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 12, 2013.

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The Big Idea is an experimental web series that uses mixed media to explore scientific variations on a theme.

The Big Idea is a fun, experimental web series that takes a theme and explores scientific and philosophical variations on that theme using a variety of different medias -- animations, interviews, recreations, experiments, etc. Think a science-only Sesame Street for an older crowd. With your help, the first season of The Big Idea will be a six-episode series, exploring the topics of: Extinction, Growth, Angles, Waves, Nourishment, and Genesis. 

Each episode uses many different ways to expand on its theme. In Extinction we begin with the true story of a botanist who discovered a strange plant in Chicago in 1912, only to have it go extinct four years later; later, we end with a song about the folly and fleeting status of human beings in the scale of geologic time. In Waves, we learn about things like lasers, tides, and sound. Nourishment spends time with dieticians and gastronomic chefs; while growth experiments with making rock candy and interviews a gardener. Genesis explores more traditional origin myths like Pandora's Box but also discusses what is going on in the hadron collider using a stop-motion animation.

But The Big Idea isn't just about the series itself; surrounding the six full episodes is lots more original video content -- behind-the-scenes looks, tidbits that didn't make the cut, and extended scenes. Not only this, but the twitter and Facebook page offer up links daily to more science information and fun facts.

This web series wouldn't be possible without a lot of awesome, talented people who are doing this because of a genuine love of the craft. It is because of them that we are not asking for ten times this amount. Let us at least buy them lunch and give them gas money.

Your donation will go towards various needs on the project -- mostly, the aforementioned gas and food money, as well as a small payment to the camera operator, equipment costs, and paying for your lovely rewards.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The biggest challenge is going to be finishing the series on time. Right now, it's like plucking puzzle pieces out of the air -- things are starting to gel, but still aren't quite there. Some pieces are completely finished while we haven't even found interviewees for others.
Since this is not a monetary project for anyone working on it, it will be a challenge to not let making money to pay the bills get in the way. Working around everyone's work schedules makes getting things done problematic.
But we're confident that if we make our Kickstarter goal it will be a huge boost and will help us pick up even more steam.

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    3 backers

    A plush hand-knitted test tube in a color of your choice and 1 of 17 sonnets written by Big Idea writer Rose Jermusyk and inspired by Star Trek: The Original Series.

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    2 backers

    Major props from us on the blog and Facebook page and a limited edition postcard with a hand-written thank you.

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    35 backers

    Everything above, plus a DVD copy of the first season of the Big Idea with eco-friendly packaging, an instagram miniprint from the set of The Big Idea, and a glow-in-the-dark button.

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    3 backers

    Everything above, plus a seed kit from interviewee Amy Fowler's business Mimi's Garden, a page of stickers with Big Idea episode icons, and a verbal thank you shoutout on the show.

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    Everything above plus a BEEP-IT, an electronic toy designed by Michael Una of Unatronics.

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    4 backers

    Everything above, plus a one-of-a-kind hand crafted vial necklace containing a scientific surprise and an original pen, ink, and watercolor scientific illustration.

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    8 backers

    Everything above, plus a handmade notebook made from repurposed science textbooks by the producer/director, Adora Wilson-Eye

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Everything above plus an intact vintage crystal-growing kit, similar to a one used in an experiment on The Big Idea!

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    Everything above plus a vintage, completely intact "Science of Magic Tricks" kit similar to one used in experiments on The Big Idea!

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    1 backer All gone!

    Everything above plus a vintage chemistry set from the 1950's with a still-working (!) microscope used on The Big Idea!

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    1 backer Limited (5 left of 6)

    Everything above plus a copy of the limited-edition screen-print Big Idea poster contest winner (displayed at Morton College in Chicago)

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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    Everything above plus a walk-in role on the show (transportation to Chicago up to you), an executive producer credit, and a special sweater of your design knitted for you by the producer and director, Adora Wilson-Eye

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Funding period

- (30 days)