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What do Henchmen (like Oddjob or Jaws) do in their day-to-day lives? Find out in this comedy webseries! Read more

Livermore, CA Webseries
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This project was successfully funded on February 1, 2014.

What do Henchmen (like Oddjob or Jaws) do in their day-to-day lives? Find out in this comedy webseries!

Livermore, CA Webseries
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About this project

UPDATE: 12 hours remaining, closing in on our first stretch goal, who will be our 50th backer!?  Who wants to find out what Hammerhead Johnson has been up to in the past?  I know I do! Also be sure to check out the ADD-ON deals below!

LAST 4 DAYS ONLY - Help us reach our Stretch Goals: 

Pledge ADD-ONs:  

For $15 you may add a previous Way Up There Production DVD (Obsession, or Zombie My Heart) to your pledge tier.  

For $30 you may add both previous Way up There Productions DVDs (Obsession & Zombie My Heart) to your pledge tier. Add $15 for each DVD beyond, cannot exceed 8.

Example: You pledge the Henchmen DVD ($25), but you pledge $40 and specify via a Kickstarter message which bonus DVD you want.

UPDATE: Only three days into the kickstarter, and we've managed to raise 80% of our goal! This is largely due to the generous contribution of Ben White Fang Frasier, who we are delighted to announce as Henchmen's Executive Producer. Ben, you're awesome, and our project is going to benefit immensely by your involvement. Since we've still got 13 days to go and we're well on-track to meet our fundraising goal, it's time to announce some stretch goals. We'll be using the additional funding to buy better filming equipment, props/costumes, editing software, festival entries, and actual pay for the actors (!), below is what you, our lovely backers, receive if we go over our goal. All rewards are cumulative. 


$4,000- Mini-episode: Hammerhead Johnson. John is the star of Henchmen, but who is this enigmatic man? This flashback episode will reveal a critical moment in John's past.

$5,000- Mini-episode: Clair. Clair is a rookie Hench, just learning the ropes, but is she really all that innocent? Find out in this flashback episode. 

$6,000- Episode: The Villains. We spend a lot of time with Henchmen, but this full-length episode will delve into the lives of their bosses.

$8,000- Every backer who is already having a reward shipped to them (ie. anyone who has given at least $25) will additionally receive "So You Want to Be a Henchman," an instructional booklet on entering the Henchman business.

$10,000- In the original script for Episode 2, one of the characters lights a car on fire. We have cut that scene. At $10,000, we'll put it back in. 


And since we're talking about all of these characters, it is high time we introduce our lovely cast:

John-- Peter Townley

Clair-- Nicolina Akraboff

Pike-- Adam Thayer

Wick-- Josh Gates

Jerry-- Michael O'Brien

A big thank you to everyone who has given us their support, and a preemptive thank you to all our future backers!


What is Henchmen? 

Ever watch a James Bond movie and wonder about what Oddjob or Jaws do in their day-to-day lives? Henchmen seeks to answer that question by telling the story of Hammerhead Johnson (John), an unemployed henchman trying to make ends meet. As we watch him attempt to find a new employer with the help of Clair, a wet-behind-the-ears henchman-in-training, we learn more about the behind-the-scenes workings of the high-octane world of heroes and villains in which they live.

Henchmen is a planned, multi-season comedy webseries which will air on youtube and its own website. The first season consists of three 10+ minute episodes (as well as the above promo video)-- further seasons are contingent upon the success of the first season and of this kickstarter.

The Producer and Showrunner talk about Henchmen:  

's video poster
Treg Van Dyke (Producer)

Treg Van Dyke, first drawn to the arts at age seven playing Jack in a stage production of Jack in the Beanstalk, graduated from Las Positas College in 2011 with an AA degree in Theatre Arts. He recently stage managed the world premiere of One White Crow, at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica.

Treg’s love for theatre and performing arts led to a love and passion for film. He founded a film company, Way Up There Productions on June 14, 2011, where he oversaw funding, software donations, and production of their first short film, Obsession (2012). He is currently in post-production for their next film Zombie My Heart and pre-production for their first webseries Henchmen.

Treg has stage managed (Holiday Celebrations Around the World - for the city of Pleasanton, Anne of Green GablesYearbook, The Crucible, and Happy Daze - for Dublin Theater Company), and assistant stage managed (Much Ado About NothingThe Cherry Orchard - at Las Positas College). He has also written/directed two one act plays (Poland’s Last Stand, Zombie Apocalypse). He has worked backstage for the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center at the Bankhead Theatre, and for the city of Pleasanton at the Amador Theatre and Firehouse Arts Center. He has been a part of hundreds of live theatre productions.

Sam Tillis (Showrunner)

Sam Tillis is an actor/writer/director of works for stage and screen, operating out of Oakland, CA. Having graduated from UC San Diego with degrees in Theatre and Political Science, Sam has held a bewildering array of day jobs to feed his theatre/film habit: from canvassing to tutoring to copy editing to online database maintenance. 

Recent theatre work includes readings at the San Francisco Olympians festival, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (Vasques), and roles in all three plays of Tom Stoppard's Coast of Utopia trilogy. Film credits include writing and directing Way Up There Productions' Obsession, acting in Zombie My Heart, and student- and industrial- film work around the Bay Area.

What is Way Up There Productions?

Way Up There Productions is a film production company founded on June 14, 2011 by a group primarily consisting of college students, each with different backgrounds all relating to various aspects of filmmaking. Our first major project was Obsession (2012). We raised $1285 (minus fees) of the budget on Kickstarter and with the addition of external funding the final budget of Obsession came to $2111.04.  Our second major project, Zombie My Heart (2014) is nearing the end of post production.  We raised $1447 (minus fees) of the budget on Kickstarter and with the addition of external funding the final budget of Zombie My Heart came to $1877.98.  Henchmen is our third major project.  It has the longest running time and is our most extensive project to date.  We have returned to kickstarter to raise money to fund this third endeavor. 

You can view our first Kickstarter here: 

You can view the final film below:

You can view our second Kickstarter here:

How does funding work?

Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform used to raise money for creative projects. This means that if our minimum goal ($3000) is not met then no one's credit card is charged and we receive no money. However we CAN exceed our goal, so even if we've made our goal and you want to fund us, please do! Keep in mind we don't receive all of the money, applies a 5% fee to the funds of a successful project and Amazon payments takes 3%-5% of each donation for running all the credit cards. 

What will the funds be used for? 

 Our minimum barebones budget is $3000 which is enough to cover the essentials. The initial goal is more then our last film, however, broken down it is only $1000 per episode and with three episodes this project is three times larger then our last.  Our first film's goal ($750) was exceeded and $1285 was pledged. Our second film's goal ($1200) was exceeded and $1447 was pledged.  We have a great camera from our first Kickstarter project - Obsession, however we still need a matte box and french flags (controls light into the camera), which ended up being cut from the Zombie My Heart budget. We also plan to purchase our own field recorder (lucky enough to borrow one for Zombie), a dead cat (covers mic for outside), and more to improve the overall sound quality. Lastly we will use the funds to purchase COSTUMES - to bring the villains and henchmen to life, props - weapons, and other things, and more to bring you the look and feel of Henchmen!

Barebones Budget ($3000)

Sound Dept (field recorder/dead cat) - $350 

Camera Dept (matte box/rail system/french flag) - $400

Lighting Dept (tota light/accessories/sandbags/gaff) - $350

Costumes (Villain/Henchmen) - $250

Props (weapons, etc)/Set Dressings - $100

Make-up - $50

Insurance - $500

Craft Services - $750 (approx 9-12 day shoot, possibly more)

Miscellaneous - $250


Total - $3000

However if we exceed that goal we have several stretch goals and will add the following to our budget: Pay for the actors, film festival entry expenses, better meals for all, and anything else to further increase the quality of this thrilling webseries. Stay tuned as the Kickstarter progresses: we'll post the stretch goals when the time is right!

How can I help? 

DONATE! To donate click the "Back This Project" button. As an incentive, products made for this project will be available as rewards. If you glance to your right you will see the rewards column. We have 11 reward tiers this time around, compared to 12 rewards tiers for our last project, and 5 reward tiers for our first project. If it helps, you can think of donating as placing a pre-order for the product once it is completed.

Risks and challenges

The risks and challenges of creating this webseries may include:

- Possible delays in the shoot dates due to cast/crew availability, no one is getting paid so we need to be flexible with our shoot dates.

- Weather is a factor, a few scenes are shot outdoors and in a car, hopefully it rains soon, but not while we're shooting in Feb/March!

- Quality, as with our other two projects if something just isn't working, we will take the time needed to correct it.

If our project is funded we will overcome all of these to bring you a great final product - Henchmen Season 1.

With our first project (Obsession) there were several delays.
The project funded on October 22, 2011 and we ordered equipment, costumes, etc shortly thereafter. We had planned to shoot in November, but due to avalability changes and unforeseen equipment problems we had to delay shooting. A timely donation of $500 allowed us to resolve the equipment issues and shoot dates were revised to February 17 & 19, 2012. We did not receive our editing software until April, so post production did not truly begin until that time. The film was released on youtube on December 15, 2012 after 8 months of post production work. An additional 6 months was needed to format DVDs and all other rewards because our post production editing/formatting team consisted of one highly skilled individual.

Funding for our second project (Zombie My Heart) completed on July 19, 2013 and shooting began on August 16, 2013. The shoot wrapped on August 31, 2013 and post production began. Our editor has completed editing and is tweaking the credit/opening sequences so that he can send it off to the composer and our sound guy. He will then move onto color correcting the film while the rest of us move into Principal Photography of Henchmen.

For this project we already have a workflow after overcoming several risks and challenges during our first project and as post-production continues with our small team while the rest of up gear up for Henchmen. We already own a camera, basic sound equipment, and editing software. For our first project, Obsession, from Kickstarter funding (End of Oct 2011) to mailing rewards (July 1, 2013) it took approximately 20 months, however because of that experience, our second project, Zombie My Heart, is looking at a early 2014 youtube release 8 months after being funded, followed by the mailing of rewards a couple months later.

In closing, yes we may have some risks and challenges to overcome, but we will overcome them like we did in our first project and currently are in our second project. The webseries may get delayed, post production may take longer than intended, but we will persevere. From end of funding to mailing of rewards, we anticipate less than 11 months, with youtube release, and reward fulfillment both being in 2014.

Thank you,

The Henchmen Team
Way Up There Productions

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    MOOK - Special thanks on the film's facebook page (your name or company name).

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    MINION - Special thanks in the credits (your name or company name) as well as the above rewards.

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    ROOKIE HENCHMAN - DVD containing the first three episodes and special features, as well as the above rewards.

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    HENCHMAN - Legitimate Enterprises employee catalog (as seen in the promo video), as well as the above rewards.

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    FIRST-TIME VILLAIN - Promotional Henchmen poster (signed by the cast at your option) and all the above rewards.

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    VILLAIN - Shooting script signed by the cast, screenwriter, and director, as well as the above rewards.

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    RISING VILLAIN - As Villain, but the shooting script comes annotated with notes from the director and screenwriter. See into the minds of Henchmen's creative team!

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    SUPERVILLAIN - DVD copies and shooting scripts for the first three seasons of Henchmen, including exclusive content, as well as all the above rewards.

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    CRIMINAL MASTERMIND - Name and design a Villain, Henchman, Sidekick, or Interpol Agent and we'll include them in the show! If you're local (SF Bay Area), join us on the set as a VIP. And, of course, all of the above rewards.

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    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER - You get the credit of Associate Producer and, if you're local, a walk-on role in an episode. Includes all of the above rewards (except those which are limited).

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    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - You get your own title in the credits as Executive Producer, a walk-on role if you're local, and our undying gratitude. Also, as always, all of the above rewards (except those which are limited).

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Funding period

- (18 days)