Thanks to your incredibly generous support, we have hit the first "stretch goal" of $45,000! Incredible!! Thank you so much.
Now, with only days left in the campaign, we're pushing for $50,000, and if we hit it, we're proud to offer this additional reward to EVERYBODY who's pledged $20 or more:
Three NEVER BEFORE SEEN Jerome Bixby screenplays!
These are three unproduced scripts from Bixby's personal archives, selected by Emerson Bixby as some of the finest examples of his father's work. Included will be:
Jerome Bixby's The Man From Earth (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttzKqb1ydBw) was produced by Eric D. Wilkinson ("Paranormal Movie," "Sparks," "The Unwanted," "Mischief Night" and "Subterranea") and co-produced & directed by Richard Schenkman ("The Pompatus of Love," "Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God...Be Back by Five," A Diva's Christmas Carol," "Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies" and "Mischief Night").
It started out as a very small, completely independent, ultra-low budget film, but in the weeks before its release something happened. Somebody somewhere posted a copy online, and people all over the world started downloading and watching the film. What drew their interest? The sci-fi pedigree of the cast? The legendary writer whose last completed work it was? The simple but powerful concept of the story? We don't know, but within weeks tens of thousands of people had seen the film, and within months, millions. It has inspired countless discussions, arguments and repeat viewings. Some folks think it's a pile of crap, others proclaim it to be their favorite movie ever, like this guy:
Very Nice. So Why Are We Here?
Over the last few years people have approached us, requesting the rights to turn the piece into a play --- and indeed there have been productions of the theatrical adaptation all over the world (see: http://www.samuelfrench.com/p/2782/jerome-bixbys-the-man-from-earth). Others suggested we make a sequel, or a prequel, or even a TV series; in any case, they sought more chapters in the life of the lead character, John Oldman.
After much brainstorming, we came up with so many story ideas that we realized the best way to proceed would be not with a second movie, but with a series that would honor the tone, content and ideas of the original film while telling bold new tales. We're thrilled to be able to turn directly to the film's fans to help fund the pilot episode, which once again challenges long-held beliefs in a dramatic and compelling fashion.
When our pilot episode begins, it’s seven years since the events shown in “Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth” and John Oldman now calls himself John Young. No longer with Sandy, he’s contentedly teaching at a small college when a group of devoted students seem to stumble onto his secret. Taking no chances, John prepares to leave the school but his plans go awry and he finds himself in a crisis.
We also learn that Art Jenkins wrote a book about the fateful night when John told his friends the truth of his existence. Insisting that it was a not a novel but a true story, Art was discredited and has grown bitter and resentful, anxious to once again confront John, if he could only find him. And thanks to Art’s book, there are other people who want to know more about this mysterious “immortal.”
Soon John finds himself in the heart of a terrible conflict between what he knows to be right, and the limits of any man's humanity.
John has spent so many years… centuries… with his head kept down, keeping his profile low while teaching students and helping people when he could. But what if the changes in recent years have made that more difficult, even impossible?
Where could John go to hide? In a world where security cameras and social media track our every move, how do you remain unseen, especially when there are people looking for you? How do you continue to teach, to help… to do the things which are essential to your humanity?
How does a man who values privacy above all deal with the loss of his anonymity?
And beyond that -- what if the changes to the Earth have taken an unexpected toll? What if, after fourteen thousand years, John Oldman is... aging?
What's the Plan?
It is our intention to begin pre-production in September of this year, and start shooting in December, most likely in the Los Angeles area. Ultimately, we hope to present the finished program to the world by summer, 2015.
As for distribution, there are several possibilities. One is that we license the series to an established entertainment service like Netflix or Amazon… another is that we license the show to a cable channel like SyFy… and yet another might be a more experimental route, using an online pay-to-view service like Vimeo or Vodo… and there are many more possibilities beyond. But first, we need a pilot episode.
It's Kickstarter. What about the Rewards?We want everybody who loved the original film to be able to participate in this project. Therefore, the primary, basic reward is simply the opportunity to follow us on the adventure of making the show, to be among the very first people to see it, and to join us for a discussion following the online world premiere.
Finally, a note about our goal:
As stated in the video at the top of this page, we already have a portion of the production budget secured. Our stated goal for this campaign is the number of dollars that will bring us to the bare minimum total amount needed to create the show.
But if we beat the current goal and raise $50,000 or even more, it will be enormously helpful. As any cinephile knows, when it comes to film & TV production, time is money. With more time to prep and shoot, plus more time in post-production to hone the sound, enhance the look and enrich the music, we will simply have a better show. And if this campaign is wildly successful, we could even consider shooting a second episode right away.
Speaking of which -- it's time announce a STRETCH GOAL:
If we hit $45,000, EVERY supporter who has pledged $29 or more will ALSO receive a .pdf of the shooting script for the original film "Jerome Bixby's The Man From Earth" AS WELL AS an .mp3 download of the COMPLETE SOUNDTRACK to that motion picture.
And what happens if we hit $50,000? Wait and see.... Or better yet:
Please dig deep and, more importantly, spread the word! This is a central truth to ANY Kickstarter campaign: your help writing, posting, calling, tweeting, texting and chatting about this endeavor is at least as important as your financial pledge. We literally cannot do it without you. The fact is that if only a tiny fraction of the millions of people who have seen Jerome Bixby's The Man From Earth donated a mere $5 to this campaign, we'd be funded several times over!
Thank you for taking a look at this campaign, and thank you for your support of The Man From Earth: The Series!
Risks and challenges
We are endeavoring to independently make a low-budget TV pilot, and of course there are risks inherent in such an undertaking. But we -- the filmmakers -- have between us a strong track record of completing and releasing our projects. While we may face delays, setbacks or disappointments over the course of prepping, shooting and completing this show, we are confident that at the end of the day, we will have a challenging and entertaining program that will be worthy successor to Jerome Bixby's The Man From Earth.
But, what if it all goes wrong and despite succeeding at this stage of the plan we somehow fail to complete the program? In that highly unlikely event, each backer of this campaign ($33 & up) will receive a bound, signed, numbered copy of the final shooting script STRICTLY LIMITED to the number of backers. (Obviously those backers whose perks include the mini-posters or “MFE” screeners would receive those items as well). It is our hope that this exceedingly rare collectible screenplay would serve as some compensation for the disappointment we would all feel.
But we are very, very confident that it won’t come to that sad turn of events because we can produce the show very inexpensively, and if the campaign succeeds at even its minimum level, we’ll have the funds we need.
Having said all that… if you are an investor interested in joining the project in a more significant fashion – investing $10,000 or more – please contact us directly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)