Hi Y'all, Harry here.
Last year we took our first steps towards taking the Ain’t It Cool community from the Internet to the studio and beyond with the web series "Ain't It Cool with Harry Knowles." We learned a great deal creating this show under the umbrella of the Nerdist channel and are eager to take Season 2 totally indie, reaching into the uncharted territory of a live audience, indie story worlds, reconnecting with veteran filmmakers and getting to know upstart filmmakers alike! Going totally indie frees us up to try all kinds of new and crazy things! It also means that funding is totally on our backs and that is why we are coming to you. With an incredible studio space, a dedicated crew and an unparalled lineup of guests, along with other major surprises, we just need the extra support and collaboration of our very own Ain’t It Cool with Harry Knowles, "Filmgeekdom," to make this all a reality!
What's in Store For Season 2
The Full Monty begins with securing the studio rental for a full year in order to hang onto the magical basement set that we built in Season 1, and also expand it to accommodate... YOU! And you. And you too!!! Yeah, a live audience for the first time! While our brilliant art crew is working on the improvements, our dedicated tech crew will be working on the first Season 2 episodes featuring incredible interviews we already have in the can: Wes Craven, Danny Boyle, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Campbell, Fede Alvarez, Jane Levy and Tony Danza! All of these are awaiting liberation at your very hands!
As with Season 1, Season 2 episodes will be available for viewing as soon as they are completed, delivered to you via the Ain't It Cool News website for your immediate enjoyment, dissection, refutation, discussion, etc. Like a present that keeps multiplying, Season 2 will continue to unfold with an ever expanding slate of guests as we take advantage of the incredible access that Austin provides, from Fantastic Fest to the Austin Film Festival to Butt-Numb-A-Thon to SXSW 2014 and some really cool events that I'll be throwing in between... just too much awesomenessssssss!!! So we'll need your help prioritizing. All of this and much, much more will be fully realized when we meet our minimum Kickstarter goal of $100,000.
Beyond The Basic 100K Goal
Reaching the Kickstarter 100K goal is just the beginning! Every single dollar raised beyond our initial goal expands the possibilities and delivers goodies galore!!! But we are going past vague promises of greatness here. Here is how it will unfold:
150K Let's Bring In The Team
Here is where we can really begin to play. Hitting the 150K mark will fund additional episodes featuring our spectacular website columnists like John Ary, Eric "Quint" Vespe, Glen "Merrick" Oliver and more, more, more! We will dig into the glorious insights and secrets hiding out in the darkest reaches of their brains, and include live talk back with the studio audience; all within a new set built especially for this level of interaction, a true, "Cinematic Playground" if you will. It will be wild, uncharted, unmanageable and not to be missed!
200K Beyond The Studio
Hitting the 200K mark will fund an additional batch of episodes that feature people who just can't get down to the Austin studio; so the crew will go to them! We have so many opportunities in this category that that it could develop into a feeding frenzy! So we'll be using your feedback via Twitter polls to sort through them and prioritize. We plan to go wherever this takes us!
250K AIC Special Event Episodes
Hitting the 250K mark will allow us to expand the reach of the Ain't It Cool with Harry Knowles studio to create a special event with the Alamo Drafthouse and the Austin Film Society that I have long dreamed about doing: a large capacity, affordable classic movie event that includes the actors, filmmakers and craftspeople who made it happen. The resulting live interviews, footage of the events and the in-studio interviews would be integrated into an extended length bonus episode that fully explores this great talent!
300k The Big Enchilada Meets Crepes
Dreaming big comes naturally to me, especially when it involves what I can do to please our Ain't It Cool community. With another 50K, we'd take our homemade green chili enchiladas to Cannes, or Sundance or Toronto or SITGES or ComicCon, exact festival to be determined by YOU by TwitPoll, and capture those moments of insight and pre-news-break scuttle on what's coming for the coming year. Even at 50k, it won't buy us any yacht time, but hey, we've got the best enchiladas! Plus, we're resourceful... The people who matter to us most will respect that! From this we will create one or more bonus episodes and make them available to the entire community before anyone else gets to see them! But you won't have to wait that long to reap the benefits as we will be sending out enough live time updates, clips, mini videos and pics to make you feel like you are right there with us!
What Happens If We Go All Veronica Mars?
Uhhhhhh... I guess we'll throw one hell of a wrap party!
And then let's aim for the moon!!! Instead of being limited by impossibly small budgets that have us perpetually robbing Peter to pay Paul, the realm of a serious 300K+ budget would put us in the position of acquiring a multiple year lease and customizing the studio as a full on production hive for our own projects and many others! With a permanent studio home, we could go far: help foster new filmmakers, help other kickstarter projects take off and teach multiple generations about the breadth and scope of cinematic cool! I would really love to help continue to make Austin shine for film events; the more resources that come together, the bigger and better this whole cool thing is gonna get! For example, hiring additional crew and studio help and growing the talent pool for gonzo cinema journalism and imagination. Plus, including other collectors with film history in their possession to join us and give magical life to those objects!
The Martini Shot
My crew and I want to thank all of you for being a part of our crazy dream at whatever level you can handle. We know firsthand how much dedication and sacrifice it takes to support a career in the arts and recognize that most of you have your own projects for which you are also pursuing funding. We have bootstrapped it, paid it forward and dumpster-dived with the best of you and we hope that you will see the potential for the Ain't It Cool with Harry Knowles studio and show to serve all of us who so passionately believe in the transformative power of storytelling though the film arts!
Risks and challenges
Risks? Challenges? For those of us who have spent years as a part of the Ain't It Cool News community, this is a no brainer. Me, my director Brett Hart, my production designer Suzette Soucie and my entire crew are on board for Season 2. We completed 30, yes 30 episodes for Season 1 in 7 months, using a format we invented on the spot. This inaugural season earned us an International Academy of Web Television nomination, accolades from film luminaries such as William Friedkin, and best of all, the delight of our fans.
Even with the new features we're including for Season 2, delivery is a sure thing. And to keep the guest lineup filled with multiple options for this season and beyond, we have brought on casting director Jaime Gallagher, incredibly well connected in Los Angeles and currently casting the next Coatwolf Productions feature film.
For those of you who are new to our little party, you are in for a wild ride with the Ain't It Cool News community. I founded Ain't It Cool News in 1996 and worked tirelessly to grow it into the film fandom powerhouse of today. Our community is made up of the most passionate fans of the art of film based storytelling, and I usually feel like the most enthusiastic one of all. Between myself and my co-writers at Ain't It Cool News, we view, review, analyze, and discuss more films than we can count. And then we do it again! We care about film history, film futures, the indie industry, the studio industry, the stories behind the movies, the stories behind the stories! And so do the almost 1 million visitors who are on our site daily. If you have ever loved a film, hated a film, wanted to make a film, or are a filmmaker already, then you are one of us. And there is nothing we can't do together.
Keep It Cool,
Harry and the Crew
- (30 days)