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$1,531 pledged of $8,000 goal
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$1,531 pledged of $8,000 goal
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About this project

(10.25.12 - FIRE SALE!!!  It's down to the wire for us, and we really need to make our goal. With that in mind, we've slashed several of our giving levels IN HALF.  Take another look and see if you can afford Robocop now.  We also added a couple of awesome "Dinner With Debbie" options so you can enjoy a meal with the woman herself!)

(10.23.12 - Closing in on the final week, and we need your help more than ever!  So, we added some new incentives! Check out the $300, $3000, $4000, and $4500 levels. If Robocop and movie props aren't your thing, we've now added go-karting, live music, songwriting, and ghost hunting in Louisiana to the list! Check it out and help if you can!) 

(10.13.12 - Added the "Shootin' With Chuck" incentive level. Check it out! More incentives to be added over the wkend as we finalize them.)

(10.12.12 - LATER: We hit the "three backers by Saturday" goal, so new incentives are going up ASAP. Likely around the $150-$300 level. Check back soon.  In the meantime, please retweet, repost, spread the word...help us break $1000! Thanks!)

(10.12.12: Thanks to those that have given so far. If we can get just ONE MORE BACKER (at any level) by Saturday, we will unlock a couple more incentives, one of which involves shooting things! With guns. )

(10.02.12 PRE-LAUNCH EDIT: Sorry for being kinda one note in the video - I'm currently fighting off some strain of sickness. Today I barely have a voice at all.  Not trying to play the sympathy card...unless that totally works for you, in which case, [cough] HELP US OUT! [cough] :) )

Hey everyone, Mel House, creator/writer of Placeholders here.  For those that don't know, Placeholders is a webseries that I created last year to get a few folks SAG eligible (including my wife Melanie).  We accomplished that mission, but along the way we had so much fun doing the series that we're itching to do more.  We've also developed a veritable legion of fans that are eager to watch more.  More crazy Channel 19 antics, more guest directors, more Faceless Bob, more of Carla's strange disorder (yes, there's another one, but I digress).

You can check out Season 1 at this link if you need to play a little catch-up.  It's okay, we'll wait. :)

We'd love to continue on with Season 2, and I've written out most of the season already.  Trust me, if you thought Season 1 was nutty...wait until you see the giant Cornelius Pinata.  Seriously.

At any rate, due to the nature/purpose of the first season of the show, it was self-financed (with a little help from a couple friends).  Unfortunately, continuing on in that manner isn't exactly the best idea (especially since we have a daughter in the Upstart Headquarters now).  There's been interest from a few distributors/outlets for the series thus far, but it's not quite at the point where we can realistically fully fund a whole new season of the show - as before with S1, we'd like to pay and feed everyone, and get insurance, and rent locations...you know, like a real production.  Last time around it cost us about $7500 all told (cast salaries, food, expendables, insurance, location fees) and the extra dough on top this time around is for the projected longer shoot schedule, the longer commitment needed from Debbie Rochon (flying her in a couple of times from Canada), and location rental for a couple of larger setpieces.  If we go above and beyond the goal, we'll pay the cast and crew more.  Or have steak night a couple times.  Or rent a dunk tank and put Reverend Bart in it.  Who knows?*

(*If we double our goal, I'll totally write in a 4-way makeout scene between Stephanie, Carla, Emma, and Dark Karen.)

Seriously, any and all support is appreciated.  Placeholders has kind of become a "sleeper hit" for us over at Upstart, and we'd love to continue the momentum...with your help.  Dig deep, and help us continue to bring the funny.  We've got a lot of cool incentives available - several of which are from my own personal collection.  I'm willing to let them go in the name of Placeholders, so obviously continuing our crazy webseries means a lot to me...and the rest of the cast as well.  Maybe I need to check and see if they have any Robocop suits to auction off.

Some of the swag we're offering up.
Some of the swag we're offering up.

Basically, with other films happening, and the arrival of our baby Regan, we can't really come out of pocket to make further Placeholders episodes right now. It was a project created with very minimal ROI built in...but that's slowly turning into a different situation. There are parties interested in taking it to the next level - IF we can get another few episodes under our belt. As stated above however, we need a little extra push to cross that gap and make the Placeholders Pinocchio into a real boy. Any indie filmmaker that's been in the trenches knows that getting a distrib to pay you upfront to make a project is a rarity...until you build some sort of name leverage, you need to bring a finished product to the table, wrapped in a bow. The main challenge with ANY webseries is making money, and fortunately, in this case, we see a light at the end of that particular tunnel...we just need to make more episodes in the meantime, and while we're all still passionate and fired up about it. And before Bart dies in some horrible autoerotic asphyxiation "accident".

Risks and challenges

The main challenge once we get started will be scheduling and production of the series - with the aforementioned new addition to our family, and a great deal of our Placeholders thesps being theatre actors with holiday show commitments, it will be an interesting balancing act to get things figured out to shoot. However, we've already made tentative plans and workarounds (much like last year with the first few episodes) so it looks like we should be able to get things done.

Another challenge that presented itself was the loss of our original Channel 19 shooting location - however, we have procured a new location, and the fees for its use and insurance have been worked into the minimum funding goal here.

Fortunately, everything else is in House...literally, as we handle all the pre and post production at Upstart HQ, so the buck stops with yours truly. As long as we maintain a reasonable production schedule, it should be no problem to stay on top of the series. Additionally, since we are creating these next episodes with alternative distribution in mind, we don't have to stick to as hectic of a schedule as before (meaning we turn them all in when we are done with the whole run of Season 2).

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Channel 19 Producer - Every little bit helps, and we appreciate it. Backers at this level get special thanks in the end credit roll of the series, and a 11x17 poster signed by the main PLACEHOLDERS cast!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Channel 19 Series Producer - at this level, you get all the perks of the regular producer level PLUS an official pre-release of the PLACEHOLDERS Season One DVD, which contains all the episodes from Season One, commentary, extra material, and never before seen additional material INCLUDING some "unaired" episodes.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Channel 19 Equipment Manager - at this level you get all the perks of the previous two levels (special thanks, poster, S1 DVD)...PLUS an invite to the (now annual) PLACEHOLDERS Paintball and/or Laser Tag Party. And...what the hell, a t-shirt, too.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    SHOOTIN' WITH CHUCK - Placeholders cast member Rev. Bart Stewart (aka "Chuck") has agreed to take a few lucky folks on a shooting range day trip. This guy knows his guns (surprise surprise) so I'm betting he'll be bringing more than a few along for you to use. He may even take requests. Bart actually took fellow cast member Melanie from semi-novice to cool headed sniper in one day...perhaps he can do the same for you. At any rate, what a perfect anger management technique...and a way to up your chances of surviving the zombie apocalypse. Also includes incentives of previous levels.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    KILLER CLOWN SHARK FODDER - Give at this level, get all the perks of the previous levels (special thanks, poster, S1 DVD, Paintball and/or Laser Tag Party invite...PLUS get a on-camera speaking role in the Season 2 episode that revolves all around the sequel to Stephanie Stone's biggest film to date: KILLER CLOWN SHARK, TOO! You've seen the sharks get smarter, watch and participate as we make ours dumber.

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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    JEFF'S NIGHT OF BLACK FABULOUSNESS - we added this one to even out Chuck and the guns. Spend a night out in Austin with William Basinger (aka Jeff) as he takes you on a fabulous journey of fabulousness. Here's the kicker: said fabulousness begins with a private screening of FADE TO BLACK, the rarely seen first feature from Upstart Filmworks! FTB features William, Cesar, and a few more Placeholders folks. We kinda would like to bury it, but everyone's gotta start somewhere, right? Have a fabulous time!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    GET DRUNK AND RIDE GO-KARTS WITH ALLEN AND STEVE (not necessarily in that order, please don't sue us). PH cast members and ne'er-do-wells Bobby Haworth and Tommy Bo will take you Karting and then barhopping. Chances of other PH cast showing up: relatively high. This will likely all find it's way into a Season 2 episode. (Includes all $100 and below perks too)

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    FIRE SALE! DINNER WITH D-RO: TEXAS EDITION - if you are in or near Texas and can get here under your own power, you can have dinner with Debbie Rochon when she's here to shoot Season 2! Includes all non-limited perks from the $500 and lower levels. If your tastes lean more towards the Big Apple, check out our top reward.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    DARK KAREN WRITES YOU UP - Pledge $350 or more, and Shawna Rencher, aka "Karen/Dark Karen" will immortalize you in literature...as an immortal blood sucker. Previously published as a
    short story ('What Are Friends For?') in the literary journal, 'Garbanzo,' and now being written as a full-length book, this dark comedy wants your blood. You'll be written into the adventures of Tommy and Brian, a couple of sarcastic punkers turned contract vampire slayers, with some memorable lines AND fangs! Kickass head tats (a la Blade) not included.

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    Pledge $425 or more About $425

    FIRE SALE! Channel 19 Community Outreach Coordinator - at this level you get all the non-limited perks of the previous levels (special thanks, poster, S1 DVD, Paintball/Laser Tag Party, TV show segment)...PLUS you get ONE of the only THREE remaining original killer doll props we have left from PSYCHIC EXPERIMENT. There's been quite a demand for these evil little bastards, so here's how you can get one and help us out at the same time. For info on how to score the third doll, scroll down...

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Channel 19 Administrator - at this level you get all the perks of the previous levels (special thanks, poster, S1 DVD, Paintball/Laser Tag Party)...PLUS we will shoot a segment of your own "talk show format" public access show that YOU (or someone of your choosing) will host and include it in an episode of PLACEHOLDERS!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    FIRE SALE! The Melted Head Show - Here's where it gets kinda nutty. At this level, not only do you get the non-limited swag of all the $500 or lower levels BUT ALSO a one of a kind piece from one of our feature films. This one of a kind piece (Freese's Melty Head) was sculpted by Oddtopsy FX, for
    use in the Lionsgate release PSYCHIC EXPERIMENT (written/directed by Mel House).
    It was intended as an alternate head stage for the "Freese Death" scene, but
    was unseen in the final cut of the film. Check the pic at left for an image of the piece.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    FIRE SALE! The Mutated Gearshift & Doll Show - At this level, not only do you get the non-limited swag of all the $500 or lower levels BUT ALSO TWO different one of a kind pieces from one of our feature films. The first one of a kind piece (Mutated Gearshift) was sculpted by Oddtopsy FX, for
    use in the Lionsgate release PSYCHIC EXPERIMENT (written/directed by Mel House). This prop molests Reggie Bannister in the film during one of his hallucinatory "episodes". IN ADDITION, you get one of the creepy dolls featured in the "doll scene" of the film. If you've seen it, you know which one I'm talking about. There are only 3 of the screen used dolls left...and you get one. Badass, right? If that's not enough, you also get Reggie's screen worn outfit from the film. All of it mounted and displayed all nice for you. Check the pic at left for an image of the piece.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    FIRE SALE HARDER! The Melted Breanna and Amplifier Show - At this level, not only do you get the non-limited swag of all the $500 or lower levels, and a Co-Producer credit on the series, BUT ALSO SEVERAL different one of a kind pieces from one of our feature films. The first one of a kind piece (Melted Breanna) was sculpted by Oddtopsy FX, for use in the Lionsgate release PSYCHIC EXPERIMENT (written/directed by Mel House) and can be seen during the "William's House" scene, when the Breanna character melts into the floor. The piece is HUGE. IN ADDITION, you get some Amplifier Appliances - these props from PSYCHIC EXPERIMENT were used to create the mutated human "amplifers". There are several small pieces, and they will be mounted and presented as a one of a kind display by the director himself. Check the pic at left for an image of the piece.

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    Pledge $1,250 or more About $1,250

    FIRE SALE HARDER! PLACEHOLDERS OF THE DEAD - Re-enact Episode 5...for reals. A few of the cast/crew of Placeholders will take you to spend the night at the Myrtles Plantation (considered to be one of THE MOST haunted places in America), and then you'll all head to New Orleans to stay in ANOTHER haunted hotel, while taking in some ghost and cemetery tours! Treat it like a cruise vacation...we take care of everything but your food and booze! We also will provide moral and spiritual support in the event that you are set upon by forces not of this earth. Well, Stephanie will probably want to do some D.P.s

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    FIRE SALE HARDER! HOLY CRAP, ROBOCOP - if you throw down at this level, you get all the non-limited swag from the $500 or lower levels, a Producer credit on the series, but you ALSO get a sweet Robocop suit. That's right, a stunt Robocop suit that was confirmed as screen used (for
    wider shots) by one of the stuntmen that worked on the film ROBOCOP 2. It comes
    with the extra Robo head shown here for display, as well as the iconic Robocop
    helmet piece, as well as the mannequin that holds it all up. Currently belongs to Mel House, but if you help us make more Placeholders at this level, it's yours. (if you're in TX, we'll get it to you, anywhere else, you'll need to arrange shipping). Check the pic at left for an image of the piece.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    FIRE SALE! THE PLACEHOLDERS BAND WILL ROCK YOU - Yes, thats right, the band (or some version of it) will play your event/house party/bar mitzvah...sticking to a playlist that YOU yourself come up with (within reason and with mutual agreement). Might even include some guest vocalists. (if you're outside of TX/LA/CA, it's gonna need to be $2500 to cover travel). Commitment good for 1 year. Continental US only.

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    Pledge $1,750 or more About $1,750

    FIRE SALE HARDER! AARON PULASKI'S MAGIC MOUNTAIN - We will set you and a friend up on a trip out to lovely sunny Southern California to hit one of America's best theme parks with one of Placeholders most intense coaster enthusiasts, Cesar Castillo (aka Aaron Pulaski). Ride rides all day, eat In N Out and Claim Jumper all night. We're working on some other "Hollywood" type shenanigans as well. Rest assured, it will be a fun trip. Bring the Dramamine. (includes all non-limited sub $500 level incentives as well).

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    FIRE SALE! THE PLACEHOLDERS BAND WILL ROCK AND SALUTE YOU - same as above WITH THE ADDED BONUS that we will write a song about you, play it at your event, AND include it in our upcoming musical episode! Let us immortalize you via song and comedy. (if you're outside of TX/LA/CA, it's gonna need to be $3000 to cover travel). Commitment good for 1 year. Continental US only.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    FIRE SALE HARDER! DINNER WITH D-RO: DELUXE NYC EDITION - Just like the Dinner With D-Ro above EXCEPT we will fly you to New York City to have dinner with Debbie and then participate in a special NYC lensed episode of Placeholders! Maybe we can all take in a show while we're there. Includes all non-limited sub-$500 level perks as well.

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Funding period

- (30 days)