About this project
Now we're looking at STRETCH GOALS!
With several days left in the campain, things are looking pretty good!
So this is the point where we start looking beyond our initial goal and ramp up our aim for the STRETCH GOALS.
So NOW is the time to push as hard as we can to blow past that first goal and take this project to another level! And our first stretch goal is to add the amazing BEEZ MCKEEVER to the cast! If you're an MST3K fan, you know Beez. Not only was she the 'bot wrangler for the show, but she appeared in it too!
So let's get Beez on board! Whaddya say?
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NEW FUN VIDEO EXTRA!!
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
VERMIN is an all-new comedy web series created in cooperation between The Puppet Forge and Fearless Comedy Productions.
Seven Episodes, 10 min. each
Our primary goal is to fund the FIRST THREE episodes. Why only three? Because the creation of the show's assets and start-up production costs come at the front end and we need them covered. (See our simplified budget breakdown under BUDGET) With all our puppets, props, and production costs in place we have extremely reasonable stretch goals that will take us all the way through to the end of VERMIN SERIES ONE (seven episodes).
Our show takes place at the aptly named PLACEHOLDER LABORATORIES and stars Trace Beaulieu (the original Crow T. Robot of Mystey Science Theatre 3000) along with a cast of slightly-off-their-cheese lab rats. Our rodent hero Ralph Raight has his intellect accidentally boosted and is summarily promoted to "middle management". Pretty normal, yeah?
You'd think Ralph would have his paws full just managing the miscreant rats in the lab, but soon he starts noticing things that everyone else seems oblivious to. Even his human boss Sam Lodgepole (Trace Beaulieu).
Among Ralph's co-workers are a diverse and wholly unbalanced team of rodent testing professionals. His best friend is Stu. Stu enjoys his work (and what rat wouldn't enjoy spending every day gorging himself on free food?). The fact that its highly modified, chemical laced, potentially-not-actual-food doesn't phase him. It tastes good. What else does he need to know?
Clay is the media testing rat. He spends his days locked in a room being bombarded by everything from Reality Tv to Mexican Soap Operas. This has resulted in a tragic loss of individuality. Clay adapts to whatever he watches...he's instantly "re-written" by the shows he sees. One moment he'll be giving away free cheese to everyone in the lab (YOU get cheese! AND YOU get cheese! AND YOU GET CHEESE!) and the next he's scrutinizing your motives like a CSI investigator. Luckily, when he gets too annoying, his co-workers simply "change his brain-channel" with any convenient remote control.
Roz is the Maze Runner. Every day her goal is to find the cheese. But they KEEP MOVING THE CHEESE. So she's taken to wearing a tinfoil hat to keep them from reading her thoughts. She's gonna find that cheese, dammit!
Oscar is the make-up testing rat. Yeah...HE wears make up. YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?
Gene is the DNA splicing subject. He really gets off on suddenly having a whale spout or smelling strongly of carrots or glowing with an unnatural light. His secret goal is to someday become a real pineapple.
And then there's Three-Mile the nuclear test rat. 3-M believes he's a real "street rat" even though he was conceived, born and raised entirely in a lab. That doesn't stop this green-furred, three-eyed rodent from laying down some rap in honor of his homies in "the big alley".
But none of these vermin seem to notice the wild inconsistencies and strange occurrences happening in the halls of PLACEHOLDER LABS. What is the secret of the door mysteriously marked "There Is No Door Here"? What ominous intellect lies behind all those office security cameras? And why...WHY does everyone keep offering Ralph bagels?
Its up to Ralph to figure it out.
Sounds Fun, Right? But Why Trust Us?
The Puppet Forge was in the KICKSTARTER mix early...and was essentially a "beta" project for them. Our Transylvania Television Halloween Special campaign was used heavily in Attack Of The Show's cover piece about KICKSTARTER. We were flashy. We were cool. And we succeeded!
TVTV gathered a big fan base on the internet. Then it aired as a limited series broadcast around the country. And now those episodes are being optioned for distribution overseas. Color us proud!
Due to the efforts of an outstanding cast and crew, their loved ones, volunteers, and the financial support we received from generous KICKSTARTER patrons like you, we now have a proven track record of success.
The knowledge base we've amassed from that experience will serve us well on VERMIN. Because its permanently burned into our brains!
INCENTIVES (Ooooo...drawings of stuff!)
For the first $6000 over our initial goal, we will commit to to producing episode FOUR. After that, we will do another episode for every $6000 until we complete all the episodes in Series One.
All the scripts for the first series are complete! And they comprise a story arc that is both exciting and wildly funny. Our goal only gets us through 1, 2, and 3...but there are four more after that! So don't let yourself miss the bizarre conclusion of VERMIN Series One! Help us reach these stretch goals by engaging your friends, family, and co-workers! And be sure to spread the word on your social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, etc.! WE NEED YOU!
But stretch goals aren't JUST about making more episodes, no no! They come with EXTRA INCENTIVES TOO!
STRETCH GOAL #1: If we reach a total of $36,000 we "unlock" a Special Guest Star...also from Mystery Science Theatre 3000...'bot wrangler and prop diva Beez McKeever! Beez will portray Dr. Lodgepole's assistant Svetlana...one of only three human characters in the show . So let's make this MST3K reunion a reality!
STRETCH GOAL #2: If we reach a total of $42,000 we "unlock" a terrific offering from DC YOUNG JUSTICE comics artist Christopher Jones! Chris has agreed to do a comic-style art piece for VERMIN that we will make available to all donors via electronic download. We are all very excited for this potential incentive. Chris' art rocks our little whiskered world!
STRETCH GOAL #3: If we reach a total of $48,000 we "unlock" an amazing giveaway. Reach this goal with us and every donor at $40 level and above will receive a replica "There Is No Door Here" prop sign. Which is so cool, I think we must be crazy for offering it!
STRETCH GOAL #4: If we reach $54,000 we "unlock" a Special Super Glow-In-The-Dark "Nuclear Test Rat" T-Shirt for everyone at the $70 donor level and above! Just think of it...read at night by the light of your glowing rat shirt! That's truly awesome!
CRAZY STRETCH GOAL #5: If we reach $100,000, we commit to producing VERMIN SERIES TWO! We're over-achievers, so we didn't stop at Series One. We have treatments for Series Two and Series Three waiting in a secure, dark corner of our hard drive waiting to be fully scripted!
Creating Transylvania Television gave us a very solid idea of what it will cost to produce VERMIN. This will include a small stipend for everyone in the cast and crew. The simplified budget below reflects frugal yet real-world expenditures we know will be incurred.
CAST (Puppeteers and Actors) $6000
CREW (Writers, Editor, Camera, Director, Lights, Sound, Grips) $8000
PRODUCTION (Props, Studio, Craft Services, Insurance) $4000
PROMO & INCENTIVES (Website, Advertising, Swag) $3000
FEES, TAXES, LEGAL $7000
CONTINGENCY (When Things Go Wrong...And They Do) $2000
Adds up quickly, doesn't it? Gone are the days of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland declaring, "We've got an old barn and some costumes! Lets put on a show!" We've come a LOOOOONG way, baby.
We even considered re-naming the campaign "Nathan Fillion Doesn't Have Anything To Do With VERMIN". Just to get the search hits. But our lawyer advised against that. Surprisingly he didn't say anything about stealing images from the internetz. Hmmm....
Risks and challenges
Producing our original project, Transylvania Television, taught us a lot about the world of on-line media.
Working outside the traditional studio system poses much larger challenges than just "making a show". Everything from Production Insurance to effective publicity and distribution to simply feeding your crew and cast on shoot days.
To make a quality show you need people who know their business. We proudly boast that we have created a work environment on our shoots that people...professionals and non...enjoy coming back to and contributing their skills.
This creates a BIG challenge when it comes to scheduling. Everyone has their regular job to deal with as well as family and social life. Many being industry pros, we are challenged scheduling around "the real gigs" that "pay the real bills".
Personal considerations in scheduling as well as having pleasant working environments are essential since paying our people industry rates is impossible. Even with your generous support.
While many would be tempted to call this a labor of love, one must remember that unrequited love is not healthy. So our budget includes extremely modest stipends for everyone involved. It's only fair.
Our goal is to not only release the series on the web, but to explore other avenues of distribution as well. The world of electronic download entertainment is constantly expanding and, along with more traditional forms of distribution like DVD sales, will be in keen focus as we move forward with VERMIN.
We have great confidence in VERMIN to be a teriffic break-out hit. And we hope you'll help us achieve that!
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- (35 days)