Since its birth in 2008, The Media Show has been exposing the workings of the technology and media industries that impact our lives -- what is often called "media literacy" and its close cousin "digital literacy." Our episodes have tackled everything from YouTube copyright takedowns, to billboard ads, to email chain letters.
We're puppeteers in the tradition of Avenue Q, Greg The Bunny, or Team America World Police: we write comedy for adult Internet audiences, knowing that the elusive high school audience "watches up," making educational shows for that demographic rare indeed. And when it comes to digital issues, plenty of adults need education as well.
We used to produce the show at AfterEd TV at the Teachers College library, which provided space, equipment, a part-time job, and some funds to support production. This was great, but then AfterEd folded and Gus graduated. Our production now relies on you for funding and support. We produce on a frugal budget, as volunteers, often in our home studio or on cable access. We're unlikely to ever be a "real" show funded by advertising, because we often call advertisers out for their untruths -- and they don't like it when you bite the hand that feeds you.
What we want to do
This Kickstarter-backed "season" will be our biggest yet: fifteen episodes, targeted to answer questions put into search engines by actual people on the Internet.
We anticipate two great results: One, if we respond to actual searches, the episodes are more likely to be seen by more people searching the Internet. And two, educational research tells us that people learn better when they pose their own questions and get them answered -- meaning this season is likely to have a bigger educational impact than we've ever had before.
Does "educational" mean "not fun"? Heck no. Not where we come from. We've already drafted a script or two for this season, and we're laughing pretty hard at them -- a good sign. "Power drill" is one of the things on the prop list for a script about why it's bad for kids to watch too much TV. What could go wrong when you mix power tools with puppets?
Where will the Kickstarter funds go?
Funds this time will mostly go toward paying an editor -- the one position on this production that takes a lot of time, which Gus no longer has because she has an unrelated full-time job. We will also need to purchase minimal equipment and pay for some production costs (materials for props; craft services).
Here's more info on some of the premium packages listed to the right:
Stickers and Shirts! This popular favorite, a parody of the classic Shepard Fairey OBEY series, is designed by Rob Vincent. Stickers have two designs (Erna and Weena); shirts will be black, with the Weena graphic shown below.
Collectors Package: Posters Two posters which have appeared on the set of the show: a rare internal cast party advertisement from Sesame Street and a modified "Successories" poster which now says "Perverse" instead of "Persevere." Plus another Successories poster ("Opportunity") ready for you to modify yourself. It's like having the Internet on your wall! (All posters have some wear and tear from being on the set with rambunctious puppets, including some damage to the image.)
Collectors Package: The Intern One of the show's own hapless Interns -- the puppets we sacrifice regularly for the lulz. Autographed by puppeteers Abby, Gus, and Rob. (May or may not have actually appeared on the show, but will be made of elements which appeared on camera. Trust me, you don't want the one covered in monster blood.) Now you can shoot your own fan videos about red shirting interns in hilarious media-related circumstances -- and if they're funny enough, we might feature them in an episode!
Non-moving image Rob has painted and drawn a series of technology- and media-related works for the radio show Off The Hook and the Hackers On Planet Earth conference. For our rewards, he will also happily tackle advertising-related subjects of your choosing. Here are some previous examples:
A commemoration of the Commodore 64.
Remembering the Apple IIGS.
Phone-related art for the Last HOPE Conference.
Avenging Angel puppets Some of our backers from the last Kickstarter walked away with puppets we used in our shoots:
Two lucky backers received Bizarro Weena and Ernabelle!
We did eventually get Rob to part with our beloved Forever Alone (and if you want your own, we can definitely make another one!)
Trollface is still available to sarcastically lord over your cubicle, nursery, marital bed, etc.
Mad Props Here are some examples of props Rob Vincent has built before:
From left to right: Multipass based on The Fifth Element, teleport bracelet based on Blake's 7, mask based on The Mask, key based on Return To Oz...
... all sitting at the base of a functioning Tom Servo puppet which Rob built. We can't offer a Tom Servo puppet as a reward (they're costly to build and hard to find materials for). This is just to make it clear what Rob is capable of.
Rob's faithful yet playful re-creation of the obscure flyer held by the "Save the clock tower!" lady in Back To The Future won accolades from that fandom.
One finished and one in-construction boot from our Super Mario Brothers movie cosplay last year.
So tell us: what small movie prop would you like Rob to build for you?
Risks and challenges
Having run two Kickstarter drives before, we are confident we can pull off a third. For both of our prior Kickstarters, we produced all promised videos and delivered the majority of premiums in a timely fashion.
Previous Kickstarter backers may note that we were slower to deliver some of our premiums than we initially proposed (though the first campaign was run during a time before Kickstarter asked projects to state deadlines). Some discs (including archives), puppets, tote bags, and snow globes took more time to deliver than anticipated. Fortunately, our previous experience has taught us what might go wrong:
-- Puppets, tote bags, and snow globes took a bit more time to create than expected. This time we will adjust the scheduled delivery date accordingly.
-- Individual discs were sometimes slowed down by production problems we don't expect to have again.
-- Creating the archives required significantly more time and technical expertise than we had on our team in previous Kickstarters. The great news is we have developed a workflow to produce archive discs, worked out most of the kinks with old formats that were causing us trouble, and built the older archive discs -- meaning that subsequent episodes will be a breeze to slot into archive discs, and production will go much quicker!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)