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Help The Media Show produce big episodes demonstrating how search engines, content farms, and hacking work.
Help The Media Show produce big episodes demonstrating how search engines, content farms, and hacking work.
114 backers pledged $9,175 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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WE'RE IN OUR LAST DAYS AND NEED BIG ANGEL SPONSORS TO MAKE IT! Do you want to fund media literacy workshops for kids, and support The Media Show at the same time? Do you know any generous people who might want to? PLEASE encourage them to pledge $550 or $1500, and send them to this link which explains what we want to do.

Since its birth in 2008, The Media Show has been exposing workings of the technology and media industries that impact our lives -- what is often called "media literacy," with a dash of Internet literacy thrown in. Our episodes have tackled everything from YouTube copyright takedowns to billboard ads to 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.

Because we lost our previous studio and editing space (RIP, AfterEd.tv), we're looking to regain our independence by getting our own equipment. Help us explain some of the major players on the Internet today, with snark and huge mechanical spider puppets! To thank you, we're offering not just the DVDs, but YOUR OWN puppets, props, and other fun stuff.

Need a more serious description of why The Media Show does what it does? Click here for a more detailed description.


What we want to do

The centerpiece of this Kickstarter project will be three episodes:

  • one on how search engines work;
  • one on search engine optimization and the content farms which clog the Internet with cheap content;
  • and one on the HBGary/Anonymous incident, which revealed that the US government had asked for proposals to build a network of fake Internet profiles to sway public opinion.

The scripts we're working on need more space, more cast, and better equipment to film than we currently have (in Gus's living room!). We need your help to make these productions really shine.

There's so much more we want to make episodes about, and if we go over our goal we'll be able to make even more episodes.

  • We'd like to talk about how much money the RIAA has paid to artists from its campaign of suing college students for sharing music.
  • We'd like to revisit the bias towards everything needing to be new! new! new! in an advertising-driven society.
  • Of course, we also want to put Weena in a punk band; go to SXSW and convince drunk advertising executives to explain what "interactive" means; and pull off some Bollywood-style puppet dance numbers.
  • Additional funding will buy us time to seek grant funding, meaning we'll be able to produce even more episodes!


Where the funds will go, and how we'll do it

Funding will cover some combination of editing labor, equipment, and studio space.

The Media Show takes one person about 20 hours a week for three weeks to research, write, shoot, edit, and promote — plus additional time from folks helping out. Figure 30 hours a week. Three episodes... 30 hours... three weeks... that's at least 270 hours of work we're looking to cover.

  • $3300 would buy us the camera kit we used to work with — and make it so we don't have a serious nightmare time trying to sync audio up with video, as we currently do with our Flip camera.
  • $3150 would buy us another laptop editing station, so editing could go faster, with two people working on it; even more would get us a dedicated tower so that rendering wouldn't take so @#$*%$ long.
  • For $2807, we could rent equipment and studio space for a day at Downtown Community TV, which would mean less likelihood of shoots being interrupted by neighborhood noises.

We'll be figuring out how to allot the funding as we develop scripts and figure out studio availability. All additional funds will be used to develop and promote further episodes of the show -- so you may well be supporting (and even receiving on your DVD!) more than just the three episodes we described.

Special Collectors' Packages

Here are the descriptions of some of the packages listed to the right:

Stickers!

If you were wondering what we meant by "stickers," here's a preview of the artwork Rob Vincent is developing for these puppies :

  1. Collectors Package 4: The Intern — DVD, stickers, blog access, plus 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! 

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Weena Has A Posse —
    You get 5"x3" stickers with pictures of the puppets, designed by puppeteer Rob Vincent, and access to the special production blog!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Monsters of the Week —
    One DVD with high-quality versions of the episodes produced with your funding, and exclusive outtakes which won't go up online, as well as stickers and production blog access!

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    23 backers
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Re-Brand Your Tote Bag - DVD, stickers, plus we will re-brand a tote bag for you with a Media Show stenciled design on a punk patch. Have a bag you like with a logo you hate? Send it to us and we will re-brand it for you! Or allow us to "upcycle" a bag for you.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Mini Collectors Package 1: Bucket of Eyeballs (see description to the left)

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Mini Collectors Package 2: Branded Stuff. DVD, stickers, plus things left over from our House Party episode: an Oscar Meyer Wiener whistle, Ford Motors-themed cookie cutters, art from the set, fashion!

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Mini Collectors Package #3: Disco Ball. Stickers, DVD, plus the grapefruit-sized disco ball which has hung on our set since the beginning!

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    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    Really Weird Snow Globes -- DVD, stickers, and snow globes made by Gus, who recently unearthed the materials she's been hoarding for making them while she and Abby moved in to their new apartment. It's possible that one will involve the Virgin Mary blessing an elephant seal, or radioactive domesticated animals.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Collectors Package 2: Katamari Hat (see description to the left)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Collectors Package 3: Team Flamingo (see description to the left)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Collectors Package 4: The Intern (see description to the left)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Collectors Package 5: Lite Brite (see description to the left)

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Special Collectors Package 1: Weena's Patches (see description to the left)

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Collectors Package 6: Hovercraft (see description to the left)

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Special Collectors Package 2: Posters. DVD, stickers, plus posters which have appeared on the set of the show including a rare internal cast party advertisement from Sesame Street and a modified "Successories" poster which now says "Perverse" instead of "Persevere." It's like having the Internet on your wall! (All posters have some wear and tear from being on the set with rambunctious puppets.)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Archivist Package —
    Great for colleges, libraries, teachers, and collectors: DVDs with every Media Show episode made to date! (Also blog access and stickers.)

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    6 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Avenging Angel of the Internets Package —
    Stickers, DVD of these episodes, your name on our website's credits page as one of our Internet Angel sponsors — PLUS a handcrafted PUPPET! We will make you a Mini-Weena, Mini-Erna, a meme puppet like the ones in the video (which weren't in finished form, in case that wasn't clear), or a generic fuzzy li'l guy.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The Deluxe Archvist Package —
    Even better for colleges, libraries, and teachers: DVDs with every Media Show episode made to date, PLUS curriculum materials to support developing lessons around episodes -- additional readings, making-of videos, behind-the-scenes materials about how our show was made, and links to related content! (plus blog access and stickers.)

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    Pledge $550 or more About $550

    Participating Sponsors Package —
    The Deluxe Archvist Package, plus your name (or school or organization's name) on our website's credits page in the "Participating Sponsors" section — and a one-hour presentation and Q&A session about the show and/or a mutually-agreed-upon media/digital literacy topic with producer Gillian "Gus" Andrews. Presentation will be in person if it's in commuting distance from New York (including Philly, Boston, and DC), San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Detroit, or by Skype or a similar technology that works for your school or organization, sometime in the coming year (between the hours of 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. EST).

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

    OVER 9000 Angel Package —
    (Continental US and Canada only) The Deluxe Archvist Package, your name (or your school or organization's name) on our website's credits page in the "Over 9000 Sponsors" section, Gus will visit the school or organization of your choice to give an entertaining presentation/Q&A session on the show and/or a mutually-agreed-upon media/digital literacy topic. Also, we will take and present you with a framed, signed 8x10 glossy photo of you, the pledger, with Weena and Erna!

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Funding period

- (30 days)