Frequently Asked Questions
Believe me, man. I hear you. If it really cost $2 million just to make three episodes, we'd be spending almost $700K per show! And you're right: by itself, an episode of MST3K doesn't cost nearly that much. It's actually about $250K an episode, once we're up and running.
The quick answer is that we don't get to KEEP all of the funds we raise for the show. We spend about 8% on Campaign Fees, about 28% on making and fulfilling all the rewards we're promising you, and we spend another 30% of the first $2M on "startup costs" like building sets, costumes and robots. Once you take all of that out, it's only about $250K/episode.
The explanation is actually pretty simple, and I laid out all of the details in Backer Update #2 in case you want to see them. Take a look at http://bit.ly/mst3k-update2Last updated:
Check out Update #6: http://bit.ly/mst3k-update6Last updated:
THE BUDGET: Okay. But if each extra set of 3 episodes cost $1.1M, why do Episodes 6-8 unlock at $3.3M, and not $3.1M?
Good catch, math maven!
The simple answer is that the EXACT amount we need for each set of 3 episodes is more like $1,166,666.66. It's much easier to have goals that are easy to remember... so we rounded them off to $1.1M for each set of three, and added the extra amount to the first set.
Make sense?Last updated:
This is a really difficult question to answer, because there are several moving pieces involved.
Right now, I don't know who will agree to come back and work on the next season of MST3K… but if the Kickstarter is successful, everyone will be invited to take part.
I answered this with a lot more detail in Backer Update #2, which you can read here: Take a look at http://bit.ly/mst3k-update2Last updated:
I answered this question in detail in Backer Update #2, which you can read here: Take a look at http://bit.ly/mst3k-update2Last updated:
It's not me OR Mike... but we think that's a good thing...
Wait, come back! Put down the pitchforks.
Before you make up your mind, please read UPDATE #2 (http://bit.ly/mst3k-update2), where I explained why I think the show NEEDS to change its cast from time to time, to remain fresh -- and then read UPDATE #4 (http://bit.ly/mst3k-update4) to meet the person I'm hoping we'll bring on board as our next host.Last updated:
"To me, this has been the weirdest question to try and answer, because some people are acting like we're asking you to choose between Cinematic Titanic, Rifftrax and MST3K, or to convince you that MST3K is the "one true riffing show." And guys, this might be why we can't have nice things.
Rifftrax and Cinematic Titanic are both important additions to the riffing landscape, and the world is better because of them. I'm glad both projects happened. But I know there's still a place for Mystery Science Theater 3000 right there next to them, because the world will be more fun – and more bearable – with Crow, Servo, the Mads, and more cheesy B-movies.
No one is asking you to pick between Rifftrax and MST3K, and no one ever will. There's room for both of them.
I answered this with a lot more detail in Backer Update #2, which you can read here: Take a look at http://bit.ly/mst3k-update2Last updated:
Yes: MST3K will definitely still be family-friendly.
I think that's an important part of the MST3K DNA, so I hope it never changes.
Actually, I think one of the big secrets of our ongoing success is that people feel comfortable watching it with their kids and their parents. I've gotten to meet so many people that have fond memories of becoming fans while watching MST3K with their parents or siblings. So, I know that has a lot of meaning for families.That's also one of the things I was most proud of, that we created a show that was an "all ages" kind of funny. It's pretty rare when that happens.
MST3K is a show that kids love, because they know it's subversive at heart, and kids are used to living in a world where they don't always get what people are talking about. So, if a riff is "over their head," they can easily roll with it. And a lot of the time, they can approximate the meaning and guess that it's a joke just by the way we say it. It’s what I usually do, anyway. :)Last updated:
In a perfect world, I'd love to bring MST3K back home to Minneapolis where it started… but right now, I'm afraid that's not possible. The problem is, we've been talking to a lot of great people -- actors, writers, artists, musicians -- and to get them involved, we'll need to shoot the next season in LA, so that it's convenient for them to fit MST3K into their schedules.
At the same time – and this is important – Minneapolis will always be responsible for making MST3K what it is. The tone you know and love was sort of a happy accident, but it was definitely shaped by the people of Minneapolis. After all, most of the original MST3K staff, including me, got our start doing standup in Minneapolis, where – compared to the big coastal towns – audiences were often a little more progressive, open-minded and kind. We didn't have to be mean to get laughs, and I think that really influenced our senses of humor. It kept us from ever becoming real mean-spirited.
You know, Jackie Gleason used to say, "Miami Beach audiences are the greatest audiences in the wohld!" I feel that way about Minneapolis. And actually, without the kindness of those audiences, I don't know if we would ever have gotten past our first year on Minneapolis's KTMA.
Early on – this is 1988 – we really had no way of knowing just who was watching our quirky little show. Jim Mallon had the great idea to set up an answering machine, and we flashed the number on the screen. (Yes, Virginia, there were actual answering machines back then!) We thought maybe one or two people would call… but by the next morning, the good people of Minneapolis had filled the hour-long tape completely up! That kind of generosity is just one of the reasons I'll always love Minnesota. And its 10,000 lakes, obviously.
Anyway: we won't be able to film the next season in Minneapolis, but we will always love it, and it'll always be part of MST3K's voice. You can take the show out of Minnesota, but you can't take Minnesota out of the show.Last updated:
REWARDS - ALL EXPERIMENTS: How will you know where to send my reward, or what t-shirt size I want, or whether I want DVD or Blu-ray?
We'll send you a REWARD ORDER FORM in January/February 2016. When we do, you'll be able to tell us all of your reward details, including shirt sizes, shipping addresses, your Twitter name and more.
Please do NOT start sending us this information now. We won't be able to keep track of it, and we don't want to disappoint you later.Last updated:
That depends on the reward. We'll post a list of estimated times later this week. But remember: timing is never a sure thing in crowdfunding -- this stuff doesn't exist yet!
We'll do our best to take good care of you and communicate often.. but if the unexpected happens, it could take longer. Please be okay with that.
Remind yourself: it's just a reward, I should really just… oh hell, you know the rest.Last updated:
This is one of the hardest questions to answer before our Kickstarter campaign ends, because there are a lot of variables that can change. First, we have to see how many episodes we're able to make. Then we have to schedule production. Then we have to figure out whether a network or online platform wants to partner with us to make more MST3K in the future. It's all very technical.
What we CAN tell you is that you'll see the first episode before anyone else, and you'll get the digital downloads, Blu-rays or DVDs and VHS tape as soon as the episodes are available for sale. We don't know for sure when that'll be. If we had to guess right now, it seems like you'll probably get the digital downloads by the end of 2016, and the DVD-BD-USB collector's sets in early 2017.Last updated:
We're still figuring out the video platform we'll use, but we can promise a few things.
The DIGITAL DOWNLOAD episodes WILL be offered in full HD. The three episodes on the USB DRIVE might be a little lower res, so that we can fit them all.
All episodes will be 100% DRM FREE. You'll be able to put these babies on any computer or device you want, now and in the future. If you help us get the episodes made, we're not going to limit how and where you can watch them. You paid for it, you own it, and as long as you keep any terrestrial viewing party head-count to under 10 people, we’re good with it.Last updated:
Well, WE think so.
We've seen a lot of "meh" crowdfunding t-shirts. That's not the plan here, O Patron of the Arts! We'll make sure the shirt is comfortable and durable, and we've got designers working right now on the official design.
We'll share that with you before the campaign ends, so you know what you're getting into.Last updated:
No. Crow has a very active imagination, but he doesn't sign the checks around here.Last updated:
The OFFICIAL MST3K KICKSTARTER T-SHIRT will be available in sizes ranging from XS-2XL at no extra charge. 3X-5X will also be available for a small additional fee, since those cost us more to make.
Remember: you DON'T need to tell us your shirt size now. You'll do that when we send you a REWARD ORDER FORM in January/February 2016.Last updated:
We don't know. American Apparel hasn't returned our calls.
And our jumpsuits actually DO come in double-medium.Last updated:
Yes, we absolutely will. In fact, we expect this to be the top-selling VHS release of 2016, and it will only EVER be offered as a reward from our Kickstarter campaign.Last updated:
REWARDS - EXPERIMENTS 400 + 500: How do the personalized voicemails and videos work? Do roaming charges apply?
We'll send you either a PERSONALIZED VOICEMAIL GREETING (MP3, up to 30 seconds) or a PERSONALIZED VIDEO (MP4, up to 45 seconds) featuring the Satellite-dweller of your choice: Joel, Crow, Servo or the new host. If other talent sign on and are available to record messages, you might be able to choose them instead.
You get to provide a script or general direction, but remember: basic rules of decency apply. If we're uncomfortable with what you're asking us to record, we'll work with you to figure out something that works for everyone.
These rewards are for PERSONAL USE ONLY. You can share them online and with friends, but you can't use them for commercial purposes, or to promote/endorse anything. If you've got questions about this, please ask before the campaign ends.Last updated:
If our Kickstarter is successful, we're finally going to give the crew of the SoL a few weeks of shore leave to "celebrate." And by celebrate, we mean "subject them to another experiment": watching the first new episode of MST3K with a few hundred fans in actual Earth-based movie theaters in Los Angeles and NYC.
TIMING: This will depend on when the new episodes are finished and released. Right now, our best guess is around November/December 2016, but we'll be sure to give you at least two months’ notice once the event is confirmed. And we promise: you'll be among the first people anywhere to see the first new episode.
You're responsible for your own travel and accommodations… but once you get to the event… we'll take care of the rest. (diabolical laughter)
Test subjects of EXPERIMENTS 751-752 will be the first to see the premiere episode. The cast and creators will watch it with you. We'll do a Q&A. We'll give you some overpriced snacks. Something unexpected might happen. Or it might not. It depends on what you're expecting. But THAT is sort of unexpected in itself, if you think about it.
Test subjects of EXPERIMENTS 1001-1002 will then join the cast, creators and guests for a private afterparty, where you can get drunk (unless that an ongoing issue for you) and admit that you have a crush on Servo. It's okay, ladies. He's used to it.
If these events sell out quickly, we may add another 1-2 premiere events in other cities. If we do, you'll have the chance to switch to the new location(s) if you prefer.Last updated:
REWARDS - EXPERIMENTS 5000 + 6000: How does it work if I get the APPEAR IN A NEW EPISODE OF MST3K reward?
Test subjects of EXPERIMENTS 5000 and 6000 will be invited to join the MST3K team on set for a day of shooting… and we'll make sure you get screen time. We're still figuring out what this will be, but you won't be hard to spot, and you won't be stuck in the back of a huge crowd scene, and you won’t be dressed in a “Trumpy” costume, unless of course, that’s your thang.
TIMING: Production schedules are always subject to change, but right now, we're guessing you'd join us on set in LOS ANGELES in JUNE/JULY 2016. Once we know, we'll be sure to give you at least one month of advance notice.
You're responsible for your own travel and accommodations… but it'll be worth it.
For union reasons, it probably won't involve speaking lines. But it probably will involve costumes and makeup, and standing around for hours wondering why anyone chooses to become an actor. You'll have an all-new appreciation for the movies we riff!
During your visit, we'll also give you a VIP EXPERIENCE, complete with a set tour, lunch with Joel and the cast, and the chance to watch production behind-the-scenes.Last updated:
Production schedules are always subject to change, but right now, we're guessing you'd join us on set in LOS ANGELES in JUNE/JULY 2016. Once we know, we'll be sure to give you at least one month of advance notice.Last updated:
During the original run of MST3K, our writers added plenty of their own inside jokes. This time, we figure you deserve the same opportunity to confuse an unsuspecting audience.
Test subjects of EXPERIMENT 6500 will work with the writers of the show to explain an inside joke or reference with personal significance, which will then be worked into an episode as a new riff. Just think: no one will understand what it means except you!Last updated:
REWARDS - EXPERIMENT 7500: What does it mean if I get the PRODUCER reward? Will there be casting couch privileges?
Well, it means we'll be very grateful for your support.
It also means you'll be invited for a VIP SET VISIT, so that we can prove we're using your funds wisely, and a VIP PREMIERE EXPERIENCE in either Los Angeles or NYC, so that you can be the first to see how the new pilot episode turns out.
You'll be responsible for your own travel and accommodations… but it'll be worth it.
During your set visit, you'll also get several exclusive VIP rewards. These may include: a director's chair with your name on it, a signed script from the episode you produce, an exclusive "Cast & Crew T-Shirt," and the chance to scratch Crow behind his ears.
You'll also be credited in both the EPISODE CREDITS and on IMDB as a KICKSTARTER PRODUCER, so the whole world can recognize your role in bringing MST3K back for the masses.
TIMING: Production schedules are always subject to change, but right now, we're guessing you'd join us on set in LOS ANGELES in JUNE/JULY 2016, and for the VIP PREMIERE in NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016. This can always change, but once we know, we'll be sure to give you at least one month of advance notice.Last updated:
REWARDS - EXPERIMENTS 8005-8006 + 15K: Are you really going to give away Crow and Servo? Are they really going to be the actual puppets used on screen, and not just cheap replicas made in overseas sweatshops?
Yes. That's how serious we are: we're willing to decommission the actual hand-crafted robot puppets featured in each new episode of MST3K so that you can keep them.
You will receive the ACTUAL Crow and/or Servo puppets used in the new MST3K. Your slightly used but fully refurbished 'bot will come with a signed CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY, signed by the puppeteer and Joel, and listing the episode where your robot appeared.
Plus, you'll get to visit set during production to meet your robot, and see it in action while it's still moving and talking. For the right price, he might even agree to take selfies with you.Last updated:
Droppo, you are the laziest man on Mars.Last updated:
We heard there were a lot of problems with people being able to read this list, so we've got a new solution. Check out the COMPLETE LIST of where you can watch TURKEY DAY '15 right here: http://mst3k.com/events/turkeyday15/wheretowatch/Last updated:
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