Annnnnd... we're back! A Long Overdue Update on Season 12. PLUS: Final S11 Rewards + New S12 Rewards!
Dear MST3K Revival League,
It's me, Joel. I know, it's been a long time since the last update – but I'm glad to tell you that there's a good reason for that. Since the beginning of this year, we've been back at work preparing for the next season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and things are going really well.
And you know, I thought this might be a good time to finally send an update and catch up for a few minutes, because I've got some good news:
We're going back into the studio on Monday to shoot the next season of Mystery Science Theater 3000!
And since a lot has happened this year, there are a few important updates about the new season that I want to share before that happens... so I guess we should get right to it.
New Season… New Experiment!
As you know, I never like to give away too much about the new episodes ahead of time, since I want the experience of seeing them to be a fun surprise for everyone.
So, before you ask, I'm still not going to tell you what movies Jonah and the Bots will be riffing this season… but I will tell you that this season's movies include one that I know a lot of you have asked us to riff in the past, and also one that was made in the last five years!
Now, I've got to tell you, being on Netflix – and in over 100 million homes! – has been a really good thing for MST3K. It feels good having Season 11 under our belts and received so warmly, so that's been giving us a lot of good momentum this time.
But you know, it's also been really helpful seeing so much feedback from all of you, and I think you'll be pleased to see a bunch of your suggestions manifested in this next batch of new shows. It's never a good idea to try to make a show "by committee," but I think hearing from so many of you helped us see some things about the new episodes that we might not have noticed or thought about.
I guess what I'm trying to say is… thanks for the help!
Anyway, yeah, I never want to share too much about the new episodes before you get to see them… but one of the big creative challenges that really interested me this time around was how to tweak the Forrester experiments to take advantage of Netflix's strengths, and the way people binge-view shows.
(Think about it: binge-watching the last season of Stranger Things took 540 minutes… but binge-watching the last season of Mystery Science Theater took 1,260 minutes! Especially for new or "casual" viewers, I'm worried that could be a little overwhelming, and maybe keep them from giving the show a chance.)
So, this time around, the entire "concept" of the season will be a little different, and warped in a really fun way, which I think will make the whole series of movies "hang together" as a season. I'm not going to tell you the concept yet, but...
The next season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 will be SIX EPISODES long, and written to encourage binge viewing!
And you know, the other nice thing about this plan is that, by focusing on just six episodes this time around, we're able to get them written, shot and edited a lot faster! That hopefully also means we'll be able to show them to you a lot sooner, so that you don't have to wait as long for your next "fix" of Mystery Science Theater.
On a creative level, it’s a much more fun way to work. And I hope that shows in the new season. Truth be told, as much as I loved making 14 feature-length episodes of MST3K, it’s hard sometimes to get your arms around that much content all at once. So, this season allowed us to focus more, and have a better sense of the whole picture.
Anyway, I know a lot of you have been wondering what's happening with the new season, and I didn't want to start shooting without letting you know how things are going. You – the MST3K Revival League – are the reason we've got another season of Mystery Science Theater coming, and we're all still so grateful that you made this possible.
And, speaking of the MST3K Revival League, there's one more thing we should talk about before I get back to work.
The MST3K Revival League: Round 2!
Ever since the new episodes were released on Netflix last April, we've gotten a lot of wonderful emails telling us how excited you were to be part of getting the new season made, how much you enjoyed getting behind-the-scenes updates and special backer rewards, and asking if we would have another Kickstarter campaign to keep the MST3K Revival League alive for Season 12.
And you know, we spent a lot of time thinking about that, because the experience of making the show with (and for) all of you has been really special and wonderful – especially getting to meet so many of you on set during production and when we traveled for our three premiere screening events.
So, while we didn't think it would be right to do a brand new crowdfunding campaign – or to ask all of you to pay for another season, when we know it will be on Netflix – we did want to find a way to invite those of you who really enjoyed the whole Kickstarter experience to be more involved again.
That's why I'm really excited to announce that …
Starting on June 12th, we're launching our first MST3K Revival League "Pledge Drive," where we'll be offering a bunch of neat gifts for those of you who want to get involved again, including several that backers asked us to bring back for Season 12, including chances to...
- BE A PRODUCER: Get credited on the new episodes, IMDB and the poster!
- ADOPT CROW & SERVO: Own one of the robots used on screen!
- BE IN THE CREDITS: We're offering a limited number of "special thanks"!
- OWN SEASON 12: Collector's Edition Box Set and Digital Downloads!
- GET SEASON 12 GIFTS: Official Poster and Official Tote Bag
Also, later this summer, we'll be offering a few chances to own some of the official costumes, props, inventions and models featured on screen during Seasons 11 and 12. We can't do that now, because we need that stuff so we can, you know, shoot the new episodes. But once that's done, we want to find good homes for everything.
So yeah, that's the plan: we're not doing a full Kickstarter, but I felt like we could keep some of the best parts of the crowdfunding experience by doing a public television-style "pledge drive." If you want to be part of the new season, I hope you'll think about making a pledge and joining us again!
Update on Remaining Kickstarter Rewards
There are still a few last details from Season 11 to take care of, including the coffee table book, and helping anyone who is still missing rewards. Ivan actually just posted a separate update about that, so please be sure to read that if you have questions.
He asked me to tell you that the rewards update has answers about what to do if you've still got any of these problems:
- Missing Mystery Gifts
- Problems with the Season 11 Box Set
- The Coffee Table Book
- Pledging for Leftover Rewards
- Any Other Missing Rewards
So yeah, be sure to read that update if you still need help, because I think Ivan's finally finishing up the last details, and trying to make sure everything from the Kickstarter is 100% finished in the next month or two -- because now we need him to focus on making sure you get your "Pledge Drive" rewards!
Oh, and if you've worn out your #BringBackMST3K Kickstarter t-shirts or hoodies, or just want to get a few more, Ivan tells me he needs to make one last batch of them. So, it sounds like you can re-order the original Kickstarter shirts and hoodies one last time, until June 15th, starting right now.
That's it for today, but there's actually still a lot more to share with you. After all, this isn't just any year: remember that in November, Mystery Science Theater 3000 turns THIRTY. So yeah, we've got a few other fun ideas we're still working on. I'll tell you more about those sometime soon.
Until then, thanks again for everything you've done to help bring MST3K back. We wouldn't be doing any of this without you.
Cheers & Thanks,