That's a PRODUCTION WRAP on Season 12! Joel's report on shooting PLUS… the SEASON 12 PLEDGE DRIVE starts THURSDAY at 10am PT!
Dear MST3K Revival League,
How's it going? It's Joel again, back after a pretty busy month! But it was all worth it, because I'm really pleased to share some good news with you:
We've finished shooting Mystery Science Theater 3000, Season 12 and we're already done editing a Director's Cut of the new season!
Now, I've got to say, it was really fun getting our on-set crew back together for the new season. Our production partner, Abominable Pictures, assembled a really wonderful and talented group of folks last time, so I was very happy that so many of them decided to return for Season 12.
In Hollywood, it's actually sort of unusual to get most of the same crew back together each time, because so many people get tied up with other projects and shoots. But my impression is that, even though Season 11 was a very intense and demanding shoot, everyone involved had a lot of fun, liked the finished product, and wanted to be part of doing it again.
Also, I really have to tell you: having so much of our Season 11 crew back made things a lot easier this time around. There are a lot of unusual details about shooting a show like MST3K, and last time, we needed to figure out a lot of it as we went, and there was some extra work involved to help everyone understand the vision, and how to make so much of the show work "in camera" – meaning, to shoot exactly what we wanted in the studio, rather than trying to do most of the work after production, in editing, like a lot of other shows would.
But even though we had most of our Season 11 crew again, there was one very important person who we just couldn't get back this time: our wonderful co-director from last season, Rob Cohen, who was already tied up directing Stan Against Evil – a great series from our friend (and former MST3K writer) turned showrunner Dana Gould. When we realized the schedule wasn't going to work out this time, Rob and I spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out the right replacement for him – and when he suggested Rob Schrab, I knew he was the perfect choice.
A Few Words About Rob Schrab
So yeah: Rob Schrab, if you don’t already know, is this incredibly multi-talented guy. He created this long-running, proto-punk comic book series called Scud: The Disposable Assassin, and has written and directed for a ton of great shows, including The Sarah Silverman Program, Children's Hospital and Community. (And speaking of Community, Schrab is also pretty famous for his long-time collaborations with Dan Harmon, with whom he co-created the influential monthly short film showcase Channel 101.) And I'll also have you know, Schrab was a remote writer on MST3K back in the day: when he was about 24, he was one of the writers on Santa Claus Conquers the Martians!
I knew he'd be a perfect fit, and I have to tell you: as our Season 12 co-director, Schrab just killed it. He has this hilarious attitude and shrill voice that helped keep everything moving, even though the set had a real "back to summer camp" atmosphere this time around. He did a fantastic job "running the floor," and made quick work of our ambitious schedule.
Anyway, I’m so pleased to tell you that the Season 12 shoot went beautifully, and that our marvelous cast, crew and creative team have done it again. And this next season, I’m happy to report, holds some of our best work – and crummiest movies – yet.
We can't share too many images from set yet, but I did ask Jonah and Schrab to shoot a quick hello with me just after we finished the last shot:
After the shoot, I stayed in LA for about a week and we went straight into editing. It's always so satisfying to see the show come together on the screen, and I think you’ll be able to see how our cast and crew and creative team are getting even better at making the show.
The new episodes are looking terrific. Your feedback has been really useful as well, and without revealing any spoilers I hope you’ll find some of your suggestions manifested in the new season.
Of course, even though we're finished shooting the new season, things haven't slowed down much at all. I'm back in the Alternaversal offices now, and things are as busy as ever.
For one thing, we're still involved in post-production on the episodes, and now we're also getting deep into writing and planning our MST3K LIVE 30th Anniversary Tour for later this fall. The shows are selling pretty fast, so if you want to see Jonah Heston, Joel Robinson and our screwy robot companions riffing live on stage, you might want to grab your tickets now.
And, of course, there's the little matter of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 comics. If you've been waiting for more details about our comic book with Dark Horse, be sure to keep an eye on your email over the next week, because I've got something to share with you before San Diego Comic-Con starts next weekend. More on that soon.
The Season 12 Pledge Drive
Before our team gets back to work planning MST3K LIVE in a few minutes, I wanted to say a few more words about the "MST3K Season 12 Pledge Drive" that I announced last month, since I know a lot of you have questions about it.
The SEASON 12 PLEDGE DRIVE will launch this Thursday, JULY 12, at 10:00 am Pacific Time, and it will run until AUGUST 13.
Now, there are three important things I’d like to share about why we're doing this:
1. You told us you loved being more involved during Season 11.
The most important reason for the Pledge Drive is because we've gotten hundreds of emails and comments and tweets from members of the MST3K Revival League over the last year or two, telling us how much you enjoyed the Kickstarter experience, and being more involved with production, and getting some of the neat rewards we offered – and, most of all, how much you enjoyed knowing that you were an important part of the show getting made!
2. We loved having you more involved during Season 11.
You already know this, but MST3K has always been kind of unique, and we've done things differently than most other shows. And you know, my favorite thing about the Kickstarter isn't just that we got to bring Mystery Science Theater back, but how we got to do it: with you. We got to make the show with, and for, the people who actually loved it most.
When we started the Kickstarter, I didn't realize how special that experience would be, or how wonderful it would be to have fans join us during production, or at the premieres. But it was: creating Season 11 with you didn't just make the show possible, it made it better. The shoot was more fun with fans on set, laughing at jokes. We've gotten so many messages about how it felt good to be part of something – and hey, we felt the same way.
3. We want you to have the option to get involved again, if you want!
When we really thought about this season, we all knew we wanted to find ways to keep some of that experience going, and to make the process fun for everyone who wanted to keep going with us. And we also knew that there were plenty of MSTies, old and new, who missed out last time, and didn't get to be part of the fun. So, it was important to us to offer another chance.
But here’s the big thing I want you to know: I don't want you to feel like you have to keep making pledges to support Mystery Science Theater, you already #BroughtBackMST3K and we are so grateful. But the truth is, your support still makes a very important difference.
Every new pledge will be used to help us keep Mystery Science Theater healthy, and allow us to take MST3K into the future... plus you’ll get some cool rewards in return!
But yeah, the most important thing, whether you decide to pledge or not, is that we're so grateful that you gave us the chance to bring back MST3K, and we're excited that you're still here with us.
Anyway, that's all for today. If you want to be sure you get one of the really limited rewards this time, be sure to look for an email (and check our Kickstarter updates) on Thursday morning at 10am!
And as always, thanks for everything.
Cheers & Thanks,