Alaska Robotics News is a web-based comedy series covering the slips, blunders and momentary triumphs in Alaska politics.
We're asking for your support to create more segments during the 2015 legislative session because we think humor helps to unravel complex issues and to reveal the humanity beneath the oily surface of Alaska politics.
In addition to our satire work, we created a companion show called Boring Talk as a way to have some more meaningful discussions about a range of issues.
What You Get...
The main thing you get out of this is to see more Alaska Robotics News. All of our segments will be free to view online and we'll do our best to cover interesting people, issues and perspectives.
If we can raise $8000 on Kickstarter, we'll commit to creating at least six segments during the legislative session. We'll set some stretch goals if we get past that base amount, more news, more Boring Talk, more travel, more vikings? Let us know what you want to see this year.
Of course, we also have some tangible goodies for you...
Ballot Measure Buttons
If you support the project with $20 or more, you get a set of all-purpose buttons to help you take a stand on important ballot measures.
Alaska Strong Bracelet
If you support the project with $25 or more, you'll get an Alaska Strong bracelet. We created the Alaska Strong bracelets in response to the slogan heavy State of the State speech given by Governor Sean Parnell in 2014. It's all of the magic of that speech wrapped up in one symbolic tchotchke.
I like to think of it as a ward against hyperbole and spin.
Shiny Plastic Disc
We're going to put all of our news segments on a DVD for backers who support us with $50 or more. You can always watch our work for free on the internet but this DVD will be a nice reminder that our oceans are slowly filling with plastic.
Your Face in the News
Backers at the $75 level or higher can send us a picture or short clip to run on our background televisions in the newsroom. We ask that you send images that aren't going to get us in trouble for copyright violation and don't distract too much from what's going on in the foreground.
A lot of people liked my Calendar with Bears on It and I had fun making it so I thought I would make an illustrated four-month legislative calendar.
Backers who give $200 or more will get one and also have a say in which Alaskan politicians get featured on it! Is this thing going to just feature the classics like Ted Stevens or will it be filled with members of the interior delegation on mooseback? Do you want Tammie Wilson to help you count down the days of session or are we looking at four months of Neil Foster on black sand beaches? It's up to you!
If you'd like a calendar but don't feel the need to give editorial input, you can add a calendar to any of the lower tiers by kicking in an additional $20.
If you back the project at the $1000 level or more, we'll make you a guest correspondent! We'll work with you to figure out an issue and a character and then we'll write some dialogue for you to deliver.
If you're in Juneau, we'll come film you and if you're elsewhere we'll figure something out. Get in touch if you have questions.
Businesses and Oil Conglorparates
You can sponsor a segment by backing at the $500 level. We'll include your company name or logo at the end of a segment for several glorious seconds.
If you back us at the $2000 level, we'll make a short logo tag for you and include it at the end of every episode.
You can also specifically sponsor Boring Talk if you would prefer to have your business associated with something less volatile and silly.
Last year we really went for it, we cranked out over seventy minutes of news shorts and two episodes of Boring Talk on a tiny budget.
We raised around $8500 which is more like $6500 after taxes and fees. Of that, we spent about $1500 on temporary studio space and a bunch more on props, equipment and people.
It was a great experience but in the interest of nudging the project towards sustainability, we're promising less and asking for more this year.
We would love to work on this full time, but it's probably not realistic at this point so we need to minimize the impact of what is essentially a time consuming hobby on our ability to feed and shelter ourselves.
Beyond budgetary lessons, we learned gobs about the inside outs of Alaska politics. Some of it is truly awful but a lot of it is really encouraging and positive. There are good people in the government trying to do good things and, more often than not, the villain in politics is something intangible like poor communication or an odd incentive.
Risks and challenges
The most difficult thing we ran into last session was accurately estimating the time and effort that production would take. There was a real danger of exhaustion and burnout on our part. This time around, we're armed with a better understanding of the work we're up against and plan to work at a more sustainable pace.
A continuing challenge for us is the balancing act of critical humor in a small community. Alaska is a vast landscape but we have a tiny population so it's likely that every issue we explore and every politician we discuss will be connected to us by very few degrees.
We hope our community of backers will keep us pointed in a positive direction. We want people to laugh, learn and ultimately work towards a better future for Alaska. If this show can help people keep up on the news without feeling total despair, we've done our job.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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