About this project
Formed in November 2016, the Procyon Podcast Network began as the brainchild of several audio drama fans hanging out in a private Slack who wished there were more cool genre fiction podcasts out there with interesting and diverse characters. Eventually we figured, hey, here we all are. Let's be the cool genre fiction podcasts we want to see in the world.
Spread across 4 countries and 6+ time zones, our largely-female creative team has a passionate love of storytelling, especially through sound, and is invested in telling diverse stories with fresh perspectives on genre fiction.
Now we're here, asking for your help to fund the first seasons of three brand-new shows being launched under the Procyon umbrella: The Strange Case of Starship Iris (now airing), Under Pressure (coming Spring 2017), and Station to Station (coming Summer 2017). We've got scripts, actors, mics, and sound engineers -- now we just need the money to put it all together and get it out the door.
The Strange Case of Starship Iris is an sci-fi/mystery/thriller podcast about what comes after a war against extraterrestrials. It's a show about outer space, survival, espionage, resistance, identity, friendship, found family, romance, and secrets. (Also, there's jokes.)
Under Pressure (coming Spring 2017) is a near future podcast about life aboard the underwater research station Amphitrite featuring deep sea scholars, love, oblique literature references, and chaotic neutral kraken.
Under Pressure recently announced its main cast -- check it out!
A research cruise with dark secrets, a biochemist with melancholic tendencies, and the lost notes of a mad scientist, ten weeks in a tin can at sea. Station to Station (coming Summer 2017) is a sci-fi mystery about corporate espionage, loss, morality, and close encounters of the eldritch kind.
Auditions for Station to Station just closed -- callbacks will be running March 4-14, with a main cast announcement to follow!
WHO WE ARE
Jessica Best (Creator, Writer, and Producer for The Strange Case of Starship Iris) is a freelance writer/editor, an amateur singer/songwriter and a well-intentioned ball of pure quivering anxiety based out of Chicago, with a tremendous love of potlucks and public transit.
Margaret Clark (Creator, Writer, and Producer for Under Pressure) is a 20-something International Politics and Diplomacy student in the Lone Star State inordinately interested in crime procedurals, and can usually be found hibernating in her bedroom with her roommate's cat.
Phoebe Seiders (Co-Writer and Co-Producer for Under Pressure) is a 33-year-old resident of Seattle, Washington, where the football team has an official kombucha brand, and she has an endless fascination with the ways stories and storytelling evolve (and remain the same) as technology advances.
Alex Yun (Creator, Writer, and Producer for Station to Station) is a newly graduated student in her late 20's working in Hong Kong. An amateur photographer and professional procrastinator who is good with languages, bad with kids, loves weird idioms, and gets emotional about found families.
Andrea Klassen (Co-Writer and Co-Producer for Station to Station) is a news reporter and writer living slightly east of Canada’s west coast. Her interests include knitting, the weird and unnecessary things governments like to redact in Freedom of Information requests, and queer signalling by wearing as many plaid items as possible at once.
Erin S (Sound Engineer for The Strange Case of Starship Iris, Under Pressure, and Station to Station) is a musician, sound tech, and monster enthusiast in the San Francisco Bay Area. She's most often found caring for her geckos, having unnecessarily strong opinions about synesthesia, and performing one-woman renditions of Broadway hits in her kitchen.
A. Bajo (Procyon Podcast Network Artist & Graphic Designer) is a graphic design graduate in their mid 20's currently based in Nuevo Leon, Mexico fumbling around with their day job, their interest in film editing, voice work and crafts. They are exceptionally passionate about cooking, bee populations in their region and, for some odd reason, puppets.
WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES
Here's an approximate breakdown of what these Kickstarter funds will be used for:
- ~$1k for each show to pay our actors for their time (each show may need more or less than this, but that's why we're pooling resources)
- Sound equipment upgrades for those actors who need it
- Backer reward fulfillment
- Software and hosting costs -- at some point we're going to want to upgrade to a paid Slack account, for example, which will run us about $650 per year
- Kickstarter/payment processing fees
To reward you for backing our campaign, we're offering our thanks, and also some beautiful artwork so you can have visuals while you listen to our shows.
- PPN Sticker Sheet: a sweet sheet of kiss-cut stickers featuring Procyon Podcast Network art, as seen on our various social media pages
- Postcards: A set of 3 postcards featuring concept art from each show:
- Mini-Poster: An 8x10 mini-print of our mascot, the brave Officer Raccoonstronaut, looking up to the stars
- Your Name: For a few big spenders: your name in one of our shows! We will find a bit part to name after you (or the name of your choosing, within reason)
- If we reach this level, we'll make a crossover episode! Also, we'll be able to pay our sound editor, our musician, and our artist a bit, in addition to paying our actors.
- At this level we'll commit to at least one "holiday special" episode for each show! We're generally planning to do this anyway if the shows are successful, but if we're funded to this level we'll be secure in the knowledge that there's a designated place for them in the budget.
- We'll pay everybody more. Quite frankly, our actors all deserve way more than the minimal amount we're asking for. This level will allow us to pay them more generously for their time and fantastic work, and at this level the five Procyon writers & producers will also be able to pay ourselves.
- At this point we'd really be getting the message that people are hungry for the kinds of stories we're creating. At this level, we will commit to making an additional, limited-run show which we'll reveal more about if we reach our base funding goal.
- (Also at this level, we'd get some tax/business/legal pros involved to make sure we have all our ducks in a row, because holy cow, this thing's got legs.)
...and if we hit all of these (frankly staggering) stretch goals, your faithful raccoonstronaut crew has more to announce! Once we all have a chance to catch our breath and recover from the shock, that is.
Risks and challenges
Our risks and challenges mainly center around the lack of funding, as well as the potential for emergencies and other commitments that may affect our actors or production crew -- which funding will help mitigate.
We're in solid shape in terms of scripts: the first seasons of each show are about 3/4 done. We don't anticipate finishing up scripts will be an issue -- deadlines are marvelously motivating things.
We have a sound engineer already on our team (Erin), and another who's helping create music for Under Pressure (Dominic -- you heard his work on our video). Should something happen and one or both of them have to step away from Procyon, we might be able to lean on the sound engineering experience of one of the Under Pressure actors, or we might need to find a different way to fill that gap, either by hiring someone or by asking for help from the podcast creators' community.
We're pretty solid on actors -- Under Pressure has run auditions for and cast its first season, and Station to Station auditions are currently running. Starship Iris has a couple more roles to cast toward the end of season one. But since we put out a general call for actors instead of leaning on family/friends, we don't really have much to offer our actors in terms of favors or in-kind trades; we need to pay them. Without actors, we've got no shows. If this Kickstarter isn't funded, we'll have to look into other funding options to stick to the minimum payment amount we're committing to.
We've lined up minimum quotes for all the merchandise listed as backer rewards and given ourselves what we anticipate will be plenty of time for production and delivery (to us, for us to then sort into individual backer rewards). The most complicated & time-consuming part will be envelope stuffing/labeling/mailing.
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