About this project
Update 2: Final thanks and information for anyone who missed out.
As I write this, there are only a couple of hours left on the clock, and we just wanted to say a final massive thanks to everyone. We're grateful for the support we've received in all its forms, and we intend to repay it by making the best sitcom possible!
If you're already a Kickstarter backer, we'll be posting regular updates (at least monthly) throughout the production process, which will be delivered straight to your inbox. The posts will (mostly) be public, so newcomers, feel free to have a nose around using the link above.
Speaking of newcomers, if you're only just discovering the project after it's finished, we're sorry to say it's no longer an option to pledge for Kickstarter rewards. However, we will be offering the ability to pre-order the series, ebook and physical book at special prices through the official website - http://www.abhott.com - which will be live shortly, so check there if you'd like to buy in advance. Again, any money we receive prior to release will go straight back into the production, so if you want to help us make the series even better, that's how you can do it.
And that's about it. We're going to go into intensive writing mode for a few weeks, fill out the rest of the cast and start looking for people to do the music. If you want to get in touch for any reason in the mean time, you can find us on Twitter using @JamesHunt and @SebPatrick. Thanks again!
Update 1: Thanks to everyone for helping us hit (and exceed!) our initial target. In line with popular custom, stretch goals for £4,000, £5,000 and £7,000 have been announced. Details here.
Thrown together by a combination of time, fate, and administrative error, accountant Eric Street, genius inventor Professor Miles Wanderlust and temporal enforcement agent Nina Seventeen find themselves stuck in the past with a broken time machine – and worse, stuck with each other. Cursed to jump randomly through human history, and pursued by Oscar Basingstoke, a bumbling temporal enforcer who’s never been that good with dates, the trio blunder their way through a variety of historical settings, trying not to cause too much damage and hoping that they’ll eventually make it back to the future – assuming there's still a future left when they get there.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME TRAVEL is a half-hour, full-cast audio sitcom in the classic Radio 4-style tradition - drawing influence from the likes of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Red Dwarf and Doctor Who. Writers Seb Patrick and James Hunt have been working on the first series of six episodes since 2010, and now we want to self-produce the show and distribute it online.
To do this, we'd like to raise a budget to get our massively talented cast together in a recording studio some time in Spring 2013, make all six episodes, and edit and produce them ready for distribution in late summer/autumn. We need funds to pay the cast and crew, get library sounds and music, hire the studio, host the MP3s, and that sort of thing. We're also planning to produce a tie-in book containing background story, behind-the-scenes info and as many as four entirely new jokes.
ABHoTT (as all the cool kids will surely be calling it) will star:
Jon Shaw (The Royal, Doctors) as Eric Street
Henry Imbert (Big Brother's Bit On The Side) as The Professor
Joanna Eliot (Life Beyond The Box: Margo Leadbetter) as Nina Seventeen
Ian Symes (Big Brother's Bit On The Side) as Oscar Basingstoke
and Special Guest Star
Robert Llewellyn (Red Dwarf, Scrapheap Challenge) as The Narrator
Guest cast for individual episodes will include Relly Annett-Baker, Felicity Hayward, Dylan J. Hay-Chapman and Simon Renshaw. All six episodes are written by Patrick & Hunt. Graphics and art by Dylan.
For more information on the story itself, we'll turn you over to some SECRET DOCUMENTS that we found at the bottom of a drawer somewhere. We think they're from the future.
The above six episodes are the only ones on the slate for the moment, but we're not ruling out making more in future - however, money raised from this Kickstarter will only go towards production of this first series. We've planned what we think is a reasonable budget for making those six episodes, and the initial amount doesn't include any payment or fee for us, the writers - if we somehow manage to attract more funding than required, then this will enable us to scale up various elements of the production (from facilities used, to paying the actors a bit more).
We strongly believe that entertainment should be as affordable and available as possible, and that's why we're making it possible to pay only £1 and still get something in return, and why we're making everything available DRM-free. If you back at the lowest level, you will therefore get an MP3 download of the first episode upon release. Alternatively, you can get all manner of DVD-style bonus material (including deleted scenes, out-takes and a bonus sketch or two) for £2, or a full "series pass" (plus extras) for just £5. This series pass is guaranteed to be cheaper than the full series purchase will eventually be at retail.
If you want our exclusive tie-in book (slated for production a short while after the episodes are released), then pledging £10 will get you an eBook version along with your episode downloads, but you can have a paperback copy if you pledge £20.
If you'd like to put a little bit more in, however, we'll give you wider acknowledgement of your contribution in a variety of ways. Pledge £100 and we'll give you a "special thanks" credit on every episode and in the pages of the book, while £1,000 will get a maximum of three backers named as producers on the show (although this won't include creative control!)
What about appearing in the series itself? We're leaving guest character slots open to two potential backers of £250 - pledge at this level, and we'll get in contact with you before production starts to discuss what kind of role you might want to play (although the size of the role will naturally be at our discrection depending on your demonstrated acting ability). You'll also have to be able to make your own way to London for the recording next spring, as we can't pay travel or expenses, but we'll discuss all of that with you closer to the time. If you're more the shy and retiring type, meanwhile, but still want your name up in lights, then give us £500 and we'll name a single-episode incidental character after you, or a name of your choice (within reason).
Finally, our most ridiculous backing level is for anyone who wants to stump up the full expected £3,000 budget in one go. Do this, and you can nominate a time period and location of your choosing - past, present or future - and we will script and produce an entire additional episode in this setting. The time and place are the only story input we'll take from you, but we'll still give you a "Story" credit on the episode in question. We're not putting a limit on this reward, either - if as many as ten utterly insane people decide to pledge it, then dammit, we'll make sixteen episodes (it, er, might take us a bit longer to produce them, mind). And what's more, everyone wins if we extend the series in this way - as anyone who buys the full series via Kickstarter will get these episodes entirely free as a bonus.
We hope you'll take enough of an interest in the series to take a punt on it, and we're pathetically grateful for absolutely any level of pledge whatsoever. This concept and script is very close to this pair of sci-fi comedy geek hearts - it's a bit funny, a bit clever, and a lot silly - and if we can get it out there, we think it'll be close to yours as well.
Also if you don't pledge there might be some kind of cataclysmic time paradox that will wipe out the universe. So there's that.
Risks and challenges
If the project hits its funding target, then the first challenge will be to complete the writing of the series. All six episodes are mapped out, but are in various states of completed-ness. Therefore, the first few months after funding will be spent knuckling down and finishing the scripts, so that the cast and crew can be pulled together to record the episodes around May next year. While that's going on, we'll also be casting the net to flesh out the cast - our main actors are locked into place and all thrilled to be onboard (and have already rehearsed and demoed together to help establish their chemistry), but the nature of the series means that each episode has its own set of one-off guest characters, all of whom will need casting.
Following that, though, we reckon it should be a breeze. We've got potential recording studios pencilled in, and we're confident in our technical team's ability to cut the thing together once recorded. We might need to find a theme tune from somewhere, but that's about it. We think radio comedy is a brilliant, inventive and exciting medium - but it's also one that doesn't present the biggest challenge to put together. If this project gets funded, then these episodes will get made. We've deliberately given ourselves a generous estimated time of delivery, and we're confident we can achieve it.
And that's even before we sneaked a look at the Chronal Intelligence Agency's records to see how this all turns out...Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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