Cross-platform, cross-wired, hyper-hyphenated sitcom charting the bizarrely chaotic life of the 20-something Londoner. Read more
This project was successfully funded on April 26, 2013.
About this project
UPDATE: We've reached our initial target! Thank you!!
To celebrate, we've released more of the sold out rewards, including the TWENTY-SOMETHING GAME and the LIMITED EDITION STILLS. Get them while you still can!
Every extra penny will go towards improving the series. £20 gets us a better prop; £50 rents us a lens for a night shoot; £100 pays for an extra location... and even £1 pays for a roll of tape for when things fall apart.
We've released some bonus mini-targets for the last few hours:
- Target #1: £7,500 ----> COMPLETE!!
We make the entire series.
- Target #2: £7,550 ----> COMPLETE!!
We release more of all the sold out rewards.
Target #3: £7,750 ----> ...98%
We'll make a bonus mini-episode spoofing The Office!
- Target #4: £8,000 ----> ...95%Every backer over £10 will receive an exclusive shiny enamel Missing Something Supporters' Pin Badge!
Even better, we'll add a spoof Peep Show mini-episode.
Chuck some pennies in! Every little helps.
Nathan Barley meets Girls*. Spaced meets Coupling. Arrested Development meets The Office. All crammed into less time than it takes to squeeze a teabag.
MISSING SOMETHING is a cross-platform web sitcom: a spotlight into a world of pretentious media agencies, self-absorbed artists, oversexed-flatmates and very petty crooks. This crazy world is called “London”.
The series is a good old-fashioned British sitcom - interwoven plots, larger-than-life characters, and a solid story that we all grudgingly relate to.
But there's one major difference. Each episode packs all this into just three minutes…
The story centres on a twenty-something Londoner coming to terms with a quarter-life crisis, and discovering she's as bonkers as everyone else.
Now stop reading and watch our pilot.
Done that? Good. Now read on. (Feel free to scan through, we won't tell anyone).
My name is Yaz. Hi.
I'm one half of filming duo Brother Brother, one third of theatrical trio Three's Company, and one tenth of the creative team for something very exciting - a brand spanking new web-sitcom, MISSING SOMETHING.
A while ago my brother and I were approached with an idea for a three-minute-sitcom about a new pandemic: the quarter-life crisis.
We were pretty convinced was a good idea.
So, we developed the script of the first episode, and with a tiny team and no money, we made a pilot in just 11 hours. We liked it.
Now we're 100% convinced it's a good idea.
We’ve now got twelve excellent scripts, a full creative team chomping at the bit*, and the perfect cast. Everything is in place... except for one thing.
That's where you come in. We’re gonna fund it the way it's going to be distributed... in tiny fragments all over the internet.
"The thirties are the new twenties… so, um, who the heck are we?"
MISSING SOMETHING puts you inside the head* of Rachel - a twenty-something-ish recent-ish graduate, interning to avoid choosing a career.
A self-aware bundle of neuroses and fumbled decisions, the only people more loony than her are everyone else she ever meets ever. A self-aggrandising boss, two self-absorbed flatmates, a self-obsessed ex-boyfriend - and that’s not to mention the masked vigilantess at war with the blisteringly inept criminal underworld on their doorstep. Everything’s connected, if only she could just stop thinking about it long enough to figure out how...
Each episode is an individual story, forming part of a spiralling plot towards a riotous season finale (and beyond). A moment of surreal insanity in one episode becomes key as the stories unravel.
And there’s a bit with a dog.
To make this happen, we need to find around £7,500.
"£7,500 is very low for a webseries", I hear you cry, "especially for one as complex as this".
Well, yes, but also... no.
Sure, it's barely £600 per episode. But we're able to do it so cheaply because we own a lot of equipment, and we've got a great team of professionals willing to invest their time for peanuts* because they believe in the project. Heck, we did the pilot for nothing. We're resourceful.
But, yes, that amount is based on the cheapest, simplest, most reigned-in version of our plans. We have more ambitious budgets for our ideal version realisations of the series. And we've got some rather nice rewards up our sleeves** ready for if we pass our target.
But you'll have to donate to find out what they are.
Note: a detailed budget is available on request, to those considering the higher levels of donation.
MISSING SOMETHING is set in a world of missed links, of interconnectivity and the internet. That’s how it’s delivered, that’s how it’s funded (nudge, nudge), and it’s hard-wired into the story itself.
What does that actually mean?
The stories and subplots spread across the episodes, and branch out into the internet, linking to dozens of other microsites, videos, and social media accounts. Follow the cross-platform stories and you'll stumble across* certain twists before they appear onscreen, see the secret cogs* underneath the plot, and even get to influence certain elements of plot through your actions. Hints to find these extra stories are in the episodes themselves, and on the website… but to find them all, you'll have to hunt hard.
To make this happen we've put together the most awesome team that ever existed.*
- Haroun "Haz" Al-Shaater, director and DoP
- Yacein "Yaz" Al-Shaater, co-director, co-creator, and co-actor.
- Leila "La" Sykes, creator, lead writer, and lead actor
- Christopher "Vince" Vincent, production designer
- Tom "Tom" Crawshaw, writer and story editor
- Melissa Johnson-Peters, producer
- Cottia Thorowgood 1st AD
- Sophie Larn, 2nd AD
- Jemima Yong, camera
- Caroline Walotka, costume designer
- Matt Price, sound recordist and mixer
- Verity Pitt, hair and makeup
Cast includes Scott Wilson-Besgrove, Francesca Binefa, Lee Drage, Amr Elbayoumi, Michael Grady-Hall, Omar Ibrahim, and Ashlea Kaye.
We've got some really corking rewards lined up for you. Here's some more info on them.
new Voting Rights. Your chance to influence our story! For starters, you can vote for who gets caught dancing Gangnam Style. Will this have a spiralling effect on the plot? Well, you'll have to see. After the campaign closes, cast your vote, and hold your breath*. Open to all our backers who pledge over a fiver. We'll add more topics as the campaign reaches certain targets.
new Voting Right #2How does Aaron get to work?a) Micro scooter
b) Roller blades
The Members Area. Anyone above £25 gets access to a private section of our website. Here we'll release news, stills, out-takes, and behind-the-scenes footage of the show.
Limited Edition Artwork by Charlotte Wainwright. London illustrator Charlotte Wainwright has been scribbling away, creating a unique piece of art inspired by the show, the likes of which you can see below*. This will be beautifully screen-printed by hand. These are strictly limited, one-time run, and when they're gone, they're gone.
Artwork will be hand-printed in London by print technician and designer Simon Fitzmaurice.
Production Stills by Jemima Yong. Artist and photographer Jemima Yong will be hanging around the set, finding striking photos of the scenes and the shoot. You'll select your favourite photo from a choice of six, and receive it signed by the cast featured. These photos are numbered, limited, and strictly exclusive to backers.
Please note, as each photo is limited, some shots may run out for later backers.
Backers' T-Shirt. Designed by our very own Haroun Al-Shaater, and ethically screen printed by hand in London. Available in a choice of sizes and colours - you'll be contacted when the campaign closes. T-shirt mockup below, for illustration purposes*.
The Twenty Something Game. Specify a word, name, phrase, sound, image or object and we'll hide it in the series. We'll publish a list of all the hidden items for anyone to find when the series airs.
Please note: unless specified, we can't provide travel or accommodation for any of the rewards. For the Twenty Something Game and other user-submitted content, we have to reserve the right to refuse certain suggestions or specify restrictions - but in practice anything goes.
Thanks for reading this far. Or at least, for scrolling here...
Please consider throwing a few quid our way (or bucks if you're that way inclined). And if you like the idea, get in touch with us, and spread the word online.
Help us make something happen!
Yaz, Haz, Leila, Melissa, and The Missing Something Team
Risks and challenges
There are two potential obstacles we're likely to face on this shoot.
The first is getting everything done in time and without any production delays. This is the case with any shoot, but we're trying to fit 12 high-energy episodes into 16 shoot days. But we're aware this is a huge undertaking,and we've planned accordingly. We've built some contingency into our scheduling, and a good lead time. Luckily, we've got a wonderfully experienced, and dedicated team on our side.
The second is that this project is a new and embitious idea. Like any experimental undertaking, we're likely to find that not everything works like we expect. Perhaps a webisode must be at least 3m5s to work? But we've got a dexterous and cunning streak, and we're used to reworking things at a moment's notice.
The risk of experimentation is what crowd-funding allows. No conventional funding streams are geared towards this kind of work - how could they be? Innovation depends on a group of people having faith in a new idea. We've got that now... we just want to make it bigger. With you.
And as you've probably gathered, we're madly excited about the idea, and one way or another we're gonna see it happen. We've already invested a huge amount of time, money, and other peoples' good will so far, and we're not about to let that go to waste.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Whatever happens, our top level backers will get signed, bespoke, hand-made copies of the whole series. SILVER backers will get it on a bespoke USB flash drive instead.
But, we have calculated the cost of getting DVDs with jewel cases professionally produced, so we know what we need to reach to make it feasible.
We'll let you know about that nearer the time...
That's not really a question is it? But if you wanna know why we chose that length, it's because we wanted to distil a story into the shortest helping we could. A morsel of entertainment you can watch and absorb during a cigarette break, or as a distraction from your procrastination on facebook.
Each episode has a beginning, middle and an end, and more jokes than you can shake a funny bone at.
And if you want more, you can always watch it twice.
Oh I see. That wasn't clear. But well observed.
The pilot was an experiment - part of what led us to the three minute figure. The final episodes will be closer to three, though the benefit of a web-sitcom is we're not limited to a precise number of seconds.
No, but sort of. The story is similar, but we'll be reshooting when we make the full series.
The pilot was an experiment we did to see if we liked the concept. The production values were lower, we filmed it for nothing over the course of a few hours, and we only had a small team (no producer, no DP, no wardrobe… etc).
We also wrote it when the series plots were still being developed, so there're some tweaks and additions to be made.
Absolutely. Sure, it'll be tough, but we're used to working with no money, and we're all investing from our own pockets too.
That's not to say we couldn't make it even cooler a larger budget. We've cut a lot of locations and set-pieces to get it to this level, and we do have alternative budgets (and some awesome rewards) in place if we raise more.
But one thing at a time, eh?
When you say a "comedy web series", do you mean a "web series that's a comedy" or "a series of comedy webs"?
Are you trying to be funny?
Which do you think?
Why do you always answer a question with a question?
Funny you should ask. We're influenced by all the great British sitcoms, as well as a few awesome US shows. If we had to pick two, I'd say Spaced - for its zany characters, occasional surrealism, and sense of fun in its film-making - and Arrested Development - for its interwoven plots, genius writing, and the way that every moment and joke is reincorporated later in the series (or several seasons later).
Also hugely influenced by Coupling (if you've not seen the last episode of Series 2, watch it now and die happy), The Office (who isn't?), Only Fools & Horses, and the plays of Tom Stoppard.
We've cast the leads for season 1, but several rewards give you the chance to appear on screen. And we like the idea that an extra could develop into a character in season two But either way, send us a CV or Spotlight link and we'll take a look in the future.
That's fairly unlikely. And to be honest, not really relevant.
Pledge £1 or more
4 backers Limited (4 left of 8)
Since you’ve kindly donated one of our first few pennies, we'll send you a social media shout-out, a personal email of thanks. It's not much, but it's nice. Just like your donation.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £1 or more
You'll be the proud recipient of our intangible gratitude. We're generous like that.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £5 or more
[VOTING RIGHTS] Anyone who pledges a fiver or more get the chance to influence the story! Vote on certain gravely important plot points... like who gets caught dancing Gangnam Style. Check the description for more.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £10 or more
You'll join The Big List of Supporters on our website. Plus you'll get a big social-media thank-you shout-out, and a fancy digital supporter's badges for your blog, facebook, or twitter. And you still get the intangible gratitude from above!Estimated delivery:
Pledge £20 or more
As well as joining The Big List Of Supporters, having voting rights, and getting the digital supporters' badges, you'll also receive a lovely thank you postcard from one of the team.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £21 or more
12 backers Limited (6 left of 18)
THE TWENTY-SOMETHING GAME. Donate between £21 and £29 to play! Choose a name, image, word, or sound, and we'll hide it in the series for you and the world to find. (See description). You must choose this reward specifically to play!Estimated delivery:
Pledge £25 or more
Everyone who donates over £25 gets access to the Members' Area of our website, with out-takes, bonus materials, behind the scenes footage and early access to new episodes. Plus, choose this reward and we'll throw in everything the from £20 level.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £35 or more
[SILVER] All the awesome benefits from the £25 reward PLUS the entire series on a cool limited edition USB drive, posted to you once the series airs.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £50 or more
7 backers Limited (5 left of 12)
[EARLY GOLD] Get everything from GOLD level, plus choose another perk: EITHER appear in the show as an extra; OR receive a limited edition production still, by Jemima Yong. Stills are signed by the actors, numbered, and strictly exclusive to backers. (See description for details).Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £50 or more
[GOLD] Thanks! Your name (with a link of your choice) will be included on our list of Gold Supporters. Plus you get the entire series on a Limited Edition USB card, access to our Members' Area, and everything from the SILVER level.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £75 or more
3 backers Limited (5 left of 8)
[EARLY DIAMOND]. Everything from the GOLD level, plus a limited edition hand screen-printed artwork inspired by the show. Illustrated by genuine London twenty-something Charlotte Wainwright www.charlottewainwright.comEstimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £75 or more
[DIAMOND]. All the GOLD rewards, plus a Limited Edition MISSING SOMETHING T-Shirt, ethically printed in London. (See description).Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £85 or more
1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)
Send us a name and we'll include it in the series. Could be a plug for one of your characters, or an unusual practical joke, or fun, extravagant gesture for a loved one. And we'll throw in everything from GOLD for good measure.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £99 or more
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
99 BACKERS BUT A BITCH AIN"T ONE. For this exclusive reward to celebrate reaching 99 backers, you get the opportunity to name Aaron's dog in the series (it must be a female name!). You also get an adorable dog cuddly toy for you to snuggle up toEstimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £100 or more
5 backers Limited (3 left of 8)
[EARLY PLATINUM] As PLATINUM below, except the Season Poster is replaced by our Limited Edition Hand-Printed Artwork by Charlotte Wainwright, signed by the leads.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £100 or more
[PLATINUM]. A printed copy of our Season Poster, signed by the leads and addressed to you. PLUS, all the perks of GOLD: the entire series on a fancy USB card; a social-media shout-out; early access to episodes; a thank you postcard; access to our members area; and a link on our Gold Supporters List... gosh we're generous.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £212 or more
0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)
We'll recreate the music video to the well-known Azealia Banks song, '212', starring a character of your choice, and dedicate it to you personally.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £250 or more
Everything from the PLATINUM level, plus the Limited Edition Artwork by Charlotte Wainwright - signed by the entire cast, and lovingly framed.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £404 or more
1 backer All gone!
For true geeks. Your message and/or photo will appear on the Chaos Games "404 - Not Found" pages. Plus the entire PLATINUM package and the signed, framed artwork.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £500 or more
FILM BUFF. Everything from the £250 level, plus a one-of-a-kind DVD and cover hand-made by the film-makers. Plus an invitation to visit us on-set, and an item of memorabilia from the shoot.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £666 or more
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
You are the devil.
You get a photo of a character of your choice holding a pitchfork, and a certificate saying you own their soul. No shipping fees.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge £1,000 or more
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER. You get an associate producer credit and IMDB entry, plus a bound signed copy of script, the chance to sit in on the edit or feedback on rough, and an invitation to the Launch/Screening Party. Plus, everything from the FILM BUFF level.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit. As well as all perks of ASSOCIATE PRODUCER, we'll arrange your transport to the Screening/Launch Party (within British Isles), and put you and one other up in a London Hotel. Plus selected members of the cast will feed you strawberries or mashed potato. That last part is optional.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
- (30 days)