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$42,884 pledged of $150,000 goal
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$42,884 pledged of $150,000 goal
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About this project

FINAL PROJECT UPDATE, 12 MAY 2015

With much gratitude to the 777 backers who believed in this project, we have looked carefully at your feedback and our campaign metrics and decided to cancel the Pilot Season campaign.

While all four shows appeared to be attracting passionate and engaged audiences, very few backers were enthused about every show. We hear that you would much rather back the shows of your choice individually, rather than as a bundle.

The good news is that the creators behind each show are now preparing their own campaigns to get each series funded and produced!

Here's where to go to follow and support each show:

The Gamers: The Series – Monthly episodes go into production when ZOE reaches $15,000 in Patreon pledges. PLEDGE HERE

Demon Hunters: Red Tape – Dead Gentlemen will launch a Kickstarter for season one soon. Sign up for email updates HERE.

Brass – Battleground Productions will launch a crowdfunding campaign for Lair of the Red Widow soon. Follow them HERE.

The Mirror Game – Gravestone Entertainment is preparing a funding package now. Follow them HERE.

Thanks for your support and encouragement! Business on the internet is all about failing boldly, learning from what didn't work, and moving forward quickly with new plans. In the words of Glorion, Onwaaaaard!

Sincerely,
Zombie Orpheus Entertainment

THE ORIGINAL CAMPAIGN

We've created ten-minute pilot scripts for four new original series. With your help, we'll film all four pilots, release them online, and let all of you decide which ones get funded for complete first seasons.

As a Fan Supported and Creator Distributed company, we're putting the choice in your hands!

We're working with some old friends and also teaming up with some new partners to bring these new series to life, with production planned to begin in June!

Featuring returning cast members Nathan Rice, Matt Shimkus, Phil M. Price, and Justin McGregor, this series is the ideal introduction for new viewers to the story of The Gamers.

Developed in partnership between Dead Gentlemen and Zombie Orpheus, The Gamers: The Series is designed as an ongoing story that will, if greenlit for production, lead directly into the events of our upcoming tentpole production, Gamers 4. Expect to see many guest appearances and surprise cameos from your favorite DG characters and actors as the show continues!

About Zombie Orpheus Entertainment: Founded with the belief that the internet—a machine that makes perfect copies of our work at no cost to us—could be an asset, rather than something to fear, ZOE set out to do something new in the world of online entertainment. Five years later, our philosophy of openly sharing our productions under Creative Commons licenses, free online releases, and focusing on building a sustaining fan base has helped pave the way for many Fan Supported and Creator Distributed works. Today, we continue to empower fans to support and renew the shows that they love.

The Mirror Game is a co-production between Zombie Orpheus and Gravestone Entertainment. After meeting over bad coffee at a SeaTac Denny's, we realized that we shared many common interests and business ideals. When Gravestone pitched The Mirror Game to us as a cross between The Goonies and H.P. Lovecraft, we were hooked!

About Gravestone Entertainment: Formed in 2010 by producer Jason Hawkins, this award-winning production company continues to push for the growth and development of NW-based talent. Team Gravestone has recently expanded, adding a talented batch of female producers and directors to their team, and is working to provide more industry opportunities for women. With three films currently in world-wide distribution (VOD and DVD), the team has the talent, drive, experience, and determination to bring The Mirror Game adventure to life.

A co-production between Zombie Orpheus and Battleground Productions, BRASS is an ambitious original series with a multi-platform release strategy. In addition to the series, productions within the BRASS universe include a serialized radio drama, live theatrical events, and original fiction. The opportunity to bring the world of BRASS to life on screen was too good to miss! We're huge steampunk fans and this show's time travel concept lets us play in that genre without breaking the budget.

Battleground Productions: This Seattle-based film, theatre and new media company was founded in 2013 by Katherine Grant-Suttie, John Longenbaugh and Ron Richardson. Battleground's mission is to make performance-based art exploring the mysteries of the human heart and honoring the virtues of traditional story-telling in original and imaginative ways.

Our world is not what it seems. Since the Dawn of humankind, good and evil have been locked in an endless struggle for the fate of our very souls. Monsters, demons, vampires, werewolves -- every dark tale has a touch of the truth in it. Who can stand and defend humanity against the forces of evil? For almost 1000 years, The Brotherhood of the Celestial Torch has fought back against the darkness and held it at bay. Divided into chapters, these Demon Hunters seek out the supernatural dangers that threaten us around every corner, and prey upon the predators. Their lives are short and violent. Their ends are bloody. Their stories have been told a thousand times. Which is good. Because this isn’t their story.

Welcome to IOTA. The “operations” chapter of the Brotherhood of the Celestial Torch. Gabriel has faced death hundreds of times as a Chapter Leader in the Brotherhood and even braved the fires of Hell itself.

But middle management just might make him wish he was back there. 

Between shady new recruits, downsizing, enforcing policy and trying to usher the Brotherhood into the future when it’s so transfixed by its past, Gabriel has his work cut out for him. He needs a great team.

What he gets is a reformed Succubus, a gay werewolf, a chronic underachiever and an accountant with a bad case of “dead”. And that’s just the office staff. Together they deal with the everyday problems of the Brotherhood. Counseling, internal investigations, layoffs, “Human” resources and deciding the theme for the annual office party. Saving the world is easy. Saving the Brotherhood from itself… not so much.

About Dead Gentlemen Productions: Founded in 1999 with the release of the original Demon Hunters, Dead Gentlemen has created some of tabletop gaming's most beloved films, including The Gamers, Dorkness Rising, and in partnership with Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, JourneyQuest and Hands of Fate. Now, sixteen years after the original, Dead Gentlemen is thrilled to return to the world of the Demon Hunters!

We've learned a lot over the last five years. What has become very clear is that we need one or more shows that fall into the gap between one-off comedy sketches and large tentpole productions like Gamers 4 and JourneyQuest Season Three.

Pilot Season is for shows that we can, with enough support, produce on a rolling, monthly basis. They're based in realities enough like ours so that we don't have to build entire fantasy worlds from scratch. They're episodic and flexible, so we can produce shorter content much more frequently. And most importantly, each one is a fun combination of humor, genre, and nerdy awesomeness.

THE BUDGET: Each show will receive an equal percentage of what we raise on Kickstarter to produce a ten-minute pilot. We've determined that it takes at least $3000/minute of final content to make sure that our casts and crews are paid fairly and to produce at a reasonable technical quality. The rest of what we raise will go toward Kickstarter and credit card fees, taxes, reward manufacturing and fulfillment, and ongoing campaign management. 

If we reach our $10,000 milestone on Patreon in time, that campaign will help supplement these budgets, increasing quality and scope, creating additional art, and decreasing our turnaround time.

GREENLIGHTING THE SHOWS: As each pilot is completed, we will release it to backers and then to the public on YouTube. As we've done with the Renew JourneyQuest website, each pilot will link to a site with an email form for potential supporters, a public counter tracking that support, and a minimum threshold of success. When enough people have signed up to greenlight a first season, we will launch a campaign to fund a season of that show!

CONTINUING THE SHOWS: These seasons are designed to be shot and completed quickly! Rather than the year or more it can take for a season of JourneyQuest, by focusing on 30-40 minutes of story at a time, we can turn around and deliver new episodes in just a couple months. Also, the more ongoing support we receive on Patreon, the less we have to ask for on Kickstarter. Our long term goal? Produce new episodes every month, supported directly and sustainably by our Patreon subscribers!

PHILOSOPHY: We are a creator distributed and fan supported company. By empowering you, the fans, to support and renew the shows that you love, we can avoid the risk of a studio or network canceling something in the middle of the story. Additionally, your support gives us the flexibility to pursue distribution options while retaining ownership of our content and intellectual property!

So it's up to you—you choose which of our shows you want to greenlight or renew and we'll produce them!

CREATIVE COMMONS: Because we are working with other producers, not every show in Pilot Season can be released under a Creative Commons license. However, The Gamers and Demon Hunters will be CC-attribution-sharealike-noncommercial.

The more we raise, the more pilots we can shoot and the more we can increase quality and scope for every project. That means more content and more choices for you!

We'll reveal the additional shows when this campaign reaches its minimum goal. Other stretch goals include creating a Blu-ray option for $50 and higher backers, plus an exclusive embroidered "Pilot Season Supporter" patch.

As a Fan Supported company, we rely on you to fund our productions. Your support allows us to release our shows online for free, where new viewers can discover them and become fans as well. By avoiding DRM, allowing anyone to share and remix our work, and focusing on building a worldwide community of fans, we are uniquely able to empower our viewers. As long as you continue to support our work, we can continue to make exactly what you love, without having to water down our stories for studios, networks, or advertisers.

We're excited to bring these new shows to life, to let you choose which ones are funded for complete first seasons, and to work toward a future where we can release quality narrative media on an ongoing basis. With your support, we're ready to take our next big steps toward independent, fan-supported sustainability. Thank you for your pledge and for joining us in this latest adventure!

In the words of the original Gamers: "Would you care to join us on our noble quest?"

Risks and challenges

DELAYED RELEASE: People get sick. The weather doesn't cooperate. Aliens abduct cast and melt their brains. Stuff happens. We're going to be working on all four pilots side-by-side so that any scheduling hiccups on one won't derail the filming of all four. Having the talents of four companies ready to help with any problems, we're confident we'll be able to finish filming this summer. Using the post collaboration tools that we tested and developed over the years, we will be able to start releasing digital versions of the pilots on schedule this fall. Our goal is to ship by December.

The biggest factors that could slow down reward delivery are a) if one or more pilots fall heavily behind schedule, we'll have to wait for completion before authoring DVDs, b) the turnaround time for affordable Blu-ray manufacturing can be about six weeks, and c) we're supposed to be shooting one or more tentpole productions this fall, which could magnify any delays that occur after August.

The good news is that each pilot can be shot in 2-3 days, each pilot utilizes existing locations, and each pilot is designed to be limber and flexible, in a way that large productions cannot often manage. Those factors should help us absorb and respond to challenges quickly.

NEW PARTNERS: We're working with companies and cast we've never worked with before. While selecting pilot scripts, one of the things we considered was the experience level of the companies we're partnering with. Both Gravestone Entertainment (THE MIRROR GAME) and Battleground Productions (BRASS) impressed us enough that we're confident in their ability to make a good series - not just write an interesting script. That said, Zombie Orpheus will be working on both pilots from the production end, with Ben Dobyns also acting as director for BRASS and supervising producer for MIRROR GAME.

RELEASE AND DELIVERY: We now have four successful Kickstarter campaigns under our belt. Every one of these campaigns has been a learning experience, as well as an opportunity to become more efficient and effective. Backerkit will make it much easier for backers to update their information and check on the status of their rewards. We've also streamlined our rewards delivery process, made good relationships with vendors for quality production of DVDS, patches, and t-shirts, and are handling digital delivery through VHX, a leader in video-on-demand services.

FUNDING: There's a chance we won't hit our target. If that happens, we may choose one or more of these original series to produce using funds from our ongoing Patreon campaign. The timing of when that may happen, and which series we might fund, would be something we'd have to discuss with our Patrons.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    TIP JAR

    Get access to exclusive content and behind-the-scenes videos in our Kickstarter "Backers Only" updates. Thank you for your contribution!

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    EARLY ACCESS

    Stream the pilots before anyone else with an exclusive link before they release for the public. Plus, we'll immortalize your name as a backer in the credits for all shows. Thank you for your contribution!

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    HD DIGITAL

    Receive HD downloads of every pilot, DRM-free ($10 value), plus an MP3 download of "Nimble's Theme" from the original GAMERS soundtrack ($1 value), an MP3 download of the complete first season of the BRASS radio adventure ($1 value), a digital video greeting from the MIRROR GAME cast, recorded on set ($2 value), and an exclusive video of Christian Doyle's choreographed "thank you" dance from DEMON HUNTERS. ($1 value)

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    DVD

    Receive a signed DVD ($25 value) that includes every pilot funded by this campaign. DVD is embossed and numbered with a 2015 Pilot Season seal.

    Includes embroidered patch if PATCH stretch goal is unlocked.

    If BLU stretch goal is unlocked, includes option to receive a Blu-ray instead of a DVD at no additional charge.

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    SHIRT + PRINTS

    Receive a Pilot Season backer t-shirt ($20 value). Receive a personalized 5x7 glossy photo from each pilot, signed by the cast ($20 value). In addition, receive a PDF of each script, annotated by the creator or director ($10 value).

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    RED CARD

    You will receive official ZOE Red Card privileges. If one of us puns badly, makes an off-color joke, or otherwise offends, you can submit your Red Card and "bench that player". We’ll sub in an alternate while the offending party is in time out. One use per project (screenings, Hangouts, and even on-set during production), plus conventions.

    Also includes…

    THE GAMERS: Join cast members and the writer for a Google Hangouts RPG session. Game with the Gamers!

    BRASS: Airships need names, and you'll help name one for this series.

    THE MIRROR GAME: Help name a series creature or cultist that will be mentioned by a character on screen.

    DEMON HUNTERS: Join cast members and the writer for a Google Hangouts RPG session, featuring the new edition of the Demon Hunters RPG!

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    FEATURED EXTRA – THE GAMERS

    Participate in an on-screen LARP boffer battle with Rogar the Barbarian—as a Featured Extra—during the filming of the GAMERS pilot (transportation and lodging not included). SCHEDULED TO SHOOT JULY 2015.

    This is a non-speaking part that includes on-screen credit and inclusion in IMDb listings.

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    FEATURED EXTRA – THE MIRROR GAME

    Embody a Lovecraftian cultist—as a Featured Extra—during the filming of the MIRROR GAME pilot (transportation and lodging not included). This is a non-speaking part that includes on-screen credit and inclusion in IMDb listings. SCHEDULED TO SHOOT JULY 2015.

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    FEATURED EXTRA – BRASS

    Become a dangerous Cloud Warrior—as a Featured Extra—during the filming of the BRASS pilot (transportation and lodging not included). This is a non-speaking part that includes on-screen credit and inclusion in IMDb listings. SCHEDULED TO SHOOT AUGUST 2015.

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    FEATURED EXTRA – DEMON HUNTERS

    Appear on screen as a member of the Brotherhood of the Celestial Torch—as a Featured Extra—during the filming of the DEMON HUNTERS pilot (transportation and lodging not included). This is a non-speaking part that includes on-screen credit and inclusion in IMDb listings. SCHEDULED TO SHOOT JUNE 2015.

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    SPEAKING PART – THE MIRROR GAME

    Embody a Lovecraftian cultist—including at least a one-sentence speaking part—during the filming of the MIRROR GAME pilot (transportation and lodging not included). This is a speaking part that includes on-screen credit and inclusion in IMDb listings. SCHEDULED TO SHOOT JULY 2015.

    Receive an original cultist mask of Boggaroth, autographed by the cast, as used onscreen in THE MIRROR GAME ($150 value).

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    SPEAKING PART – THE GAMERS

    Participate in an on-screen LARP boffer battle with Rogar the Barbarian—including at least a one-sentence speaking part—during the filming of the GAMERS pilot (transportation and lodging not included). This is a speaking part that includes on-screen credit and inclusion in IMDb listings. SCHEDULED TO SHOOT JULY 2015.

    Receive an original boffer, autographed by the cast, as used onscreen in THE GAMERS ($150 value).

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    SPEAKING PART – DEMON HUNTERS

    Appear on screen as a member of the Brotherhood of the Celestial Torch—including at least a one-sentence speaking part—during the filming of the DEMON HUNTERS pilot (transportation and lodging not included). This is a speaking part that includes on-screen credit and inclusion in IMDb listings. SCHEDULED TO SHOOT JUNE 2015.

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    CO-PRODUCER + CREATURE

    Receive co-producer credit on all pilots.

    Also, play a featured Lovecraftian creature in complete FX makeup (on-screen credit and IMDb listing) for THE MIRROR GAME. SCHEDULED TO SHOOT JULY 2015.

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    CO-PRODUCER + ORIGINAL ART

    Receive co-producer credit on all pilots.

    Also, receive an original piece of artwork by BRASS artist Mark Tedin ($400).

    Includes $500 pledge level.

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Funding period

- (28 days)