Pilot Season: Four New Shows from Zombie Orpheus (Canceled)
We're producing four pilots and you get to choose which shows go to series: THE GAMERS, BRASS, THE MIRROR GAME, & DEMON HUNTERS.
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!
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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