CO: As a fan of Fillion and Tudyk I’m obviously pretty excited to see them produce some content with their voice and tendencies. In the intro video, they ‘recruit’ Seth Green (another favorite of mine) Felicia Day, James Gunn, and Gina Torres. They basically assembled the semi-but-not-too-well-known Justice League of geeky actors. This is also another reason I don’t have to watch Castle just to get my Fillion-fix. The only thing I’m still not sold on though is celebrities crowdfunding a project. Now in the intro video Fillion and Tudyk make it clear they’ve already invested money in this, so I’m not really worried they’re using their fans. What I am nervous about is movie/tv studios playing it even safer with the projects they finance, leaving the riskier projects to be financed in crowdfunding campaigns like these. However, this being a web-series I guess a studio won’t be making profits from the proceedings, whereas the Veronica Mars movie and Zach Braff’s Wish I was Here (both crowdfunded) had to be distributed by a studio that I assume made money off of it. So maybe this is the way to do it then.
BC: Squee! I am so darn excited for this, even though like Cody said there are some obvious “plot holes” in their plan. But look at those names!?! I mean Felicia Day and Gina Torres...I nearly geek-squeaked out when both of them showed up. Without a doubt, there will probably be other recognizable names as the show goes on as both Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk know how to play to their fans. I mean, this whole web-series is playing to us, their fans who won’t let the Browncoats die. I’m a bit more optimistic on how they will be using the funds from the IndieGoGo campaign and definitely think that we will see more surprises as this whole plan moves on. What I am slightly concerned about is the movie’s storyline revolving around the convention-going crowd. I’m a little worried that they will replay some stereotypes and tropes within the sci-fi communities, and as a geek journalist, I feel like this could be a bad thing.
CO: Just to be clear I’m not worried about how they’ll use the funds per se, I’m just still undecided how I feel about crowd funded professional endeavours in general. I was surprised that this work (and the intro video) harkens back to Firefly so much, I know they still have love for it but the vibe I got was they all wanted to move on with their lives and maybe not have it mentioned so much. But this show seems like it’ll explore some of the thoughts they had when the show first ended, kinda opening up old scabs. What do you mean about the stereotypes Becky? They mentioned loving con-goers and I doubt they’re gonna hate on the geek community.
BC: I know I sounded a little harsh on the stereotypes, but even in the best of intentions, they always seem to come up, though, like you mentioned I don’t think they will be as bad as what we’ve seen elsewhere -- just makes me a bit nervous, but I’ll give them the complete benefit of the doubt before making any sort of final judgement. To clarify, I meant sci-fi stereotypes like what the mainstream media or those out there that aren’t geeks think of us. (I.E. Pasty, smelly nerds who stutter and can’t talk about anything but their favorite fandom)
What I’m a little curious about is the levels of pledging by the fans. As a student, I don’t have a ton of money to throw at this at the current time, but I will donate a bit, because hey, it’s Alan Tudyk & Nathan Fillion -- need I say more? I’m wondering who were the people who donated the $5 thousand and $10 thousand options. Were they really fans, or is it fellow actors or friends. I think what I’m most excited about is to see Alan Tudyk’s directing and writing come to life. What about you, Cody?
P.S. While I loved the references back to Firefly, I do think they mentioned it way too many times in the video. A few times is funny, but almost every scene in a short campaign video? You are beating a dead reaver now.
CO: Yah I kind of agree, all the Firefly references were a bit much, I did like them having some fun with Fillion’s ‘too soon’ bit though. Ok so you’re worried they’ll play the geek community for laughs a bit? I guess I’m not. At all. They’re all legit nerds, and Tudyk even said in the video he has nothing but love for the con-going crowd, so I really doubt they’d hate on their primary fanbase. Becky I have to imagine those $5 thousand plus pledges had to come from industry professionals. Or just some rich hedge fund manager. But that’s what I mean a bit, I hope students who are strapped for money aren’t blindly giving their money away just because they love these guys. Alright, before we sign off, let’s place some bets. The Con Man campaign is at over a million while we write this (by the time you read this I’m sure it’ll be higher), it goes until April 10th, so how much money do you think they’ll get before it’s all over? I’m gonna guess three million. Time will tell if that’s high or low.
BC: You are probably right about that, Cody. They will do a really good job respecting the sci-fi community, I just get nervous for no reason whatsoever. I’m actually getting incredibly excited for this venture and I can’t wait to see what these webisodes are going to be about. Oh, I guarantee that this campaign will at least hit three million by April 10th, if not more. If you recall the Reading Rainbow campaign garnered well over three times its original goal and closed at $5.4 million. If that campaign is any indicator then you can almost know that this one will get close to that, It has already received twice of their original goal, so I have no doubt that it will grow beyond what even Alan and Nathan imagined when they planned this project.
A movie for Geeks, by geeks, about Geeks, funded by the Geek who will later watch it. That’s an incestious mix, but one that could produce quite the crowd-pleasing results. Despite the ethical questions raised by celebrity crowd-funding, the project is moving forward and will provide an example of what Tudyk and Fillion can do without a studio presence.
Share your thoughts on the Con Man crowdfunding campaign below.