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Post 500 and The Next Big Project

If only my third grade teacher could see me now. She once told my parents I lacked focus and would never amount to anything. Where are you now, Mrs. Saaid? You’re in hell (or more likely Florida), that’s where, and I’m writing the 500th post to my completely reasonably moderately comparatively successful blog. Point, Shaftoe.

But enough of that, this isn’t going to be a usual big number post. This is an announcement post, of sorts.

After recording the last podcast, my co-host, Matt Leaver, and me decided to watch The Last Starfighter. Of course by watch, I mean we mercilessly made fun of a movie that only holds water if you’re ten-years-old and some sort of space-time conveyance has returned you to the 1980s. Half-way through the second act, it occurred to me that we should have recorded our banter, if only to try our hands at making an homage to Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and RiffTrax. Because at the end of the day, everybody whose seen a bad movie and whispered a snarky rejoinder to their neighbor wants to have the freedom to be Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett.

Later, I recounted the day’s goofing off on facebook; therein a mutual friend asked, “Who am I, Pierce? Why didn’t anybody invite me in on this?”

And out of this unintentional Piercing, an idea was born; we would make a full-length riff ‘cast. But what movie? What movie is so obviously bad that we could thrash it without fear of alienating the audience. Not to mention we needed something untouched by either the real RiffTrax team or Red Letter Media? The answer came in an epiphany from the nerd gods: Wing Commander. Tell me another movie that is so reviled by both critics and the audience at large? And let’s not forget all the gamers who are in all likelihood still bitter about this movie taking a steaming dump on established video game canon.

But we couldn’t do it on our own. We would need a third guy, because the laws of comedy clearly demonstrate that three nerds are better than two when making fun of awful movies. Also, we don’t want our friend to think he’s the Pierce of our group. Three voices, however, would require three microphones, which is one more than I currently have. So like so many projects before us, we’ve decided to take to begging. Thankfully, it’s a small-scale beg with long term benefits.

Our goal is $300.

Expenses break down like so:

$100 for a new microphone

$50 for a mic stand and shock mount

$40 for a mic cable

$25 for a pop filter

$15 for a BluRay of Wing Commander, because none of us own, or will admit to owning, this abomination of a movie

$70 to cover production costs

As kickstarter campaigns go, we wanted to keep this a humble affair.

Why turn to crowd sourcing? First and foremost becasue we’re giving away the final product for free.  Maybe, one day, somebody will pay me to do stuff like this. For now, I’m happy to do it for the fun of doing it. That said, it would take my Google ad revenue about 21 years to absorb the costs of this project. So a little assistance would not go amiss. Rest assured that even if we don’t meet our goal, we’re still going to do this. It just means the audio quality isn’t going to be where I want it to be and we won’t have any original art to go with it. Speaking of art, Akira Arruda, who has done some fantastic promotional work for the weekly web series Continue? has agreed to do the art for riff ‘cast. I want to be able to pay her for her effort, even if it is a pittance of a symbolic gesture. In the long run, having a third mic means I can expand the podcast into a Ricky Gervais Show format, which is want I’ve wanted to do all along. So without wanting to sound too sentimental, contributing to this campaign has the added benefit of helping me meet a goal that predates podcast #1 – which nobody should listen to because it is terrible. I mean it’s just awful.

What will you get for contributing? Well, we’re still working on all the details therein, but here is what we have so far:

- A personalized copy of the riff track.

- A name drop for your book/web series/podcast/whatever during the track.

- Page of Reviews podcast producer powers for a day; wherein you can subject Matt, myself, and our mystery third to reviewing a movie of your choosing.

- Executive producer powers, which get you the same as the above but also include making me do a dramatic reading from any book of your choosing. Well, almost any book. I draw the line at Mein Kampf and its ilk.

Look for the kickstarter in the days to come. And even if you don’t contribute to this wholly reasonably somewhat worthy campaign, thanks for reading this post. I wouldn’t keep writing if people didn’t keep coming back to see what I have to say.