The Internet and social media has been all a buzz for the past few days as Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans “storm the (Hollywood) castle,” (Not that "Castle!")
In the past several years the paradigms of how movies and television shows are delivered and made have been shaken to their foundations. Emerging digital delivery media, such as Hulu, Netflix, Crackle and others have changed the way viewers get their favorite content and the way execs count viewers.
But the Interweb has changed more than how we see this content. It is changing the way content is made.
Last week, Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion, two of Sci-Fi’s most recognizable faces — at least to die hard fans, launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds for a new comedy series centered around their experiences on the growing convention circuit.
Penned by Tudyk, ConMan, as the series is titled, is a comedy about an actor who was a spaceship pilot on a TV show that was cancelled, as Tudyk and Fillion say, “too soon.” Sound familiar?
The show is set to follow its main character, played by Tudyk, on his adventures meeting a colorful cast of characters that organize, work at, attend or orbit the conventions that have become mainstays of the science fiction and fantasy genre. Fillion is set to play Tudyk’s long time friend, who coincidently once played the captain of the spaceship in the show that was cancelled “too soon.”
Like Fillion himself, his character has gone on to mainstream success but is still a frequent convention draw.
Tudyk and Filion, who became sci-fi culture cult icons for their roles on Joss Whedon’s one season show turned genre phenomenon, Firefly, and the largely fan driven followup feature film, “Serenity,” have turned to that fan base to produce their show, and asked fans to pool resources to raise $425,000 to get the ConMan series off the ground.
The result: in less than one week, the pair have partnered with tens of thousands of fans and, as of this article, hit the $2 Million mark before their first week ended.
Tudyk and Fillion have said that their primary reason for coming to the fans with this project, is to have “partners” who love the sci-fi and convention community as much as they do, and will allow them to make the show they want for the audience they know best.
The overwhelming success of the campaign thus far is sure to put the guardians of old Hollywood on notice that in an evolving world of digital media, social media and more direct contact between the once heavily isolated celebrity community and the much regarded, but at-a-distance fan community, the accepted paradigms for entertainment are shifting and the winds are changing.
In their “pitch” video, Fillion and Tudyk boast a Sci-Fi A-list of friends, including fellow Whedon Alumn Gina Torres and Seth Green (stars in their own right), to tap to join them on the set of ConMan and bring fans some entertaining hours of fun.
Anyone who has “youtubed…” can I even use that as a verb? No matter. If one has seen Nathan and Alan in their now annual appearances as guests at “Nerd HQ” raising funds for charity, along side sci-fi-comedy star Zachary Levi of the multi season fan favorite, Chuck, knows that humor and levity are not in short supply, and ComMan is poised to make us all laugh at ourselves as well as our favorite stars.
That was a long run-on sentence. It said: “They are funny guys!” It also said, “They know other funny guys (and girls).”
To learn more about ConMan and be a part of this fan-powered industry changing and fun process, go to: www.indiegogo.com/projects/con-man/x/10155813.