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Television The Almighty Buck

MST3K Is Kickstarting Back To Life 83

New submitter kevin lyda writes: The creator of MST3K wants to bring it back. Anywhere from just three episodes up to a full season. Joel is also including options to make it DRM-free. Wired reports: "Hodgson officially launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund new episodes of the series. The initial goal of $2 million would fund only three episodes, but if the campaign does well enough, the project could make as many as 12 episodes (that maximum order would require $5.5 million). The rewards run the gamut from the typical t-shirt all the way up to fans contributing riffs to the episodes or hosting live installments of the show. But the real fun begins if MST3K finds an angel investor willing to splash some serious cash: 'Finally, if we raise $1 BILLION—stay with me on this one—we’re going to adopt a real live teenage boy and "Truman Show" him into believing he is the Pumaman!'"
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MST3K Is Kickstarting Back To Life

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  • Get syfy, spike, others to pick it up!

    • by laffer1 ( 701823 )

      No need. Just use Hulu or some other streaming service. The target audience for this isn't WWE fans.

  • by turp182 ( 1020263 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @06:24PM (#50911755) Journal

    That seems extremely expensive at $660,000 per episode/movie (approx).

    I wonder how much of that is licensing with the owners of the films? I would have to guess quite a bit.

    The Kickstarter doesn't seem to detail this. I will be donating though.

    • by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @06:46PM (#50911865)

      It scales down per episode after the first three.

      1.3M for three more episodes (430k ea for episodes 4-6)
      1.1M for each three episodes after that (366k ea for episodes 7-9 and 10-12)

      Since you can do an episode for about 370k, there's *apparently* 1M in new rampup costs.

    • by pr0t0 ( 216378 )

      Since it's $2 mil for the first three episodes, and $5.5 mil for twelve episodes; I take that to mean it costs roughly $390,000 per episode ((5.5-2)/12-3)). I'm guessing a little less than half of that first $2 million is for set design, construction, storage, opening and closing animations, music rights/reauthoring/whatever, and so on. The $390k is probably what it costs for studio time, camera rental, writing, crew, on-air talent, film rights, and let's not forget craft services. Mmmm, donuts.

      • by pr0t0 ( 216378 )

        Sorry to reply to my own post, but I just saw the Joel's AMA [reddit.com] on Reddit. He has a graphic up of how that first $2mil is spent here http://imgur.com/5CvUy9B [imgur.com]. It looks like it's about $250,000 per episode.

        • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

          that's a bit suspect calculation since production setup is part of ep budget or should be for anyone anyways.

          at any rate, the production setup costs could include buying a house to film in.

          the production setup cost is higher than the movies had budget.

          say, if they were riffing avgn movie, the production setup cost would be 200 000 higher than the entire budget for the movie being riffed.

          it's like he is treating it as a studio production for a major network with staff of 10-20, which for the format is rather

  • Please correct me if i am wrong but wasn't this thing all about some silhouette of a robot and another thing yaking it up with forced comedy commentary on old movies running in the background? Why does it cost on the high-end of tv production of $1 million per episode (or $5.5m for a full season) ? Good luck.
    • the licensing rights for the movies?
    • It's about 360k per episode after initial ramp-up. Apparently 1M to get going. They mention an issue with rights, so I assume that's part of the 1M. They say "cleared up," with regard to rights, but that might not mean "cleared up and PAID FOR."

      I also assume that like any show, gathering a bunch of people in a writer's room costs salaries, leasing space, blah blah. It's expensive to open doors on anything. That first new camera costs a lot of money.

      High end TV production costs *way* more than 1M/episod

  • by PRMan ( 959735 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @06:31PM (#50911801)
    Without the writers, I doubt it will be the same. Unless I see evidence that they put their differences aside and work together, I won't be involved.
  • Acronym (Score:5, Informative)

    by fph il quozientatore ( 971015 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @06:31PM (#50911803) Homepage
    In case you are also wondering, MST3k stands for Mystery Science Theater 3000, an American comedy science fiction television series (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_Science_Theater_3000).

    It would have been good to see the acronym expanded at least once in TFS...

    • Re:Acronym (Score:4, Insightful)

      by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @06:49PM (#50911877) Homepage Journal

      I doubt there is anyone visiting /. who hasn't any idea what MST3K is... or at least how to google it

      • I often wonder if MST3K was inspired by High Street, a program that ran on a Denver FM station on Saturday nights in the Seventies. They would tell you to watch the evening movie on non-network TV Channel 2, turn the sound off, and listen to a slightly-stoned group of U of Denver undergraduates lip-sync their own sound track. It was claimed to be extemporaneous; they would muddle around a bit until they'd settled on a plot premise, and then they'd run with it.

        My most vivid memory is of The Counterfeit Gener

      • I doubt there is anyone visiting /. who hasn't any idea what MST3K is... or at least how to google it

        We're not all Americans, and it is simply rude to require google for an understanding of a fucking slashdot headline.

      • by labnet ( 457441 )

        Never heard of it before today

    • I applaud you. Why is it so hard to spell out your acronym, at least once. I can think of very few Acronyms that are appropriate to leave on Slashdot.
      CPU,GPU, RAM and DRM. DRM is borderline.

      • But if you don't know American shows, why would it matter? If an English person talks about R&C kickstarter, I have no idea what the fuck they're talking about, any more than if they talk about bringing back Rhubarb & Custard.

    • If we're going to be pedantic, the word you're looking for is "Initialism."

      Acronyms spell things (e.g. NATO, scuba, sonar).

      • http://dictionary.reference.co... [reference.com]

        Read definition number 2. You are wrong, Initialism is a subset of Acronyms, not a separate set. Therefore, calling initialisms acronyms is correct usage.

        Interesting how spellcheck keeps keying on initialism like I am misspelling it though...

    • In case you are also wondering, MST3k stands for Mystery Science Theater 3000, an American comedy science fiction television series (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_Science_Theater_3000).

      It would have been good to see the acronym expanded at least once in TFS...

      well THAT made me feel old, but WELCOME to my lawn!

  • He already has ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by waspleg ( 316038 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @06:37PM (#50911831) Journal

    Cinematic Titanic [cinematictitanic.com] which also has the people from MST3K that don't hate him. As a huge fan, this sounds fishy.

    There's also the much MUCH more prolific and IMO funnier Rifftrax [rifftrax.com]. The timing is interesting considering that RIfftrax just started bringing back old MST3K episodes every Monday with a new intro video by Mike Nelson [wikia.com]. I backed one of the Rifftrax Kickstarter's and I don't regret it (I even have an mp3 I made of Kevin Murphy saying my name from one of the reward tiers.

    I don't really know what caused the rift between Joel and Mike/Kevin but it seems clear that there is one. Personally, while he has his moments, I don't think Joel is as funny.

    • I think this comes down to if you're a Joel fan or a Mike fan.

      I realize it's a group effort, Joel/Trace/Kevin vs Mike/Bill/Kevin - but a lot of us have a preference. :(

      I was a fan of Kevin's lines, most than most - so I like most of the run.

    • Count me in the Joel camp. I wanted to like MST3K after Joel left, but I thought it wasn't as funny. Mike just didn't have a delivery I thought was as good. I lost interest and hadn't watched for some time when it was cancelled.

      But this does bring up a question. If Joel was so unhappy and had to leave to "pursue other opportunities," why has he spent the rest of his life trying to do the same thing he walked away from? Twenty years later and he's trying to resurrect the project he abandoned.
  • I hope this succeeds, but honestly I like Mike Nelson more than Joel. I'd be more inclined to help kickstart one from Mike.

    I really like what Mike, Kevin, and Bill have going on with Rifftrax.com. One just needs to beware that some riffs are done by people other than them, and imho aren't nearly as entertaining.

  • MST3k typically had 24 episodes a season, and part of the shtick of the series was that it was a relatively cheap production with a small crew licensing movies that cost almost nothing to show.

    I get that we're motivating folks to gather together later in their career than before, and 'competing' with other opportunities they have - but if you're going to start up the engine, seems a bit of a shame to pre-plan to shut production down after 12 episodes.

    Heck, given the nature of the series, you should really b

  • Just in the last few months, Fantasic Four and Pixels.
  • Basically, Shout Factory, the people who are doing the DVDs, bought all the shows rights from Jim Mallon/Best Brains [lawrenceperson.com], " including all brand assets and global intellectual property."

  • That was a quick $100.

  • The Phantom Menace
    Attack of the clones
    revenge of the sith

  • Why wouldn't Netflix hire him to create this?

    Oh, yeah; they also have a lot of these shitty movies in their catalog to placate the rights-holders that also own good movies.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Ah yes, those were the days. I fondly remember staying up with my friend on Friday nights and watching cheesy movies on broadcast TV -- because that was all we had way back then.
    Watching a funny guy snark about a movie he is forced to watch was funny because back then we were all in the same boat. It was that or the test pattern.
    Watching a funny guy snark about a movie ONLY he is forced to watch isn't as funny because -- why would you do that? What's the point again? What else is on?

    • Watching a funny guy snark about a movie ONLY he is forced to watch isn't as funny because -- why would you do that? What's the point again? What else is on?

      It's funny because it's _very_ funny, funnier than anyone else can do at snarking on bad movies.

1.79 x 10^12 furlongs per fortnight -- it's not just a good idea, it's the law!

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