Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Why the MST3K Revival Campaign Succeeded

It's been a few days since Joel Hodgson's dream of bringing back Mystery Science Theater 3000 came true with the Kickstarter project collecting more than six point three million dollars, enough for 14 episodes including a new Christmas show (which I'd like to suggest The Christmas That Almost Wasn't, where Santa could get evicted from the North Pole for not paying the rent--and no, I'm not kidding).

When Joel said he hoped to earn five and a half million dollars for a season of 12 episodes, people weren't sure if it could be done. After all, that's Veronica Mars and Reading Rainbow territory. Besides, we have Rifftrax, and it's showing old MST3K episodes. Is there really the need for a new batch of cheesy movies to be mocked by some guy and two snarky robots?

It took several reasons to make this project a big success, starting with Joel. He gave regular updates of how much was raised, and also gave us lots of incentives to hit the ultimate goal. He even gave us extra time for a couple of challenges.
Most importantly, he had this:  

This clearly shows why he set the goal, and where it will go. After all, this is a show that will be made with his own hands and our cash. It's got to be done right...and it takes a lot of cheap toys to make the walls.

Second, we must remember that MST3K never went away. It just took on new forms. We have Rifftrax, made by Mike, Kevin and Bill (the Syfy trio), then Cinematic Titanic with Joel, Trace, Mary Jo, TV's Frank  and J. Elvis (aka Dr. Forrester's original assistant). There's also Incognito Cinema Warriors, which is still trying to finish its second season but is getting a lot of attention thanks to riffing video games on YouTube. Josh Way, who has his YT channel, has also kept the tradition going. There may not be bots, but the riffing continued strong

Third, Joel has chosen his cast well. There's Jonah Ray as the new SOL captain, Jonah Heston, with Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn as Crow and Servo. People were kind of hoping the alumna would be invited, and they have, but Joel wanted a new crew for a new century.
That's why he chose Internet goddess and best-selling author Felicia Day and comedian and former Pixar voice Patton Oswalt as Kinga Forrester and TV's Son of TV's Frank (named Frank, we guess). Some people thought this was "too Hollywood", along with the chance Neil Patrick Harris and Jerry Seinfeld may sneak in. Uh, things have changed since 1989. Movie mocking is more popular than even, even with people we've heard of. Besides, Neil has been a fan for years.

Fourth, Joel's decision to show old shows online has also paid off. Aside from the annual Turkey Day shown on, he had double features in the last week of the campaign. Then there was the telethon, which wasn't smooth but was very entertaining, especially for this:

...and of course, the final minutes where they reached $6.3 million:

Finally, there's the decision to keep the "add-on rewards" store open. This will make sure the project gets some extra change, and people who didn't get a chance to contribute can get t-shirts, DVDs and more. It's certain people with yellow jump suits can have a chance to get those patches.
The site for the rewards, by the way, is here.

Production is set to start in the next few weeks, but fans are hoping that "next Sunday A.D." will be coming very soon. Til then, we'll keep circulating the tapes, URL and downloads

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