Jeff Koenig, founder of OMFGeek, has a plan.
In the past, he’s been behind the development of a number of web series.
Now he’s using the crowd funding site, Mobcaster, to raise funds for a pilot for an independent scifi/comedy series called Drifter.
What’s different this time?
This time he wants his show to air on TV.
Amanda Walgrove describes Drifter in an article for The Faster Times (April 13, 2012),
“Directed by Blake Calhoun and written by Julie Ann Emery and Jorge Rivera, the show tells the the story of a man (Darren Le Gallo) trapped on a ship 18 million miles from Earth with only 12 days to live.
The plot is thickened with a layer of next-level 3D television, not in structure, but in context. Within the ship’s computer, our main character is virtually able recreate a favorite classic show, in an attempt to get the virtual girl (Julie Ann Emery).
‘It’s like creating an episode of Cheers while you’re sitting at the bar,’ Koenig quips.
Even though the show takes place 150 years in the future, a good chunk of the story unfolds in modern New York, so there’s a unique blend of gritty sci-fi mixed with the idea of spending time for escape inside of a comedy — a respite which all avid TV watchers treasure. The series also features Al Thompson, Gary Ploski, and IAWTV award-winning actress Rachael Hip-Flores.”
Mobcaster.com, the crowd funding site chosen by Koenig, caters specifically to independent TV producers. In addition to providing a platform for fundraising, it also broadcasts the funded shows online.
Like Kickstarter, Mobcaster has a “must-complete” model which means that producers, so called “Showrunners,” must reach their target funding goals (or surpass them) within their target time frame in order to receive the funds raised. If they don’t reach their goals, the funds that have been pledged are not requested from the donors, called “Execs” by Mobcaster. If a funded show is broadcast on Mobcaster, the company splits any ad revenue raised 50/50 with Showrunners.
Mobcaster.com describes its service as,
“… the first crowd-funded online TV channel; a new platform focused completely on finding, funding, and broadcasting independent television online …
Mobcaster was started to empower independent TV makers. They get to pitch their material directly to their audience, eliminating the roadblocks of the traditional TV system and ensuring they control their own material. Unlike the TV networks, Mobcaster does not interfere with the creative process. TV makers dictate how and what to produce, with the audience, and the audience alone, to please.
Mobcaster has no ties to any network, studio, distributor or agency. Our only allegiance lies with the TV makers, their audience and the pursuit of creating great TV shows!”
If the target funds are raised, the Drifter pilot will be used primarily for pitching to networks. Slated for production this summer, the only way to see the pilot is if you support the Drifter campaign by contributing at least $1 on Mobcaster.com.
In an article on Gigaom.com (April 8, 2012), Liz Shannon Miller quotes Koenig:
“If the project goes to network, we believe it will validate the idea that web series creators have the skills (if not the resources) to compete with TV head on … If the project is released online, we believe that instead will validate that audiences are ready for original TV format programming — a bet that Hulu and Netflix are also making.”
To see the Drifter campaign on Mobcaster…