Credit – Kings of Con
If you have been living under a rock for the past few months you may not be aware that Rob Benedict and Richard Speight Jr, aka the Prophet Chuck and Angel Gabriel from the Hit US TV show Supernatural, are in the process of creating an (almost) original comedy series.
Titled Kings of Con, the series is funded mainly by the generosity of the overwhelmingly supportive Supernatural fandom! Having raised almost $280,000 already, this is enough for the duo to begin working their magic on the first (of hopefully many) seasons.
Rich and Rob like to call this crowdfunding process Crowd-Fun-Ding!
Rob and Richard kindly agreed to answer questions put to them by both myself and some wonderful fans that have supported their project. Check out their answers below!
SpnUK: How did you come up with the idea for Kings of Con? Was it a mutual idea or did one of you take more convincing that the other?
R&R: We’ve been doing Supernatural conventions for about seven years now. Over that time, we’ve amassed some fantastic real-life stories – the kind of stuff you just can’t make up. After toying with the idea for a while, we finally decided to dive in and create a show. So, we wrote and shot a 10-minute teaser, and decided to give crowdfunding a shot to raise money but also to spread the word in the fandom. The response was so much bigger than we anticipated.
@Agniux22 asked: Do you planing to include other #Supernatural actors in Kings of Con?
R&R: The Supernatural cast has been wonderfully supportive of Kings of Con. Who can appear in the show, of course, depends on a number of factors – schedule and availability being a big one. We wouldn’t want to ruin any surprises, so you’ll just have to wait for the release! We will have as promised, Tim Omundson, Matt Cohen, Osric Chau…and we can definitely say there will be more as well.
On the day that Richard and Rob were due to announce their campaign and launch their teaser trailer two other prominent sci-fi actors announced a similar project that they were also crowdfunding.
Angel.T asked: What was the origin of concept for Kings of Con? Has it changed, and if so, how – once they found out Nathan Fillion had a similar project?
R&R: No, it hasn’t changed. From the get-go, our projects were always markedly different on a number of levels. Interestingly, the day they announced their campaign, we were launching our completed teaser for episode one! We were all struck by the same brilliant idea, and we’re of the opinion that the world has room for more than one show like this. The concept was born out of our experiences on the Supernatural convention circuit. We were living these stories and realized it was too funny not to share.
Angel.T asked: What kind of footage are you hoping to get at upcoming cons for the web series? And, what role, if any, do you expect fans to play in the web series?
R&R: We anticipate shooting B-roll footage at upcoming cons, and as such, the fans(the overall atmosphere of each convention, the energy everyone brings) are instrumental in helping us set the stage for this world. Without the fans, these conventions and this show couldn’t exist. So the fans’ job is to just keep doing what they’re doing!
@Lyrain asked: will the show be only on youtube or they thinking bigger? Like tv thing.
R&R: We’ve been talking mostly to web platforms who will host the show. But we are still open to it being an episodic tv show as well.
In return for any funding commitments made there were a perks-a-plenty to choose from; these perks included selfies, twitter follows and a Skype chat with the boys. The Skype chats were especially popular and took days for Richard, Rob and occasionally Matt Cohen to fulfill.
Angel.T asked: Overall experience with crowdfunding especially now that you are at the point of fulfilling perks?
R&R: It was a great to get the word out about our show. The Perks is a full time job but we are happy to do it for the kickstart the campaign gave us.
One of the other perks offered was to have Rob Benedicts band, Louden Swain, put on a concert for you at a location of your choice. While this was indeed an awesome perk, it was more money than one fan could comfortably afford. So a group of dedicated fans got together and started a counter campaign to raise enough money to afford the concert! They had their own set of perks which included jewelry, songs, photographs and paintings. They even arranged to have the concert live streamed to the fans that could not physically attend. Unfortunately they did not reach their goal, but they gave it a very valiant effort.
SpnUK: While it is a huge shame that the ‘Kings of the ConCert’ plan didn’t work out; how impressed were you by their support and ingenious ideas? Plus any other fan team efforts to raise money for your campaign.
R&R: We were blown away by that, and by all of the groups that came together to support us. The fans never fail to impress the hell out of us.
Angel.T asked: What’s the breakdown of where campaign money goes? Script development, “production” – what does that entail, editing, etc.
R&R: A chunk of the campaign money does, of course, go back into fulfilling perks. The rest will help get Kings of Con production off the ground this year. In terms of how that production money is divided, that’s something we work out as a production team. It’s a process that varies project to project and is largely a function of how we want/need to allocate funds based on things like location costs, equipment, crew, permits, insurance, other actors, etc. In terms of developing the show material, we’ve been working on writing the show ourselves for some time now.
Angel.T asked: What’s not getting done as a function of not making the reach goal? Is it just less episodes?
R&R: We’re still going full steam ahead. We will do as much as we can with what we’ve got, which we’re hoping is all 10 eps.
Angelique.M asked: What’s on their wish list? Is there anything they’d like to do if they had an even bigger budget?
R&R: We already got our wish when we raised 280,000 on the campaign. Now we are just looking forward to shooting it!
@hester_brindle asked: Will they sell copies like discs at cons? Will there be more crowd funding later to make more? We love helping.
R&R: No more crowd funding, although we WILL need your help to spread the word about the show. At some point we will have it on disc, but look for it to be only available digitally for now.
@DragonEmbers asked: just wondered whether they will do any filming for it at Asylum16 in the UK?
R&R: It’s likely we will grab some B-roll footage from a couple of US cons in the coming months, but won’t be bringing full-scale production with us those weekends.
@dejligedame asked: Since their international fans love them, I was wondering if they were thinking of doing an intl. themed episode?
R&R: If the budget allows…absolutely!
Erick.S asked: I don’t want to ruin the natural flow of the show, but I am curious how they might need “extras” for the first con they will attend after announcing production… (DCCON!!!!) I also wouldn’t be upset if they crash the big (unofficial) pre-karaoke party that the hotel has reserved their bar for on Friday night.
R&R: We will mainly be shooting B-roll footage at conventions, and so won’t likely need any extras, but thanks for asking! Keep the party going- wish we could join, but our schedule is always too packed to do much else. Most of the show will be filmed on a sound stage and on location in Los Angeles.
Angel.T asked: Future plans, if any, specifically for Kings of Con or is this it?
R&R: Lot of plans. Right now Season 1. After that Seasons 2, 3, 4….and then of course, World Domination.
While at the Supernatural Seattle convention in March 2015 they reached their first goal of $100,000. They took to the stage to thank everyone that supported them. Matt Cohen also took to the stage and made the startling announcement that if they were to reach the next goal of $200,000 he would strip off his clothes and run down a street naked! In an unprecedented amount of time the next goal was reached and Matt kept his word.
SpnUK: I was at Seattle Con when Matt Cohen made his surprise announcement, did you two really have no idea that he was going to offer to run down the street butt naked for you?
R&R: That was the first we heard of it!
Tammy.KAD asked: Do they ever take anything from Wardrobe that they liked so much they kept?
R&R: We’ve taken random things through the years – Rob has a suit from Franklin and Bash he still wears. But never anything from Supernatural, they wanted to keep that in case we ever go back…
SpnUK asked the last and probably most important question: Will there be more nudity involved? We have had naked Rob, naked Matt….*eyeballs Richard*
R&R: Richard wiggles his eyebrows, turns, and…runs away…Rich! Rich? Get back here Rich!
Check out the Trailer for Kings of Con here:
Huge thanks to Richard Speight Jr and Rob Benedict for taking the time to answer these questions. We wish you the very best with your project and cannot wait to see the final results.
Thank you to all the fans that submitted their questions for the Kings of Con!