If only every Kickstarter could be this way! The 4-week crowd-funding campaign for COZMO’S from the team that produced RENEGADES went live to the general public Tuesday at 11:00 am Pacific Time with a goal of $16,000. But it had already blasted through that goal and was above $22,00 when the world found out about it. (Now it’s up even higher at nearly $25,000!)
How the heck did this happen???
Well, it helps when you have an existing database of thousands of fans who contributed to your previous successful crowd-funders for Renegades )to the tune of more than a million dollars!). And it helps when you open your Kickstarter with a special 48-hour “pre-launch” with exclusive access to certain perks.
It also helps when you have a cast that includes actors from Star Trek and Babylon 5 in your pilot episode:
- Ethan (“Neelix”) Phillips
- Robert (“The EMH Doctor”) Picardo
- Aron (“Nog”) Eisenberg
- Claudia (“Susan Ivanova”) Christian
- Plus many other professional actions from sci-fi and related genres
Also, the footage (which was all shot back in early 2017 using sets originally constructed for Renegades‘ “The Requiem”) was directed by Stephen Furst (Vir from Babylon 5…who tragically passed away during June of last year).
The project is billed as “Cheers in Space”…
Cozmo’s Thirsty Tentacle Bar and Grill is a local hotspot—well, local to anyone visiting an asteroid—where an enormous variety of lifeforms visit to party, do business dealings, find work, meet their true love…or just to get drunk and alien-watch.
The owner of this esteemed establishment is, of course, Cozmo, a four-tentacled alien (played by Ethan Phillips), who has a knack for mixing stellar martinis and giving good advice. His serving staff includes two humans, Kallie, played by Renee Olstead(13 Going on 30), and Ken, played by Drake Bell (Drake and Josh, Ultimate Spiderman). They’d love their jobs if it weren’t for one tiny detail—humans are the butt of the joke of the entire galaxy.
The hilarity never stops as zany characters like a hermaphrodite with blue hair (Robert Picardo), a crustacean-like madam (Claudia Christian), an alien who’s head is shaped like a….well, like a butt (Aron Eisenberg), and so many others swarm, bump, argue, laugh, and scheme at Cozmo’s!
It looks hilarious (and very well-produced!)…
Heck, I threw in $35 myself before lunchtime on Monday!
I asked show-runner SKY CONWAY a few questions about the project…
JONATHAN – Did you have any idea that you’d reach and pass $16,000 in less than 24 hours?
SKY – No, we didn’t know we would hit our minimum goal so fast. I’m very humbled by such an overwhelming response. We are fortunate to have the most amazing supporters!
JONATHAN – But this does bring up an interesting question: now that you’ve reached your goal so quickly, what reason do people have to keep throwing money at you?
SKY – The goal was the absolute minimum amount we’d need to finish—not the the ideal amount to make it the best it can be. So every dollar beyond 16K goes to fully realizing this product’s potential.
We are offering some very cool perks and unique Cozmo’s products. That alone we think is very appealing. And the more support we receive, the higher quality of music and SFX we can add to the film.
JONATHAN – So all of the footage has been shot, and now you just need to do post-production?
SKY – Yes. As we explain on the Kickstarter page, the work that still needs to be done is the music and scoring, the visual FX and sound FX, and of course, final edits and things like color adjustment, sound editing, light levels, etc. It’s a lot to do, and as I said, $16K covers the bare minimum. With more to work with, the finished product will just look and sound better and better.
JONATHAN – How long will Cozmo’s end up being?
SKY – The pilot is 31-plus minutes long. Future episodes could be 20-25 minutes in length.
JONATHAN – Oh, so you’re intending to turn this into a full series?
SKY – We definitely intend to turn this into a series. The concept is so unique and fun! I secretly hope this might be a cult favorite some day!
JONATHAN – Will future episodes feature the same characters and cast?
SKY – We hope to keep the same cast going forward: Ethan, Bob, and Claudia are so friggin’ great and hilarious in Cozmo’s. And Drake Bell is incredible! Unfortunately, our beloved director, Stephen Furst, has passed away (I miss him terribly).
JONATHAN – Stephen Furst was a wonderful person, and so talented. Even before Babylon 5, I loved him on St. Elsewhere. His IMDb page credits are extensive. I’d forgotten that he directed three episodes of B5! He was taken from us way too soon.
But with Stephen gone, who will finish up overseeing post-production?
SKY – I’ll be over seeing post along with our Editor JOHN GILBERT.
JONATHAN -Speaking of post-production, your Kickstarter page says you expect to have Cozmo’s completed in June of 2019. But that was before you blasted through your goal in the first couple of days. With extra funding to work with, does that mean you’ll be finished sooner…or will all the extra bells and whistles make production take even longer?
SKY – The more money we receive, the more SFX we can add…so I’m not sure we can get it done sooner because of how long that process takes. But we’re still aiming for next June for completion.
JONATHAN – When it’s done, will you release it on YouTube for everyone to see?
SKY – Only for donors who contribute at least $17. They will be able to stream it. I don’t have an end goal yet for non-donors to watch. It’s possible we get a pick up or ultimately we release on Atomic Network.
JONATHAN – So anyone who donates less than $17 doesn’t get to see the finished product?
SKY – Well, not initially. But eventually, yes.
JONATHAN – Well, it doesn’t seem to be a turn-off, though. As I write this at midnight my time, of your 391 backers, 382 of them have donated at least the $17 minimum to see it. You’ve even had 5 donors at $420 or more!
SKY – Yeah, that’s really amazing, and we’re so appreciative.
JONATHAN – Well, Sky, you had me at Renegades. Now it’s time to hit new highs again with Cozmo’s. The best of luck to you!
SKY – Thank you, Jonathan, for all of your support over the years.