Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion are pretty famous guys, in no small part because they were on the incredibly popular but short-lived science fiction series Firefly. They have huge fan bases and draw tons of people to comic book and pop culture conventions on a regular basis.
That draw, and their general love of the convention scene, is the basis for a new web-series that they’re putting together called Con Man. The show centers around a guy (Tudyk) who was on a popular, short-lived science fiction series and is trying to keep his career going through convention appearances and the like. His best friend (Fillion) was also on that show, but now he’s a successful film actor.
The show will follow Tudyk’s character and explore the sometimes-wacky world of conventions. Making the show will require them to build a miniature convention, and to have some of their other science fiction icon friends around to play all the other characters.
Traditionally, you’d take a concept for a show to a network and try to get them to support you. But Tudyk and Fillion aren’t doing that. They’re going to the fans instead. They’ve started an IndieGoGo campaign to help fund them. With an initial goal of $425,000 to begin the series, as of now, they have raised nearly 500% of that goal—at an incredible $2,000,000. As they point out in the introduction video on their IndieGoGo campaign, with networks, you have to worry about all kinds of potential problems, primarily a financial partner who doesn’t understand the show or it’s target audience.
That seems like a big concern for these two. They want to make a show because it would be fun, and they want to share it with people because they think those people will like it. And they’ll be able to, because the campaign was fully funded before noon on the second day.
People like Tudyk and Fillion understand their fans, and they understand what they like. This is about making a fun show, not a lot of money, and that’s something networks don’t quite seem to understand.