Friday, October 3, 2014

A WTF are They Thinking!?! Kickstarter - Castles & Crusades: Blacktooth Ridge (T.V. Pilot)

1 - Stinking pile of poo
2 - A future failed TV pilot
3 - An editor's nightmare
4 - A money pit
5 - The third part of the Whitman Trilogy
6 - All of the above

I'm not making this shit up. D20 Productions (Ken Whitman) is looking to Kickstart a C&C TV Pilot with a funding goal of $5k.

The Knights of the Dinner Table web series had a goal of $60k (hit 69k)

Spinward Traveller's TV pilot had a goal of $30k and nearly hit $50k.

Blacktooth Ridge can do it for about a 10th of the other Kickstarter's goals?

Is Ken Whitman banking a film studio these days?

In all seriousness, the idea that the folks behind the one "D&D"-esque ruleset that has more editing issues than the rest of the OSR combined is going to be working on a TV pilot with D20 Productions with as little as a $5k budget should truly be entertainment enough. I can only imagine the confusion as the actors read scripts from the Trolls that are missing blocks of text...

If the sample video on the Kickstarter site is any example of the expected finished product you be throwing good money at a failed pilot.

If this were to have been another web series, it might be passable, but even public access cable would refuse this.


  1. I know Ken from back in 1996 (maybe 1997) or so and he's always been a bit on the passionate side.

    I'm more concerned that he seems to be running Kickstarter after Kickstarter and has yet to deliver on the first one (KoDT). Yes, he's helped run other Kickstarters (Larry Elmore), but he also brought us the giant bubble-dice-popper (IDK what they are called).

    My wife was one of the biggest backers for the KoDT KS and we were expecting to see shooting at Origins, which we attended, on a movie. Filming was pushed back to a local (to Ken) convention and is now three episodes vs. a feature-length movie. I get that things get changed in production, but my money is on the GenCon "Premier" and the "exclusive" after-party (my wife is the only one who backed at that level....or at least one of two) will not be as promised either.

    I haven't seen the promo yet, but my money is also on that it is starring Ken's daughter as well.

  2. You can't buy coffee for the crew to film a real TV pilot for five grand. It's ridiculous.

  3. Go and research Ken Whitman's two projects under his name on KS. One is "Knight's Quest" card game, fortunately I did receive my copy and love the game, but there were some serious problems (just read through the comments). The other one was a bubble dice roller, but was canceled when someone evidently discovered this was not his "original" idea and was only selling a product already manufactured by someone else. I didn't back this one and from experience with KQ, will not back any future projects.He may be an upstanding guy, but definitely needs a business manager to handle his ideas.

  4. Now, I freely admit that I love C&C. It just hits a vibe with me that clicks wonderfully. I also love that the team definitely cares about their fans and backers. I have backed many of the C&C Kickstarters and have been very happy with the products, though it has become a bit of a game to see where the editing errors creep in. (Similar to trying to find the fake ad in every issue of Games magazine back when I had a subscription). But, it does not bode well for the script when the pledge levels reflect similar editing issues...

    Of a 50 copy limited print run
    -- One backer at $3K gets copy #1
    -- Three backers at $1500 get to share #2
    -- Three backers at $750 get copies #3-5
    -- Two at $500 get copies #6-7
    -- Three at #350 get copies #8-10
    -- Finally 30 at $200 get copies #21-50
    Unless, I missed something, even if you adjust the numbers so the three second tier backers each get their own copy, there are still 8 books unaccounted for... If you are going to hold back part of an extremely limited print run, why those particular ones in the middle?

    If the same proofreader is working on the script, the outtakes are likely to be Epic!

  5. Queue obvious reference to filming a random medley of SCAers or similar LARP group in the woods and call it a day....I could see that being done for the cost of twinkies and mountain dew to feed the "crew." That said.....this one has so many red flags I expect to see some angry bulls soon.

  6. *read read read*

    "SAG/AFTRA members are not eligible to become cast members or extras."

    Yeah, I don't think I'm interested.

    1. Well, at least he's got an excuse for not hiring union labour - he's only got 5k. Peter Jackson had no such excuse when he bullied NZ into changing their labour laws - which hadn't been too generous for the rest of NZ's film and TV industry, but were apparently too much for a film *certain* to make a profit.

  7. The $5k is just for an 11 minute sizzle reel.

  8. Why does this remind me of this? And I'm pretty sure they had more than $5000.


  9. I will say that TLG's editing has gotten better and the production values of C&C are improving. However, the company has a big problem with focusing on side projects and finishing. How long has it been since anyone heard anything from the Castles & Crusades Society or its sister group, Knights of the Crusades?

    Methinks, TLG needs to focus on finishing some things they started rather than putting another iron in the fire.

  10. I'm backing it at the Digital Download level. At least it will be covering a topic/theme that interests me and it will be better than 95% of the dreck available on television currently. Their Brothers Barbarian is pretty cool and perhaps a lot of the stage design and costumes are already paid for. Also, I've been to Brandenburg, KY and I'm guessing they are getting free locations to shoot the film in.

  11. And yea, it's not going to be a grand production, but these guys are most likely doing it for fun and working for free. They are probably just trying to cover production costs.

  12. At least we know they won't "waste" any money on an editing budget ...

  13. What strikes me as a bit ironic, is that it will likely be terrible...

    But still be as good as any of the D&D movies. :)

  14. A year later this is nothing but a pile of broken dreams.


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