The Periodic Table of Awesome

The Periodic Table of Awesome

The Periodic Table of Awesome is a new Australian-based, internationally-focused web series with ancillary features appearing across additional media. The 10×10-minute series, which is at pilot stage, uses elements of the lifestyle genre to create a new cross-platform format aimed at geeks, fans of pop-culture, and consumers of online media. The show is described as the bizarre lovechild of Entertainment Tonight and Big Bang Theory with a side-order of Attack of the Show and The IT Crowd. Suitably-sized webisodes feature a variety of segment types, and will include material shot in Los Angeles and at New York City Comic Con in October.

The production team has elected to finance their pilot episode through crowd funding, (which is also known as crowdsourced capital). In this model, producers appeal directly to fans and the program’s intended audience for production funds, and, in return, the donors receive a selection of relevant rewards. While an Australian-based crowdfunding platform recently became available, the producers have committed to Indiegogo, a US-based platform, due to its more flexible disbursement model and relationships with New Media broadcasters. Using a social networking campaign launched on 30/08/10, The Periodic Table of Awesome attracted so many page views at Indiegogo in the following 24 hours that it was featured on the site’s front page.

In addition to raising over USD $8,000 towards shoot costs throughout the month of September, the producers are also using the crowd funding campaign to mobilise fandom for the upcoming series. Site analytics demonstrate audience interest in the project and can provide demographic information to potential webcast partners. The Awesome team intends to use the pilot episode and existing audience to find a webcast partner to host and finance the remainder of series one in early 2011. While interest from traditional TV broadcasters is welcomed, the series has been devised specifically for the internet; the production team contends that their audience would rather see the show online than on TV. An online poll on this subject is currently underway at the project’s Facebook page.

Geeks are no strangers to spreading their favourite screen products across media. Watching webisodes, tuning in for feedback vodcasts with creators, networking and netpicking online with other fans, and uploading user-generated content (from Buffy fanfiction to animé  fansubs) is second nature to fans of ‘genre’ shows and web-TV. Awesome’s creators plan to bring the audience what they want, rather than trying to attract a completely new audience to online media.

Hosts David Quinn and Dion Brooks are best known from the award-winning pop-culture podcast (Cool) Shite on the Tube, which has over 50,000 iTunes subscribers and 25,000 unique downloads monthly, mostly from outside Australia. They are also part of the organising and staging team at Supanova, Australia’s premier pop culture expo, which attracts up to 70,000 visitors per year to its four events.

Series producer Felicity Blake joins the team from the documentary filmmaking sector, where she has worked on a number of feature docs as well as TV programs and animated series. She, too, has a relationship with Supanova, and continues to serve as the expo’s celebrity guest manager and screen industry outreach liaison.

The Periodic Table of Awesome is raising finance at until the end of September, and the team welcomes all interest and support. Further details about the team, the series and the crowd funding structure can be found at the above web page.

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