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Bring Back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000

Created by Joel Hodgson & Team MST3K

Bring Back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000
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48,270 backers pledged $5,764,229.38 on Kickstarter

You did it: you brought back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000! Thanks to you, MST3K will be able to shoot FOURTEEN NEW EPISODES next year, including a new holiday special!

Raised in Kickstarter
$5,764,229.38 / 48,270 backers
Raised in BackerKit
$646,818.47 / 47,453 backers

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Getting Last Call Add-On Rewards (LINK)
29 days ago – Sun, Aug 27, 2017 at 12:03:56 AM

Dear MST3K Revival League.

In this morning's update, Joel reminded you that you've got ONE WEEK LEFT if you want to get any more ADD-ON REWARDS... but forgot to remind you where to get them!

You can order Last Call Add-On Rewards right here.

.
And if you've got friends or relatives who have been admiring your #WeBroughtBackMST3K rewards, be sure to let them know -- it's their last chance too!

Thanks!
The Management

Netflix Renewal Status, Final Kickstarter Rewards & Last Call for Add-Ons. PLUS: A Summer of Snakes!
29 days ago – Sat, Aug 26, 2017 at 10:50:59 PM

Dear MST3K Revival League,

Joel here, just back from our first-ever MST3K Live summer tour. I know it's been a little while since the last update, but I have an excellent excuse: I’ve been on tour, and Ivan has had a much needed vacation in Japan. As you know, we really collaborate on these updates. So I wanted to give the guy a much-needed break from MST3K, because he’s done an amazing job for the last two years. I hope you've been keeping busy too, and had time for a vacation as well.

Anyway, now that I'm back, I wanted to tell you a little bit more about our experiences on the road … but first, I also wanted to give you some quick updates about questions I know some of you are wondering about. So yeah, let's get those out of the way first.

Q: What's happening with Netflix? Will there be more new MST3K?

I know everyone's number one questions are, "Joel, what's happening with Netflix? Are they going to make more new episodes? And when?" Those questions came up a bunch during the live tour, so I know they're on everyone’s mind.

The short answer is, we're still working on it! I wish I could tell you more, but I have a whole phalanx of lawyers parked in my living room waving their hands and mouthing the words, "Not yet," so I guess I'd better not say anything. But of course, I promise that when I'm able to, you will be the first to know.

We know that you worked hard to help us #BringBackMST3K, and now that it's back, we're going to work hard to keep it going! Thanks to our summer tour, I got to meet thousands of you, and pretty much everyone wants it to keep going … so, you know, I guess we all have to try to "just relax" and think positive thoughts.

Also, while we work through all of those details, our team at Alternaversal has also been busy developing plans for the first-ever MST3K comic book series! As you might know, my business partner Harold actually used to be a vice president at Archie Comics, and that's how we first met: Harold wanted to talk about doing an MST3K comic years ago!

So, it's been a long time coming, and we're pretty excited about it. We're trying to make it as good as the TV show, with really cool innovations too. Comics also really open up some new possibilities, so some things we could never attempt on the show are going to be happening to Jonah and the bots. Right now, the initial plan is a series of six issues, and it's slated to come out from Dark Horse Comics in the spring! More on that as we get closer.

Q: When do we get the last of our Kickstarter rewards?

This one is a lot easier to answer, friends:

Almost all remaining Kickstarter and "Last Call Add-On Rewards" are still right on schedule, and should be shipped out by early November!

To be more specific, here are the rewards that we'll be shipping by November:

  • The Collector's Set: Season 11 (on DVD or Blu-Ray)
  • The Collector's Tape: Episode 1101 (on VHS)
  • The MST3K MIMOBOT® USB Drives
  • The MST3K Mystery Gifts
  • The Art of MST3K: 18-Month Calendar (1/18-6/19)
  • The Last Call Add-On Rewards (shirts, hoodies, posters + the above)

Once these rewards are shipped out, the only remaining reward will be the OFFICIAL MST3K COFFEE TABLE BOOK*, which I'm really excited about. You know, we probably could have rushed this and gotten it out in November, but like the show, I'd rather take a little longer to work on it, because I want to make sure you get something really special. So, for those of you who ordered the book, I appreciate you being patient for so long. I think you'll be really pleased once you get the finished product.

*Don't worry, we haven't forgotten the digital soundtrack collection. More on that next week!

Also, if anything was missing from your previous rewards and you contacted our Backer Support team, your missing rewards will also be included in this shipment of rewards. If you're still missing something that isn't on the list above, be sure to let our team know as soon as you can by emailing kickstarter@mst3k.com.

And of course, don't forget that you can always see a full, up-to-date schedule about reward shipment and timing right here, as part of the MST3K KICKSTARTER FAQ.

Q: How much longer do we have to get Add-On Rewards?

Wow, another good question! If you're still wishing you had gotten some of the Add-On Rewards during the Kickstarter, or that you had picked up both of the t-shirt designs, then I hope you're still reading, because I'm pretty sure this is your last chance to grab some of our best Kickstarter Add-On Rewards:

You can still order selected MST3K Add-On Rewards for one more week, until SEPTEMBER 1, 2017!

Ivan tells me this will be your absolute last chance to get the official #WeBroughtBackMST3K t-shirts, hoodies, posters, and calendar, so be sure you don't run out of time. All of these Add-On Rewards will ship by early November, so if you want to beat the rush, you can get all of your MST3K holiday shopping done right now!

(After September 1st, you'll still be able to order the MST3K COFFEE TABLE BOOK, until we send the final proof to our printers and place the order for our one-time print run.)

Anyway, now that all of the official business is out of the way, I thought maybe I could tell you a little bit more about how the cast and I spent our summer … traveling around the United States and meeting a lot of you!

Behind the Scenes of our MST3K LIVE TOUR!


It was a six-week bus tour, with two separate new shows, visiting 26 cities, and playing 36 shows in all. And, you know, we only had about two and half months to plan it. Whew!

As I think I mentioned in some of the updates this spring, we started working on the idea for the live tour right after all the press simmered down for the Netflix series. So it was in mid- April that we began work in earnest for the “Watch Out for Snakes Tour.”

There were lots of new challenges along the way, but the biggest were:

  • How do you bring the full MST3K show experience to the stage?
  • How do you build the show so it can travel and be repeated daily?

Then, as you start to figure those questions out, there's a lot of new work that has to be done: imagining this new iteration of the show, as well as finding the two films we would be riffing, which meant working and planning with the cast, crew and writers. Then there's design, planning and communication, including the design and construction of props, sets, roadworthy puppets and costumes; seeking better prints of films, pre-produced ("taped") segments with Felicia and Patton; and (of course) designing some killer merch, man!

But, I'm happy to report the "vision team" at Alternaveral handled the entire affair, and everyone and everything appeared at our offices on time and on budget, so we could start rehearsals with the cast on July 1st. So, one thing I really want to say is how grateful I am for my team at Alternaversal: Harold, Sharyl, Matt, Seth and Lesley.

Also, I really want to thank our production partners at AEG -- they're the group that would book each venue, promote each show, and set up all of the complicated travel plans to transport us and our show over 6,000 miles of highways and byways to appear in "theaters near you." Or, near many of you. Without them, we wouldn't have been able to do a tour at all.

So, that's all the basic stuff. But once we had all of that figured out, my biggest question – and biggest fear – was: how in the heck do I live on a tour bus?

Life on the Road

Just so you understand, a “bus tour” doesn’t mean you ride on a bus and then sleep in a hotel, like a marching band tour to Disneyland. On a bus tour, you sleep on the bus! And you do it practically every night, except when you have a day off.

I don’t know why, but the whole thing was blowing my mind.

It seemed like something was missing from the whole equation, as all I ever had to compare it to were my shows doing stand-up, Cinematic Titanic, my one-man show ("Riffing Myself"), and years worth of Comic-Cons. (I think of those as “Weekend Warrior” shows: go out on a Thursday or Friday, and return on a Sunday.)

But living on a bus seemed to me the equivalent of going into space. Something inside me made me feel like I would never ever actually be anywhere. It just didn’t seem possible.

I’m on the other side. I understand it now.

The truth is, doing a bus tour is wildly efficient. You omit most of the usual “busy work” involved in traveling to other states for a show. When you travel by bus, I have learned, you are actually sleeping while you are doing the most exhausting part of travel -- the travel. The bus takes everything you need for the show – the cast, the crew, the sets and props, and sometimes even the merch and the merch crew – and delivers it from theater to theater AS YOU SLEEP. Contrast that with my previous experiences traveling to a show: drive to the airport, fly to the show, Lyft to the hotel, unpack and shower, take the shuttle to the show, do the show, take the shuttle to the hotel, and then Lyft to the airport, fly back home, drive home.

Look, I’m getting tired just explaining it.

Anyway, on the bus tour, the whole thing is much simpler: you finish the show, walk out the door, get on the bus, and go to bed. Then, you wake up the next morning outside of the next venue, and do it again.

At the theater, your dressing room has most everything you need: a bathroom, a couch and a shower, and access to a washer and dryer if you need it. A runner is available to get you anything out of the ordinary. Simply put, you spend your time focusing on the show, not moving yourself and your gear from point A to point B and back again.

So yeah, the draining part of travel – the actual travel – is accomplished when you’re asleep. This affords you a unique opportunity: the shows are then stacked up, and feel as if they are delivered to you daily. For a performer and showman like me, this is bliss.

The Value of Going on Tour

Also, being on the road really helped me understand even more how important our Kickstarter success was, and how valuable it was to have Season 11 run on Netflix. The word is out, and we had packed houses for just about every show!

Anyway, each night worked the same way: I would open the show, and I loved doing it. Mostly, I was the warm-up act. I would do announcements, talk about hard-to-demonstrate items at the merch table, explain the technical specs for the films, introduce local celebrities and friends, and answer questions from the audience. And, as a lot of you know, at every show I tried to stop everything to call out you, the backers, and have the audience cheer for you. I also ran the VIP event before and after each show, where I got a chance to meet many of you face to face.


During the show, I mostly just watched our cast: Jonah, Hampton, Tim Ryder (our “Malibu Servo”*), Grant and Rebecca work their magic with our audience and a cheesy movie. Naturally, we also had some really cool pre-recorded pieces from Kinga and Max to help us bring to life the complete world of MST3K.

*We called Tim "Malibu Servo" because he was our Servo over the summer, on tour. I guess we could have called him "summertime Servo" to be more accurate, but it’s not as funny.

Now, I had a few backstage tasks here and there. I would occasionally help with Gypsy, or lend a hand with props behind the desk. But mostly during the show, I would go out into the house and see how it all felt sitting in the audience... and I gotta tell you, that was just magical. I took notes, listened, marveled at Jonah and the bots and loved every minute of it.

One big opportunity for this tour was to demonstrate – to ourselves and to all of you – a “vision” of what the live show could be like, and to convince everyone that MST3K could be recreated as a great stage experience. Prior to that, it felt like our other experiments with live movie riffing were mostly effective, but structurally, felt more like “table reads” of an MST3K episode. Which is a great time, but I still wanted to see if we could re-create the full-blown Mystery Science Theater experience.

Another big opportunity the tour gave us, was the chance for the new cast to spend a few months working together as an ensemble to improve the show – a lot more time than we ever get to rehearse together for the recorded episodes!

That part of the experience was amazing. From the beginning, we moved from getting the show to its feet, to each person learning their roles, to being able to take that group effort and then using the force and energy of the bus tour, and ultimately, being able to anticipate and lean into the show with the intensity of each new day. This was like nothing I had ever experienced.

I also got to know these people and admire them for completely different reasons than just being really funny. I watched as they became an even stronger ensemble before my eyes, and – assuming we get the chance to make more episodes or go on tour again – I think you'll be able to see the difference too.

(And, just so you know, we’re already talking about doing another tour next year, and getting to some of the cities we weren't able to visit this time!)

So yeah, long story short: doing this tour has been among the most enjoyable and rewarding six weeks of my professional life. And, whether you were able to come see the show or not, I have you backers to thank for that. So, thank you.

And, since I'm thanking people, this is also the perfect time to thank our very perfect road crew:

  • Tour Manager: Gerard Hentz
  • Production Manager: Joe Werner
  • Lighting Design: Chris Galante
  • Sound: Ethan Chambers
  • Transportation: Darrel Henderson
  • Merch: Easy Partners

Anyway, that's all for this time, so again: thanks! I know some of you are impatient for answers about Season 12, but here's how I see it: between the Kickstarter, the Netflix series, the live tour, the comic, and – hopefully – lots more, the world of MST3K is becoming more dimensional, and going to more interesting places, than ever! I'm glad you're coming with us.

Cheers and Thanks,

Joel

MST3K LIVE: The "Watch Out for Snakes!" Tour UPDATE
2 months ago – Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 12:00:32 AM

Dear MST3K Revival League,

Hello Kickstarter Brethren! It is actually I, Lesley Kinzel, delivering a message from Joel, who is out there helping sling fresh hot riffage to all the lucky folks attending a show on the live tour. He wanted me to pass along this missive! I also have some links for you if you’ll be attending San Diego Comic-Con. Read on!

 

An early morning picture from the stage at St. Louis’ beautiful Touhill PAC.
An early morning picture from the stage at St. Louis’ beautiful Touhill PAC.

Greetings from the road!

Thank you for helping make it possible to bring MST3K live to cities across the country. It’s been an amazing two weeks since the cast and vision team first met up at Alternaversal headquarters to start rehearsing the MST3K Live: Watch Out for Snakes! touring show.

Also, special thanks to the backers who joined us in Boston, Philadelphia, New York City, Washington DC, Columbus, and St. Louis and received us so enthusiastically on the first leg of the tour.

Your response to the new shows has been truly amazing. It’s been great talking with so many of you at the VIP meet and greets.

I know a lot of you have been wondering what the live show is like. Experiencing MST3K “in the room,” hanging out inside the Satellite of Love with Jonah and the bots for two hours, enjoying world class movie riffing with fellow MSTies… it’s “MST3K immersion” like you’ve never experienced it before.

For me the greatest impact is seeing Jonah and the bots live and in person! When they first appear after the MST3K theme song, it is truly a thrilling moment. Jonah, Hampton, and Tim are at the top of their game as movie riffers, and I’m impressed that they’re only getting better as the tour unfolds…

Speaking of press, there’s been a lot, but here’s just a snippet, this one recently posted, a review of the NYC shows.

We hope you’ll be able to join us as we wind our way across the country and back, or tell your friends who live near these areas. You can access tickets here:

Royal Oak, MI - Eegah
Friday, July 14 6:00 PM

Royal Oak, MI - Secret Surprise Film!
Friday, July 14 9:30pm

Milwaukee, WI - Eegah
Saturday, July 15 7:00pm

Milwaukee, WI - Secret Surprise Film!
Saturday, July 15 10:00pm

Chicago, IL - Eegah
Sunday, July 16 5:00pm

Chicago, IL - Secret Surprise Film!
Sunday, July 16 8:00pm

Denver, CO - Eegah
Tuesday, July 18 8:00pm

Phoenix, AZ - Eegah
Thursday, July 20 8:00pm

San Diego, CA - Eegah
Friday, July 21 7:00pm

San Diego, CA - Secret Surprise Film!
Saturday, July 22 7:00pm

Los Angeles, CA - Eegah
Sunday, July 23 5:00pm

Los Angeles, CA - Secret Surprise Film!
Sunday, July 23 8:00pm

San Francisco, CA - Eegah
Wednesday, July 26 8:00pm

San Francisco, CA - Secret Surprise Film!
Thursday, July 27 8:00pm

Portland, OR - Eegah
Friday, July 28 8:00pm

Seattle, WA - Eegah
Saturday, July 29 7:00pm

Seattle, WA - Secret Surprise Film!
Saturday, July 29 10:00pm

Kansas City, MO - Eegah
Thursday, August 03 8:00pm

Minneapolis, MN - Eegah
Friday, August 04 7:00pm

Minneapolis, MN - Secret Surprise Film!
Friday, August 04 10:00pm

Green Bay, WI - Eegah
Sunday, August 06 7:00pm

Cleveland, OH - Eegah
Tuesday, August 08 8:00pm

Baltimore, MD - Eegah
Wednesday, August 09 8:00pm

Richmond, VA - Secret Surprise Film!
Thursday, August 10 8:00pm

Nashville, TN - Eegah
Friday, August 11 8:00pm

Nashville, TN - Secret Surprise Film!
Friday, August 11 10:00pm

Atlanta, GA - Eegah
Saturday, August 12 7:00pm

Atlanta, GA - Secret Surprise Film!
Saturday, August 12 10:00pm

Cheers and Thanks!

Joel 

 


Heading to San Diego Comic-Con? Come hang out with us!

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Watch Out For Snakes Tour!
Friday and Saturday, 7:00 pm, The Balboa Theatre
More info at www.MST3K.com/Tour

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Cast Signing
Saturday, 1:00 pm, Shout! Factory Booth (#4118)
More info at www.mst3k.com/san_diego_comic_con_2017

MST3K SDCC Panel
Saturday, 3:00 pm, The Horton Grand Theatre
More info at www.mst3k.com/san_diego_comic_con_2017

Three things to WATCH OUT FOR during this summer's MST3K LIVE TOUR… and only one of them is SNAKES!
3 months ago – Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 09:09:00 PM

Dear MST3K Revival League,

First, thanks so much to all of you who took some time to share your thoughts about the new season after the last update. There were some really thoughtful suggestions and comments, and there's a lot there to unpack and respond to. I don't want to rush through all of it, or ignore it, so I probably won't be able to really dig in and respond until we finish the live tour later this summer, but once that's done, we'll get at it.

Also, speaking of the live tour, I also promised that in this update, I'd introduce you to the wonderful comedian who will be stepping into the voice of Tom Servo while we're on the road, since Baron will be staying in Los Angeles to prepare for his first child.

Finding a Replacement Servo

One important thing for you to know is that I didn't actually find the actor who will be filling in as Tom Servo myself. Just like I did when we were casting the roles of Crow and Servo for the new episodes, I put the question to the cast, because there needs to be easy, natural chemistry between the people who will be performing together.

So, when we realized Baron wouldn't be able to join us this summer, I immediately thought it would be a good idea to put the question to the group that would actually be on the road: not just me, but Jonah, Hampton and Rebecca (who will be on the tour as both Gypsy and Synthia). We started talking amongst ourselves, and honestly, a perfect candidate came up almost immediately:

It didn’t take long before everyone agreed that TIM RYDER should perform Servo with us out on the road!

 
Now, if Tim's name looks familiar to you, it's probably because he was already in every episode of Season 11, as one of Kinga's main Boneheads. Like the rest of our cast, he also contributed to the new season as a writer, and was one of the writers who worked on the scripts for the two new "episodes" that we'll be performing on the live tour – so he already knew the material!

And you know, even though Tim didn't get a chance to speak out loud in the new episodes (the Boneheads don't do a lot of talking), he's a really funny guy. In fact, he's a long-time alumnus of Chicago's famous "Second City" comedy troupe and a veteran of two well-known Second City ETC shows, and still appears regularly on the mainstage and in the casts of their wildly popular touring shows. So, he's already an old hand at the touring life, and as a performer and improviser, I believe Tim is simply at the top of his game.

But the most important thing, really, is that the rest of our cast feels so strongly that Tim is the right fit. When the idea first came up for Tim to step in for Baron, I pulled Jonah aside to make sure he felt it was the right fit, and he didn't hesitate. In fact, he said, "More than anything, it needs to be friends up there riffing, which makes Tim the perfect choice!" And as you probably know, Jonah was the guy who picked Baron and Hampton to begin with, so I'm happy to defer to him -- and I'm very excited about what this means for our Watch Out for Snakes team!

So yeah, if you're able to join us for the live show this summer, you'll want to watch out for Tim. And as long as you're watching out...

Did someone mention snakes?

You'll probably want to start watching out for them, too, because they're a really important (and fun!) part of the show we've been planning.

About six months ago, once we started thinking about re-riffing Eegah and using “Watch Out for Snakes” as a tour concept, I started wondering about some splashy visual applications using snakes. And, for some reason, I began to fixate on the idea of spring snakes.

If you've never heard of them, spring snakes were a novelty item from the turn of the last century, built around a coiled spring and packed tight in a can of fake peanut brittle or nuts. After all, who can resist the pleasure of opening peanuts or peanut brittle that come out of a suspicious metal can! And when they do, would they really be all that surprised when a giant snake jumped out of the can instead?

Classic novelty spring snakes!
Classic novelty spring snakes!

 
Anyway, whether they're surprising or not, spring snakes are the kind of whimsical idea that just felt right for our first Mystery Science Theater Live tour.

(They also pack small and play BIG, so they’re perfect for the road!)

So, Seth Robinson, one of my creative managers and an Associate Producer on the show, who also designed many of the props for Season 11, started to do some research, both to find out where we could get a lot of spring snakes, and also to answer the timeless question, "What exactly is the 'state of the art' when it comes to spring snakes in 2017?”

I should tell you that, to fulfill the idea I was thinking about for the show, we need close to 300 spring snakes, with at least two different lengths and diameters. I called everyone I knew in the novelty business, and then the magic business, and also ordered just about every spring snake we could still find on the web, and I'm sad to tell you: spring snakes are not what they used to be. It turns out that 2017 is not a good time to be a spring snake, my friends.

But, since we couldn't find what we were looking for "out of the can," we had to get creative! During our research, we found a very nice builder of custom magic props in Ohio who was willing to consider our request, but could only make snakes in the "traditional size", which is about 3" across and 4' long. The problem is, I also wanted a jumbo snake that would be about 8" across and 10' long -- almost 250% of the normal size. But, our friend in Ohio wouldn't have been able to make the snakes we needed in time for the tour, so we had only one choice left:

We decided to commission our own 100% custom spring snakes, manufactured to our precise and demanding specifications!

Each of the new MST3K "Watch Out for Spring Snakes" is custom-wound, in two sizes, and has a custom designed and printed "skin" on the finest quality cotton, with an unusually high thread count. Ordinary spring snakes are usually covered in cheap plastic, that feels similar to the material used to make garbage bags. So, I guess what I'm saying is, these will be some of the finest spring snakes anywhere in the world, which feels like the right thing for MST3K.

When we started designing the snake skins, we tried to base them around the iconic Japanese Koinobori Carp Streamer Kites. You might have seen them before, even if you didn't know that's what they were called, but just so you know, the kites look like this:

 
It's a pretty neat look, and it works well for snakeskin. But also, if you look closely at the pattern below, you’ll see Kinga had her way with them, dropping in the MST3K logo along the spine as well as her Kinga brand, the unique bonehead skull:

 
I'm really pleased with how they look, and I guess Kinga is too, because she let us move forward with making them. And now, our offices are warehousing over 300 of these snakes:

 
Some of our new spring snakes will be used for the live shows, but some are also being reserved for a very innovative (and Kinga-approved) novelty product we'll be offering at the official merch table during intermission and after each show.

So, you know, watch out for those too!

Some big news about Eegah!

Finally, one other "big" development for our live shows that you'll want to watch out for: with the help of our friends at the Cinema Preservation Alliance and The Film Detective, we have successfully located the original camera negative of the film that gave our "Watch Out for Snakes" tour its name, the infamous 1962 caveman epic, Eegah, which came from the late Mike Vraney of Something Weird Video.

If you love cheesy old movies as much as I do, this news will electrify you just as much as the improved, pristine image of Arch Hall Jr. does in the comparison below:

 

 

I'm told an original camera negative is the "holy grail" of classic film finds, so we are really just so grateful to have a fresh high definition scan from the best possible source. Simply put, our Eegah show will be the finest-looking and clearest-sounding Eegah experience available in almost 50 years!

As you can see from the shots above, this Eegah looks nothing like the version you probably remember from the original Mystery Science Theater 3000. The image is crisper, the color pops like a classic restored film and naturally, we’re hoping the vintage cheese is just that much more aromatic.

And, if you're also getting tickets for our other show, don't worry: our “Super Secret Surprise” movie is a bright and colorful film that has also been digitally scanned from a gorgeous 35mm print. So, both movies will be a polychromatic sight to behold.

Anyway, there you go: between Tim Ryder, our custom spring snakes, and a fresh new print of Eegah, you've got three more big reasons that I'm so excited about how our MST3K LIVE: WATCH OUT FOR SNAKES tour is coming together.

If you haven't already gotten tickets to come join us at your nearest show, I hope you'll still consider it, and maybe get yours right now. I'd love to have you there.

Cheers and Thanks!

Joel

 

Hello friends! Renowned society bot Tom Servo here with a request that you help spread the word about the live tour on Twitter and Facebook. 

Here’s a suggestion you can copy-and-paste, but by all means, get creative:

I’m excited and apprehensive to #watchoutforsnakes on the #mst3klive tour this summer! Get your tickets now: http://mst3k.com/tour

A Deeper Look at MST3K LIVE! Your LAST CHANCE to Grab Add-On Rewards! PLUS: Rewards Update!
3 months ago – Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 11:38:32 PM

Dear MST3K Revival League, 

Joel here. I hope your summers are off to a good start, and that you've been staying out of the heat and enjoying all of the new episodes of Mystery Science Theater. 

Now, I know some of you are pacing yourselves and haven't watched all of the new season yet, but I also know that some of you have already watched all of the new episodes at least a few times each… so, it seems like a good time to finally ask: what do you think, sirs? 

I'd love to know what your favorite new episodes, riffs and host segments are from the new season, so I hope you'll take a moment to let me know in the comments. 

(And don't forget, if you're able to watch the episodes on Netflix, please do! We're still waiting to hear whether we'll be renewed for another season, so it's important to keep reminding our partners at Netflix that you want to see more episodes – and the best way to do that is to keep watching, leave reviews on Netflix, and remind your friends to do the same.) 

Anyway, I thought I'd check in and say hello. Things have been pretty busy for our whole team, as we put together all of the details and fun surprises we've got planned for this summer's MST3K LIVE tour, and Ivan's team has been hard at work preparing the last parts of your Kickstarter rewards – so, how's about some updates? 

Countdown to the MST3K LIVE Tour! 

Part of the reason we've been so busy is because the first shows in our "MST3K LIVE: Watch Out For Snakes!" tour are coming up fast. In just a couple weeks, we'll start our full tech and dress rehearsals, so that we have a chance to run through the show with our sets and props and costumes. And then, on July 6, we'll have our first show in Boston! 

That’s right, I said it: we open in Boston! That’s about as show business as it gets. 

Now, I know a lot of you are already planning to come out and join us, because the ticket sales have been really strong so far. If you've already got your tickets, I really can't thank you enough, and I can't wait to thank you in person at the show. Or, if you don't have your tickets and we'll be coming to a theater near you, I hope you'll grab some now, while you still can! 

And remember, we actually have two completely different shows for the tour, and in most cities, we're doing one performance of each. Like I said last time, one of the shows will feature Eegah! – but with 100% new riffs! – and the other is a "Secret Surprise Film", which I think I'll probably end up revealing just after our first performance, since I'm sure word will get around fast. Anyway, if you have the chance to see both shows, I recommend it. 

You can see the full schedule again RIGHT HERE. 

Servo gets another new voice… for now. 

Now, before we get into the new stuff, there's one other thing I want to tell you about MST3K LIVE, just so you know exactly what's happening. If you've already watched the "teaser video" we released for the tour, you might have noticed a line that said "Robot voices subject to change without warning or notice." That's because, while we always knew this was a possibility, we didn't get "official" confirmation until this week. 

But, now that we have, here's what you should know: 

Baron Vaughn, our third and latest Tom Servo, will not be able to join us for the upcoming tour. But, you should also know that Baron isn't able to come on the tour for the very best possible reason: he's becoming a father! 

That's right: Baron is expecting his first baby this fall. And, as you know, our live tour is six solid weeks on the road without a break. So, we all agreed that it's important for Baron to stay in LA in order to prepare for the baby's arrival. It would have been really fun to have him on the road with us, but I think this is the right thing to do, and the best way for us all to proceed. 

The good news is, we also have a wonderful stand-in that our whole cast agreed was a perfect fit to voice Servo on the road, and who was actually already a writer and performer on the show in the newest season. I'll introduce you to him in the next update, but we're very excited about it, because he's a very funny – and talented – guy. 

(And no, it's not Kevin Murphy.)

And don't worry: Baron will be back in his spot, riffing as Tom Servo when Season 12 starts up, Lord willin' and the creek don't rise. But for now, I hope you'll join me in congratulating him on his big news, and agree that this was the right decision for him and for MST3K LIVE. 

A Sneak Peek at MST3K LIVE! 

Anyway, whether you're able to join us for this summer's tour or not, I thought I could share a little "sneak peek" to help you see why I'm so excited about live tour. 

The first thing to tell you is that MST3K LIVE is more than just riffing. See, the really interesting creative challenge this time around has been figuring out how we can bring the entire MST3K experience to life on stage, and to take advantage of the live format to do things we can't do in our regular episodes. So yeah, the touring show is more than just riffing a movie: it's 100% new material and riffs with a giant screen, but we'll also have brand-new sets and props, host segments and invention exchanges, and a lot of other neat surprises that I don't want to give away in advance. 

But yeah, I promised a sneak peek at what we're working on, so today, I thought I'd show you the direction we're working on for the traveling set for this first edition of MST3K LIVE! 

Setting the Stage

Now, in my mind there are four locations or “settings” that I feel are essential to the full "MST3K experience." So, that naturally meant we needed to translate those four settings to the stage show. One location is the Mads' base on Moon 13, but the other three – the Bridge, the Doorways and the Theater – are all parts of the Satellite of Love. 

Working with my vision team at Alternaversal, we spent weeks trying to imagine just how we could accomplish this in a practical, portable form. We burned through quite a few brain cells – and quite a few dry-erase markers – in the process. (Come to think of it, maybe there's a connection between losing brain cells and dry-erase boards?) 

Anyway, I’m proud to tell you, what we figured out is so elegant, I can’t quite believe it:

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If you look closely at this whiteboard sketch, it’s a hybrid design that includes a movie screen, a rear projection screen that behaves like a green screen, and a puppet stage. It also allows for video visits from Kinga and Max via “jet-screen.” That means that it can cover all of our locations in a single stage piece! 

Then, after we figured out a lot of the physical mechanics of a road-worthy SOL, we created a composite mock-up to give us a better idea of the scale I was talking about:

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And, while I can't show you photos of the finished set just yet, this is a pretty neat cardboard prototype model of the set, which our set designer – Aaron Somers – built in his studio in Brooklyn:

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If you look, you'll see that Jonah and the bots actually move through the doorways on the left and right to sit on the other side of the rear projection screen, so that their silhouettes are projected live during the movies. Also, during the movie, the lights go down on the rest of the set. As you can imagine, the effect will be really cool. 

Anyway, that's a little peek at the main set we're working on. 

In the next update, I'll also give you an "inside look" at one of the more crazy and innovative props we've been designing, and of course, introduce you to the next guy to voice Tom Servo. And if you've got other questions about the tour – or anything – you'd like me to talk about in future updates, feel free to let me know in the comments below. 

Now, I've got to get back to work, but before you go, I've asked Ivan to give everyone an overdue update on how your remaining Kickstarter backer rewards are coming along. So, I'll turn the rest of this update over to him. 

And remember, I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of you at the live show – so if you already got tickets, I hope you're excited… and if you've been holding out, be sure to get your tickets soon, before we run out of seats!

Cheers & Thanks,

Joel

 

Hey Everyone! 

While Joel and his team have been getting ready for the live tour, my team has also been finishing up work on your final Kickstarter rewards. 

We've been in touch with a lot of you directly to answer questions and to check in about the higher-level rewards, but now we've also put together a comprehensive "Reward Status Update," telling you what else you can expect, when, and what to do if you run into problems. 

If you have ANY Kickstarter reward questions, please read the rest of this update first!

Here are the important things you need to know:

1. Here's a full schedule of timing for all rewards. 

2. Here's a list of what has already been sent out: 

  • JULY 2016 
    - Digital Membership Card & Certificate
    - Digital Wallpapers & Ringtones
    - Classic Bonus Episodes
    - Rifftrax Bonus Rewards
  • SEPTEMBER 2016
    - Set Visits and Set Tours
    - Appear in an Episode
    - Be A Producer / Be A Writer
  • DECEMBER 2016 / JANUARY 2017
    - Official T-Shirts
    - Official Hoodies
    - Collector's Postcard Set
    - Physical Membership Card & Seal
    - Thank You Postcards from Set
  • FEBRUARY 2017
    - Advance Screening Events
  • APRIL 2017 
    - Thanks on MST3K.com
    - Livestream "Preview" Screening
    - The First New Episode (DOWNLOAD via VHX)
    - The Entire New Season (DOWNLOAD via VHX)
    - Personalized Voicemail Messages
    - Personalized Video Greetings
    - Your Name in the End Credits
    - IMDB Credits
  • MAY 2017
    - Official Sticker Sheets
    - Coffee/Tiki Mugs
    - Official Keychains
    - MST3K Mission Patches
    - Official Posters (signed + unsigned)
    - "Satellite of Love" Art Prints
    - Group Dinner with Joel & the Cast
    - Group Dinner with Joel and Rick & Morty
  • JUNE 2017
    - Original Crow & Servo Robot puppets
    - Original Invention Exchange props 

If you didn't receive rewards from the list above... 
and you're sure that they were included with your reward level... 
and you're sure that you filled out your BackerKit reward survey last year...
please email our Backer Support team at kickstarter@mst3k.com. 

We'll get back to you ASAP! 

3. Here's a list of what has not been sent out yet: 

  • The Collector's Box Set: Season 11 (DVD / Blu-ray)
  • The Collector's VHS: Episode 1101
  • MST3K MIMOBOT® USB drives
  • Mystery Gifts
  • Art of MST3K Wall Calendars
  • Bring Back MST3K: The Coffee Table Book 

If you're still waiting on any of these rewards, please don't worry: we're still working on finishing up the final bonus materials for the DVD set, and designing the coffee table book. We're also still waiting for a few of the items to arrive from China, which takes awhile. Our current estimate is that all remaining rewards will be shipped out in OCTOBER 2017, but we'll let you know if there's any change in the timing. 

(No matter what, we guarantee you'll have everything before the holidays, in case you're giving anything as gifts.) 

4. If you have problems, let us know! 

When you send out rewards to 35,000+ people, there are always going to be a few hiccups. So, if your mug broke in the mail, or one of your rewards was missing or wrong, don't worry: our Backer Support team is here to help get everything fixed up for you! Just email kickstarter@mst3k.com, let us know what happened, and we'll get back to you ASAP. 

And finally, for those of you who have been asking for a chance to order more t-shirts and posters, good news… 

5. LAST CALL: One last chance to get more Add-On Rewards!

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While we can't make more of all of the Kickstarter rewards, we are going to do one more production round for T-SHIRTS, HOODIES, POSTERS and MIMOBOTS, and there's still time to order the CALENDAR and the COFFEE TABLE BOOK before we send them to press – but this is the absolute last chance to grab these Kickstarter exclusives: 

So, if you want to get the second t-shirt design, or need to order a larger size, or wish you had gotten the #WeBroughtBackMST3K hoodie, now's your chance – but it won't last much longer, so be sure to grab your final Kickstarter rewards now! 

That should cover everything, but if you've got other questions, you know how to reach us -- just drop an email to kickstarter@mst3k.com, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can! 

Til next time,

Ivan