Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bijou Heads to Kickstarter

We have some timely news regarding the Matinee at the Bijou sequel series. The Bijou team is preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign in early May for the purpose of funding the premiere season of 13 new episodes.

In the past the Bijou team has contemplated the potential for a Kickstarter campaign as a funding source but the timing was never quite right until now. Two recent stunning developments in video content creation and distribution are factors in our new strategy.

First is the wildly successful fan-driven Kickstarter campaign currently in play to bring back as a movie the popular UPN-CW cable series Veronica Mars (2004-2007) starring Kristen Bell. That campaign was launched March 13 and astonishingly achieved 100% of its 2 million dollar budget within 24 hours of posting.  Pledges have since doubled to 4.3 million and with a dozen days yet remaining in a 30-day Kickstarter campaign.

Second is the remarkable paradigm shift in video content distribution fostered by Netflix that began last month with the new House of Cards original series starring Kevin Spacey. All 13 new episodes were released at once by Netflix thus putting the consumer in charge of how and when they choose to watch any or all of the series.

Imagine all 13 episodes of each new Matinee at the Bijou season being available all at once and fans of the series not having to wait 3 months to see a particular matinee or a complete serial!

Our goal for the Kickstarter campaign is to produce the first 13 episodes and get them on PBS, TCM, Netflix or a similar national venue. That success will allow us to produce additional seasons with an ultimate goal to establish Matinee at the Bijou as a perpetual weekly show with a brand new fun-filled Matinee each and every week and with never a rerun in the pivotal time slot. Just like it used to be when you went to the movies.

The perpetual Matinee at the Bijou sequel series is being developed in collaboration with Ron Hall and Festival Films along with a distinguished coalition of classic film distributors and private collectors worldwide. This assures there will be no end to the number of immensely entertaining classic cartoons, shorts, serials and feature films we have available for the project.

We are currently preparing a production schedule and calculating the budget for the premiere new season. We also need to affirm that Debbie Reynolds can remain aboard as host and that her schedule permits participation in what promises to be a successful and thrilling Kickstarter campaign.

Matinee at the Bijou is an ideal candidate for Kickstarter. Like Veronica Mars, Bijou has a large existing fan base numbering in the many millions. We have tried for some years to secure funding, but it has proven difficult in today's economy. Interest in vintage films has never been higher with the Turner Classic Movies'  upcoming TCM Film Festival April 25-28th in Hollywood, full houses at restoration showings, DVD releases of lost films and more.

The American movie matinee is an historic and vibrant part of our shared cultural history and richly deserves restoration, preservation and rediscovery. A Kickstarter campaign will provide fans of the original Matinee at the Bijou series in particular and film fans in general wide and perpetual access to these delightful cinematic treasures.

Here is an extended promo reel from the original series loaded with samples of the series' rich film content.

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