The final section - Goujon John's Celebrity Ghostel - was the last one to be completed, just a few days before Block Party.
Oddly, it was the toughest one to nail. Tim "Mr Hairs" Moore and I had filmed some footage for it - fannying around in various graveyards - but it took three attempts to get it right. Bringing back Goujon John at the last moment seemed to pull it all together (believe it or not - the first two cuts didn't feature him at all).
So here's the "thing": the video seems to have received almost unanimous positive feedback, in spite of its unerring strangeness. Lots of people have asked me to do more.
And I really want to do more. So I'm hatching a plan.
However... doing more wouldn't be cheap, relatively speaking, without the 'excuse' of a festival of some sort.
I simply can't justify the expense; it would be a very costly hobby, and I am not a rich man.
I cut corners where possible with the Digifest video, but as you can probably appreciate from watching it... it's pretty ambitious. I thought it'd be virtually free to make, but it ended up costing between £500-£1,000, all of which ended up coming out of my own pocket.
That is, by the standards of TV, absurdly cheap (Biffovision was at the lower-end of the TV budget range, at about £60,000 back in 2007) - but not cheap when your children are wondering why they haven't had a holiday this year.
Therefore, to do more of this sort of thing... I'd need to find funding. Not a lot. But a bit. Just enough to cover the costs, and do something slightly more ambitious than the spoof ads, so that it doesn't impact upon my personal finances.
I could drag myself through the wearying, depressing, process of taking it to TV commissioners, but it goes without saying that there's no real outlet for this kind of unbridled nonsense on British TV. Trust me: I've tried, and I'm all out of fight.
I also don't want to hand over any degree of control of it to anyone else. I love Biffovision because Tim and I were given complete creative control. The fact it didn't go to a series is mitigated by the fact that what ended up on screen was more or less exactly what we wanted. I want the freedom to go mental and explore strange ideas without a producer breathing against my nape, or trying to make it fit into some demographic box.
This project would also be a hard sell to any commissioner, given that much of what I intend to do would be put together at the editing stage - the scripts for the ads were bare bones, to say the least.
Which really only leaves one option: crowd-funding.
I'd aim to keep the retro, degraded VHS look of any future video project - which seems to suit my style - so wouldn't want to film it on expensive cameras.
I wouldn't want to hire household names to appear in it. Props would be home-made and silly. And I'd edit it all myself, as I did with the Digifest ads. I'd try to keep it all as cheap as possible. Not least, because I can't imagine my profile is sufficient to raise a vast amount of money anyway...
I'm thinking about a series of ten minute episodes (between three and six, depending on what is raised), that obviously wouldn't all be spoof ads (that might get a little tiring) - but would very much be in that same vein. I may look for a sort of linking device, akin to Biffovision's kids' TV format, to hold it all together. I might even try to get some higher-profile cameos from special guests. I might even call it Biffovision.
So, this preamble is all to ask one thing: would you be interested in helping back it? Obviously, I'd offer perks for different backer tiers - the usual sorts of things: t-shirts, stickers, a copy on DVD etc, behind-the-scenes footage, the chance to be in it, an on-screen credit, tickets to some sort of screening event...
In all honesty, I don't know how much money I could potentially raise, which is why I'm testing the water this way first (go and vote in my poll on Twitter or comment below - if it isn't too vulgar, it'd even be good to know how much you might potentially be willing to contribute, if the rewards were sufficient).
If I was able to generate as much as, say, the £100,000 Richard Herring received for the next series of his podcast, I'd obviously be able to go completely mental with it, and take a year off to make it. I suspect, however, when I compare my 4,500 or so Twitter followers to his 188,000, that isn't going to happen. I think even £5,000 would be reaching for the stars. But... I dunno. I really haven't a clue.
Digi2000's monthly Patreon brings in about £650 - pre-tax. These past few months, all of that ended up being sunk into the spoof ads and the Digifest (our sponsors weren't able to cover everything), and merchandise costs.
Plus, that money is meant to be used to support Digitiser2000 - and this video project would be something different. A sister project to Digitiser2000, and stylistically of a piece with it, but also its own thing. It might mention video games at points. It might not. I dunno.
Why do this? Well, for one thing... I'd really enjoy it. And you'd hopefully enjoy the end result.
Furthermore, it'd be scratching an itch that isn't going to get scratched any other way.
Biffovision was my first attempt at recreating what I do in a video format, and I think the Digifest ads took it further still. I want to see how far I can get.
And let's face it... we all know there's an audience for this stuff - 2,000 people have watched the Digifest video in 48 hours. It's not stellar, obviously, but still enough people to make it a worthwhile... albeit not enough for any TV company to want to actually make what I have in mind.
So. Yes. Please help me out here: only you can give me any sense of whether I can do this. Is it worth me even trying to raise the funds? Will I just fall flat on my fat face, looking even more stupid? I dunno!
The main questions I need answering are:
- How many of you would be prepared to back a series of Mr Biffo videos?
- How much would you be prepared to back them for?
- What would you want in return in terms of rewards?