Things I’m Backing: HAPHEAD (a sci-fi web series) and RADIOTOPIA (indie storytelling podcast network)

For a guy that gripes often about how sick he is of Kickstarter, I seem to spend an unlikely amount of energy hyping folks’ Kickstarters. All cosmic irony aside, here are two projects that I think are worth your shekels; take that with any number of grains of salt you deem necessary.

HAPHEAD

First off is Haphead, a scifi web series that’s actually already been shot, and just needs funds to finish post-production. I’ve often sung the praises of Jim Munroe in the past (his novel Angry Young Spaceman was huge for me when I was in my 20s–and read it as an ebook on a goddamn Palm IIIx. I also dug his recent iOS video game, and hosted the first Midwestern screening of his last film). Haphead is a new thing for Jim–who’s long done projects totally independently and on a shoestring–in that instead of relying on volunteers, goodwill, and borrowed gear, everyone is getting paid. The end result is a work with production values to match the writing and performances. It looks super, duper slick, and I’m excited to see it come out ASAP:

Backing this project means seeing it go live and free on the web ASAP, rather than having it go into a drawer until they figure out some other way to fund the finishing touches.
ADDED BONUS (FOR US BACKERS ONLY!!!) Since this is all being done by charming Canadians around Toronto, the favorable exchange rate means backing at $10 CAD (to get a hi-def pre-release download of all 8 episodes) will only cost you $8.46! Take advantage of foreign exchange rates, just like a Wall Street Douchebag!

RADIOTOPIA

The other back-worth project is Radiotopia. This began as an outgrowth of an insanely successful Kickstarter for a single show, and has basically become a narrative-driven podcast-only NPR: A network of high-quality, highly entertaining shows arranged around first-person story-driven journalism and a new generation of “radio dramas.”

I’m a huge fan of 99 Percent Invisible–and backed that original runaway-success Kickstarter–and similarly love some of the shows that Radiotopia has since adopted and funded. Chief among these is The Truth. This Truth episode from mid-September, Cold Reading is a perfect example of the sort of not-highly-profitably, but still highly-polished work that you fund when you kick in on this Kickstarter.

Radiotopia has already fully funded (yeah!), but if they get to 20,000 backers–at any level–they get a $25,000 bonus. So all you have to do here is kick them a lousy buck to help this project get a big boos. That’s pretty rad.