UPDATE: As of Wednesday, August 1st, the Mildly Fearsome Films Kickstarter campaign has successfully raised funds for production of season 3 of Inside The Extras Studio,  season 2 of the ITES spinoff Worst Extra Ever, and season 1 of the modern-day Sherlock Holmes comedy/mystery Sherlock, by M. Watson. The campaign, which sought $30,000 to produce all 3 shows, beat its target goal by $68.

Guided by the talent and leadership of writer/director Adam Hall, Mildly Fearsome Films (MFF) has been one of digital media’s most successful production companies. Its acclaimed web series include comedies like Research, TV parodies like I Hate It!, Inside The Extras Studio and its spinoff, Worst Extra Ever, and the whodunit sendup Murder?.

With each of MFF’s series featuring a decorated company of esteemed actors like Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spin City), Doug Jones (The Shape Of Water), Mary Kate Wiles (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries), actor/writer/lyricist Kahle McCann (Research., Murder?, Inside The Extras Studio, I Hate It!), MFF has rightfully racked up praise and honors from dozens of web series festivals.

While all those successes have given Mildly Fearsome Films an impeccable reputation for quality product, it takes as much dough as it does determination for Hall and his brilliant team to continue their work. In that vein, MFF’s latest Kickstarter funding drive (additional links below) is by far the broadest money-raising endeavor that the studio has organized. As of the campaign’s last day (Wednesday, August 1st), MFF has successfully raised funding ($30,068 total) for Inside The Extras Studio’s third season, plus Worst Extra Ever’s second season, and MFF’s newest series, Sherlock, by M. Watson.

The comedy/mystery reimagines the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes (played herein by Barry Bostwick) as a misogynistic, set-in-his-ways senior citizen who soon gets a new housemate with a familiar last name: Marlowe Watson, vlogger/granddaughter to Holmes’ longtime cohort John Watson. Doug Jones also co-stars as Wiggins, a street urchin who became an influential part of Holmes’ maturation.

Barry Bostwick stars as Milt Hamilton, the esteemed emcee of Mildly Fearsome Films' acclaimed parody series INSIDE THE EXTRAS STUDIO.

Barry Bostwick stars as Milt Hamilton, the esteemed emcee of Mildly Fearsome Films’ acclaimed parody series INSIDE THE EXTRAS STUDIO.

Kickstarter’s all-or-nothing fundraising system comes with high stakes for filmmakers. All money must be raised by the 30 days’ deadline, or the campaign fails. If it meets or even exceeds its goal, the campaign is a success for filmmakers and donors.

Hall has also added a stretch goal of $37,000 to precipitate the production of a Research. short film. Details on the campaign’s incentives and pledge levels are listed on MFF’s Kickstarter page. A few days before the campaign’s deadline, Hall spoke to Snobby Robot about his plans and goals for the studio’s Kickstarter drive.

SR: If the campaigns for all three shows (Inside The Extras Studio, Worst Extra Ever and Sherlock, By M. Watson) are successful, when do you plan on starting their production?
AH: We’d be shooting season three of Inside The Extras Studio and season 2 of Worst Extra Ever in September. The new show, Sherlock, by M. Watson, would be shot in December because we wanted to make sure we were able to shoot with Doug Jones.

SR: Will each show be closed-captioned/subtitled, and where will they be shown?
AH: Yes, all three shows would be captioned/subtitled, (a) to make them more accessible to the hearing impaired and (b) because it helps draw people in on Facebook when it (the shows) autoplay but you can’t hear what’s being said. We’d be distributing these likely on both Facebook and Youtube. ITES season 2 was posted on both (platforms), but did considerably better on Facebook, so we’ve moved most of our video content over there, though we are still somewhat active on our Youtube channel.

SR: In what ways are you and the Mildly Fearsome Films team aiming to boost the overall quality of those 3 shows?
AH: We operate with very high standards of quality, and season 2 of ITES was pretty well firing on all cylinders. We’re upping the ante there though with full-on guest-starring episodes of Worst Extra Ever, vs. the sort of mini episodes we did last time around. There will be 10 of those (as opposed to 4 last time) and will feature the ITES guest of the week instead of just Milt (played in the series by Barry Bostwick).

As for Sherlock, by M. Watson, I think in general, though there have been some standouts for sure, we want to massively up the quality of comedy and acting in the literary vlog genre, while offering a new and unique entry point into the Sherlock Holmes mythos, through the viewpoint of an African-American millennial vlogger…who happens to be John Watson’s granddaughter.

SR: How will viewers ultimately benefit from the improved level of production quality on each show – if the campaign achieves its goal?
AH: Again, the production quality last season was quite high, and in terms of production, we’ll be shooting for the same very high standards. In actuality, if we make our 30K Kickstarter goal, we’ll actually have less than we had on season 2 (which was something like 18K just for ITES), but we’ve figured out how to hit those same standards, even with less money. I think viewers will benefit from great acting (Barry Bostwick and Doug Jones are some of the best, most accomplished actors out there) and the same hilarity they’ve come to expect from us. Or, hopefully, that’s how they’ll feel if they’re joining us for the first time!

L-R: Actors Barry Bostwick (THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW) and Doug Jones (THE SHAPE OF WATER) smile for the camera on the set of INSIDE THE EXTRAS STUDIO.

L-R: Actors Barry Bostwick (THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW) and Doug Jones (THE SHAPE OF WATER) smile for the camera on the set of INSIDE THE EXTRAS STUDIO.

SR: Describe the benefits and rewards that people who contribute to the campaign can obtain.
AH: If you’re a fan of any of our actors – and who isn’t? – Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spin City), Doug Jones (The Shape of Water, Star Trek: Discovery), Mary Kate Wiles (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries) or Tanya Chisholm (Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush), this is going to be your heaven.

We’ve got video shout outs, Skype sessions, signed custom Funko Pop dolls, etc. Beyond that, you can become an associate or executive producer on all three shows, get a character named after you, get a co-production credit for your production company and lots, lots more. There’s literally something like 40 unique rewards available! Some of them are limited though, so hurry!

SR: How and why did you decide to start a campaign for funding all 3 shows at once, and in what ways does this make the fundraising process easier?
AH: We had scripts done for all three shows and were going to do them with various companies, but ultimately decided to do them on our own, and we knew we were going to have to raise money for them individually. I think people tire of Kickstarters pretty quickly already, and we didn’t want to do three campaigns and have everyone hate us. So, we decided to just try to fund all three at once. Shooting the shows together (or two of them, at least) makes the whole production rate, because we can get weekly rates on equipment, locations, etc, and getting actors’ schedules to work is much easier.

SR: Considering that Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing based crowdfunding platform, why did you choose that site to raise funds for all 3 shows?
AH: We’ve run, I think, 4 successful Kickstarter campaigns in the past, and so I think it’s just familiar to us. I also think the all-or-nothing nature of it leads people to contribute more than they would otherwise, because the shows literally don’t get made otherwise. For us, this is a one and done thing; if we don’t make it, we aren’t making the shows.

We aren’t going to do an Indiegogo or try again. We’ll take that to mean that the interest just wasn’t quite high enough and we’ll move on. Hopefully that’s not going to happen, but maybe it does and I end up regretting doing this as an all or nothing campaign. We’ve still got a long way to go in the next week, but it’s already a lot of money raised that we wouldn’t get.

I think having built up a list of people that have given to our Kickstarters in the past helped with the choice, as well. Seed&Spark is really interesting, but we were afraid our previous backers either wouldn’t be familiar with it, or that it might be harder to let everyone know what we’re doing.

SR: You’ve also released a series of pitch videos with several of your frequent collaborators (Barry Bostwick, Doug Jones, Tanya Chisholm, Mary Kate Wiles, etc.). How will those videos help to make more people aware of the campaign, and what’s been the reaction to them?
AH: The worst thing about crowdfunding is the constant annoying reminding people, “Hey, go check out my Kickstarter campaign!” So, we thought it would go down a lot easier if we’re releasing a new, funny video every few days. So instead of just begging, it’s, “hey, check out this funny video we made!” (It) helps to also have Barry, Doug, Mary Kate, etc. to blast those out to their audiences, as well.

The reaction to those has been great. They haven’t always translated to donations, but it’s still great hearing how much people are enjoying your videos, which is much better than just being annoying. We stole the idea a little bit from our friends Diani and Devine, who did a video every single day of their campaign and raised 100K to make a feature. Either way, we figured even if we don’t make our goal in the end, at least our Kickstarter was really entertaining along the way.

L-R: Mildly Fearsome Films writer/director Adam Hall, actor Barry Bostwick, actor/writer/lyricist Kahle McCann, producers Nick Hryciw and Melanie Hall.

L-R: Mildly Fearsome Films writer/director Adam Hall, actor Barry Bostwick, actor/writer/lyricist Kahle McCann, producers Nick Hryciw and Melanie Hall.

SR: Talk about how you’re using social media to help get the word out about the campaign, and what you hope to accomplish for each show should the campaign be successful.
AH: We’re using a program that’s in beta called Storyblaster to put everything out through social media, and that’s been really helpful. We have many Facebook pages and accounts, and we’re using those like crazy, promoting posts here and there. Facebook really puts your stuff out there in front of people at first, and the more you do it, the more they keep your followers from seeing stuff.

Basically, they want you to pay for it to be seen, which is good for them, (but) not great for people like us. We also use Twitter and Instagram, posting to both of those every day. Our cast and a lot of our supporters post stuff as well, especially when a new video comes out. I think we’ve got 5 more of them coming out in the last week of the campaign.

SR: Besides the #1 goal of the campaign – getting all 3 shows produced for $30,000 or more – what other hopes do you have for the success of your fundraising efforts?
AH: We’re gearing up to – finally – make our first feature. Since we’ve been developing our features, we haven’t put that much content out there, and it’s good to get our names and brand back out in front of people. Beyond that, if somehow this leads to us finding investors for our first feature (we’re likely going the indie route for the first one), then that’d be an amazing bonus.

For more information on Mildly Fearsome Films’ Kickstarter campaign, and on how you can contribute to it, visit:


Mildly Fearsome Films’ web site: