The duo have an initial goal of $100,000 for the project, which is based on their real-life experiences on the fan convention circuit, filtered through a comedic lens. The series aims to go beyond the autograph lines and photo ops to show what really makes the cons truly weird and unpredictable — the actors paid to be there. It’s described as “Broad City” meets “Party Down” with the comedic honesty of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Louie,” as Benedict and Speight play caricatures of themselves cavorting through the con world: Rich, a thrice-divorced former actor whose love of the game is fueled by the faux fame he experiences at the hands of a gaggle of fans who still think he matters, and Rob, a recent divorcee back on the circuit to cover the costs of his failed marriage and stalled career.
The show will mix scripted content with improv, a docu-reality shooting style, and Benedict and Speight’s natural interplay, and if funded, will utilize a supporting/guest cast of other “Supernatural” players as well as established actors from across the Hollywood spectrum that the pair have come to know over the course of their 20-year careers.
While Benedict and Speight acknowledge that the concept sounds similar to another crowdfunded comedy series inspired by two genre actors’ convention experiences (Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion’s “Con Man”), their series has been in development for over a year, and is wholly inspired by their “real life exploits within this ‘Supernatural’ convention world — with our own creative, fictional spin,” Benedict tells Variety. “While it is nowhere near reality TV, it will be shot naturalistic and play on our relationship with each other and others through scripted and semi-scripted dialogue. Rich and I have developed quite a rapport over these few years, and quite a unique, combustable and comical relationship. We’ve been to the front lines, so to speak, and have been in the thick of it, all around the world, together. Really, this show is about Rob and Rich, and the conventions will serve as a unique backdrop for that quirky relationship.”
$100,000 will cover production costs for the first three to five episodes, and Benedict says 10 have already been “roughly written and mapped out,” with a 10-minute teaser/pilot previously filmed. According to Benedict, “Our idea is that every episode will be a new city that we’re in — or rather, the suburb outside of that city where our hotel is! We’ve shot in our actual conventions too, so you’ll get a POV of the view from the stage during karaoke, and a bird’s-eye view of the merchandise room, the lines, the crowds, the energy… in a utopian world, we want to continue to capture all that in each episode.”
As a project inspired by the “Supernatural” fandom and the convention circuit, Speight says, “Suffice it to say, we’ve got interest from many of your favorite ‘Supernatural’ actors — and others. Mr. Collins in particular has been pestering us for a walkthrough role. We told him it’s a tight schedule but we’ll try. So, if we make this goal… he just might get his wish.”
Some examples of perks for those who donate: For $100, backers will receive a a sock signed by Benedict, their name in the credits and a digital download of the series; $25 will earn a mention in a video featuring Benedict and Speight singing “The 25 Dollar Song,” described as “a lilting melody with lyrics that include the names of all the beautiful people who gave $25 that week.”