In what Chill has coined “episodic funding,” it has released the first two episodes of its new series “Vigilante Diaries” starring Jason Mewes and Paul Sloan. The show won’t release the next two episodes unless the first two episodes surpass a self-imposed funding goal of $50,000 in 30 days. If they reach their goal, Chill will greenlight production on the third and fourth episodes and pace the launch date another four weeks afterward. The project will only come to an end when fundraising goals (or fan support, if you like) cannot exceed the minimum.
It’s an interesting take, but perhaps a risky one. At $4.99 for the first two episodes, that would require at least 10,021 purchases. But other options include gifting episodes to as many as five friends at discounted rates, so actual viewers might be somewhere a little bit north of that. Still, that doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable to expect from a man with as large a fan base as Jason Mewes (“Clerks,” “Mallrats,” a bunch of other Kevin Smith movies).
Mewes stars as documentarian (and comedic relief) Michael Hanover and follows the titular vigilante, as portrayed by Paul Sloan, the series’ creator and writer. All footage is a combination of filmed action and Hanover’s GoPro cameras attached to everything from the vigilante character to the team’s guns. The crime-fighter and documentarian duo are also joined by a protégé, The Kid (Kevin L.Walker), Jade (Jacqueline Lord) and Red (Jessica Uberuaga).
The show seems heavily influenced by “Sin City,” perhaps with a nod to “Man Bites Dog.” The only way to decide whether it’s worth the initial five-dollar commitment is to watch the minute-long preview. But hooked supporters also have the option to purchase things like merchandise, behind-the-scenes extras, or the opportunity to appear in future episodes. But possibly only in the next 30 days.