Crowd sourcing has become big over the last few years with the rise of sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. It’s being used to fund all sorts of projects, from 3-D printing to tabletop games and everything in between. Even bigger companies are getting in on it to fund projects that normally wouldn’t be feasible. Cue Rooster Teeth, a company known for the web series Red vs Blue; a Machinima that utilizes the Halo engines and universe to tell the story of two teams duking it out. The company is well known and beloved for their approach to comedy and storytelling as well as their focus on their community. It’s no surprise, then, that they turned to Indiegogo to help fund their newest project, a full length science fiction comedy movie called Lazer Team.
Earlier today, Burnie Burns, Barbara Dunkleman, and Matt Hullum did a special “live call” podcast for the early backers of the project where they talked more about what would happen to the money that is still being poured into the project, show us some concept art, and give us a bit more detail as to the plot as well as answer questions from Twitter. Please note: as requested by Burnie, there will be no stills from this podcast.
The podcast started with a bit of discussion about the fact that the money will be used to make the movie bigger and better. The fact that it’s getting press because of its massive success as an Indiegogo campaign has led to people perking up and showing interest in being involved as a secondary benefit, and the team is using some of the time spent on another project (Day 5) to try out some new things that will hopefully help make Lazer Team run smoothly. It will have both people from outside of Rooster Teeth as well as people that the fans have come to know and love, although it was stated that they can make no promises about anyone being in the movie in any particular roles. From there, we were shown concept art as we were given a longer synopsis of the movie. For those who wish to remain in the dark until the movie is announced, skip the next paragraph and move on ahead.
In 1977, the SETI project received what is widely known as the Wow! signal. This is the launching point of the movie. While in this world we still don’t know much about the signal, in the world of Lazer Team, scientists were able to determine what the signal was saying, realizing that there were two messages there: we are not alone in the universe, and conflict is coming. Luckily, the race that sent the signal happened to be benevolent, and they wanted to help us. They made an advanced “super suit” to be worn by the champion of Earth, someone who would protect us from the dangers of the galaxy. While they worked on that, the US military managed to find someone who could be the champion, who was genetically superior and would be able to take what was thrown at them, and they trained them. The plan was to have that person wear the suit… But plans change. When the aliens came to deliver it, they were shot down by a group of four who then proceeded to each put on a part of that suit. Doing so locked that piece to them, making it unable to be worn by others, and thus they became the champions of Earth. And thus was born Lazer Team.
When asked about their inspirations, both Ghostbusters and Star Wars came up, but Burnie was quick to mention that he loved putting “ordinary people in extraordinary situations. And by ordinary, I mean idiots.” The incorporation of comedy was brought up, and both Burnie and Matt clarified that this isn’t meant to be a parody movie. There would be references to other science fiction movies, but they were just that, and despite what some of the concept art seemed to show, the movie would not be following the “comic book” like feel of the art style. There were also mentions of a teaser potentially coming in the next few months, although it was stated that a full trailer would probably come closer to the end of production. And for those who have been reading this article wondering why I’m spelling “laser” wrong, that is the spelling that they use, and it was on purpose.
Of course, this is only the first glimpse at a movie that still has 20 days left on its Indiegogo campaign, and so much is shifting and changing. For more information, see the campaign page. For those interested, there will be more information coming this weekend with a 12 hour livestream from 10 AM to 10 PM that I will be watching most if not all of, and more information will pop up at RTX, which I shall be attending. For more information on Rooster Teeth, visit their website (roosterteeth.com).