102: TZ Interview – Pioneer One / The No Budget TV Series

Justin and Jason speak with the creators of the serial drama series Pioneer One, Josh Bernhard and Bracey Smith, about how they were able to raise $6,000 in donations on Kickstarter to shoot a full-length pilot episode that was downloaded over a millions times on BitTorrent and won best drama of the 2010 New York Television Festival.

  1. Neville says:

    Wow, those guys are real “Pioneers.” Perhaps some product placement is in order…the character could using Pluggio to Tweet with his Martian parents or use AppIgnite to fix his spacecraft.

    @Justin, I like the affiliate marketing angle. I would be cool to have a ratings metric where consumer response is measured thru an affiliate’s call to action. Marketers would love that kind of precision.

    @Jason, drop and gimme 20! #AppIgnite

    Fun show guys, thanks.

  2. Francis says:

    A buddy of mine makes movies and has to wear a lot of hats. I coined the term “Predator” for it. Producer – Director – Editor.

  3. Jason says:

    @Francis – I like that! Very clever. 😉

  4. I like it when podcasts do shows like this that are tangentially related to their main topic. I hadn’t heard of Pioneer One before and thanks to this interview I’ll check it out.

    Josh and Bracey should approach online networks like Revision3 to see if there’s any interest. To find advertisers they can watch other online shows to see who’s spending and try contacting those companies or their agencies.

    One bit of constructive criticism for Josh: practice speaking without saying “um” and “ah” so much before the next time you’re on techzing.

  5. Bopinder Abu Morpalinder Singh says:

    Great interview guys!

    I really enjoyed seeing the fact that they love what they do. It is very similar to a startup. I wish them well. I donated after I saw the pilot a few months back. I wish I had more money, I’d just donate the whole amount.

  6. Bopinder Abu Morpalinder Singh says:

    Pioneer one guys: you need to figure out a model that works, for the kids. Seriously!

    Ads? I wouldn’t mind a pre-roll ad.

  7. Thanks for the innovative show. I watched the pilot yesterday and really liked it. I’m officially hooked!
    Like @BAMS I thought it was really interesting to see the parallels with the startup world. Like some of us they were concerned about MVP, focused a long time on development, are learning now about how to market the product. Fascinating!
    But unlike some of us they have already over 2 million views!
    I wish them a lot of success.

  8. Hey Justin,

    I thought you might appreciate this. English band “The Heavy” kill it on Letterman and are the first musical act ever asked to do an encore :



  9. Jason says:

    @BAMS & Philippe Monnet – I’m really glad you guys enjoyed the show. 😉 I knew we were taking a chance by going off task with this interview so it’s nice to hear that it was relevant enough to be interesting.

  10. Jason says:

    @Sam Howley – That was actually pretty damn good! I think I like the Heavy. 😉

  11. Go Binghamton U!!! Glad to be introduced to Pioneer One. I’d like the podcast to focus on tech stuff though. Just my opinion. Keep up the solid work. You guys put up a good show.

  12. Jason says:

    @David Henner – Yes, absolutely, the focus will always be on tech and most specifically on writing code and building startups, but we like to keep mixing it up in order to keep things fresh and interesting. It’s just too easy to get stuck in a rut and have the same conversation over and over again with just different people.

    I invited the Pioneer One guys on because I felt the challenges of what they are trying to do are very similar to those faced by any tech startup, but just seen through a different lens. Justin likes to describe TechZing as a magazine show, which I think I might agree with (as soon as I understand what he means), and in that vein I suppose I’m attempting to model our content after three of my all-time favorite magazines – Wired, Omni and Byte. All of those magazines, owe (or owed) a lot of their success, at least in part, to the fact that they covered a fairly broad spectrum of related content, but with one primary focus – in this case technology.

    Anyway, we have some more coding and tech specific stuff coming up, so stay tuned! 😉