One of the things that came up during the most recent livestream was a call for fan input on the identity of the Gizmoplex, what’s valuable about it, and how to explain it as something that’s not just another Netflix platform. I’ve got some humble thoughts?
I think this has been a problem since the start of the Kickstarter campaign, because all along they’ve really been pitching two separate ideas – an online theater and a new season of the show – and trying to put them together into a single message.
We’ve already seen a trailer for Season 13, and that’s been good. It’s an effective trailer, it communicates the new season and what it’s about. It mentions The Gizmoplex, but doesn’t really go into depth about it the way that, say, the virtual tour at the first live event did.
I think one reason people assume that the Gizmoplex is just going to be another Netflix is because it’s getting lumped in with Season 13 as the place where it’s being streamed, and so that’s the only message people are getting about it – it’s a streaming service. So instead of leading with the fact that it’s streaming Season 13, lead with what makes it different from other streaming platforms.
What is the goal of the Gizmoplex? You want it to be the home of MST3K in a way that goes beyond just streaming the show. You want it to be the community hub, the place where everyone gathers to hang out. You want it to be a social experience.
So, for a start, the forum should be discoverable from the virtual theater, and even from the gizmoplex.com website. Does the vhx website allow for custom tab links across the top of the page? Can you make a link to the forums there? Can you offset it with a different background color or something to make it pop out to people using the site, make it obvious that this isn’t just another streaming function, but that it’s different and important and it’ll take you somewhere else?
Then, you do a trailer specifically for the Gizmoplex, and front load it with the features that make it unique.
The Gizmoplex is the new home for ALL THINGS MST3K:
MEET UP in our forums and live chats. Talk to fans, discuss your favorite episodes, and share your favorite arts and crafts.
ENTER the world of MST3K. Let Cambot be your eyes and ears as you explore the halls of the Gizmoplex and watch classic episodes from the Containment Vaults in the comfort and safety of our underground viewing bunkers
And JOIN US in the Kingadome all year long for special live events, including the premiere of the all-new Season 13. There’ll be all new shorts, inventions, viewer mail, special guests, Q&A, and lots, lots more. Get your tickets now or sign up for a season pass so you won’t miss a moment.
The Gizmoplex has a lot more to offer than just Season 13. Presumably you’ll want it to be a stand-alone structure that continues to stand after Season 13 has completed its debut and continue to be the home of the show for future seasons, so give people the one-minute version of the virtual tour from the livestream. Even people who aren’t interested in the reboot will be interested to hear that there are classic episodes to stream and interactive amusements to play with.
And even though you guys seem to have a good grasp on the concept, don’t lose sight of what you need to communicate through promotions and interviews. The Gizmoplex isn’t a platform, it’s a PLACE; here are the things you can do in our PLACE. It’s not a service, it’s an EVENT; here’s what happens at our EVENTS.
I realize that a lot of that sounds really demanding, like I think I know better than anyone, but I realize I’m just a fan, I’m answering a call to action, and I thought that might help someone find some clarity about how to pitch this new idea they’re trying.