'SWAT Kats' to return, thanks to Kickstarter?
This special report from VOM-DT: Channel Fur includes an interview between RingtailedFox and SWAT Kats blogger Rusakov Dekkamaster.
I was contacted by Rusakov Dekkamaster (RD), after he noticed I ran a furry-themed internet television station, and thought it would help to get the word out on a potential SWAT Kats revival. Being a fan of the SWAT Kats universe, I was more than happy to oblige, and gained permission from RD to interview him about the prospective revival.
Ringtailed Fox: So, how did you first hear about SWAT Kats?
Rusakov Dekkamaster: I first learned about it when we got a newer cable package back in the summer of 2009. It looked interesting to me so I watched some of it. At first I wasn't too into it but I got hooked later on in the summer.
RTF: I see. Was it the "furry fandom" aspect of SWAT Kats that drew you in, or are you simply into action-adventure series with everyday-people as heroes?
RD: Oh, I love action-adventure series. Before I watched SWAT Kats, I watched The Centurions. SWAT Kats came on after that, which is how I was first introduced to it. I also liked the science fiction elements of it.
RTF: I'm pretty excited about this new Kickstarter campaign to get SWAT Kats back on the air with new episodes. How did you first come across this?
RD: It was through an email exchange with Christian Tremblay. The topic of bringing the show back had come up before, and he said there were plans to make new episodes. The Kickstarter campaign idea was the first concrete thing that was said about his plans.
RTF: How did you get into contact with him? I can't imagine someone like him would have a public email address just lying about.
RD: Actually, an earlier version of the Tremblay Bros. Studios website had a personal email address for him. I found it through an internet archive site (I believe it was the Internet Wayback Machine). The current version of the site no longer has his personal email account.
RTF: What is that website URL, by the way? I'd like to check it out for myself, and I’m sure others would like to take a look too. So, if the Tremblay Brothers manage to raise enough money... will that be any guarantee that Warner Brothers will make new episodes?
RD: www.tremblaybrosstudios.com... Of course there's no news about new episodes yet. Most likely news will come if/when the Kickstarter is successful. And there's no guarantee that Warner Brothers will pick up the series. Which is part of a fan campaign that I'm organizing. It's called "listen to the people" it will be a list of people who support bringing the show back. I urge as many people as possible to participate in it.
RTF: The campaign would most likely have to raise a couple million dollars before Warner Brothers even thinks about it, since production costs for good-quality traditional animation can be quite high, even if we were to somehow cover the costs of production so Warner Brothers didn't lose a cent. How much is the Kickstarter goal, and do you think the fanbase will be able to achieve it? SWAT Kats is fairly-obscure, after all.
RD: The goal is currently unknown to us. It could be just used as seed funding or something bigger. We just don't know yet. So I really can't say for certain whether the fandom can reach it or not.
RTF: That's fair. In the event that Warner Bros. or Cartoon Network USA (or Teletoon, in my native Canada) are uninterested, where would that place the Tremblay Brothers? Would it be able to continue online in some form, like a webcomic or flash series?
RD: It could, there are so many things that could happen that anything, from abandonment to a full fledged TV series can happen.
RTF: Do you know who currently owns the broadcast rights to the series, and its spin-off and merchandise rights?
RD: That's difficult due to conflicting reports. [Warner Bros. designer] Lance Falk said that Warner Brothers owns the broadcast rights. And Chris Tremblay says that he and his brother own the rights. It's possible that WB has broadcasting rights while the Tremblay brothers have the rights to creating a new series. It's also possible that rights are shared between the two.
RTF: I believe you're right in that they either share rights, or have separate rights, depending on how the SWAT Kats are used.
RD: I think that's pretty likely too.
RTF: Now, say everything goes well, Warner Brothers says "alright, since you're fronting all the money for us, we'll have Cartoon Network be the distributor", and even line up some international broadcasters, ie. Teletoon, or Cartoon Network UK, how soon would we see a new series or new episodes? Or how long would it be before we hear any news, good or bad, from the Tremblay Brothers, regarding the success or failure of the Kickstarter campaign?
RD: For new episodes, at least a year. It takes a while to make cartoon episodes. Failure or success of the Kickstarter campaign will probably come immediately after it's done due to the fact that campaigns that fall short are not funded. So failure really isn't an option in our case.
RTF: You and I know what Kickstarter programs are, but for those that are scratching their heads, would you be willing to explain what they are and how they work?
RD: Kickstarter programs are basically programs where, instead of getting corporate backing, projects get backing (initial or otherwise) from ordinary people donating a certain amount. The minimum donation amount is one US Dollar or equivalent.
I would say the interview went quite well, and with any luck, SWAT Kats will see a revival of some sort in the near future.
For further information, check out the following pages:
- SWAT Kats Revival Facebook group
- SWAT Kats revival promotion Facebook event page
- SWAT Kats revival promotion II Facebook event page
- SWAT Kats Revival blog
Stay tuned for announcements on when the Kickstarter campaign will begin, and get ready for Sunday, when Chris Tremblay (and possibly producer Davis Doi and series writer Glenn Leopold) answers fans' questions at Reddit! [You can submit yours now.]