Crowdfunding has been getting a ton of attention in the wake of the massively successful Kickstarter campaign that resurrected the short-lived Veronica Mars as an upcoming feature film. But while high-profile projects like that may get the most headlines, crowdfunding is at its best when it’s helping smaller projects spring to life, projects which might never have made it through the Hollywood grist mill, but which can appeal directly to their potential audience for support. Those aspiring projects run the gamut when it comes to genre, theme, and style, but one way to set yourself apart from the pack: include a 12-foot prison robot in your pitch. It certainly got our attention.
Goliath will tell the story of Derleth State Penitentiary, a hellhole filled with the ugly and the violent society, and one which was barely maintaining order until the titular robot was introduced into the equation. Goliath is a robotic prison guard, one loaded with “the programs necessary to hunt and the weapons built to decimate human life.” Think ED-209 if OCP had licensed him to Detroit’s prisons instead of having him murder mid-level executives and fall over when confronted with stairs. No, Goliath is very lethal and very effective. Reporter Jena Ortiz is visiting Derleth to cover the story of the machine’s pacification of the prison population. Unfortunately, her visit comes right as Goliath decides its time to set aside those Asimov laws and get about the business of killing all humans. That forces the prison’s gangs to join forces and try to take down a walking tank with “six shivs and a flashlight.”
Whether that concept is prying open your wallet or not, here’s some good news: Goliath is already past its funding goal. They were seeking $7,000 to build the robot itself. They already had a cast and crew, they already had a location locked down, and they already had the equipment they needed. All they needed was the robotic star, and now they’ve exceeded their target by $362 as of this writing, and they plan to use any overage on filming additional tie-in webvideos like the one below. Right now the Goliath Kickstarter only has 60 hours left, but you can still donate and get yourself some goodies in return. I just pledged ten bucks myself, which nets me a digital, DRM-free copy of the finished short. A small price to pay for giant freakin’ robots.
It’s also worth noting that the Goliath short is planned to end on a cliffhanger. That isn’t intended to leave viewers frustrated, but instead leaves potential for the project to continue or expand. In fact, they already have a full-length feature script just waiting in the wings. I’m hoping that the short itself is awesome, but if Goliath gets enough attention, I can totally see the project becoming a full-length sci-fi action flick. It’s got plenty of potential; now it’s just a matter of whether that potential is realized.