We Are Funded!
WOW! AMAZING! BIG THANKS to all of you who have helped the Video Watchdog Digital Archive become a reality! Our goal was reached – exceeded actually – on January 26 – a week early! This means 174 back issues and 2 Special Editions of Video Watchdog will be preserved digitally, interactively, across iOS, Android, Flash and Windows platforms and compatible devices!
If you missed reserving your Digital Archive while this project was active, please stop by Video Watchdog to see what is available in the Digital Library to order. Purchases from the Video Watchdog website will be playable on all platforms – which comes in handy if you have more than one device (like a tablet, a phone and a computer).
Thank you for making this dream of ours come true!
Welcome to the digital realm!
– Tim & Donna Lucas
What are Joe Dante, John Landis, Ernest Dickerson, Leonard Maltin and Robert Tinnell so excited about?
Video Watchdog launched its first Digital Edition with issue #175 in October 2013 and the response from around the world has been amazing! Check out the current issue! It's free in Flash format for computers and in a free App for iPads/iPhones fromiTunes. Click on the link appropriate to your device and see what all the excitement's about!
What is Video Watchdog Magazine?
Video Watchdog Magazine has held true to its
description as "The Perfectionist's Guide to Fantastic Video" since its
first issue appeared on newsstands in June of 1990. It started out as a
column written by critic Tim Lucas for three other magazines — Video Times, Overview and Gorezone
— before becoming a publication in its own right. It was in these
columns that Tim "pretty much invented video reviewing as a genre
distinct from movie reviewing," according to New York Times critic Dave Kehr.
The magazine was conceived by Tim's wife Donna, then a computer software specialist and instructor with a background in graphic design. Though Video Watchdog is most identified with Tim's eye for alternative versions, missing scenes and other movie minutiae, Donna wears every corporate hat that he doesn't. Every one of its 175 issues, two Signature Editions and two Special Editions, and Tim's acclaimed mammoth biography Mario Bava — All the Colors of the Dark has been designed, published and shipped by Donna out of their Cincinnati home.
Each glossy, 80-page issue of Video Watchdog boasts articles and reviews written by the field's most noted critics, authors, thinkers and educators. In its nearly quarter-century history, Video Watchdog has won the acclaim of such filmmakers as Martin Scorsese, Guillermo del Toro, and Quentin Tarantino, as well as those other distinguished gentlemen featured in our video above. It has also become the most awarded publishing imprint of its kind, recognized with the International Horror Guild Award, the Independent Book Publishers Award, the Saturn Award for Special Achievement, and a record-number 15 Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award wins, including Tim and Donna's 2010 induction into the Monster Kid Hall of Fame.
This is the legacy we want to make digitally available to everyone.
OK! We've taken the giant leap to digital. Going forward, Video Watchdog will be produced in both print and digital editions, optimized for computers and iPads.
Since we want to reach everyone and remove any barriers that might stand in the way, we've announced that every new digital issue of Video Watchdog, for the length of its time on newsstands, will be absolutely FREE.
Bold step, right? But that's not enough.
Now we want to digitize and bring online our entire archive of 176 back issues across all platforms and playable on all devices!
Like the Digital Editions we've already published, we'll add extra content, expanded page counts, video and audio clips, links to websites for direct ordering, extra photos and slide shows, and whatever else is needed to bring the issues to life for a completely unique enhanced experience; one that will engage you and enrich your appreciation of the film and video releases we've covered.
The Video Watchdog Digital Archive will contain 174 issues (published from 1990 to 2013) and 2 Special Editions — over 14,000 pages of content, thousands of reviews, hundreds of articles from the days of early home video on Beta, VHS and laserdisc, to Blu-ray discs and streaming of today. Once converted, this extraordinary archive will become fully searchable for the first time, enhanced with interactive film clips, music and slideshows — far beyond what you've ever imagined a video magazine could be!
Our goal then is to bring you:
- Cross Platform model for new issues on ALL devices effective May 2014
- The Video Watchdog Digital Archive (176 issues) premiering December 2014
What are the Benefits of Digital?
Video Watchdog is still being printed and distributed to retailers and subscribers worldwide. Print is our legacy and it's still the backbone of our business. But we're excited about the potential of adapting our work to a digital template. It's the best possible advertisement for the print edition while also expanding upon it in wonderful ways.
Here are just a few of the benefits that come with digital publishing:
The Price is Right! – Digital is easily downloadable, and with our crazy business plan, each new issue is absolutely free while it is new! Now
we can introduce unlimited numbers of film and home video lovers into
our pages, instantly and without cost, removing all price and
distribution barriers between the reader, our product and its message.
Searchable! – Each Digital Edition is fully searchable so readers can find what they need quickly. Once the complete VW Digital Archive is unveiled, our Flash version will also allow you to search across all editions, through hundreds of articles and thousands of reviews!
Bonus Content! – While our print edition is limited to 80 pages, a digital Watchdog is limitless! It can include exclusive bonus content — extended articles, additional reviews, and more advertising than we can accommodate in print at a fraction of the cost. We can also add to our back issues over time, and your copies will be automatically updated — reinvigoriating almost 25 years of material into a living, growing, active body of work!
Interactive! – Face it. Digital is cool! Click
and watch a film clip, see pictures morph into each other in a slide
show, tap thumbnail graphics to see extra stills, play music, and see
your own video letters appear in our pages! Now you can interact with Video Watchdog like you never have before!
Beautiful! – It's a real pleasure to see the editions on a big computer monitor but we think you'll love it on a tablet. Zoom in or out, change to portrait or landscape, highlight text, mark your place with bookmarks, and scroll through thumbnail views to find your pages. The photos are high resolution, too. But best of all, it still looks exactly like the print version!
How Your Contributions Will Be Applied
has always relied on the kindness of strangers, and we have always
repaid that kindness in kind. The magazine got started in the first
place because the readers of Tim's Gorezone column responded with
enthusiasm to his suggestion of a magazine, sending in checks to cover
one-year subscriptions before the first issue even existed! We knew we
had succeeded when our second year of publication attracted even more
Our history of popular support continued, some years ago, when we were preparing to publish the book Mario Bava — All the Colors of the Dark. There wasn't yet a crowd funding program so, to support that venture, we offered the book to early investors at a special low price with the promise of including their names inside the book itself in a special List of Patrons. Thanks to the enthusiasm and financial encouragement of more than a thousand people, we were able to produce what many have called the most beautiful and lavish book ever published on the subject of cinema, which went on to win numerous publishing awards, as well as the rarely-presented Saturn Award for Special Achievement. As anyone who owns the Bava book will tell you, we not only keep our promises — we exceed them.
Some funding of the Digital Archive is already in place. This project is now pursuing the balance of what is needed to realize our goal. Once
this project is successfully funded, our first step will be
to pay for the creation of an App for Android and Windows 8, and to
secure the internet page count needed to publish the more than 14,000
pages in our archive. We are working with Yudu Media for the App
Development process, and you can already see the result of their
excellent work on iPads and iPhones.
The majority of the nest egg, however, will be applied to the painstaking process of digitizing the back issues to create the Digital Archive. Most of these issues exist only in printed form, and we estimate more than 10,000 pages need to be scanned, cleaned-up and converted into searchable editions. We have assembled a small but dedicated crew of digital artisans to help us to accomplish the first steps of this mammoth task, as we continue to move forward with our bimonthly print and digital issues. We'll also apply a portion of the funds toward acquiring updated equipment and software for scanning, storing and testing the editions across all the platforms.
As with everything we've ever done at Video Watchdog, the creation of this Digital Archive will be a labor of love. Over the decades, magazine distribution and in-store display have become increasingly challenging and politicized; we don't mind working hard, but we would like to know our hard work is reaching the audience for whom it is intended. You can make this dream possible — a vision that stands to redefine what a film magazine can be, and what it can mean as a tool to not only inform but connect its readership. We are dedicated to seeing this dream realized, and with your vote of confidence, we can proceed — knowing you want to see it too.
Special Perks are nice (and we have some terrific ones we'll detail a bit farther down) but, of course, the point of all this is to realize the vision we have outlined above.
HOW PAYMENTS WORK
This Indiegogo project is set up through Flexible Funding, which means all the contributions are applied to the project. Both credit cards and Paypal are accepted. Your pledge will be processed right away. If our goal is not reached, we pay more fees to Indiegogo, so we have set our goal really low. Anything received above our goal will make the project go more smoothly and ensure the Digital Archive is delivered on time.
We welcome contributions in any amount, from $1 up! Every pledge brings us closer to our goal. However, should you become a backer at the $10 level or higher, you may select an equivalent Perk.
ABOUT THE PERKS
Most of the perks are in the form of specially themed collections of our Digital Editions at reduced rates. We have tried to keep “analog” perks to a minimum so we can focus on bringing the Digital Editions in on time. If you would like to receive print versions of these editions while they are still available, you can do so by visiting the Back Issue area of our website. Although the sale of the print editions won’t count directly toward our project, it is a great way to help us out and keep our print edition model running smoothly.
You can select more than one perk by pledging more than once! Hooray! There is a limit of $10,000 per pledge, but not per backer.
For those who would like to contribute in a purely philanthropic way, even if none of the perks are of interest, please do so with our sincere and heartfelt thanks! If you would like to direct your funding to help further the study of film and film restoration, please consider THE TREASURE TROVE, designed especially for students, schools, libraries and companies in the industry.
And now for the detailed descriptions of our Special Perks...
THE KICKSTARTER: $10 OR $20
Kickstart your Video Watchdog Digital Archive by seeing how it all began! This package collects our first 10 issues, which John Szpunar’s new book Xerox Ferox says “changed the world of home video.” Included are our acclaimed features about The Exorcist, Twin Peaks, Ganja & Hess, the films of Pupi Avati, Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath, the Russian fairy tale films of Aleksandr Ptushko, interviews with Barbara Steele, Jess Franco and Narciso Ibanez Serrador… and Tim Lucas’ groundbreaking essay “How to Read a Franco Film.” Over 600 of the best pages we’ve ever printed.
CATCH-UP PACK: $25
Prefer to keep up-to-date? See what we're doing now with this pack of our most recent issues. Includes 800 colorful pages of our exclusive interviews with Quentin Tarantino and '60s sex siren Daliah Lavi, an in-depth Dark Shadows round table discussion, and Tim Lucas' defining essay on pop art cinema, "Continental Op"!
PICK 10: $40
The name says it all. Any 10 issues, your pick! Be our guest... and this invitation extends to our more generously proportioned 176-page Special Editions!
You will be asked for the issues you prefer by email at the close of this campaign.
If your tastes favor futurism and fantasy, then this is the package for you! Nineteen (19) carefully selected issues focusing on fantastic cinema at its most speculative and uplifting — including Rocket Science producer Michael Lennick’s eulogy for Stanley Kubrick and his essays on Star Wars, Starship Troopers, and 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as our special issues devoted to Robocop, Highlander, The Lathe of Heaven and more!
OUT OF PRINT PACK: $75
If you’re a collector of our print magazine, it’s possible you’re mostly interested in collecting our out-of-print issues. Well, here they all are — 25 of 'em at the moment, but others are precariously close to running out. Any that go out of print between now and the time the Digital Archive is launched will be added to this perk at no extra cost!
HORROR PICKS: $80
Thirty (30) hand-picked issues focusing on horror cinema in all its variety — silent horror, Universal horror, Hammer horror, the Poe films, the geekiest exploitation horror of the '60s and '70s, Euro horror, '80s franchise horror, J-Horror… you name it, it’s here! Guaranteed in Shock!
JOE DANTE'S FLEAPIT FLASHBACKS: $100
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, future film director Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Howling, Piranha, Small Soldiers) published a book’s worth of film reviews in the industry journal Film Bulletin. Beginning in VW 83 and continuing through 127 — 45 issues — we reprinted every one of them Joe could dig up. See what he had to say about Hammer Films, Russ Meyer films, Cinemation exploitation, Andy Milligan and more! Fully searchable for the first time!
RAMSEY'S RAMBLES: $100
The Oxford Companion to English Literature calls Ramsey Campbell "Britain's most respected living horror writer." With novels like The Face That Must Die, The Parasite, Ancient Images and The Grin in the Dark to his credit, he is considered one of the finest supernatural storytellers of our time. If you collect Ramsey Campbell but haven’t been aware of his exclusive film writings for VW, here’s where you can grab them all in one fell swoop!
THE INTERVIEW PACK: $150
At VW, we pride ourselves on publishing the most in-depth film-related interviews anywhere! This package collects all our most groundbreaking Q&A marathons — 46 issues of revealing conversation with the likes of Vincent Price, Roger Corman, Ken Russell, Quentin Tarantino, Barbara Steele, Jean Rollin, Edith Scob, Norman Lloyd, Bert I. Gordon, Antonio Margheriti — and Tom Weaver’s Rondo Award-winning interview with Son of Frankenstein star Donnie Dunagan!
FLASH ARCHIVE: $175
When the entire Digital Archive is released, you will have access to all the editions, viewable in Adobe Flash Player format. Mostly, this means viewable on computers (Windows, Mac and Linux), but if your tablet or phone allows Flash content, you can view it there as well.
A wonderful feature about the Flash version is that you can view it online if you don't have much disk space or download it to your computer if you do, and store it there forever.
If you don't think a tablet or smart phone is in your future, this is the version to get. It's a wonderful value!
APP ARCHIVE: $250
Love your phone or tablet, but not your computer? Then this package may be for you!
At this backer level, you can download the entire archive onto your App-supported device. This includes iPad, iPhone, iPod, Kindle Fire, Android tablets and phones like Nexus, Galaxy, Nook HD, Kobo, and Windows 8 tablets and computers. If your device supports an App from iTunes, Google Play or Windows Store, this version should play on those devices.
The Flash computer version is not included in this package. However, if you have Windows 8 on your computer or laptop (without the Start button), this is compatible!
DIGITAL ARCHIVE: $300
This is The Whole Enchilada!
All 176 issues of Video Watchdog formatted for all devices and platforms. Not sure which tablet or phone you want yet? Want to store a backup of all the editions on your computer, keep one in the cloud for your phone, or read it on the plane, train or beach with your tablet? Then this is the version for you!
Computers, tablets and phones. Cross platform.
When this Archive becomes available in the App stores, the price will be $549. Individual issues can be purchased for $3.99.
Please check the compatibility of your device here.
SOUVENIR PACK: $600
Did you know that Tim takes notes on the films he's watching, before writing his reviews? Or that some of Donna's happiest memories are of the paste-up process that went into the early analog edition of Video Watchdog?
Here are tangible, one-of-a-kind souvenirs never before shared with our public, literal pieces of Video Watchdog's history! At this level, they are yours — along with TWO Digital Archives! Tim will sign the index card, and both Tim and Donna will sign two original paste-up pages from one of our early issues!
At the $1,000 backer level, you have indeed made a considerable investment in the Digital Archive project! We consider you a Video Watchdog Digital Archive Founder, and you will be rewarded with:
- 1 Digital Archive (for all devices)
- A signed/numbered limited edition Watchdog Founder statuette by sculptor Mike Parks based on a design by comics legend Stephen R. Bissette!
We have commissioned Mike Parks of Mad Lab Models (who designs the commemorative plaques for Wonderfest every year) to produce an original statuette of our magazine's mascot! Made of resin and bonded bronze, the piece will stand approximately 7-8" high and include a special base and nameplate proclaiming YOU a Video Watchdog Digital Archive Founder!
Mike has agreed to have his process documented, so we'll be bringing you regular updates as his Watchdog takes shape! Mike and his wife Danya also provide foster care and shelter to cats awaiting adoption, and a portion of his fee will be applied toward that very worthy cause.
Individually numbered and signed by Mike Parks, Tim Lucas and Donna Lucas, this statuette will always serve as a proud and unique reminder of the role you played in creating the Video Watchdog Digital Archive!
Perhaps your interest in Video Watchdog concerns the benefits
of others more than yourself. In that case, please consider this backer perk — which would place the entire Video Watchdog Archive, print and
digital, in the hands of film schools, libraries and students.
This backer level will entitle your institution (or the school or library you are endowing) to the following:
- 1 Digital Archive
- Watchdog Founder statuette created by Mike Parks
- 5 Flash Archives for library computers
- 177 PRINT Issues #1 - #175 plus 2 Special Editions
- A one-year subscription to the print edition of Video Watchdog.
- A one-hour Skype session with Tim Lucas for your group or class
- One Digital Archive for each person attending the Skype session with Tim Lucas
If you are donating on behalf of a school or library, we will
ask your preference when we email backers at the
close of this campaign.
Sweet Advertising Perks!
The Digital Edition format opens up new, creative and more effective ways to advertise! Take another look at the current Digital Edition for computers or iPads, and see all the fun and interactive ways you could promote your film, song, podcast, book, artwork — you name it — at really affordable prices.
Advertisements in the new Video Watchdog can be informative and entertaining! You don't turn these pages — you get sucked into them! The digital bells and whistles keep the reader engaged and thinking of your product long after the reading experience is over.
These Advertising perks are awesome, and most include the entire Digital Archive! Sweet!
NOW PLAYING SHOWCASE: $95 - NOW DOUBLED!!! (For the same contribution you now get 2 Ads! $600 value!)
Have you just made a genre-related film or album and want to share it with Video Watchdog readers? This is the perfect way to bring it to the attention of untold thousands of kindred spirits!
Our Now Playing Showcase page will contain a "movie screen" area. Below that, the title of your media will have an icon to enable a clip to play onto the screen, and a link on the title will take people to your website or blog. The space will be shared with others wtih similar films or music to share, so this will operate somewhat like a juke box.
This is a $300 value and leaves a big impression! Did we say just $95? Yes, we did!
At the $550 backer level, you can get your message to the digital-reading audience, complete with interactive fun, AND receive the entire Digital Archive too! Wow! Here's what you get:
NOW DOUBLED! - You get 2 of everything below for $550! ($2,200 value)
- One Digital Archive for all devices
- One Full-Page Digital Ad in a 2014-15 Digital Edition
- One Media Spot (trailer, music or slideshow)
- One website/blog Link
- Links to social media sites (like Facebook and Twitter)
At the $1,000 backer level,you can get your message to the digital-reading audience (over 3 issues or all at once) with 3 Full-Page Digital Ads, complete with Media Spots and Links, PLUS receive the entire Digital Archive too! Perfect for multiple products or longer exposure through the year. You get:
NOW DOUBLED! - You get double of everything below for $1,000! ($4,200 value)
- 1 Digital Archive for all devices
- 3 Full-Page Digital Ads in 2014-15 Digital Editions
- 3 Media Spots (trailers, music or slideshows)
- 3 website/blog Links
- Links to social media sites
At the $2,000 backer level, you can get your message to both the Print AND Digital audience with 1 Full-Page Print and corresponding Digital Ad, complete with a Media Spot and Link, PLUS receive the entire Digital Archive! A great way to reach the entire Video Watchdog audience. Here's what you get:
NOW DOUBLED! - You get double of everything below for $2,000! ($9,000 value)
- 1 Digital Archive for all devices
- 1 Full-Page Print with corresponding Digital Ad for 2014-15
- 1 Media Spot (trailer, music or slideshow)
- 1 website/blog Link
- Links to social media sites (like Facebook and Twitter)
Donna Lucas, moments before launching Video Watchdog's first Digital Editions, October 22, 2013.
Risks and challenges
We are in the unusual position of being able to look back on almost 25 years of steady, reliable production and management of our ideas. It hasn't always been easy and, of course, there are challenges ahead. Organizing, coordinating and implementing this huge undertaking, while still producing regular issues of our bimonthly magazine, is the biggest challenge of all... but we've done it before. Communication is key to success, and we'll keep you informed with regular updates.
Donna flew solo through this process a few years ago when we decided to create a digital restoration of our very first issue when our supply of original copies was exhausted. The result was better looking than the original — comparable to a leap from VHS to Blu-ray! So we are fully aware of how to proceed, the time involved per issue, and what stands to be gained in terms of quality.
This time, we have help. We have a small but dedicated crew of artisans who have committed to taking charge of the principal scanning and clean-up, butthe final inspection and production of the interactive content will be assembled by Donna at Watchdog HQ. Meanwhile, Tim will be exploring ways to augment the Archive, and he'll provide regular updates to this page to let everyone know how the project is shaping up. We will both remain available to answer any questions you may have, throughout this process and beyond.
If the WATCHDOG PACK perk has been selected, sculptor Mike Parks will commence his design of the commemorative Watchdog statuette for our Watchdog Pack supporters. We'll be updating you on his progress with photos and other documentation as it comes together. We're excited to see what he's got up his sleeve!
With your financial support, with your faith in us, we know we can deliver an archive on a scale that will soar far beyond ordinary pdfs, something heretofore unseen in terms of film journalism and its presentation.
We hope you'll let us take you to the next level of the digital realm!