People must like watching their worst dating nightmares play out onscreen, because the team behind the “Local Attraction” pilot — that hilarious video inspired by bad Tinder dates — has raised more than enough money on Kickstarter to fund the entire web series.
Connor Hines, who writes, directs and stars in the series, never expected “Local Attraction” to gain the widespread following it’s accumulated. But as the pilot episode started to draw in thousands of viewers — and then tens of thousands of viewers — he and his production team decided to launch a Kickstarter to turn the pilot into a high quality web series.
They set their funding goal at $6,000, to be raised over a period of 60 days from April 10 to June 9. By April 18, they had already raised $7,025.
“I’m sure this happens with a lot of Kickstarters, where you have a [funding goal] in mind, but you lower it because it feels presumptuous to set a high goal — so we decided to lower [ours],” Mr. Hines told Betabeat. “We exceeded the goal in a pretty timely manner. I’m excited about it.”
As the series’ executive producer, Melanie Quinn, notes on the campaign page, the funding will fuel the entire filmmaking process, including paying actors, securing locations, acquiring filming and editing equipment, and paying for transportation.
Until the funding period is over, at which point he’ll be able to collect the cash, Mr. Hines will be financing the series’ production “on loan from my savings account,” he told Betabeat.
On April 10, the team also released the series’ second video, which is easily as cringeworthy — or perhaps moreso — than the first. This one features a date between Whitney (played by Alexis Kelley), who works in advertising, and Skye (played by Mr. Hines), a self-righteous aspiring actor who prefers to be called a “performance artist.” It’s basically an admonition against using Tinder in Bushwick.
“I’m just trying to shake the bad leaves off my tree,” Skye — played by Mr. Hines – says after entering the restaurant. “I like to check my bad energy at the door, and I sort of feel like I brought it in with me, and I just, I don’t want to contaminate the space.”
“Skye was an inspiration from being in the acting community,” Mr. Hines said. “You meet people who’d surprise you, just how seriously they take themselves and their craft. It’s clearly an overcompensation for their career choice.”
Originally, Mr. Hines just intended for the series to be part of his acting portfolio — something to prove to agents that he was capable of portraying a diverse range of characters. But now that he’s seen the huge public following the series has accumulated, he said future episodes won’t just be about him — it’ll also feature women displaying bad first date behavior.
Mr. Hines said they’ll start filming the third episode at the end of the month, when Ms. Quinn returns from shooting a documentary overseas. Until then, Mr. Hines is enjoying his newfound Internet celebrity.
“I’ve met with a management company and I’m meeting with an agency next week,” Mr. Hines said. His goal is to one day actually be paid to act in a project. “Hopefully something good will come from it, in terms of the next step in my career. I’m not holding my breath, but it’s probably a step in the right direction.”