Con Man has set some serious records in its seven-month life.
Now the third-highest crowdfunded film of all time on any platform, Con Man raised $1 million within the first 24 hours of launching back in March when Alan Tudyk first opened the IndieGogo campaign. It raised nearly $3.2 million, was backed by over 46,000 fans, and was released in September exclusively on Vimeo.
The show, modeled after Tudyk and Nathan Fillion's experiences with their hit cult show Firefly, was the first web series to appear in Hall H at San Diego Comic Con earlier this summer, and their panel played to a packed house at New York Comic Con last weekend as well.
Once it was over, we teamed up with Vimeo and sat down with the men at the helm, Tudyk and Fillion, as well as cast members Felicia Day, Nolan North, and Alison Haislip. We had a couple drinks and talked about Joss Whedon, Firefly, and Will Smith punching people in the kidneys.
Here's everything we learned.
1. Alan Tudyk and Felicia Day met at one of Joss Whedon's famous Shakespeare brunches.
2. It was a reading of Cleopatra.
3. Morena Baccarin (Inara Sera on Firefly) was playing Cleopatra, and she was "perfect."
4. Tudyk was also reading a part, and it was his reading on that day that made Joss Whedon later think of casting him in Dollhouse.
5. Felicia was playing "a soldier or something, someone offstage a lot."
6. Tudyk met Baccarin way before Firefly, at Julliard, through her then-high school boyfriend. Baccarin was 15 years old when they met.
7. And yes, Whedon's famous Shakespeare brunches are as fabulous as they sound. "You start with brunch, and then there's some champagne," Fillion described. "And you gather in the backyard. Everybody's got a role. The email invite says, 'This is your role, this is the book we're using, we're omitting this scene, etc.'"
8. Whedon filmed Much Ado About Nothing at his house in the two weeks between filming ended and editing began for The Avengers.
9. Nothing makes Nathan Fillion feel inadequate quite like hanging out with Joss Whedon.
10. Fillion and Day both had roles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but missed filming together by one day because Day had to film a pilot.
11. It was an "improv reality pilot" that traumatized her because she had to trick people.
12. Summer Glau (River on Firefly) and Day both auditioned for the same Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movie.
13. The audition process for a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie back then was a first round of four to five auditions, then the final two contenders for each part had to audition for Mary-Kate, Ashley, and their mom, who would pick between the two.
14. Tudyk was the robot in I, Robot and worked with Will Smith. Smith had just finished filming Ali and would punch people in the kidneys.
15. Yes, seriously.
16. "He would punch you," Tudyk said. "Will would hit you, he'd throw a punch in your kidneys, and if you didn't block it, you'd get punched in the kidneys. And he'd go, 'You've gotta cover up. You've gotta learn how to cover up.'"
17. Nolan North can do the world's best Christopher Walken impression.
18. Karen, Day's character in Con Man, was originally going to be played by two guys dressed as insects.
19. At DragonCon, a fan once gave Day fan fiction about her Dr. Horrible character, Penny, and the villain of the show, Bad Horse. Who is a horse.
20. Their baby would be a centaur.
21. Tudyk used to get mistaken for Anthony Rapp.
22. He really did own the ginger G.I. Joe they talk about in Con Man.
23. Con Man has been so successful, it's now going to expand into a book, comic book, and a game.
24. Vimeo gave Tudyk complete artistic freedom before they even read the script.
25. Milo Ventimiglia appears in the series. He rode a motorcycle to filming, and they decided to include it in the show.
26. Alan Tudyk has the best idea for how to revive Firefly.
27. Seriously, the best ever. Are you ready?
28. OK, here it is:
"In the future, and I mean it could be like 20 years from now. [Nathan Fillion], Joss Whedon, that's it. That's where you start. Malcolm Reynolds is on a moon somewhere, living some ranch-style life, and somebody comes to the door and knocks on it, and he pulls a gun. ... And there's something that puts Mal back in the air. And you can have as many of the old cast members, but as long as you have Captain Mal, you're back in the air."
29. It's almost as perfect as Captain Mal's reaction: