By Sahil Patel
It’s no secret that Freddie Wong has been planning a third season of his popular web series, “Video Game High School.” The show, which went from a short-form web series in its first season to a full-fledged TV-sized project in its second, is arguably the most important content franchise to come out of the YouTube ecosystem. Quite simply, here is a very capable filmmaker who independently produced something that can easily exist on television — and found great success with it.
So it should come as no surprise that after an original and a sequel, Wong would look to turn his hit show into a trilogy. It pretty much became official last night when Wong launched an Indiegogo campaign to start financing the third season, which Wong, in true filmmaker form, promises to finish the saga in an “epic blaze of glory.”
The third-and-final season will finish multiple plot lines, including the romance between Brian D and Jenny at the forefront of the show, as well as other threads involving characters like Ted, The Law, and Ki. Spanning another round of six TV-length episodes, season three will be directed by Wong and Matt Arnold (writer and showrunner for seasons one and two). The season three writing staff will include Will Campos (who helped write seasons one and two), Brian Firenzi (co-creator of 5-Second Films), and Jake Andrews (co-creator of the RubyDog189 YouTube channel).
Wong and the “VGHS” crew are looking to raise $750,000. That’s slightly less than the $808,000 the creators ended up raising on Kickstarter* for the second season, after setting an initial goal of $636,000. A day into the campaign, fans have already pledged more than $125,000, with 30 days still to go — so it’s likely that this campaign meets (and surpasses) its initial funding request.
The possibility of this is something Wong is aware of. On the campaign page, the creator lists out some other perks the “VGHS” crew might be able to provide if they end up meeting a few “stretch goals.” For instance:
- If they raise $800,000 again, season three of “VGHS” will be available in multiple languages and subtitles.
- If they raise $1 million, fans will be able to download the soundtrack from all three seasons as well as a director’s cut of all three seasons.
- If they raise $1.25 million, season three will have an anime intro.
- If they raise $1.5 million, Wong and the “VGHS” crew will take the show on the road with theatrical screening in select cities in the US.
Another interesting thing to note: The second season of “Video Game High School” was financed in part by a sponsorship deal with Dodge, which Wong says declined “at the last minute” to renew its deal for the third season. That’s a big blow, though if anything it seems to have provided more fuel for Freddie Wong, the Independent Filmmaker:
“We believe we’re on the verge of a creative revolution — the intersection of independent and capable content creators with a system for an audience to fund projects means that, for the first time in film history, the gatekeepers of content have been made obsolete,” Wong writes on the campaign page. “We as creators can be supported by our audience.”
Wong doesn’t provide a timetable for when he hopes to finish and premiere season three — though he has previously indicated that the goal is to have it out this year.
* Wong doesn’t disclose why he opted for Indiegogo this time around, after using Kickstarter to crowdfund the first two seasons, though I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason was that Indiegogo made a play to get him to use the platform.