The Asylum Wants Fans to Fund Bonus Scene for 'Sharknado 2'

Are you willing to spend $15 or more for a mystery bonus scene in the Sharknado sequel?

The Asylum, the production company behind Sharknado and a slew of other Syfy films featuring nefarious creatures of unusual size, is seeking $50,000 to include a “bonus” scene in Sharknado 2: The Second One.

On their Indiegogo page, Asylum pitches the concept as a chance for fans to produce a scene for the sequel. Producer David Latt promises chainsaws, sharks, and general awesomness. “We’re going to allow you intimate access into one of the most anticipated movies of 2014.” The catch? Fans have to cough up the cash if they want to know what’s in store.

Contributors don’t get to make comments on the script, story, or cast. This isn’t a crowdsourced scene taking direction from paid helpers. We don’t know how long the scene will be. “The scene we create with your participation … that’ll be just yours,” Latt says. “It’ll be a really cool feeling.”

In this case, the “produce” term only applies to funding. In fact, for $25,000 you can buy an Associate Producer credit on the film, a practice the Producers Guild of America frowns upon. But, hey, what else are you supposed to do with all that cash burning a hole in your vault/money pool? The production company famous for low-budget monster flicks and mockbusters just wants $50,000 for one more gruesome scene. With sharks. And chainsaws. And Mark McGrath?

As of 1:16 p.m. today, the campaign has raised $485 of its total goal. That jumped more than $200 in less than 30 minutes. Four of 11 total contributions came in at the $75 level, at which contributors earn a T-shirt identifying the person as a backer of the project, plus the shooting script at the $50 level, a shark “named” after him or her, and other gifts. The campaign is also donating 10 percent of the proceeds to the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program at the University of Miami.

Full disclosure: I don’t get it. Sharknado, Mega Piranha, Mega Python vs. Gatoroid; the appeal of these films is lost on me. I can appreciate camp and absurd humor while watching D-list celebrities dismembered to VFX blood sprays in increasingly inventive ways, but I’ve never made it more than 3 minutes into an Asylum picture without checking my phone. As 15-minute Robot Chicken-style super cuts, these films might be brilliant.

That said, at issue here is a topic that has been the source of much debate. Should financially viable companies or successful celebrities really turn to Kickstarter and Indiegogo for financial backing, or is this a dastardly example of Hollywood muscling its way into the indie space to the detriment of real starving artists?

Does it matter?

Ultimately, I don’t think it does. The ratings say Syfy viewers are chomping at the bit for more of what The Asylum does best: outlandish disasters, enormous mutated creatures, and actors we’d almost forgotten were popular 20 years ago. If fans want to punch in their credit card numbers for the promise of more from their favorite former doctor or canceled TV series, why should the rest of us stand in the way of their happiness?

You can check out all the details from the Sharknado 2 campaign on Indiegogo. The deadline is May 30, 2014. All funds will be awarded even if the campaign does not meet its goal. Does that mean we only get a 15-second clip of a shark plush toy being hacked with a kitchen knife?

— Tyler A. King

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