November 22, 2014

Dead Gentlemen Productions Announces New Projects, Sister Company Clarification, and New Distribution Strategies

SEATTLE, WA – On November 22nd, 2014, Tacoma to Bellingham-based entertainment company, Dead Gentlemen Productions, LLC, announces 4 new projects starting today, and going forward into 2015, including a new self-distributed online store. Also released, an official statement on the distinction between Dead Gentlemen Productions and Zombie Orpheus Entertainment (another entertainment company founded by Dead Gentlemen’s own Ben Dobyns), clarifying some confusion about crossover or redundancy between the two companies.

Dead.FM – A Weekly Dead Gentlemen Podcast

Starting Wednesday, November 26th, 2014, Dead.FM will be released every Wednesday. The show will serve as a weekly update on Dead Gentlemen Productions and Zombie Orpheus Entertainment. Modeling off of the one and only audio podcast the Dead Gentlemen ever made, Dead Gentlemen Presents: Dead Air (also found on Dead.FM), the show will include news and updates, audio sketches, interviews with featured guests, radio plays, and musical talent both within and outside the Dead Gentlemen/Zombie Orpheus (DG/ZOE) circles. Don Early, President of Dead Gentlemen Productions and host of the new show, said, “First we were stunned that the URL was even available. But what none of us could answer is why we never continued the original audio podcast. Well, now we are bringing it back from the dead. Seems to be a theme around here.”

Routine segments of the podcast in the works are: Dead by Don, the news, updates, and op-ed piece delivered by Don Early; Adventure Time, with Kentucky Blue Clay – radio plays of the old time radio format, featuring the character Kentucky Blue Clay – a parody of Indiana Jones; and an untitled “Help Desk/Dispatch” segment with callers dialing in with dilemmas or help needed.


The new online Dead Gentlemen Store is projected to go live by early January 2015 at the URL The site will offer all of the Dead Gentlemen Productions and Zombie Orpheus Entertainment titles, as well as partnering shows like the Standard Action webseries. Order fulfillment will be handled by the Fulfillment by Amazon program to ensure quality customer service and better delivery options. “Again, can you believe that URL wasn’t taken?” said Early. “The new site will be simple, and be a place to buy our titles directly from us. We are excited to extend the same offer to the other producers in the DG/ZOE family.”

Distribution agreements have not been sent out yet to other potential partners, but Early says he’s hopeful to finalize negotiations by the end of the year.

The Gamers: Dorkness Rising Blu-ray Kickstarter

In the first quarter of 2015, Dead Gentlemen Productions will launch a Kickstarter to crowd fund a special Blu-ray edition of their worldwide cult hit, The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. “The film was shot in HD, and we’ve only released as a digital download in HD so far. It’s time to give it a Blu-ray,” said Don Early, who also helped produce the film. “With this Kickstarter we’re hoping to introduce even more people to this awesome film. We think it’s the perfect entry point to the series. Plus, I want a Blu-ray of this movie.”

Early eluded to stretch goals that may even augment DG’s original 45 minute short film, The Gamers. 

The Gamers: Natural 1, & The Gamers: Humans & Households Sequels

Due to the incredibly popular reception of the short series, The Gamers: Humans & Households, and The Gamers: Natural One, both the result of a successful Kickstarter, Dead Gentlemen Productions is in the development phase for sequels for both titles. Again, Don Early: “We have entered into a development agreement with Thomas Gofton over at Lynnvander, Inc, who coproduced The Gamers: Natural One with Zombie Orpheus Entertainment. Thomas has some great story ideas about where to go from where N1 leaves off.”

Similarly, treatments are under way for a sequel to The Gamers: Humans & Households. No official greenlight have been given to either projects, however. “We want to see if we can find the best story and the best script,” said Early. “Both projects were terrific and I have confidence in our creative team. Script is always first before we go looking for funding.”

The projects will be crowd funded in the first half of 2015 if scripts are approved.

Distribution Strategies

Starting in 2015, Dead Gentlemen Productions will be shifting its distribution strategies to a 4-tiered structure with active management of all four tiers. The first tier is the Dead Gentlemen YouTube Channel, where content will be released for free. DG has confirmed that they will be using the YouTube Partner program which means ads in their videos. “Ad revenue is a piece that’s been missing for us,” said Early. “That said our aim is for a low impact ad experience. The focus is the content and to support us so we can keep making content.”

The second tier will be the above mentioned online store,, and Fulfillment by Amazon.

The third tier will be online digital distribution partnerships with VHX, GOG, and with active efforts on getting on services like Netflix, Amazon Watch Instantly, iTunes and Hulu. Dead Gentlemen Productions intends on pursuing these jointly with Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, in order to get the most titles into these services.

The fourth tier will continue to be Dead Gentlemen Productions’ partnership with Paizo, in particular for the wholesale distribution into the hobby market. “Paizo has been a long time ally and we intend a lasting relationship with them,” said Early.

Dead Gentlemen Productions & Zombie Orpheus Entertainment

At the Seattle-based fan convention, ZOECon, named after Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, Don Early released a statement to clarify the vision and purpose of the two companies – Dead Gentlemen Productions and Zombie Orpheus Entertainment:

For the past 5 years or so, a lot of people have been confused about the relationship between the two companies. Are they the same? Is one the creative/development company and the other the distribution company? Frankly, Ben Dobyns and I have been asking those same questions.

Some brief context. The post production and distribution fiasco with The Gamers: Dorkness Rising in 2008 burned out several members of Dead Gentlemen Productions, myself heavily included. Creatively we were in a rut and a bit of a disagreement as to what to do next. We decided it was best to go into a sort of operational hibernation. Pay the bills, keep up with taxes, etc. Ben Dobyns and others founded Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, or ZOE, to pursue alternative distribution models so as to avoid a repeat of what happened to The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. There are no actual legal or financial connection between the two companies, other than Ben Dobyns is also a company owner and co-founder of Dead Gentlemen Productions.

ZOE graciously carried the torch on producing fantastic properties like JourneyQuest, continuing The Gamers Series with [The Gamers:] Hands of Fate, Humans & Households, and Natural One, and let’s not forget my current favorites: Dark Dungeons & Attacking the Darkness. All the while, Dead Gentlemen’s not-so-Fast Healing ability was finally starting to restore itself. Now thanks particularly to the efforts of Jenna McMichael and the Demon Hunters comic, giving DG a dose of Cure Serious Wounds… Ok I’m done with that analogy… We are back from the dead, so to speak.

Today there is a clear vision to both Zombie Orpheus Entertainment and Dead Gentlemen Productions. To quote Ben Dobyns, “ZOE is focused on achieving long-term sustainability for fan-funded media on the web with a size and scope that can creatively and financially support our casts and crews in their professional endeavors. Both ZOE and DG plan to work together to coproduce several exciting future projects and both retain a deep interest in supporting each other and our fans. ZOE continues with its commitment to building a collaborative and welcoming community within the realm of independent Internet media producers and fans.”

So what’s the difference between ZOE and DG? Well they’re spelled differently for one. (Thank you Jenna McMichael). Aside from the spelling differences and realized acronyms of course, at Dead Gentlemen Productions we’re focused on creating joy and human connection in the world through our stories, because it brings us together and we get an amazing amount of joy out of doing it.

Again I have to quote Jenna McMichael, “To me, DG is story first. Trying to focus on the business killed us, but DG from the beginning has always been a bunch of people who have stories to tell, and juuuust enough skills to share those stories with the world.”

Careers may happen, but they’re not a primary focus.

And WHO are DG & ZOE? Well there’s a lot of crossover. But at the very least you know that Ben Dobyns is the President of ZOE, and I’m the President of DG. As far as I’m concerned we’re all DG.

Dead Gentlemen Productions, LLC has its roots in Tacoma, WA and is now based in Bellingham, WA. The group met each other over 1996-97 while attending Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. Between 1998 and 2000, the Dead Gentlemen filmed two feature films: Demon Hunters, and it’s sequel, Demon Hunters: Dead Camper Lake. The films were met with great acclaim on campus. In 2001 they shot what would be their flagship property for many years to come, a 45-minute featurette called, The Gamers. A comedic short film, The Gamers follows a group of college students playing a role-playing game, switching between the players squabbling at the table to their fantastical characters in the world of their imaginations. The film gained worldwide attention at game conventions and related film festivals. With the success of The Gamers, in 2002 the group founded Dead Gentlemen Productions, LLC. Since then, Dead Gentlemen Productions produced several comedy sketches and short films, the high definition feature The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, a roleplaying game, an online comic, a new roleplaying game, and more. To this very day the Dead Gentlemen exercise their super power of unmatched collaboration to create projects together.

Zombie Orpheus Entertainment’s bio can be found here, because it’s really long, but really good, and this press release is already really long. Sorry ZOE.