What do a bar, a church and actor Stephen Baldwin have in common? Nothing…yet.
But if some enthusiastic entertainment producers have their way, all three will be fixtures in “Rock and a Hard Place,” a proposed television show that could end up gracing the small screen.
Creator Darren Marlar told TheBlaze that the concept for the sitcom — a pastor who inherits a bar across the street from his church — was born three years ago.
“It all started with a dream,” he said.
And Marlar meant that both figuratively and literally. The radio personality and comic recalled once having a quirky dream about a preacher who inherited a pub. While he said he doesn’t remember much else about what his subconscious drummed up, the general idea of a man of the cloth running a bar stuck with him.
“The more I started thinking about it, I thought ‘This is really a good idea for an ongoing TV show,’” Marlar explained.
Time passed and nothing came of the idea until the born-again Christian started thinking up concepts with friends last year. It was at that point that Marlar took the bold step of reaching out directly to Baldwin in an effort to gauge his interest in what was at the time merely a long-shot.
The actor’s manager found the idea intriguing, which inevitably led to an uncommon plan, especially for a Hollywood project: Since Marlar didn’t have a big budget to put a pilot together, his team — Baldwin included — decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to raise the necessary funds.
The goal for the campaign was $50,000 during the first fundraising wave. That benchmark was superseded on Thursday when the effort concluded with more than $65,000; the lump sum was donated by hundreds of individual donors who fully embraced the television concept.
Now, Marlar and his team are mapping out their next steps.
“We’re taking a break for the next couple of days just to try and recuperate,” he said of the rest he’s seeking following weeks of fundraising. “The next step for us immediately will be to do a table read.”
Marlar said that the team will come together to work with local actors in an effort to work through the pilot’s script and make necessary tweaks as needed.
At some point, more fundraising will likely be needed. Already other companies have agreed to help with additional efforts to bring in cash, as the team will need more money if it wishes to film a complete pilot.
“We’re probably looking at late spring early summer to actually begin filming [in Northern Chicago]. The question now is, ‘What can we afford to do?’” he added.
With the current $65,000 budget, Marlar said his team will likely create a two to 10-minute trailer that can be taken to television networks to assess viability. Some outlets, which he declined to name publicly, have already shown some level of interest in the project.
If it all maps out and makes it to TV, Marlar is hoping the show gives audiences some laughs, while also upholding a positive message.
“Being a born-again Christian I’m kind of fed up with what I see on TV nowadays,” he said. “There’s a couple things I want to avoid. We don’t want any sex, we don’t want any cursing.”
While some scenes will be shown in the bar (after all, Baldwin’s character inherits the pub — and that’s the premise of the show), “Rock and a Hard Place” will be a family program and will be safe for “kids to be in the room laughing along with mom and dad.”
He wants the show to focus on “mercy, grace and forgiveness.”
Find out more about the film here.
Featured image via “Rock and a Hard Place”