The most frequently asked IOBE questions.


(For the latest IOBE Kickstarter backer updates, click here.)

When will the documentary be finished / released?

As with many documentaries, “The Importance of Being Ernest” is a multi-year project.

Our initial 2021 fundraiser was successful and our research has been thorough, but we only began filming interviews in 2022, and will be continuing to do so through at least 2024. Though as we mentioned in the “Risks and Challenges” on our Kickstarter campaign page, a variety of factors could change our plans at any time. This is why, currently, there is no release date for the film.

That being said, we will do our best to provide regular updates and estimates on every aspect of this project! We can’t make any guarantees, but as soon as we know, you’ll know.

(Last updated: 7/18/2023)

Do you need help making the documentary? How can we get involved?

Thank you! Any film project of this size involves a ton of effort from a ton of people. We’re looking for help on all sorts of things, from getting connected with potential interviewees to production on the film itself. We may not be able to include everyone who volunteers, but we’ll at least add you to our list of contacts.

If you have skills or connections you’d like to contribute, you can email us at [email protected] and we’ll get right on back to you!

(Last updated: 5/26/2021)

Will the documentary be a direct adaptation of Justin Lloyd's book?

The short answer is “no.” Films and books are two different mediums, and adaptations are always different.

There are things that books can do that a film cannot. Some parts of the Ernest / Jim Varney story don’t have any corresponding visual record, and those are the kinds of topics better suited to the written word.

On the other hand, there is a TON of footage of Ernest and Jim that we’re excited to get to share with an audience. And as Justin put it, “Something visual can form an even greater connection to an audience than a book can. I’m hoping the interviews really demonstrate the emotional connection that people had to Jim.”

(Last updated: 6/22/2021)

How long will the documentary be? 30 minutes? 90 minutes? 6 hours?

Feature-length (90 minutes) at minimum seems like a safe bet. We know this story has a lot of depth and things we’d like to cover, but to be honest, we’re not yet sure how long the film will be. And yes, this is another detail that will depend on how much money we raise.

We also haven’t solidified our distribution plans yet; instead choosing to focus on telling the story we want to tell the way we want to tell it. So, where the film ends up being shown may impact its running time as well.

(Last updated: 6/22/2021)

Will the documentary be available on Netflix, Hulu, Prime, etc.?

We would love it if our documentary was seen in as many places as possible! But until the film is completed and picked up for distribution, we have no way of knowing which streaming services it might end up on.

(Last updated: 6/19/2023)

Will the documentary have closed captions? What about foreign language subtitles?

These are logistical questions that we have not even started thinking about yet. That being said, we would love to make the documentary accessible to as wide of an audience as possible!

(Last updated: 2/23/2023)

Your Kickstarter campaign was fully funded. That means you have the entire budget you need to make the documentary, right?

Not even close! True to its name, we used Kickstarter to—quite literally—kick-start the production of our documentary project. Now that the project is off the ground, we’re planning to continue fundraising throughout the production of the film. Every little bit helps!

(Last updated: 1/29/2023)

Why don't you post more updates? Does that mean you're not working on the film?

The IOBE documentary project is not a full-time job for any of the team. We aim to post updates as regularly as possible, but we also prioritize actual work on the film over talking about the work we’re doing on the film.

One of our backers on Kickstarter described our approach perfectly—read their comment here.

(Last updated: 1/29/2023)

Was the Kickstarter campaign the only place to get a physical copy of the IOBE documentary, or will it also be available at online / retail stores later on?

As of right now, the Kickstarter campaign and our IOBE BackerKit Pre-order Store are the only places we plan to make physical copies of the film available.

Whether the film ends up for sale elsewhere in the future will depend on—you guessed it—how much money we raise, as well as where and how the film gets picked up for distribution.

(Last updated: 1/29/2023)

If we missed the Kickstarter campaign but pre-ordered the film on BackerKit, will our names still be included in the credits of the documentary?

The “name in credits” perks were initially offered as a part of our Kickstarter reward tiers. BackerKit pre-orders for the “Latecomer Pledge Bundles” approximate some of these tiers (from the $500 level and up), and are the only way for new backers to have their names included in the credits.

Unfortunately, all other BackerKit pre-order backers will not have their names included in the documentary credits.

(Last updated: 5/30/2023)

I see both physical and digital copies of the documentary available for pre-order. Will there be any difference between them as far as content goes?

Yes—the physical copies will have some extra / bonus features, while the digital copy will be the documentary film only.

(Last updated: 1/29/2023)

Apart from image quality / resolution, will there be any difference between the DVD and Blu-ray versions?

Our intention is for the content on the DVD and Blu-ray versions to be identical.

(Last updated: 2/9/2023)

Why is the physical copy so expensive?

Physical copies of the film were placed at the $100 tier of our Kickstarter campaign because it was a fundraising pledge, not a purchase. (Similarly, people don’t contribute to a public television pledge drive because they want to buy a PBS tote bag for $60.)

Since then, we’ve made individual physical copies of the documentary available in our IOBE BackerKit Pre-order Store for a more affordable price.

(Last updated: 1/29/2023)

Whose autographs will be on the "signed physical copies" of the documentary?

Our plan is for the physical copies to be signed by the documentary team.

(Last updated: 1/29/2023)

I want to support the documentary, but I don't have the money right now. Will there be other opportunities to donate in the future?

Yes! If you missed our initial fundraising campaign, you can still pre-order many of the same items on our BackerKit Pre-order Store. We plan to keep this store open as long as possible, and all proceeds go directly towards the documentary production!

(Last updated: 1/29/2023)

I know David Pagano from his animation work. Is there going to be animation in the documentary?

Our main priority is being able to tell Jim and Ernest’s story in the most comprehensive and cost-effective way possible. Animation, on the other hand, is time-consuming and very expensive—even more so than live-action.

That being said, we’re not ruling out anything as we develop and produce this film! Animation was a part of the Ernest franchise aesthetic, and it could definitely help elevate the visual look of our documentary. As with many of our other challenges, it’ll all depend on how much money we raise.

(Last updated: 12/17/2021)

Who's going to be playing Jim Varney in the film?

This is a documentary film, not a biopic, so all of Jim’s appearances in the archival / file footage will be played by… Jim Varney.

(Last updated: 6/22/2021)

I supported the fundraising campaign on Kickstarter, but I never received a campaign survey. How do I have this survey re-sent to me?

We sent out Kickstarter backer surveys via email in the Spring of 2022. If you didn’t receive your survey, you can follow this BackerKit link to enter your email and have it re-sent!

(Last updated: 6/19/2023)

I supported the fundraising campaign on Kickstarter. Where can I verify and/or update my personal information, including shipping address?

You should be able to verify and update your order information by clicking your survey link from BackerKit.

If you need that link to be re-sent, you can enter your email here: https://beingernestfilm.backerkit.com/

(Last updated: 6/19/2023)

I made a pledge on Kickstarter at the $250 level to "Submit a fan video!" How do I submit my video, and what format / length / size does it need to be?

All backers at the “Submit a Fan Video!” level were sent an email with details on what to provide. If you have any questions about fan video submissions, you can send an email to [email protected]!

(Last updated: 04/24/2024)

Is there a deadline for submissions for the "Submit a Fan Video" reward?

The deadline for submitting is September 1, 2024.

(Last updated: 04/24/2024)

When will the $1000 tier Q&A happen?

We are planning for the Q&A to take place close to the documentary release date / when it’s finished (or close to it). We will have more interesting things to say, and possibly more people onboard as potential Q&A guests at that point.

(Last updated: 1/29/2023)

When can we expect the physical Kickstarter rewards to be shipped?

The physical reward shipments are one of our top (non-filmmaking) priorities! We began shipping signed books and Ernest prints in February 2023, and will continue throughout the year.

(Last updated: 2/23/2023)

If physical Kickstarter rewards are shipping soon, that means we'll be getting our DVD/Blu-ray copies of the film, right?

Physical copies of the documentary will ship later, after the film is complete. As mentioned in the Kickstarter reward tiers: “some rewards will ship sooner than others”.

The delivery estimate we listed had to be the same across all tiers, so we went with the earliest date we thought we could ship any of the physical rewards. But certainly anything involving the documentary itself will be among the last of the rewards to ship.

(Last updated: 2/2/2023)

When can we expect the digital Kickstarter rewards to be sent?

Digital rewards will be sent later on, as we move further along in production. They require the same kind of permission from their owner(s) that we need for the documentary itself.

(Last updated: 2/23/2023)

How do I update my mailing address or payment information on BackerKit?

You should be able to review your information by clicking your original BackerKit survey link.

If you need that link to be re-sent, you can enter your email here: https://beingernestfilm.backerkit.com/

(Last updated: 2/3/2023)

I already paid my full pledge amount when the Kickstarter campaign ended. Why do I see an additional credit card charge from BackerKit?

This may happen for several reasons, including:

  • The addition of pre-order items on BackerKit that weren’t included in your Kickstarter pledge (DVDs, etc.)
  • Certain regions charge a tax on shipping costs. This is something that was not taken into account on Kickstarter, as we did not have the mailing addresses of our backers until after surveys were complete.

Please feel free to contact us with any specific questions about BackerKit charges!

(Last updated: 2/23/2023)