The musical duo, comprised of Jonny Donahoe and Paddy Gervers, have raised nearly £14,000 through Kickstarter to make the online series Jonny & The Baptists: The Happiness Index - four 30-minute episodes of "an astonishingly fun documentary style series with serious dives into big topics, alongside songs, live stand-up, all new material and plenty of real life Baptists funtime which you have all come to know and love".
Aiming to complete filming in March, the pair then plan to re-edit the episodes into a "supercut" which will be screened in cinemas across the UK and Ireland, followed by question and answer sessions.
Conceived as a companion piece to their soon-to-be-announced 2024 live tour, Donahoe and Gervers set up the Kickstarter after missing out on Arts Council funding.
They will be working with Irish stand-up and filmmaker O'Toole, who wrote and directed the acclaimed 2021 comedy-drama Bicycle Thieves: Pumped Up, starring Roxanna Nic Liam, Donnacha O'Brien and Dave Emery, with appearances by Tara Flynn, Alison Spittle and Maeve Higgins.
Donahoe and Gervers have pledged to relaunch their podcast in the wake of hitting their goal. And backers of the project are receiving various rewards, including a cameo role in the project, a personalised song from the duo or, for £500, "a genuinely good advert for your thing!", where they write and shoot an ad for whatever the patron wants, be it a business or even a dog.
You can watch Johnny & The Baptists' low-rent pitch for the film at their Kickstarter page