Our Kickstart was a Success!
I couldn't have asked for a more exciting introduction to using Kickstarter. After a somewhat muddy start right before Thanksgiving (possibly a mistake?), we had a slow trickle of pledges, which ended in a three day rush right at the end. And thanks to a small number of people raising their bids dramatically, we cleared 100% with 8 MINUTES to spare, late on Sunday night! And I'd like to give a special thanks to our two organizational logo sponsors, "The Luna Project" and "The Chamba Project".
I finished inking and painting portraits of the eight main characters, using Daniel Fu's concept art sketchs, and now that the Kickstart is over, I have sent these "concept art posters" to the printer. They'll go out right at the end of December for anyone just getting the posters. The rest will go out with the production materials we send out in April (we're trying to finish pre-production work by April 12 for Yuri's Night).
Rosalyn and I discussed an interesting idea for a one-set / no-characters "teaser trailer" for Lunatics that we can start work on as early as January (actually, we had this idea when we were thinking the Kickstart wasn't going to succeed, but it's still a good idea!). This will give us a relatively low-difficulty project for testing out our modeling and rendering pipeline, and generally establishing a little bit of "Blender cred" -- which is probably our weakest area in terms of convincing anyone we can do this series. :-)
I have to admit I do feel a little bit like Kennedy promising the Moon when the USA had only flown somebody in space for about 15 minutes and hadn't even made orbit yet.
Still, I'm quite confident that this can all be done, and I've heard some very encouraging things from Brett, who has been working diligently on his Pyppet digital puppetry project all during the time I've been obsessing with the Kickstarter arrangements. This is software that we are expecting to make extensive use of in our production chain. This will probably be our biggest technical innovation -- and an essential one in order to handle the animation of the longer character scenes that Lunatics requires while staying on our expected budget.
I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to a very exciting New Year in 2012!