Pre-Production Kickstart

We’re getting everything ready to start
our first Kickstarter campaign. This will cover pre-production artwork,
some 3D modeling necessary for the pre-production phase, and an
animatic of the pilot episode with a temporary soundtrack.

Pre-Production Art Kickstart

With Daniel finishing up the character concept sheets (more will be
featuring on our front page over the next few weeks), the time is coming
to raise money for his “real” commission work, which is to turn those
into design and model sheets we can use to model the characters in 3D
and rig them for animation.

At the same time, I am proceeding through the design and development
of the mechanical parts of the “Lunatics” universe — the “Lunar
Transportation System”, the Moon colony itself, and other supporting
vehicles and equipment. Of course, we’re focusing first on what will
appear in the pilot episode, “No Children In Space”, and that will
require a few special models, such as the Soyuz launch vehicle and the
“cosmotrain” that brings it to the pad for launch. And the pad, of
course.

I’ve already done quite a bit of this planning, but there’s still a
large collection of sketches, plans, and 3D models that I will be
creating during this phase to finish up plans and correct
inconsistencies.

Of course, we are going to be raising the money for this phase with a
Kickstarter campaign. I’m still working out the picky details, but so
far, this looks something like this:

Goals

  • Finish design plan views and model face animation reference drawings
    for 16 characters — our main 8 colonists, 4 supporting characters, 4
    “generic” characters with mix-and-match features that we can use for
    modeling “extras”. (Daniel Fu)
  • Create the character line-up graphic (Daniel Fu) and a revised
    version of the “poster” image we use for marketing, based on this (Terry
    Hancock)
  • Finish out the complete plans for the lunar colony itself and create
    the base 3D model of the whole set. Create a fly-through animation to
    test it out (Terry Hancock)
  • Rig the “Lunar Transportation System” model and draw plans for the
    lander and transfer module interior sets (only have sketches right now).
    (Terry Hancock)
  • Finish “Storyboard-quality” models of the Soyuz launch system:
    “cosmotrain”, transporter-erector, launch pad and gantries, launch
    vehicle stages (and rigging), and the Soyuz orbiter (Terry Hancock).
  • Finalize the script for “No Children In Space” (Rosalyn Hunter).
  • Finish the storyboards for “No Children in Space” (Terry Hancock).
  • Record the temporary voice track for the pilot “No Children in
    Space” and combine with the music (Terry Hancock, Rosalyn Hunter… and
    family).
  • Cut together an initial “story reel” animatic for “No Children In Space” using these. (Terry Hancock)

Rewards

  • An art book including all of the pre-production art produced from
    concept to final drawings and 3D models (where available). This will
    also include the final script for “No Children in Space”, a writer’s
    guide to the character backgrounds, and probably some other extras.
  • A disk (either a CD or DVD) containing electronic versions of all of
    the art, the Blender files for the 3D models, and the story reel
    animatic. Another possibility would be to put this on a custom flash
    drive, though that would cost a little more.
  • Versions of these signed by Terry, Rosalyn, and Daniel.
  • Prints of the marketing poster, vehicle design art, and colony set plans.
  • Versions of the colony plan drawings signed and numbered by me (Terry Hancock)
  • Original artwork sheets drawn and signed by Daniel Fu.
  • Credits in the production book and/or on the data disk.

How much?

I’m still working that out. Daniel will get paid a minimum of about
$1600 in advance for his commission (against a profit-share of future
creator-endorsed merchandise sales). The rewards will obviously cost
something to produce (basically, to be certain of having enough, I need
to figure out what the breakdown would be if all support came from the
lowest-margin item — I’m still pricing the printing options). And there
are some other overheads including Kickstarter itself.

Should we earn more than our minimum, we’ll probably increase the
scope of the project — design additional characters or even commission
some of the character modeling work, if there is enough.

Video

And of course, no Kickstarter campaign is complete without a talking
head asking you for your support. Ironically, this is proving to be the
hardest part — we’re not a live-action production after all, and I’m a
much better writer than speaker. But I’ll manage.

I’m using a camera I purchased with the intent of using it for
motion-capture and recording sound separately on our voice-recording rig
— synchronized the old-fashioned way, with a clapper. We’ll see how
well that works when you see me on screen…

Until then!