Brief Progress Report on “Lunatics” Rewards…

I am working very hard on this right now! 🙂

Books

I have laid-out / typeset 44 pages of the “Pre-Production Art Book &
Writer’s Guide”, which includes an introduction addressing series format
and production schedule, and all of the character model sheets.

The model sheets and some of the plans will be printed in color, by the
way, as I found a print-on-demand publisher who can print a book with
just a few color pages (as opposed to charging the color rate for the
whole book). To make up the cost difference from pure black and white,
I’ll be printing the text parts of the book a bit smaller in two-column
“journal” format (still nicely readable, I think).

I’m afraid I’m still working on some of the plan drawings — sorry, but they’re really very intricate.

The script for “No Children in Space” and some character reading scripts
that we’ll be using for voice-actor auditions will be included. Of
course, I already have the original short story “The Arrival” which will
also be included.

Posters

Daniel has turned in a line-art version of the “character line-up” (see below),
and I’m expecting to see the colored version in a few days. After that, I’ll layout the
poster and send it to the printer. We’ll organize signings shortly after
that.

These posters will be 13″x19″ — a little larger than originally promised. I
originally limited the size to avoid problems with international
shipping, but it turns out that the mailing tubes aren’t really a
problem. The printer can go up to 14″x20″ on these, but it’s much easier
to find 13″x19″ frames, so that’s the size I’m going with.

I may post a couple of possible designs for the poster before I send it to the
printer, as I did with the concept art posts to decide which to print.

This means that the books and posters will go out just before the end of the
month, which is a little later than I hoped, but not too bad.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack is just about settled. In fact it was all settled,
but then I got an idea which may or may or not work out — I’m
still waiting to hear back from the artist on that, who in this case is
Liz Lysinger
(IMDB). She’s part of the band, Zia, but Elaine Walker
is the one I know  — and who was nice enough to re-mix her track
“SpaceZine”
from the original masters to improve on my version which had some
timing problems – this will be the title music for “Lunatics”, probably
for all of Season 1, and certainly for the pilot.

What happened, basically, was that Elaine said “Great, you can use any of my music!”,
which was fantastic news, and so I went back and looked, and I got
excited about a particular track, but it turns out that it’s Liz that
has the rights to that one, and I’m not sure she’s as open to this whole
free-licensed art concept (oops).

I’m still waiting to
hear back on that track, but it’s no reason to panic — I already had
that scene taken care of with different music that was already
free-licensed. I just feel that the Zia track (“Zero G”, also from
“Martians”) would be nicer if we can use it. So I’m going to wait and see before I give up on it.

We also got a very nice symphonic metal piece from J. T. Bruce which I’m
very happy about — this piece basically serves as the theme for the “Lunar
Transportation System”, which is sort of an operational analog to the
Space Shuttle, but goes to the Moon. I had some trepidation about this
one, because it would’ve been hard to replace, but he was really nice
about it, so we get to use the track I really wanted on this.

I also cleared some particularly-appropriate music from Russian punk band
Distemper and some symphonic soundtrack music from Olivier Renouard, a.k.a.
Butterfly Tea, which serves mainly as the soundtrack for the Soyuz launch system
(although it also appears in a couple of other places).

I’ll be including a collection of these tracks in the data set, and putting them on the download site.

Storyboards and Animatic

I’m sorry to say, though, that the storyboards and animatic are going to be
way late, as I really haven’t started revising them yet. As a result, I’m
going to have to delay sending out the data disks (or USB/flash cards).

I’ve started laying out the download page, though, and I will be able to
post that early next week so you’ll be able to get access to the data
online as it’s finished. Not everything will be up immediately, of
course, but you’ll be able to get a lot of the material, including the
finished PDFs for the book, the original SVGs, the music tracks, and
other elements.

I figure it’s better to wait and send the disks out when they have everything
I promised on them than to try to rush them or publish them incomplete.

Summary / What to Expect

  • I will post an update next week with the download page URL
  • I will be sending the masters out for the book printing, hopefully
    by the end of next week, it typically takes 10 days for printing, and
    then I’ll sign and re-ship those to you.
  • I hope to get the color line-up art this week, so the posters should
    also go to the printer towards the end of next week, and thus be ready
    about the same time as he books.
  • I’m going to hold the data disks until the data set I promised is
    complete, so that may be another month. However, you’ll be able to get
    the same data from the download site as it is finished, if you like.
  • For those who ordered packages, you’ll get the books and posters first and the data disk/card will ship separately later.

Other News

It’s not related to the pre-production rewards, but we’ve made some changes
in what we expect to do next. I will be putting out the call for both 3D artist
and voice-actor auditions very shortly — we’re going to go ahead and start with that
phase of the project. I’ll also be doing some of the technology and
workflow testing to try and prove the animation workflow concept we have
for “Lunatics” in June.

After looking at other Kickstarter projects, we’ve decided that our original
multi-stage plan is not the best idea. Instead, the next Kickstart we run for
Lunatics will be the one to completely fund the production of the pilot episode.
We hope to launch that on Moon Day, July 20th, this Summer. By then, I hope we will
have our principle voice actors cast as well as have selected the 3D
artists who will be working on this project. We should also have a brief
“teaser trailer” and some technology demonstrations to show in the
Kickstart video.

It’s going to be a busy couple of months getting all of that organized, but I’m very excited about it!