Signing and Shipping Physical Rewards

Artbooks and Posters

We now have all of the physical rewards in hand (that’s the character
line-up posters and the artbooks), and we are working on signing and
packaging those tonight! I hope to get them into the mail tomorrow morning.
Both have turned out beautifully! I’m very happy with “Book One” who was
able to print the artbooks with color plates as well as the usual black-and-white
content as well as “Smartpress” who has been doing our poster printing. Both have
produced very high quality printing for us.

Screenwriter Rosalyn Hunter signing a “Pre-Production Artbook & Writer’s Guide”.

Data Disks or Flash Media

For the 10 of you that are expecting data disks or flash cards, we are
still waiting a bit more (if you ordered a collection, the disks will
come later). The wait is because I’m still trying to finish up two
promises I made for those disks:

  • Storyboard animatic
  • Soundtrack with voices

We’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs on this project this
year. On the one hand, I’ve been much slower in finishing up certain
elements like the storyboard animatic and certainly the 3D modeling
work. On the other, we actually have a voice cast who is recording for
the project right now, which is well ahead of where I had expected to be
by now.

I’ve been frustrated with the available video editors.
Kdenlive has a great user interface in principle, but the
synchronization problems on playback make it very hard to use for finer
work. After several attempts, I may go back to using the Blender VSE for
this.

The real problem on the animatics, though, is me. I really underestimated the amount of time I would spend on
producing
(as opposed to directing). There’s an awful lot of communicating,
coordinating, and even fund-raising to be done, and this wiped out a lot
of the time I had been planning to spend on directorial work like the
animatics. So, I’ll have to chalk that up to my being inexperienced and
try to improve on my future estimates.

But of course, I knew
there would be surprises, and there are no show-stopping problems as
yet. We’re still moving forward, albeit not at the pace I had hoped for
(eventually it will be a serious problem if we can’t speed things up,
but not yet).

Also, because of the unanticipated good fortune with
the casting, I should be able to include a complete soundtrack with
music and final (or at least nearly final) voice tracks — which is more
than I promised. So I’m hoping this will sort of balance out against
the lateness of delivery.

Every time I listen to the actors
working on this project, I am really stunned by my good fortune. These
are very talented people putting in very professional work. And
considering that we are not yet able to pay them, they have been
extremely understanding! The soundtrack sounds like it will be awesome
when finished.

I’m still considering exactly where to draw the
line on the data disks. The project source tree is already so large that
I’m going to have to actually send you two 4GB DVD disks (the
single-layer disks are more reliable than the double-layer 8GB disks,
and anyway, I’ve decided to use Milleniata M-Discs which are limited to
4GB — but are much more permanent than DVD-R media).

Already included in this dataset are the modelsheets in SVG and PDF formats as
well as PNG renderings of the characters. There are some 3D models,
including Georgiana and Hiromi character models created by Andrew Pray
as well as the 3D models created for the Soyuz Descent Module set. There
is a great deal of recorded sound — including music and sound effects
libraries, new effects for the project, and the audacity sound mixing
files for several scenes (though some of these are still being edited).
There are recordings of the principal cast conference in which we
read/rehearsed the screenplays for “No Children in Space” and “Earth”
and there are of course full scripts, the contents of the artbook, and
so on.

I definitely feel I must wait to put the animatics and
soundtracks on the disks. I now hope to finish those by October 1st. If
possible, it would be nice to finish the “Teaser Trailer” and include it
as well — I’ll have to post a separate update about that.

The big goal, of course, is to fully produce the animated pilot episode. For
that, we’re going to need to solve some problems in fund raising, team
building, and technology. But it will be much easier to do that when we
have got something to show for the project. The animatic, voice
production, and animated trailer will provide that, and we’re still on
track to get all of these finished this Fall (possibly in the next
couple of weeks). So I remain optimistic that we are going to launch
this series in 2013.

Thank you for your support!