Today, we’ve launched an on-going
crowd-funding campaign on the Patreon platform, which is oriented
towards series projects like ours. We’ll be posting updated goals as we
go. Our first goal is to raise the estimated $1000/episode that Lunatics
will cost us in out-of-pocket cash to keep going (that’s not including
anyone’s time, of course). During this first phase, we’re appealing to
those of you who have helped us in the past (or tried to!). A new
preview will be released on the Patreon page soon, with the updated
NPR/anime style and a lot more of the 3D assets that we’ve been
developing over the last year.
is a newer crowd-funding solution which is particularly suited for
on-going serial projects. Instead of having a fixed deadline and funding
goal, we have “milestones” we’d like to reach, which will improve the
quality of the episodes we can produce, and how quickly we can produce
them. More money means we can bring more talent into the production, and
that means producing more episodes in a shorter period of time. Enough
money, and we can operate less like a “no budget” underground operation
and more like a commercial studio. And that’s entirely feasible if fans
put the kind of money into our production that they would on buying
movie tickets or renting videos of a proprietary series.
How much you pay is up to you — it depends on how much you value our
work. Many people who are only casually interested will probably pay
nothing. This is nothing new — most people who watch television shows
probably don’t buy from the advertisers, either. And a lot of people
will just watch whatever is on. But if you value what we’re doing and
want to make sure we can do more of it, then you can buy into it, and
we’re prepared to offer some exclusive rewards for doing so, though we
hope the biggest reward is watching the show which will be free for all,
and knowing that you helped make it happen.
Patreon also represents less production risk than Kickstarter or
IndieGoGo, because you don’t pay anything up front. You’re only charged
when we release an episode — it’s “pay on delivery”. And for series,
it’s more convenient, because it’s a subscription — if you do nothing,
you’ll pay the same amount for the next episode, and so on. However, if
you decide you really like the series, you can increase your pledge, or
if you’re disappointed, you can reduce it or cancel it at any time.
We’re using Patreon to ask for direct support for producing Lunatics. Among the rewards we’re offering:
- Early private links for video streaming at different resolutions (see it early, no pre-roll ads, etc).
- Sponsorship listings ranging from “Patron” to “Corporate Logo Sponsorships”.
- Progress reports and digital freebies, produced monthly.
Milestone #1: “Countdown!” ( $1000/episode )
The first goal is to just make sure we can pay our existing bills
(which I’ve been mostly paying out of pocket, of course). These are
mostly things that really come out on a monthly basis (like web
hosting), although there’s also going to be one-time expenses like
printing posters or copies of our audiodrama for promotional uses. We
also really ought to be spending a little bit every month on advertising
the project — one thing I’ve learned is that with an original concept,
you really do need to advertise or no one will hear about it (it’s a
little easier with fan-fiction which has an existing concentrated
The other reason for this goal is to avoid the “empty
restaurant” or “empty progress bar” syndrome. We don’t really want to
promote the project until there is some showing of support from our
“insiders” (which includes you, if you’re reading this now!). If
we get to our $1K “Countdown!” goal, we’ll already be at 20% of the $5K
“Launch!” goal, which I would like to reach before we release our
“Prolog” episode, if possible.
So we’re going to work extra hard
to create a nice, polished preview that shows off all the new and shiny
stuff we’ve been working on over the last year, especially our improved
rendering and materials style. I hope to get that up this month (August
Patreon doesn’t have a self-updating progress bar, widget,
by the way (at least not yet), so we’ve made our own banners for the
successive milestones in the campaign.