February 2024 Summary


As we are in the direct line of totality for the April 8th solar eclipse, we’ve been focused on completing remodeling and cleanup in time to have guests. This is a pretty big job, and I’ve decided to spend more time on this, sacrificing available time on “Lunatics!”

As one consequence, I’ve decided to streamline my work log process. So while I did record work logs in February, I’ve put off editing timelapse summaries until later in the year, when deadlines aren’t looming so closely.

But also, most of this work is personal and not project-related, so I won’t be sharing it here.


However, I did significant production work on dressing the “Mission Control Room” set, as well as adding extras for the shots in the “Launch” shots for “No Children in Space”.

Animated Set Dressing of Mission Control Room
Props added to the Mission Control Room set.
Extras (Blender Viewport)
Extras added to the Mission Control Room, as seen in the Blender viewport while editing.

I ran into a little trouble with Freestyle, because I eliminated all the subdivisions for these low-poly characters, and this unfortunately created some extra lines:

Since I don’t have any “No Freestyle” shots, I can use group selection to treat the extras characters differently in shots with this set. So grouped the extras and tested using a different “line set” for them, eliminating the “crease” method that was generating most of the distracting lines.

And I made the first of a series of video “Set Tours” based on this set. I’m thinking these might be nice featurettes for the DVD and/or perks for Patreon followers. We’ve put a lot of our effort into these sets, and in some cases, they’ll only be on screen in the episode for a few seconds, so it’s nice to have a way to show them off. It’s also the best way to show you what production work I did this month.


I also spent some time working on spreadsheet design for release time.

From the beginning, I have promised there will be a spreadsheet linking income from merch, media sales, sponsorship, etc. to how it will be distributed among contributors. This is very complicated, with a lot of ambiguities and decisions to make.

But as a start, I reviewed the credits list (as a rough list of contributors), and then converted those to an ODS spreadsheet (LibreOffice Calc format).

I began to realize that even this is not trivial, as it’s challenging to break up credit roles. It’s inevitably a judgment call.

I also didn’t have a very good understanding of LibreOffice Calc (or spreadsheet design in general). Another concern is how to keep track of all the business specifics I need to actually deliver payments, while respecting the privacy and security of contributors.

Fortunately, I discovered (rather recently), that ODS spreadsheets can refer to separate files. So I decided that I would break this up into three separate files:

  1. INCOME: breakdown of income streams from the project, roughly: “sponsorships”, “membership”, “merchandise”, and “media”. This is mainly so I can correctly account for taxes, business planning, etc. In particularly I need to calculate “COGS” (“cost of goods sold”) in order to figure out how much net profit was actually made from any sales.
  2. DISTRIBUTION: a breakdown from departments down to individual contributors, identified by “credit name” (the name appearing in the on-screen credits). THIS is what will be published for fans/customers (and all contributors).
  3. DISBURSEMENT: map from credited contributors to legal names, address, and ledgers showing advances and all payments made. Although I probably won’t include passwords here, there will be payment channels, people’s real legal names, and so on. So I have a legal and ethical duty to keep this document private. If there were a way to keep it private from me, that might be good, but I can’t see how, since I’m going to be the one writing the checks. I guess we could hire an accounting firm if we get that big, but I think I’m dreaming there, at this point.

I might break those down further, but this three-part division does separate the parts by desired audience (i.e. “a few people interested in our business model”, “customers and contributors”, and “only those of us writing the checks”).

This is still a work-in-progress, but I do have the “production pie” breakdown, and the chart that goes with it. I’m working on rubrics to use in breaking down contributions in each department.

Production Pie (Depts) S1E01
Production profit-sharing by “departments” for net profits from S1E01 “No Children in Space”, as planned (Feb. 2024). The green part is “conceptual”, red is “audio production”, and blue is “visual production”.


I tested that my development copy of Papagayo NG will run, though I haven’t tried using it for anything yet.

I researched how to use WooCommerce as a possible alternative to Gumroad, since I already have a WordPress site here.


The door on the “sound booth” (which we use for higher-quality voice recording), has been very sticky for a long time. It’s a bookcase door; so it’s very heavy; and it has slumped somewhat so that it rubs the floor. This month, I installed a very low-profile roller under it to see if that would help. I’m a little disappointed with the results — it’s still pretty hard to move and it now makes a horrible noise — but it is still an improvement.



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Terry Hancock is the director and producer of "Lunatics!" and the founder for "Lunatics Project" and the associated "Film Freedom" Project. Misskey (Professional/Director Account) Mastodon (Personal Account)