We produce “Lunatics!” as a free-licensed open-movie series to be released for free on the Internet, but of course it is not free to produce.
Some of that will be paid for by selling products after release: DVDs, pay-what-you-want digital downloads, and ancillary merchandise. For those, you can simply follow our Gumroad shop.
However, we also offer intangible support options through direct donations, patronage, sponsorships, and advertising.
This page is a guide to the options we can provide, ranging from inexpensive “Patronage” options for individuals all the way up to corporate sponsorship of entire episode budgets and video advertising in our “commercial” break (typically one in each episode is planned, following the “anime” format model, with the ad occurring in the natural “act break” in the show). Because of the complexity of the options, we have used different providers and payment methods for the different forms.
Individual Options: Donations, Subscriptions, and Patronage
If you just want to give us a little support, whether one-time or on-going, we have several inexpensive options for doing this. We’d love to be primarily supported by small donations like this!
One-Time Up-Front Donations and Patronage
Single-episode, up-front donations and patronage are offered through our Gumroad store. These include a downloadable “digital goodies” pack, but do not include any special access or deliveries when the episode is released (partly for logistic reasons and partly because of the way Gumroad’s terms of service work). These are paid as soon as you order them on Gumroad, which is great for us, because it means we have the money to spend on producing the episode right away.
However, it also means these payments are non-refundable, even if it turns out we never actually produce the episode (I certainly hope this never happens, but it’s possible the project will collapse at some point), and so the promised attribution credit never gets displayed. However, assuming we do release the episode and the credit you think you’re due is missing, please contact us and tell us, and we’ll take immediate action to fix the oversight.
Any amount from $1 up, no attribution rewards, but we do include a digital pack of desktop “wallpapers” featuring art from the project. Since this is not directly coupled to an episode, you can do this at any time. We offer this on our Gumroad page, and we also have a simple PayPal donation button on our front page at lunatics.tv.
For a $20 one-time donation, you get a “Patron” credit in the episode. This is the same credit block as for the “Premium Patron” tier on Patreon, except that it only applies to one episode, you never get charged again in the future, and of course the payment is immediate/up-front instead of waiting until the episode is released. It includes a collection of digital perks but other than the title credit, does not include the at-release perks mention on the Patreon site (because in general, Gumroad does not allow us to charge for such uncertain future deliveries). However, of course, all of these things will be available for free, and we will send you a notification of where to get them.
Single-Episode Silver Sponsorship
For an $45 one-time donation, you get a much more prominent listing on the “sponsors” side of the credits in the episode. Otherwise this is the same terms as the Single-Episode Patronage.
Single-Episode Gold Sponsorship
For a $90 one-time donation, you get listed before the Silver sponsors, also on the “sponsors” side of the credits, and a little bit more prominently, and again, the terms are otherwise similar to the Single-Episode Patronage. We include a few extras in the digital download package, including a preview of the episode.
Recurring Per-Episode Patronage and Sponsorship
We offer these on Patreon. The advantages are that you only get charged after we release an episode, so you’re guaranteed to get what you signed up for (I’m fully conscious that we’re a risky thing to spend your money on, so I don’t blame you if you are concerned about this). They also include direct notification and early-access to the episodes when they are released. Also, you don’t have to remember to keep checking with us — we post frequent updates as we work, which you can sign up to be notified for on Patreon, and of course, you’ll get a notification when we do release the episode. You don’t have to think about signing up for the next one, it just happens — which will probably be a lot more convenient as we get up to speed and start releasing episodes frequently.
Of course, we don’t see this money until afterwards, so it doesn’t help us to deal with our on-going production expenses.
The tiers on Patronage include basic donations and early access to online streaming of the episodes when they are released, as well as several sponsorship levels, more or less equivalent to the ones on Gumroad. But these are charged after release, on a per-episode recurring basis, and include digital (and in some cases, physical) rewards that include the episode itself. To get these on Gumroad, you would have to wait until after the release and then purchase them separately. These differences, plus the overhead cost of using Patreon, account for the small difference in price between the two platforms, for the same sponsorship level.
Recurring “Premium” Patronage
For $20, you get listed in the “Patron” credits in the end credits of the episode. This tier includes some digital rewards including a PDF cover art poster, and the full digital download package for the episode in Full HD (1920×1080) format, along with featurettes and other “extras”.
Recurring Silver Sponsorship
For $50, you get the same digital perks as the “Premium” Patrons, but also a more prominent listing on the “sponsor” side of the end credits (same as with the Gumroad “Silver Sponsorship” offer). This also includes a physical 12×18″ cover poster for US addresses only (overseas sponsors can pay more to get this shipped or simply not receive it)., a physical “Open Movie Edition” DVD, with source material (mainly Blender files) as well as the episode itself, watchable on standard DVD players (it will also be included as a Full HD file on the disk).
The Gumroad version, by contrast, does not include these post-release perks or physical products, although they will be available for separate purchase after release.
Recurring Gold Sponsorship
For $100, you get pretty much the same deal as for the Silver sponsor, but listed earlier in the credits under the “Gold Sponsors” section. Also, for international sponsors, it covers the cost of shipping the cover poster.
We now offer a monthly subscription on Gumroad. This is simply an update released around the beginning of the month, summarizing the last month’s project activities. Most of this content will be available in public posts on our Patreon blog, in our on-site Production Log, and/or our social media accounts. However this update will gather links to all this information into one convenient newsletter.
There will also be an exclusive “Worklog Highlights” video, in which you can watch the more interesting bits of Producer/Director Terry Hancock screencasting worklog in “speedpaint” style. Just in case you want to find out how he’s spending his workdays on the project (Terry has been keeping a daily screencast worklog as a kind of diary, and we’ll just go through and collect the not-boring parts of the worklog to summarize the month’s activities). It’s typically going to be set to CC Attribution-Only free-licensed music, so you can also just put it on to listen.
Of course, the beauty of a monthly donation to our project is that many of our actual expenses (such as web-hosting) are actually billed monthly, so it helps us to cover our overhead costs.
Corporate / Company / Organization Sponsorships
We also offer sponsorships targeted at collective organizations: commercial businesses, non-profit organizations, and so on. There is no actual requirement for who can do this. If you just want to put up a picture of your family, we allow that. But these are designed with companies in mind.
Since these sponsorships don’t include the usual patron perks, the offerings on Gumroad and Patreon are practically identical, except for these differences:
- Patreon Sponsorships are charged at episode release time. Gumroad Sponsorships are charged immediately when you purchase them, but will apply to the episode currently in production.
- On Gumroad, you will receive as your digital download, a set of guidelines for preparing your credit and where to send it to get it included in the episode. On Patreon, we will contact you when the episode is near release to get this information.
On either platform, sponsorships are non-refundable, even if for some reason we are unable to run your credit (e.g. the project collapses and the episode does not get made). This is primarily a donation, not an advertisement! The money we receive from Gumroad we will spend on production, and will not have available for refunds. On Patreon, you will have already received the reward when it is charged to you.
On either platform, we reserve the right to refuse to run a logo or credit which in our sole-discretion is illegal, offensive, or otherwise unacceptable to include in our episode (or promotes something that is). Please remember that “Lunatics!” is directed at family audiences.
If we do refuse a logo or credit, we will offer you the opportunity to replace it with an acceptable one. If you are not able to do this, then unfortunately, your credit simply won’t run. In general, we will still not be able to offer a refund at that point.
Other than the noted priorities below for the different credits, we can’t guarantee the order of the sponsorship credits in our titles.
There are four tiers of Commercial Sponsorships:
Offered for a single episode on Gumroad or recurring on Patreon for $300. For your credit, you can submit text or a monochrome graphic that will fit in the available space (about 600×100 pixels in the 1920×1080 version, though you should be aware that it will often be displayed at lower resolution, down to about 800×405, leading to your credit being 250×42.
This is intended to simply be a company name, but using the image option allows you to choose your own font or incorporate special formatting or trademark elements.
This will be shown on the “sponsors” side of the end credits, ahead of the “Gold” and “Silver” sponsors.
Offered for a single episode on Gumroad or recurring on Patreon for $1000. This is a 600×600 square logo placement on the “sponsors” side of the credits, before any other end-credit sponsorships. This is the highest and most prominent tier we offer on Gumroad and Patreon. As with the Commercial Sponsor credit, remember in your design that the credit may be only 200×200 pixels when the video is displayed at 800×405 pixels. So don’t use fine print! Keep your logo simple and easy to recognize.
Opening Bumper Half-Episode Sponsor
If you are a corporate sponsor looking for a more prominent sponsorship, we offer the half-episode sponsorship for $12,500. As the name suggests, this is half of our projected per-episode budget. Your logo will then be flown prior to the episode in an opening “bumper” video of up to 5 seconds length, right after the Anansi Spaceworks bumper.
You will need to contact us directly by email to make arrangements for this tier. We will review your logo immediately, and will not charge you until we have accepted it according to our editorial standards (so the lack of refund is not an issue). Payment can be accepted through wire or ACH bank transfer or via a cashier’s check or corporate check by postal mail.
No more than two Half-Episode Sponsors will be accepted for an episode.
Opening Bumper Full-Episode Sponsor
As the name suggests, this covers the whole episode’s nominal budget of $25,000. Only one can be sold per episode, and the full-episode bumper can be up to 10 seconds in length. Review and payment terms are the same as for the half-episode sponsorship.
If you wish to sponsor multiple episodes (to sponsor an entire season, for example), we’d be delighted to talk to you about that. It will actually simply be billed as multiple episode sponsorships, but we can go through a single review process.
We have so far never received an offer for large-scale sponsorship, so we may have to make arrangements with our bank to receive large payments. We will be extremely happy to do this promptly, though, if you are interested in sponsoring us.
If you do not wish to produce your opening bumper yourself, we can produce a simple fly-in logo animation from monochrome logo artwork for you.
Free Logo Placement for Free/Open Source Projects
As part of our commitment to open source and open movie culture, we will offer our “Logo Sponsorship” placement (meaning a 600×600 square logo in the “sponsors” column of our end credits) on a space available basis to qualifying projects:
Other Free-Culture or Open-Movie projects released under Creative Commons Attribution, Attribution-ShareAlike, CC0, or Public Domain terms.
Open source software projects, with particular priority for multimedia tools, and particularly tools we use.
“Space available” means that if we have unsold slots for logo sponsors (very likely, especially as we are starting out), we will select from Free Project logos made available to us and put them in on a priority basis. If you think you qualify, please send us your logo art and URL to link to on the episode download page.
In addition to our sponsorship options, we also plan a few spots for advertising. Because we are an open movie project, with videos released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, and our business models need to accommodate that, you need to be aware of some caveats:
We cannot guarantee that your video ads will not be removed downstream from our releases. People are free to remix and re-release the videos, so it’s entirely possible that they will cut out the ads. The best defense against this is to make ads that people want to keep: keep them short and keep them friendly. No one will be forced to watch them. But if they’re good and of interest to viewers, it’s likely they’ll be kept.
As with the logo placements, we still maintain the right not to run ads we consider offensive or otherwise inappropriate. No porn. No ads for porn sites. No extremist politics. No NSFW content, etc. Also, you must have the full right to publish the content you include, and you should be aware that as part of the episode, you are releasing it under the CC By-SA license as well, so you must have the right to do so.
Unlike sponsorship logos, advertisements will NOT be included on fixed format or download package releases. They are included in the streaming videos we post online on platforms that allow this (and unfortunately, not all of them do, as they have their own competing advertising systems).
Our advertising break is limited to 20 seconds long, in the act-break of the episode (typically about halfway, but in the pilot episode, it’s at the end). We can sell this in 5-second blocks of $5000 each (so if you want to run a 15 second short, it will be $15,000). Payment will be accepted by wire transfer, ACH, cashier’s or corporate check, and you’ll need to contact us directly to place an ad. We normally use this space to promote our own project website and direct sales.
The ad itself can be a still image with optional voice-over or a video short produced by you (we do not create advertisements for you).
Both in-episode advertisements and commercial sponsorships will also be included on the download page, with hyperlinks of your choosing.
We can also sell you advertising banner placement exclusively displayed on the episode download page (not included in the episode). These are sold in 600×100 pixel blocks, up to 600×600, for $100 per block (permanent listing). Or for $25 for one-month listing. Of course this works out to $600 for a permanent ad the same size as the $1000 logo sponsorship blocks (but only on the download page).
Our standards for ads on the download page will be somewhat more lax, but they should still be “safe for work”.