What does amount of Supporters imply?
A supporter means: a contribution of $250.
Some paid it all at once, most people will pay this as a subscription in monthly terms – during the production.
Then what is the $640k (500k EUR) target for?
This is the startup funding to get our film project going. This includes bigger sponsors, but also the initial fee from Cloud subscribers. This is the easy target to make :)
What do I benefit from this cloud?
The Blender Cloud is many things. Here’s the five crucial features of Blender Cloud that attracts already a lot of people:
1) Everything you find here is free and open
That goes for data, assets, scripts, software, movies, tutorials, and so on. We’re building the world’s largest Creative Commons collection for 3d artists.
2) Training videos
Dozens of hours of high quality video training is being uploaded. Blender Institute is committed to keep this updated, by the best of Blender artists, including people from the open movie projects.
3) Open Movie data
All the previous open projects, and the current running project(s) will be available here. Huge asset libraries!
4) Open Production
All cloud subscribers will get means to access the same back-end production system as being in use by the 60-80 people who work on the film. Watch the progress, share it, discuss it. We’ll also study on efficient ways for you to participate with the makers.
5) The Future – Blender features
Because the Gooseberry film teams use Blender Cloud, they will test loads of interesting features that will become available later for everyone. Think of automatic updates (binary, scripts), asset browsing (in Blender), but also storage and versioning in cloud, sharing it, starting a project. Even rendering services!
Why do I have to pay EUR 45 (USD 59) for the first three months?
We combine the launch of the cloud with a fund-raiser for the Gooseberry Movie project. For this we need a critical minimal budget.
We also want to make sure people will stay on board for three months to see how awesome it is. After that, it’s going to be dynamics of an open market – are we interesting enough for you to keep the account active? We’ll prove that!
The cloud will offer over 200 Euro (250 USD) worth of Blender e-store DVDs. It’s a good deal to get everything in a high quality service with good bandwidth available this way.
Where does the money go?
About 70% of the money goes to Blender artists (the Gooseberry movie, tutorials), 20% goes to the coders to support these artists, and 10% is overhead (internet services mainly).
When Gooseberry starts, you will have about 60-80 full-timers work here – for you!
Why not combine Cloud with the Development Fund?
Development Fund is by Blender Foundation. The money goes directly to developers, on projects benefiting everyone – including support, bugfixing, reviews, etc.
Blender Cloud is by Blender Institute, it is for services for users – to get training videos, our open productions, but also asset browsing, or sharing data even.
The first is public benefit – and taxfree. The second is commercial, with sales tax.
If we do the Cloud well, funds will clear up in the Dev Fund a lot, so we can support projects that otherwise would fall behind a bit (for game artists, vfx, etc).
Can we subscribe as a team, company or school?
We offer team accounts (3+ people, 25% discount) and corporate accounts (10+ people, 40% discount). Activation of these accounts currently goes manually. Contact cloudsupport(at)blender.org for more info.
We’re also interested to connect with schools and colleges about getting their students involved with Gooseberry via this system. Connect with us!
When are all DVDs going to be added in the Cloud?
As soon as possible… we are working around the clock on getting the campaign fully functional. Let’s say – before March 31st.
What about the Cookie and CGMaster dvds?
The goal for the Blender Cloud is to stick to free/open material only. For training, that means we only will share Creative Commons (CC-BY or CC-BY-SA).
THE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN
I want to pledge with a credit card without being charged.
We started the campaign with only PayPal working, but now credit cards work as well. This is all safe, secure, and PCI compliant. Go to cloud.blender.org/gooseberry/ and pledge today!
Why don’t you include Cloud access to the film credit pledges?
We’ve been advised by our accountants to separate donations from services or products. The first we can book tax-free, the latter we have to pay 21% sales tax over.
Do I also get a credit if the film production takes longer than I8 months?
Yes – and once you’ve saved up (or prepaid) for 18 months of Cloud, we also will put your name on the credits webpage on the blog,
How do I get a hard copy of the film? (DVD, BD, USB stick)
We will make hard copy boxes of the film in a lot of different formats. That can be for NTSC DVDs, PAL DVDs, or HD film on DVD-ROM, film on Blu-ray, film on USB stick, and even 4K (UHD) Blu-ray or USB sticks. This can be for the film only, for the film with documentary, or special edition boxes with a lot of extras and film data.
The amount of variations that are possible for hard copy boxes makes it very difficult to sell them right now. And you know – we can only deliver this in two years time. It is more appropriate to only ask you late 2015 what format or versions you prefer to have.
Instead of selling boxes now, we just give every Supporter (donate 20 EUR or more), a discount of 20 EUR on purchasing a boxed version later.
I don’t understand everything: the project needs 1.9 M euros and the goal of the funding campaign is only 500 000 euros?
The target is to get 10k subscribers, they will pay 45 euro up front (is almost half million), and then after three months they will contribute each month 100k euro, for a period of 15 months. That makes a total of 1.9 M euro possible.
I miss an overview of development targets – I mean, wasn’t his project meant to make Blender better?
Certainly! Open Movies is still the best development for 3D software ever!
You can read an extensive blog post about it here.
How do you get this number of 10k people, are there really enough people visiting the website or contributing to Blender?
We have statistics that support this number – and that it is a possible goal.
One is the “conversion rate” per visitor on websites. Blender.org gets about 10 M unique visitors per year. So we need to get one 1 of 1000 visitors to support us. Not an uncommon conversion rate for non-profits.
We also checked the amount of people who supported us in the past. E-shop clients, donations, people who supported Open Movies. For example – the Sintel DVD box was sold over 5500 times.
Once we reach a critical mass with subscribers, I expect a lot of outsiders will join the campaign too. But first – get the Blender users to believe in it. :)
I know it’s a big project, but you’re risking scaring away people like me, by asking 175 euro for a film credit. However, I am willing to put in 45.
Put in 45 now, and decide in 3-4 months if what we do is worth putting in 10 euro per month? You will at least get the 20 euro discount on a great film box we make end 2015.
I’m also scared – but only to fail making a decent quality film with an unhappy team because of a too low budget. We better do it good. Or not.
Why was the campaign clock set to 41 days?
We use PayPal pledges, and that money you can only return without charge in 45 days.
It’s really going slow – shouldn’t it have started better prepared?
Maybe, yes. But we are used to do things open and in public – and use feedback and support from everyone to get things improved. This has to become our project together, and better make sure everyone goes for it!
Here are the issues that made us start slow and a bit unfinished:
- Up to like a month before the launch I was still keeping the option open to just raise 500k euro, and make a film for 1.8M initial budget. That option has been defined to be impossible – we increased the budget and ambitions a lot.
- We were ready to go via Indiegogo – but they advised to not try to raise more than 500k dollar. Their platform is also really not suitable for the Open Production goal we wanted to present – with the cloud offering.
- We had a great grant to present Gooseberry at the SXSW show. Preparations started 4 months ago. We couldn’t postpone this without losing credibility and frustrating subsidy and sponsor contacts.
- We didn’t get direct credit card charges approved in time (for Pledges).
I’m worried you don’t make it. What happens then?
Honestly – this is not a desperate action of someone who sees no other way to make a film. This project is a true and honest attempt to work with the Blender Community – on writing another chapter of filming history together. Are there 10k people who want this? Who knows… but if there are, it will be a fantastic adventure!
If not, nothing has been lost really – but we won’t make an open feature film together, that’s sure. Instead other interesting projects can get cloud-funded: updating the tutorial videos, and probably another short film.
The clock ticks, would you extend the deadline?
I don’t know. Rather not…
Why do you think it’s still possible to reach the goal?
We have a couple of actions prepared to further boost the attention and accelerate the funding progress. That includes contacting 1000s of active supporters from previous projects, videos of me and others addressing the community, support statements from people, and much more actively contacting press outside Blender channels.
Once we get real credit card pledges work, it’s actually day 1 again!
It looks like you’re making 12 short movie parallel and not one full-length feature… (like animatrix)
The director and writer – supported by everyone – are working on a compelling story that holds all the different team styles wonderfully together. We don’t want it to become like Animatrix at all – which wasn’t a movie even.
What quality can we expect? Like, compared to Sintel, or a Pixar movie?
As magic number for budget calculations, I use the “Months of work per minute of film”. This is including writing, coders, art, production.
For Big Buck Bunny that was 6. For Sintel it was 10. For Gooseberry we daringly want to go to 15 even. For a Disney or Pixar film, this number is easily 300 to 500. Go figure! But our film will be better than Sintel or BBB for sure.
You claim that 3.5 million euro is the minimum film budget, and 6 million euro is the target budget. What is this money used for?
When I started up Gooseberry last year, I tried everything that’s possible to prove we can do a decent feature for around 2 million euro (2.5M USD). Later – with the teams on board – this just proved to be impossible if we want to do something serious. I want professionals, small companies, people who want to grow mature business – and then a humble pay of 2000 euro month (employer costs) is really the minimum. And is laughable low even.
Simple calculation: 90 minutes x 15 months work per minute = 1350 months = 2.7M, only for the minimal fees. And then all the other costs get added…
What is this “exploitation window”
Even though everything will be free/open source, we will reserve for the final movie (renders, final edit, grade) a short period of exploitation. That ‘window’ is 3 months, starting at the official premiere (our own, or on film festival). Film distributors can pay us for the exclusive rights to show the film in theaters during that period. Or TV stations, or Netflix! After that, all gates go open and we release it as CC-BY for everyone.
Benefits of this exploitation will go to the makers, and to the Blender Institute to fund new Blender projects – in the Blender Cloud!