Now the pilot is out I’d like to do a short recap about the past period.
First of all: thanks a lot for having helped out in the past year. All of the data of the movie is being uploaded to Blender Cloud this month; if you don’t have a cloud account you can purchase all the studio data (and tutorials, extras) on a digital hardcopy – DVDs, Blurays or data-card.
Reviews for the pilot are blazing positive sofar, especially by animation/film makers themselves. The visit to Siggraph last week was a huge success for that reason. People from Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, ILM and Imageworks dropping by on the booth to share their compliments. On top of that, we were invited to screen the movie for the employees at Dreamworks and Pixar. Heart warming that!
The most heard criticism was about the singe F-word and the somewhat disturbing opening scene. Our film was always meant for a more mature audience (age 13+, or similar to “PG-13” for USA), but to more clearly warn viewers we’ve added this on the youtube page clearly now. We’ll check on an updated version where this is part of the opening credit as well.
The future plans – for sofar I know now – are as follows:
- Here at Blender Institute we need a break. We need a bit of time to have all the dust and work stress settled, it’s easier to evaluate possibilities from a more distant POV. Shouldn’t need more than 3-6 months though.
- We started work on a short cartoon “Glass Half”, and we will make a special Xmas Caminandes episode with the Llama. Is fun to do, and valuable to share via our cloud.
- In the coming months we’ll evaluate cloud subscriptions and hardcopy sales. We haven’t actively promoting it much yet. Sales is still lower than previously for Sintel or ToS. We have over 1750 active cloud subscribers now, which is good but still below the minimal level to keep multiple developers employed, continue with our studio projects and to plan a 2nd Cosmos Laundromat episode. Our target is to get > 2500 members this year.
- The 2nd ‘Cycle’ (the purple jungle) has been written, designed and mostly storyboarded already. We might well decide to pick it up to finish it ourselves. It was meant to be part of the pilot anyway. The sooner we reach the 2500 members we sooner we can start on it (and/or announce it).
- It is possible (a bit unlikely) that some party will approach us to fund the entire feature film. If that happens we’ll discuss this internally and with the studio partners we already gathered.
- I personally don’t like it much to risk another big crowdfunding for this film… but also that we can review in the coming months.
- We also announced (an open discussion) to schedule a massive Blender 2.8 project – more focus on workflow and finish the pipeline topics. This can be very well aligned with projects here in the studio, but preferably with not too much stressful targets (that’s why we do funny cartoons first!).
My own preference would be to make Cosmos Laundromat an episodic adventure series, a ‘relay movie’ where we hand over the job each time to another studio to make another world. Story writing and general direction would still be kept centrally though.
Each episode could be roughly written first, and then we just pick the best pitch from a Blender studio in our network. Budget would come from Blender Cloud – we’d better double the subscriber count then. But… it then can stay a real open movie at least. Our movie!