New funding and future plans

We are fast approaching our deadline for completion of the trailer (our London show) and have one more shot left to render. As mentioned before it’s our most ambitious yet with 26 characters and it will be touch and go whether we get it all rendered in time. It’s pushed our render farm to the limit and we’ve found out it’s just too big to render on the farm machines, so are having to transfer it to our 2 individual super high spec machines. (Tech babble: the scene was using over 22 gig in ram per frame and we only have 16 on our farm machines. At least we think that why it’s crashing, more on this in future posts) Keep your fingers crossed for us. We have 3 weeks left, so hopefully that will be enough time to get all the frames out we need!

Some exciting funding news. We were short listed out of over 100 entrants to be one of 17 film projects pitching to a panel of industry producers at the Portuguese FEST film festival next week. This is fantastic for us, as it’s a chance to start the next phase of the project’s development. Just in time for the completion of our trailer. There are assorted prizes for the pitch, the most significant of which is the chance to get production mentorship to take our project to the “next level” in development. Even if we don’t win however, which is obviously a long shot, it’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to get feedback on what we’re doing, and hopefully a realistic insight into to the challenges we’ll have in raising full feature funding. One very useful effect it’s had is to force us to properly plan and budget for the next year and really distil the project down into tighter descriptions of our artistic and financial intentions. We also now have a “film pack” which contains the elements a potential investor could browse through to get a real feel for the project (storyboards, concept art, Previz, animatics, script, synopsis) We are hoping the fact that we were short listed must be an indication we are doing something right! More on this next month when Alex and I get back from Portugal.

A bit more detail regarding our production plans for the next year. Now the trailer is almost compete, we are focusing on our short 5 minute excerpt from the feature, which can stand alone as a short film and will be entered into festivals around the world. This is another traditional route to funding features, as producers sometimes pick up shorts looking to be developed further. It’s also a good way to raise our profile even more. Our other plan for next year, although this is contingent on us raising the necessary finance, (possibly helped by a kickstarter campaign, more on this after the trailer is finished and we’ve had our Portugal feedback) is to start a commercial animation studio to compete the Previz for the whole film.

Previz Example

We plan to do this using graduates with a few industry regulars. (If we can tempt our graduates back from the bright lights of soho, which is by no means guaranteed!) Our plan is to have a completed edit done in a year. The next stage would be to add the detailed environments, VFX and textures, which would happen after further fund raising for the following year. The advantage of this approach is that it allows us to really hone the edit and complete the structure of the film, right down to the length of individual shots, before we plan and cost the next stage. This will be the really expensive bit and will probably require working other vfx studios due to the volume of shots.

That’s all for now. The next blog should be a report on the first showing of our completed trailer and news from what transpired in Portugal. If you want to see our work in progress, which we posted up thanks to some great publicity from one of our sponsors Vicon see below.

If you fancy hearing us rambling on incoherently about what we’re up to, with occasional jumps for editing out Tom’s swearing, check out our twitter feed for our first podcast which is coming soon.

Paul

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