The Kickstarter campaign may be over, but our journey is not, and neither are our updates!
To all our backers, thank you again for your support. To all the newcomers, please visit www.benaturalthemovie.com to see how you can still help.
This is only the beginning, and we want to keep you up to date on our adventures, so here's a new update!
Take a look :)
Because of all of you, today the Naima Project hit its' mark and the basic costs of raw materials and transport of Naima to High Desert Test Sites are covered! Exciting! Now, additional contributions will help with lots of other aspects of the project! Over these last 4 days please share this project with your friends to help cover costs for: additional lighting to soup up the nighttime viewing, video documentation during the exhibition, security during the exhibition, and to tour the Naima Trailer to other sites, possibly to a location near you!
Here are new photos of the Naima Trailer in process. Building Naima is exciting, and we are getting closer and closer. The sunroof / hatches on the trailer’s roof will let in natural light to backlight the glass that covers Naima’s interior. They are also removable for access to lights, wiring and hardware. But, as you can see, completely invisible from outside the trailer. Stay tuned and thanks for contributing as well as passing this project around like mad our last couple days!
We just wanted to report that our packing materials are in, and we've started to pack up the books to ship out! We've also started to deliver some books in person to those who are local to us in NYC. We're shipping out rewards by tier, so please be patient as we organize everything and get it to the post office.
Because of the cost of shipping and time involved to send out the books, we are not going to ship your books to you unless you have confirmed your address with us recently. So please, if you haven't replied to a direct message to confirm your address, message us back!
As for estimated shipping times, we will begin shipping out the various reward tiers this week (of anyone whose address we have confirmed already), and it takes about 7 business days for the rewards to arrive if you are in the continental US. So if you have confirmed your address with us, you should have your rewards by mid September!
We're really excited to get these in your hands! Below are some pics of us packing the books up and some of our happy backers with their books in hand (including Tucker, one of the models from our book). Thanks again for your support!
Winnie, Cindy, and Alice
Dear MAI Friends and Founders,
We did it. You have join us to found the largest cultural institution ever to get off the ground using Kickstarter, as well as the only project of its kind in the world.
Here is a video message from Marina to mark this occasion:
The team celebrates:
With 2 hours remaining in the Kickstarter, we've just exceeded 4,600 MAI Founders! That's over 4,600 hugs from Marina. Please share with friends in these final moments to give them the opportunity to participate in the adventure!
With love from all of us,
Hello all. We have been busy with several things to report. Before anything else, I want to point out that there are instructions for assembly of Fritz located at:
Start there when you get your kit to assemble and operate. There is a link on that page for "Installation" which is another page showing you how to connect servos and calibrate Fritz using the software app. There is a sheet with each unit that shows this web address also.
1) Shipping: We have shipped over 85% of units as of today. We could have got them all shipped this weekend, but we ran out of boxes. My fault (Kerwin). I inventoried items and ensured we had stock last week All items but, you guessed it, boxes. We have boxes on order and will ship the remaining units when we get them (probably this coming Wednesday).
2) International shipping - After quite a bit of effort, we had to decide to wave off on the ship-to-warehouse model and then have the warehouse ship to international addresses. The customs brokerage requirements were just too onerous given the relatively small number of international packages, and given how many different countries we needed to ship to (Italy, Germany, UK, France, Sweden, Australia, Austria, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, China, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and Texas). So we shipped by US Postal Service. I shipped over 600 units last year of my Desktop Ballista Kickstarter project, about 35% of them international and they all made it.
3) Quality control - We have had some complaints about poor quality on eye plastics, particularly where the eyelid axle ring had broken during shipping. We upgraded the extruder on our 3D printers and it has made a big difference in strengthening that part and getting more uniform results. Thanks to all those that have assembled and given feedback.
4) eStore is nearly ready - We are about to launch the eStore to do online sales of Fritz and accessories. Thank you to all backers for helping XYZbot to get our business started. We'll post a note about that when it's live. Please pass that on to those that you think might be interested in picking up a Fritz robot.
Photos below: Steven and Kerwin at packing party on Saturday, Aug 24. We packed out over 40 boxes for shipping
Boxes on their way to post office dock, filling Kerwin's SUV
The upgraded extruder on our Makerbot 3D printers (see the orange handle looking thing with a spring?). It works really well and solved a lot of problems.
Some of the colorful eye plastics (blue, green and white) for colored acrylic units that shipped this weekend.
Well, it's finally finished! It took me a bit longer than I expected, but all 12 paintings are done, signed, and photographed. Below is a photo of me in my studio, surrounded by the complete series (minus the two paintings that sold at the California Art Club's Gold Medal Exhibition this summer). Next are photos of the of the most recent four paintings:
Lemons and Teapot, 16x20",
Blue Vase, 20x16",
Still Life with Eucalyptus, 20x16", and
Milk and Eggs, 18x24",
as well as the original 8. If you scroll all the way down, I've included some detail shots of the new work.
Now I just need everyone's addresses so I know where to send your rewards! You will receive a survey shortly requesting your mailing address. Those of you who ordered a print will also be asked which painting you would like reproduced.
Finally, I want to send out a sincere THANK YOU to you all once again for providing me with this opportunity! It has been a great motivator to know that you are all counting on me to finish this project. And thank you also for your PATIENCE. For some reason, I seem to be painting slower this year than last year (isn't it supposed to go the other way around?). This fall I think I'll focus on getting my speed back up. That, and trying to get into a gallery, of course.
I look forward to getting your rewards in the mail soon. Until then, hope everyone's enjoying their last days of summer!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! WE'VE REACHED OUR GOAL!!! Great job, everyone! :)
Thank you so much! We've reached our $200k goal, and we're very very very grateful to all of you!
We knew that if enough of you got to know of Alice, you would fall for her story as much as we have. We feel like we've not just reached our goal, but also created a family – a family of almost 3400!!!
As you know, we have some time left, and now that more people are learning about Alice, we've created a stretch goal of $240k (just an extra $40k), FOR ALL THE LATECOMERS TO THE PARTY, to help us cover the costs of the next phase – licensing stock footage, stills, audio, articles, and books. This funding will be invaluable after we do the rough cut, so please help us get there!!!
Again, if we have at least $200,000 we're funded and we get to keep the money you pledged, so we get to make the rough cut! Now help us get closer to get the final polished film in the theaters!!!
Let's do it! Thank you!!!
Dave Jenkins calls me and says he has a goat - a whole goat - coming to him and boxes of wine and he wants to put on an evening dinner party outside Midwest Photo Pro, while projectors slide through images - including the dancing colors of our mural design - on the wall behind the table. Now, I never thought we'd ever be part of a ceremonial goat sacrifice, but here it is, an offering to the mural gods. More to come...