MakeLight is inspired by photo studios in Japan which offer large scale, three dimensional, professionally lit sets that are available to the public. Like Hacostadium One in Tokyo or V-Studio in Kyoto, we want to offer a cosplay oriented indoor studio in Orange County. No more guerrilla shoots in the park. No more getting kicked out of hotel lobbies. No more fighting for “The Space” at a convention. Just well lit photos with beautiful backgrounds in a safe, climate controlled environment.
What we need
$20,000 will allow us to pay rent for the first year on a studio space of about 1500 square feet. That space would need to include bathrooms and two small changing rooms. Every room would have premium fixed lighting. Portable lighting and equipment would also be available for rent.
If we reach this funding level, we will build at least four photography settings. These would include a seamless white wall, which could be used for standard shots, or as a background for a variety of lighting and post production effects. We would also build what we're calling an "enchanted forest." Think dreamy white trees that could be purposed differently depending on lighting, angles, and props. On the grungier side, we want to include a deconstructed industrial landscape with some exposed brick and cool cement walls, good for moodier costumes or fashion photography. The fourth space would offer a new theme every three months, and would often be something seasonal - red roses for Valentine's Day or a haunted graveyard for Halloween.
Or even better....
Of course, bigger is always better! Our stretch goal for this project would be to open a space of 3000-3500 square feet, with 7 distinct settings. If we can blow past our initial funding and reach a stretch goal of $50,000, we would build a seamless white wall, enchanted forest, industrial landscape, room with rotating theme, as well as a Japanese style veranda and garden, dramatic grand ballroom, and a chapel setting.
How will this space get used?
Our plan is to make this space available in three different ways.
We expect this to be the most common way people would use the space. Call or email ahead and reserve the entire studio, or just the particular set you want, for an hourly rate.
Buy a photography package
We also want to connect people with amazing photographers who can make the most of their photos! This would be an option for people who want great photos, but aren't photographers themselves or don't have someone to shoot for them. In this case users would pay a package rate that would include a photographer and photos.
Open house days
Based more closely on the Japanese model, on open house days everyone entering the studio would pay an entry fee to come and use the space. More like a convention atmosphere, this would be a much less expensive way to get that certain shot that you want - as long as you're willing to be a little patient and share the sets with those around you!
Risks and challenges
We're in a catch 22 situation with finding a space; until we find a space to commit to we don't know exactly how much funding we need, but we can't commit to a space until we have funds.
Obviously, the more money we raise, the more we will be able to do with the studio. We've set our goal at the absolute minimum to get up and running, but we would LOVE to stretch this project further and open a larger space with more settings.
One of the ways that we are dealing with this uncertainty is by being flexible about where we might locate the studio. We're also staying flexible with the size and complexity of our sets. We think we can put together a beautiful space at our current $20,000 funding goal, but every dollar we raise will go directly back into building a bigger and better studio.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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