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Building Southern California's first cosplay-ready full scale photography studio
103 backers pledged $21,823 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$21,823

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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.  

Shutterstories, Riverside
Shutterstories, Riverside
Orange Studios, Nagoya
Orange Studios, Nagoya
V-studio, Kyoto
V-studio, Kyoto

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. 

Hacostadium One, Tokyo
Hacostadium One, Tokyo
Orange Studios, Nagoya
Orange Studios, Nagoya
Meiji-mura, Inuyama
Meiji-mura, Inuyama



How will this space get used? 

Our plan is to make this space available in three different ways. 

Space rental 
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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Digital thank you package including concept images and sample photos from the studio.

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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    Digital thank you package including concept images and sample photos, as well a set of four exclusive Makelight postcards.

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    Ships to Only United States
    6 backers
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Digital thank you package and an invite to our grand opening party, as well as an hour reserved time slot in the setting of your choice.
    Don't live near Southern California? Don't worry, your reward is transferable to a friend.

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    43 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Digital thank you package and an invitation to our grand opening, as well as 2 hours of reserved studio time in two different settings.

    Don't live near Southern California? Don't worry, your reward is transferable to a friend.

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    19 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    Digital thank you package and an invitation to our grand opening. 1 hour of shooting in the setting of your choice with a studio photographer, including 24-36 high quality digital images.

    This is a special rate exclusively for kickstarter! Get it now, you won't see this deal again!

    Don't live near Southern California? Don't worry, your reward is transferable to a friend.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Digital thank you package and an invitation to our grand opening. 2 hours of reservation for the whole studio, with studio strobe (flash) rental included.

    Don't live near Southern California? Don't worry, your reward is transferable to a friend.

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    4 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Digital thank you package and an invitation to our grand opening. 4 hours of reservation for the whole studio, with studio strobe (flash) rental included.

    Don't live near Southern California? Don't worry, your reward is transferable to a friend.

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    0 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 800 or more About US$ 800

    Digital thank you package and an invitation to our grand opening. A full day of reserved time in the entire studio, including full use of studio strobes and special equipment.

    Don't live near Southern California? Don't worry, your reward is transferable to a friend.

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    0 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,200 or more About US$ 1,200

    Digital thank you package and an invitation to our grand opening. A full day of reserved time in the entire studio, with full use of studio strobes and equipment and a photography/set-up assistant on hand.

    Don't live near Southern California? Don't worry, your reward is transferable to a friend.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    Digital thank you package and an invitation to our grand opening. A full day session in the studio with a professional photographer. Up to 100 digital photos, with 5-10 professionally retouched photos. Available for up to 5 people.

    Don't live near Southern California? Don't worry, your reward is transferable to a friend.

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    Pledge US$ 3,000 or more About US$ 3,000

    Digital thank you package and an invitation to our grand opening. A full day session in the studio with a professional photographer. Up to 100 digital photos, with 24 professionally retouched photos. Available for up to 10 people.

    Don't live near Southern California? Don't worry, your reward is transferable to a friend.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 4,500 or more About US$ 4,500

    Our pro package! Includes our digital thank you package and an invitation to our grand opening.

    A year's subscription to MakeLight Studios. Includes up to 12 hours of reserved studio time a month, with light rental included. Unused hours can be rolled into the next month. Includes your choice of MakeLight swag.

    Don't live near Southern California? Don't worry, your reward is transferable to a friend.

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Funding period

- (60 days)