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Character and set design art and writers' guide for the free-culture animated web series about the first lunar settlers.
Funded pre-production for "Lunatics!" series in 2011, now completing production of our first episode to be released Spring 2015. Please visit our main project page for up-to-date information!
Funded pre-production for "Lunatics!" series in 2011, now completing production of our first episode to be released Spring 2015. Please visit our main project page for up-to-date information!
47 backers pledged $2,410 to help bring this project to life.

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Still working on the animatic DVD

Well, this is taking a little longer than I planned, due to software problems I don't even want to get started on (I'm having to do a lot of workarounds and trouble-shooting as a result).

But I'm getting fairly close now. Just have to smash some more menu bugs.

Much of the DVD-authoring also serves double for the USB flash drive versions, since it will be basically the same design (for these, I'll be using the prototype Lib-Ray spec, which basically means a small on-disk website with linked videos).

These will be "hybrid" DVDs with additional "DVD-ROM" content accessible by computer. I may have to be a little creative with that, since the whole production source tree is now too big to fit comfortably on a DVD. I'll be paring it down some, and some content will probably be on a second disk.

Meanwhile, of course, the video of the animatic is available on our website:

http://lunatics.tv/Episodes/Pilot/Animatic

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Lunatics Pilot "No Children in Space" - Storyboard Animatic Uploaded

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Signing and Shipping Physical Rewards

Artbooks and Posters

We now have all of the physical rewards in hand (that's the character line-up posters and the artbooks), and we are working on signing and packaging those tonight! I hope to get them into the mail tomorrow morning. Both have turned out beautifully! I'm very happy with "Book One" who was able to print the artbooks with color plates as well as the usual black-and-white content as well as "Smartpress" who has been doing our poster printing. Both have produced very high quality printing for us.

Screenwriter Rosalyn Hunter signing a "Pre-Production Artbook & Writer's Guide".

Data Disks or Flash Media

For the 10 of you that are expecting data disks or flash cards, we are still waiting a bit more (if you ordered a collection, the disks will come later). The wait is because I'm still trying to finish up two promises I made for those disks:

  • Storyboard animatic
  • Soundtrack with voices

We've gone through a lot of ups and downs on this project this year. On the one hand, I've been much slower in finishing up certain elements like the storyboard animatic and certainly the 3D modeling work. On the other, we actually have a voice cast who is recording for the project right now, which is well ahead of where I had expected to be by now.

I've been frustrated with the available video editors. Kdenlive has a great user interface in principle, but the synchronization problems on playback make it very hard to use for finer work. After several attempts, I may go back to using the Blender VSE for this.

The real problem on the animatics, though, is me. I really underestimated the amount of time I would spend on producing (as opposed to directing). There's an awful lot of communicating, coordinating, and even fund-raising to be done, and this wiped out a lot of the time I had been planning to spend on directorial work like the animatics. So, I'll have to chalk that up to my being inexperienced and try to improve on my future estimates.

But of course, I knew there would be surprises, and there are no show-stopping problems as yet. We're still moving forward, albeit not at the pace I had hoped for (eventually it will be a serious problem if we can't speed things up, but not yet).

Also, because of the unanticipated good fortune with the casting, I should be able to include a complete soundtrack with music and final (or at least nearly final) voice tracks -- which is more than I promised. So I'm hoping this will sort of balance out against the lateness of delivery.

Every time I listen to the actors working on this project, I am really stunned by my good fortune. These are very talented people putting in very professional work. And considering that we are not yet able to pay them, they have been extremely understanding! The soundtrack sounds like it will be awesome when finished.

I'm still considering exactly where to draw the line on the data disks. The project source tree is already so large that I'm going to have to actually send you two 4GB DVD disks (the single-layer disks are more reliable than the double-layer 8GB disks, and anyway, I've decided to use Milleniata M-Discs which are limited to 4GB -- but are much more permanent than DVD-R media).

Already included in this dataset are the modelsheets in SVG and PDF formats as well as PNG renderings of the characters. There are some 3D models, including Georgiana and Hiromi character models created by Andrew Pray as well as the 3D models created for the Soyuz Descent Module set. There is a great deal of recorded sound -- including music and sound effects libraries, new effects for the project, and the audacity sound mixing files for several scenes (though some of these are still being edited). There are recordings of the principal cast conference in which we read/rehearsed the screenplays for "No Children in Space" and "Earth" and there are of course full scripts, the contents of the artbook, and so on.

I definitely feel I must wait to put the animatics and soundtracks on the disks. I now hope to finish those by October 1st. If possible, it would be nice to finish the "Teaser Trailer" and include it as well -- I'll have to post a separate update about that.

The big goal, of course, is to fully produce the animated pilot episode. For that, we're going to need to solve some problems in fund raising, team building, and technology. But it will be much easier to do that when we have got something to show for the project. The animatic, voice production, and animated trailer will provide that, and we're still on track to get all of these finished this Fall (possibly in the next couple of weeks). So I remain optimistic that we are going to launch this series in 2013.

Thank you for your support!

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Artbook Now Online

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Printing out a Proof of the Artbook!

Well, I didn't get them finished on Friday or Saturday, but the artbook is basically done now. Just need to proofread and fix typos and stuff before sending it to the printer. I'm printing a copy now so I can go over it with the red pen (no matter how many times I proofread a work digitally, I always find I need to proofread a hardcopy version or I'll miss stuff).

While the artbooks are off getting printed, of course, I'll be finishing up the storyboards and getting the data disks finished. With any luck I'll have it all neatly wrapped up in just over a week and be able to start shipping out rewards.

The Kickstarter for the audio production and animatic is sort of scary right now -- we're at 25% with just 10 days to go. I'm hoping to get a bit more of this material on the website as well so we have more to attract potential backers on that phase.

I'll post again soon!

Terry