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An anime science fiction action thriller that will explore what it means to live and die well, testing the limits of all we hold dear
An anime science fiction action thriller that will explore what it means to live and die well, testing the limits of all we hold dear
An anime science fiction action thriller that will explore what it means to live and die well, testing the limits of all we hold dear
12,157 backers pledged $878,028 to help bring this project to life.

Q&A

Posted by CIA, Inc.
50 likes

We know you have questions – a lot of them.

While we will try to answer as many questions as possible, we appreciate your patience and understanding that we have a limited amount of resources (aka manpower). To start with, we would like to answer some, if not all, questions that were posted as comments for our last week’s Update #36 (Reboot Comments).

Answering questions from #36 Update comments:

Jarbas Lima Alves da Silva asked (originally by FlamingWire)

(1) What's the story behind the departure of CIA? Was this due to creative differences, conflict of interest, or something less serious?

A: As it is mentioned in Update #35 (Forging Forward), it was due to our creative differences.

(2) Regardless of the reason for not mentioning it previously, it is essential that there be some word on why this happened and what difference this makes for the overall project and (most importantly) what impact this will have on the final animation.

A: Our creative team wanted to make the animation work that gives our audience the same feel as the promotion video did. So the project itself is unchanged and still heading in the same direction as it was originally planned. In that sense, the overall project is not impacted at all by what has happened. That is also the reason why we referred to our refreshed start as “reboot”, since many months have passed much to our anguish, too.

(3) How exactly will the rewards be handled?

A: There are some difficulties we must overcome to make and deliver all the rewards, but we are working hard and making every effort to do so.

(4) Will the promise that "all future installments" in the franchise will be digitally distributed to backers who backed above/at the $20 be upheld even though the producers have changed?

A: As we did not reach the stretch goal (2nd goal at $1.16 million) after reaching our initial goal of $580k (thanks to all the backers!), there is no plan currently to produce future installments. However, we do realize that it is important to make it clear where the extra funds are going to be spent on. Please give us some time before we can make any announcement on this.

(5) Where does the money stand for this project? Is there still enough to complete this project and deliver all tier rewards?

A: Although we have succeeded in accumulating substantial funds, we have to admit our budget situation is very tight. This came to light from reviewing the production aspect of all the backer rewards. The production costs turned out to be simply quite high. Despite this fact, we are working on finding ways to make everything happen. As for the animation production itself, please rest assured it will be made!

(6) What will be the schedule for giving updates? Do you have a planned monthly/weekly/daily schedule, or do you have something else in mind?

A: Our plan is to send out weekly updates from now on.

(7) Please give us updates with some footage of what's being worked on or even sketches of story boards as we go along!

A: That’s our plan! :)

(8) Will you be setting out a production timeline to follow and tell us so that we know when to expect information/the final rewards and animation on a consistent basis?

A: We have been mapping out a production timeline for the animation part and we hope to make official announcement of it very soon. As for the rewards, like we mentioned earlier, we are reviewing all the info (such as production/delivery costs and schedule) and investigating different possibilities to make everything happen. As soon as the timeline is ready (though it may not be all but partial) we will announce it in one of our Updates.

(9) Could we see a sample of the script for the opening scene of the production? (not essential, but would be nice to see so that we can see how the writing is for this animation)

A: We are exploring such possibility in one of our Updates. So stay tuned!

(10) Can we please know what kind of creative input that Yura had in the project? Just a simple credit of whether it was something like music, script, or story-boarding would be appreciated by all backers if you can't give specifics.

A: As he is credited on our Kickstarter website, Mr. Hiroaki Yura was the producer of Under the Dog project.

_____________________________________________________________________

Dan Gaudet asked

Q: Also, will the tiered rewards be changed at all?

A: No. Currently, we don’t have any plan to change the tiered rewards.

Zachary Reese asked

Q: So, by reboot, is anything changing in regards to story and characters?

A: Not at all! By “reboot”, we meant we are starting afresh again after a long period of silence. So there are no changes in these aspects.

Roger Hylton asked

Q: Any word on possible refunds or lowering of tiers? Or that survey?

A: At this point, no announcement on refunds/tiers nor survey is being planned. However, as it was mentioned earlier, one thing we would like to make clear is where the extra funds accumulated are going to be spent on. Again, we ask for your patience to give us some time before we can make any announcement on this.

Megan Eaton asked

Q: Will you add more stuff to the store or bring back items that sold out? I'd like to get the figure but it's not available.

Are you referring to our online “STORE” on the Under the Dog website? If that’s the case, no, we are not planning to add more stuff to the store at this point.

Ruoxi, Corinna, and 48 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Adrian Schöler on

      ive got 2 questions about the Store.

      First are there any options to upgrade your tier planned? Because i am a kikstarter baker and now i really want to get more merch so i have to upgrade my old donation...

      Second are there any other ways to pay planned then paypal?

    2. Michael Brand
      Superbacker
      on

      Well as far as rewards goes, as this project was "launched on or before October 18th, 2014", and as Kinema Citrus has chosen to take over the project, they are now under this obligation under the Kickstarter Terms of Use:
      "Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill."
      https://www.kickstarter.com/terms-of-use/oct2012
      ... The keywords being "all rewards".

    3. Missing avatar

      Chelsea on

      I second Gabriel "X" Solis' question below and would appreciate an answer.

    4. Missing avatar

      Jarbas Lima Alves da Silva on

      Okay, this is better.

      I hope you will keep providing answers to the questions other backers have (including the ones posted on this update). Transparency is key, especially when our trust has been shaken by recent events.

      Keep in mind you have an obligation ot only to your Kickstarter, but also to anime crowdfunding in general. A sour experience here may very well turn a lot of people away permanently from supporting anime in this way.

    5. Gabriel "X" Solis on

      About the budget and rewards,

      Why you say "Although we have succeeded in accumulating substantial funds, we have to admit our budget situation is very tight." ? Mr. Hiroaki Yura, former producer, tweeted "Kimena Citrus has more than enough money to finish the anime and produce the rewards." in his account @HiroakiYura

      Tweet link: https://twitter.com/HiroakiYura/status/571117582738010112

    6. Steven Lisefski on

      It is good to see updates coming from you.

      It seems you are doing damage control so far. I know alot of people are asking what "creative differences" you had. I get that we will not get an answer to it (or one of which everyone is happy) because you don't speak badly about others in your field. To Investors or not. Personally I don't much care.

      What I do care about is the updates,animated film, costs, and rewards. Weekly updates might be much at this point. Maybe bi weekly. Unless there is something to report other than we are working on getting our ducks in a row. Bi weekly is enough to touch base but like i said if you have stuff to report, by all means do weekly.

      The animation it self. My concern (maybe a few others) is that we would like the look, feel, and quality to be whats in the trailer. Does the changing of people effect any of this? I do know tweaks will be made along the way and that the trailer doesn't usually look like the final product. We just don't want pokemon when we are asking for assassins creed... if that makes sense.

      The costs or rather where the money is going i sure might be awhile. I personally would like to see it go to the animation 1st and the rewards 2nd. If it comes down to it maybe have the backers choose? I can't say much on this topic yet because it seems like your still doing the math on this. I would like to see an update soon or at least when to expect an update on this.

      I am still on board for this even if it takes more time. Time is not as important to me as how it gets done. Looking forward to more updates on whats going on.

    7. Jussi Myllyluoma
      Superbacker
      on

      @Lars - there is such precedent. I am aware of at least one such case successfully prosecuted by the Attorney General of the State of Washington.
      And the question is whether or not the case you speculated in -- where the entity running the project now realises that there is not, nor is ever going to be, funds to BOTH complete the production AND fulfil rewards, and with this knowledge still elect not to use remaining funds to refund the backers as best as possible, in clear violation of their contractual obligation -- would qualify as intent to commit fraud in some jusrisdictions, especially those where "internet fraud" is under more stringent scrutiny than fraud committed outside of the Web.

      But as I said before: first using up the Kickstarter funds to complete the production, and then using the revenue from its sales to fulfil the rewards, would NOT violate the KS terms. This would not only be a fully viable option, but actually make business sense.

      What worries me though is the statement "no, we are not planning to add more stuff to the store at this point".
      I seem to recall we were promised already in September that the Store would include an Upgrade functionality for backers, where we would be able to upgrade our pledge level, and add additional Add-Ons -- ALL Add-Ons, most particularly including the 1/8 GSC figure, once its final design had been ironed out.
      I can't escape noticing that such an Upgrade functionality has still not been implemented, nor that the GSC figure has not been made available as an Add-On for those pledging through PayPal in the Store.

      What's the story here?

    8. Missing avatar

      Lars Banning on

      Jussi Myllyluoma: Yes, the Kickstarter terms are clear, they have a contractual obligation. But they are an LLC, so you might have a claim against the company, but if it defaults you just end up as one of the many creditors lining up for a piece of the pie (usually a few cents on the dollar, if at all). Also, the T&Cs leave quite a bit of room when it comes to complete fulfillment. The mere fact that some rewards were not delivered but all the money is gone is not enough. They only need to provide a plausible explanation as to where the money went and why that supported the fulfillment of the rewards to the best of their abilities. So technically, finishing the animation, delivering it and then defaulting would be in compliance with the Kickstarter terms if there is no money left to deliver the physical goods. Sure, you might be able to pursue a civil suit against the LLC, but all that is going to get you is a slightly bigger part of the nonexistent bankruptcy pie (if a court even awards you any compensation, there is no precedent for this involving crowd funding campaigns as far as I know). Holding any officer of the company liable with their personal assets is going to be very, very difficult. The whole point of an incorporated company, especially an LLC, is to prevent this in the first place. You would need to prove some criminal behavior (like fraud) to have any chance of that. In most jurisdictions incompetence or even negligence is not going to be enough. And even then there probably won't be any money to get, it's not like the average anime producer has 800k in assets. The only people who would profit from that would be the lawyers, they always get their share first ;)
      [Disclaimer: We are talking absolute worst case scenarios here. I have no inside knowledge of the financial situation of this project!]

    9. Jessica Phan on

      I'll be looking forward to the weekly updates! Hopefully everything will continue to run smoothly from now now. :>

    10. Jussi Myllyluoma
      Superbacker
      on

      @Lars — Alas, under the T&C's they agreed to comply to when electing to use Kickstarter as their fundraising platform, they are contractually obligated to either deliver or refund.

      It's not just in an ideal world, as it were, it's in the eyes of the law. And there are beginning to be court cases that bear this out.

      If — IF — they now realise that they are unable to complete the animation AND fulfil the rewards, your option #1 is the ONLY option available to them. Not acting accordingly may land them in a heap of legal trouble later on. And them being a legal entity, not a physical entity, makes no difference whatsoever.

      I do not much like it either, but that is the unfortunate reality of the situation.

    11. Missing avatar

      Mark Alcock on

      You've FINALLY answered some of our questions. I emphasize the word some because there are still many more that need answering. Here's one: what are you going to do if you can't deliver on the rewards? Will you refund? I think many will be unhappy if you don't. It'd be rather selfish and greedy to keep our money if you can't meet our rewards.

    12. Missing avatar

      Lars Banning on

      @Jussi Myllyluoma: In an ideal world, yes. But let's be real, if they don't have the money, they have three options: 1) Completely default now, refund what is left proportionally and burry the whole project. 2) Finish the animation, deliver the movie and as many physical goodies as they can and then default and pay out nothing, because there is nothing to left to go around. 3) Produce and deliver all the physical goods but don't have the money to finish the animation, then default as in 2.
      Remember, this is a company (LLC to be exact), not a natural person. They can declare bankruptcy tomorrow and if there is no money left, backers can't really do anything except to hope that there is some money left (with an LLC none of the people involved are personally liable for any debts with their private assets, unless you were aiming to sue them for negligence or fraud, but that would be very difficult, businesses can and do fail after all). Personally, I would prefer that they focus on the core goal of the campaign, producing the movie. I would love if everyone could get exactly what they were promised, but at the moment it look like that is not going to happen.

    13. Megazone 23 on

      My questions/statements into the fray. How much was actually collected from the backers? Also, (this is pure speculation) when C.I.A left how much money did they take with them. I am pretty sure contractually they were entitled to something people do not enter into business arrangements out of the kindness of their hearts without a safety net. So if they did take a portion of the collected backer funds what is left over? Can we get a breakdown of the current budget?

      With that being said, is there any pending or current ligation that could further slow or even stop this project? I know you can’t give any details if, and I did say if, there is any but, your can say that there is or there is not.

      If, the production team is short on funds how are you going to acquire additional funding?
      When you stated “some difficulties we must overcome to make and deliver all the rewards” what do you mean by that? Financially it’s difficult or we need to redo the score and some logos because its C.i.A ‘s brand. Or we do not have the experience doing this (finding companies that can make cd’s Blu-rays, art books . . . etc, because C.i.A was supposed to handle that) and need to find someone who does. If so just tell us.

      I pledged at a higher tier ($ 200.00) because of the physical rewards so, will we receive the physical rewards. Yes, I did read the update and it was still unclear about this.
      I still hope this project succeeds. I want it to. I have been a anime fan for 27 years and hope that crowdfunding works it could open up more possibilities for various types of stories to be told. Yes there will always be room for harem animes but, I occasionally would like something different. IF, I have to what longer for everything to be completed I will. Just keep us informed and be honest about it.

      Enough from me here is quote from Mark Twain: “Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.”

    14. Reece Avis
      Superbacker
      on

      Update is much appreciated. If weekly updates are your plan going forward that will be fantastic as well. Shame if the figure does remain unavailable because I was hoping to grab one too.

    15. Jean-Luc Nacif Coelho on

      You keep posting updates as to why nothing is being done yet. I'm slowly losing hope in this project.

    16. Jussi Myllyluoma
      Superbacker
      on

      @Lars — the physical rewards aren't "just a bonus", they are what the project committed to deliver in return for the funds people pledged so that they might realise their ambition.

      As per the Kickstarter T&C's, this project is obligated to, first and foremost, deliver all of the promised rewards to their backers. IF — and ONLY if — they find themselves unable to do so, with no time frame specified, they are obligated to deliver a full refund to the backers.

      There are no ifs, buts, or maybes about this. And certainly no option to down prioritise reward fulfilment in favour of the production.
      However, that said, they CAN budget the pledged funds toward the production, and then direct all initial revenue from selling the finished product toward fulfilling rewards, as long as they know they can calculate on a certain minimum sales revenue. It is generally considered courteous to deliver the finished product to backers first and the general public second, but believe there is no rule that states that this must be so.

    17. Jean-Philippe Turcotte on

      Can you expound on the "creative differences" that led to the split between CIA and yourselves? You still have not satisfactorily answered as to what those were. I feel it is a fundamental issue because a major claim of this campaign was to pioneer a new production scheme, and the proposed scheme was changed for unknown reasons. I have to state this clearly: PR spin and polite remarks fall way short of what backers, your private investors, deserve in terms of transparency and accountability.

    18. Missing avatar

      Sleet
      Superbacker
      on

      I really appreciate the update, and I hope it and the upcoming answers to those other questions will help ease a lot of minds. Looking forward to some updates about the work being done on this now that things have rebooted!

    19. Missing avatar

      Lars Banning on

      @Maxime: All the money they received needs to not only cover the animation itself, but the fulfillment of all the other rewards (DVDs/BRs, OST CDs, posters, figures etc.). Their current budget situation might be sufficient to create the animation (and distribute it digitally) but not cover all the costs of manufacturing the physical rewards. In this case their top priority would of course be the animation itself (which is why they stated that this is still covered, although they might be over budget there). But that still leaves them with the obligation to the backers of the higher tiers. It's quite a dilemma, can you (ethically) use the funds to cover higher costs of the animation and possibly default on some of the physical rewards? As a backer at the 25USD level I personally don't have a stake in this, but I could understand if some of the higher level backers would not be too happy about this. Although personally I think it would be reasonable to prioritize the animation at the expense of the physical goods, seeing that the animation is the main goal of this campaign, the physical items are just a bonus. Also the animation is part of the reward of most if not all backers, so focusing on that maximizes the "good of the many".
      Disclaimer: This is just speculation, I don't know anything of their internal budget situation and I would like them very much to elaborate on this!

    20. Shina Luna on

      This is wholly my opinion:
      I think, regular updates are great, it creates transparency and most of all gives relief of people not feeling, that they are totally out of the Game, which as a result creates trust.
      But honestly I don't think weekly updates are a good idea. The positive effects come more due to regularity than it's frequency. Work is hard and time and thus money utterly limited. Before you spent your limited manpower on writing too much PR and have the project fail because the budget runs out, I'd much rather prefer some month of silence, but with some simple statement as that a clear milestone has been reached. Inbetween perhaps some short or casual, not time extensive comments, making clear, that you are alive, and still onto the thing and are reading all the comments may probably help the anxious easy their anguish. I think, anybody would understand, and also prefer you to work on the project instead of stalking the kickstarter site hourly.

      At that, I don't even think it was a bad idea to stay in silence, before the reboot was clear and all decided. While absolute silence is of course not great, the panic it would have caused if you had updated everybody on the details of yet unsettled arguments would had a much more disadvantagous effect. In that respect, I daresay, your timing of the last updates was even a little bit too early. (We already waited for month. A week less or more doesn't make that much of a huge difference at this point, but some people seem to have been genuinely more worried over the updates than even the silence.) And perhaps a bit too much official-PR style, that sounds like it beats around the same bush multiple times. (The West is not as great with subtleties as East Asia.)

      TL;DR
      In short, I deem us to be investors, not customers and you are creators, not a customer service, that is expected to reply as prompt as yesterday at best. Just sometimes do some work in easing the worry of some anxious people, before they go frantic to indignant.

      And above all make sure, your budget does not run out. Anything else is definitely not a top priority.

    21. Carlos Cervantes on

      Q: What is life?
      A: It's a word.

      (T_T)

    22. Maxime on

      I don't understand how you can have extra money to spend on something you're not ready to announce yet and still be on a tight budget for the production. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who thinks you should just keep that money for production costs if you fear you won't have enough.
      If rewards cost more than you anticipated, then just dump the money there.

    23. Kyle Brown on

      I appreciate the answers to a lot of these questions, except I'm a little suspicious of your answer towards the extra money you guys have for your budget. Is it because you are still calculating the total costs, or because something bad happened that you're not willing to tell us about yet?

      I apologize for the harsh questioning, but we've seen quite a few Kickstarter projects handling money poorly (especially recently), and I just want to make sure you guys and we have a transparent relationship to avoid conflict.

    24. Missing avatar

      Josh Carrero on

      Thanks for the update! I'm excited to see where this goes :)

    25. Gabriel Scocozza on

      (bad enlgish)

      another one, i want make a new pladge, by the store, that is still working?

      Greetings from argentina ;)