The Year of the Sheep is upon us! Here in China, things are getting quieter by the day. By end of week the streets will be half-deserted, 300,000,000 people will begin their annual new year migration, and I'll be winging my way to a distant tropical anchorage. Baaaa!
Progress on the Alice: Otherlands animations is moving forward, albeit slowly. Ed and Troy continue their work with Kian and Walter on sound/music. Ed is also working on the 'backer credits' to be included with both animations. The animations should be in final condition by start of March (fingers crossed). The art book is also growing slowly towards design completion.
Really nothing new to share in terms of music, video, or 2D art, so I'll leave you with a "Happy New Year!" and return with another update after the holiday :)
Happy New Year to all from myself, Lulu, and everyone here at Spicy Horse in Shanghai.
Two bits to update you on today: Art Book production and Scoring for the animations.
First up, here's Lulu with images of the Alice: Otherlands Art Book (test print):
The book featured in these images is a TEST PRINT which I'm using to understand the quality and capabilities of one of the book makers we may work with. It's also a guide for my reference, as I am personally creating the Illustrator files that will be used for printing the book - and this is my first foray into book making!
Probably not the final cover. Definitely not the final color (red) for the interior pages. Not the final credits list. In fact, none of the text you see is final. Again, it's a test print!
As you can see in the first image (with Lulu for scale) the Otherlands book is slightly larger than the Art of Akaneiro book. Close inspection reveals similar quality, though there are some issues with the cover printing method on the Otherlands book. In the end, I hope to match the quality of the Akaneiro (and Alice: Madness Returns) books produced by Dark Horse. The test print is certainly not to that level of quality, but it's not far off.
Actual design work on the book is about 1/5th complete. I've been waiting on the test print to go any further - and it took quite a while to find a factory we could work with on a limited edition print (and at a good price point + high level of quality). Even if design work were finished tomorrow, printing wouldn't start/finish until after Chinese New Year (mid-February). With that in mind, I think we can expect to have finished books by mid/late March. This should align with delivery of finished animations and production of DVDs.
Up next... MUSIC!
Walter, Ed, and Troy are working together on the scoring process. Today, I'm able to share with you the *work in progress* musical tracks from Walter that will accompany the animations.
When listening, keep in mind that these tracks are matched to the animations being produced by Troy and Ed. I've seen music + the rough cuts of the animations and everything fits together nicely. Final result should be great.
To hear more from Walter Sickert and The Army of Toys, follow this LINK.
Ed writes to update us on progress with his team: "My team is getting pretty close to the version I find acceptable (meaning that I can take their assets and pull a caffeine-fueled weekend, giving it my AMR atmospheric touch). I think they will have it on the next round. I will find out by the end of the day when that next/hopefully last delivery will be."
Troy says: "I'm waiting to hear the score that Edward comes up with so I can make some final edits. Once that's in place, I have quite a few shots to clean up and do final compositing. I'm also waiting to hear back from some compositors that can work within a very small budget. I'll have a better idea of a timeline when the score's done."
Lulu says: "TOY? DID YOU SAY TOY? WHERE IS TOY?!?!" No, Lulu, we said "Troy." Calm your paws.
Negotiations on the feature film front have gone silent. There's no 'next move' until our writer is once again free to engage, which won't happen until May. At that point I am hopeful we'll be able to get the feature film talks restarted and actual writing can begin. Fingers crossed.
As always, if you have questions or are in dire need of a personal update, please message me directly here on Kickstarter. If you need to update your shipping address or contact details, please use BackerKit.
I hope wherever you are and whatever you're celebrating, you're having a wonderful time.
Here in China we don't really celebrate Christmas, so it's a normal work week for us - though I will be donning a Santa outfit and making BBQ for everyone at the studio tomorrow. Ho ho ho. :)
Progress on the Otherlands animations continues - with Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys working with Troy and Ed on scoring. Next up, our in-house sound designer Kian will work with the guys on sound effects and audio mixing. Once audio is finished we'll be close to final renders and post processing. Hopefully that will all get done after the holidays (since Walter, Troy, and Ed do celebrate the holidays like the rest of the world).
Work has also started on layout and design for the Art Book and DVD covers. Once those designs are finished, actual factory production time can be anywhere from 30~60 days, depending on what sort of obstacles we encounter during manufacturing. We'll then be able to start mailing physical items!
Before that happens we'll have to discuss digital distribution of the animations. I'll put together a survey to collect feedback on how that might be done. Privately share? Publicly share? Release full res videos to the wild? These things will eventually be out in the wild anyway, so the question is simply one of timing and initial platforms. Feel free to share ideas in the comments below.
A few other minor updates:
Progress on the feature film side of things has slowed to a crawl. Some pretty unbelievable things have happened on that front, but it's still not an appropriate time to share, though I am dying to get the story out there. Soon...
Majority of questions about the campaign still fall into two categories:
2) Will I be able to buy stuff if I missed the original campaign or can I add stuff to my order? Answer: Not at this time, largely depends on how feature film project negotiations develop as larger rights are attached to those negotiations.
Any other questions or comments you need to get in front of me, please send a message directly via Kickstarter. I personally read and respond to all messages sent to me that way.
Just a quick note to let you all know that things are still alive and progress is being made on Alice: Otherlands.
Ed and Troy have been connected with sound/music producers so that their animations can move to the next phase - scoring and sound design. After that, they'll both get to work on post-production, final effects, etc. I would guess the scoring process will take until the end of November - at least. After that will come the post-production process.
On the feature film side of things, there have been some major developments, but nothing that I can report on publicly. It's the situation with the film rights that's prompted the great silence over the past couple of weeks - and I ask that everyone please understand how these sorts of negotiations demand discretion.
Several backers have written to ask if the DVD/art book might be delivered in time for Christmas of this year. Given that the animations are not yet complete and taking into consideration the production time for DVDs, shipping, I *do not* think these things will be ready and/or shipped in time for Christmas. Safer to assume early 2015.
I will post a full update with info about the situation with the film rights and other details about the animations as soon as I am able. In the meantime, I appreciate your patience and understanding.
Hard to believe it's been a full year since the "Alice: Otherlands Kickstarter" campaign was successfully funded. Yet here we are, 12 months into production on two animated short films and another year spent working to bring Alice to the big screen. A lot of progress has been made and a lot more work still remains, but I am thankful that we've made it this far and very excited for what the future has in store for our film versions of Alice.
As for an update, progress with the animated shorts remains steady. Nothing significant to report since the last Kickstarter update. As soon as I receive more footage from the teams I'll post samples here.
On the film front, I have several significant meetings and challenges to tackle in the next two weeks. The outcome of those events will determine the path going forward for feature film development and I will share not only the results, but part of the decision-making process with you... all before the end of August.
A note to anyone still waiting on posters: Please send messages to me directly via Kickstarter. Not via email (unless you already have my personal email) and not via the comments section. As I am managing campaign logistics on my own now, it makes my life much easier if you communicate through Kickstarter messages. Also note that in most instances where prints are "missing" they are being held at local post offices. Please check with your local post office if you're still waiting on missing prints.
If you are waiting on the DVDs, Art Book, or anything other than the printed posters, please understand that these items will not be ready for production until the animated shorts are finished. We'll then produce and send them. There's no need to write asking about these today. We expect animated short production to finish around end of 2014.
If you have a change of address, please use BackerKit to submit that info. www.backerkit.com
Keep your fingers crossed for the upcoming meetings. Good stuff is in the works!