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The Wobbling Dead Kickstarter is Done


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Big time thanks, Will!

 

Thanks, Rodney!

 

Fun fact: all of Paunk's dialogue was lip-synced using the updated Amplitude plug-in. OD-9000's, too. I reasoned that it made sense with having an android and an alien. Saved a bunch of time, too!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Whoo-hoo!

 

I finished the Hospital Sequence and have uploaded it to YouTube!

 

Go see it

!

 

And please don't forget to pass it around and spread the word. I'm halfway through my Kickstarter, but only 1/3rd funded. It's looking more and more like I may not make it to the finish line, which will scuttle this project (and my hopes and dreams!)

 

If you can support, please do!

 

Thanks!

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Thanks alot, Tony! I really appreciate it!

 

Thanks, Gene. My fingers are crossed that it gets the project the needed attention.

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I wish I could, Gene, but I can't.

 

There's only so much time I can live off of my family and I'm nearing the end of that. My hope was that the reaction to this would be positive enough that I could point to the Kickstarter and justify keeping on the path. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case.

 

If it couldn't even generate the costs needed to produce it, how can I convince my family I'll be able make a living doing this?

 

What's annoying is the Catch 22 I find myself in. If I had stayed at my job, I'd have plenty of money to fund something like this, but I wouldn't have had the energy and time to actually do it.

 

It would be different if I hadn't just spent years doing The Wannabe Pirates and coming up empty.

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Never say die, Rodney ...until they kill it. :-)

 

I haven't given up at all (and thanks for your pledge, btw!), just being more realistic this go around. I read somewhere that the danger of having a great imagination is that you can imagine something being successful. :-)

 

I've thought all of these projects had potential to go over big and imagined them all taking off, but the reality is that at the end of next month, it'll be four years since I quit my job and with the exception of Stalled Trek, everything has been a loss financially.

 

That's not to say they were unsuccessful in that there were actually 2 or 3 fans of The Wannabe Pirates who enjoyed it and I certainly learned a heckuva' lot in the process, but I think this gives me a gauge to say how far should I go with this.

 

Using Stalled Trek as my only other example. I originally did the Kickstarter to make 200 DVDs, thinking that would be about what I'd expect to sell at local cons. (A conservative number as actual sales bore out.) However, when it went over the goal, I opted to get 1K DVDs made. If I'd looked at the numbers of backers and saw that it was more on the small side, I could have stuck to a lower number and used that extra money to travel to a larger Star Trek show, where I probably would have had an easier time selling it.

 

This time, I'm trying to make use of the info. If it makes it's goal, then I'll consider that in the number of DVDs I order and the way I go about selling it. If it had been a runaway success, then I could have planned for that, as well. As it is, though. If it doesn't go, then that's a pretty good sign there aren't that many people interested in buying them and I wouldn't have the money to make them for them, either.

 

Better to have that info *before* I've spent six or seven months working on a project, rather than after the fact when I can't get that time back.

 

So, not being a defeatist and haven't given up yet (in fact, I'm working on another one of the character models today), just allowing reality to interfere this time, rather than foolishly not letting it into the room. :-)

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There is a definite plus to having several creations to show.

I can easily imagine you at a convention with three DVDs for sale which would broaden the appeal and give people something to support.

 

As a for instance, I'm not big on pirates (I generally prefer cowboys and indians) and I'm more into Star Wars (say it isn't so!) and zombies are about as far from my interest as witches and vampires (which is to say... almost zero) but if I had all three in front of me and had the cash to spend at least I have a choice. :)

 

It's an interesting paradox... when I was starting out I lacked the tools... information... opportunity. But the door was wide open. All I really had to do was step through it. Now everyone has the access to the tools... information... opportunity. But now the doors are mostly closed (or perhaps its that everyone has been let through) It's phase two of the conspiracy against aspiring artists I tell ya!

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There is a definite plus to having several creations to show.

I can easily imagine you at a convention with three DVDs for sale which would broaden the appeal and give people something to support.

 

As a for instance, I'm not big on pirates (I generally prefer cowboys and indians) and I'm more into Star Wars (say it isn't so!) and zombies are about as far from my interest as witches and vampires (which is to say... almost zero) but if I had all three in front of me and had the cash to spend at least I have a choice. :)

 

That was the thinking behind doing The Wobbling Dead. I thought even doing TNG would be too narrow. Although there are folks who like Star Trek AND The Walking Dead, the two have mostly separate audiences. That, and The Walking Dead is extremely popular these days.

 

It's an interesting paradox... when I was starting out I lacked the tools... information... opportunity. But the door was wide open. All I really had to do was step through it. Now everyone has the access to the tools... information... opportunity. But now the doors are mostly closed (or perhaps its that everyone has been let through) It's phase two of the conspiracy against aspiring artists I tell ya!

 

I don't doubt that one of my biggest weaknesses is that I'm simply not a salesman. Heck, I hate even attracting attention to myself, more or less talking to hundreds of strangers trying to get them to take a chance on this thing that I poured my heart and soul into.

 

I can't help but think if I were the outgoing type and had thousands of friends, this would be a lot easier. 'Course, then I probably wouldn't be the type who could spend days on end in front of a computer never seeing the sun. :-)

 

I've heard that argument against the business side from many artists. But, to be successful, you have to have that instinct and knowledge. I've been trying to set up a regular meeting of some of the local cartoonists here in Dallas, and so far have only managed to organize one get together, but one of the cartoonists there had been a newspaper cartoonist since the early '80s. When his paper went out of business, he literally had no idea what to do. He's still doing about six cartoons a week, but they barely pay anymore.

 

On the web, there's opportunities, but they still require capital and who-you-know and luck.

 

I can tweet about making this movie I made by myself, but it's not going to get anywhere as much attention as a Kardashian tweeting about what kind of shoes they like.

 

The problem is that the internet is still like standing in the basement holding up index cards that say "Buy my stuff."

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Heck, if I could get a booth babe, I wouldn't even bother making the cartoons, more or less going out and trying to sell them. :-)

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This may be a little off topic... my apologies for that but I know you are a comic book guy.

 

We'd all like to think opportunity is there and things can only get better but... you see things like this all of the time:

On his blog Jerry Ordway discusses his difficulty in getting work after 30 years in the comic book industry:

 

http://ordstersrandomthoughts.blogspot.com...over-fifty.html

 

It is interesting to note that Jerry backs off a bit in his subsequent post.

This is not surprising as #1 he's a positive guy and #2 he'd like to work for DC again.

 

What he gets around to saying in his follow up is certainly reasonable, basically; "Support the artists you like."

 

http://ordstersrandomthoughts.blogspot.com...rikes-back.html

 

 

Added: I see our own Will Sutton was over there commenting.

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I posted a link to the first story to my Facebook page last week. Basically pointing out that we now live in a society that tosses aside our older employees. Not just in comics. People get let go because they are older and their salary/benefits are too expensive.

 

It's a reality I didn't factor into my decision to quit my job four years ago. :-)

 

The support the artists you like pre-supposes you've heard of the artist in the first place.

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The support the artists you like pre-supposes you've heard of the artist in the first place.

 

Well, it is a little harder to support artists you've never heard of before.

I suppose that is why groups/guilds/societies are chartered... to promote each other and get their names into further out into circulation.

 

There is an age old 'problem' in that many artists just want to go off into isolation and create their art. There is an almost required tendency toward 'leave me alone... I'm creating art." I suppose this may be why many talented folks aren't discovered until after the death of the artist.

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I guess, what I'm saying is that with all the freedom the internet gives us a distribution method, the gatekeepers still have a lot of influence and power.

 

If I'm Stephen King, I can sell a book online without a publisher and do well *because* I had a publisher before that spent lots and lots of money on making my name famous and publishing my books.

 

If I'm me, I've got a higher mountain to climb. :-)

 

The "trick" seems to be that you have to come up with something that a person reading or viewing immediately feels the need to share with everyone else they know. And those people are also so motivated to share it to everyone they know. How do you accomplish that trick, I don't know.

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Just an interesting bit of process, folks might find useful if they try a KS in the future.

 

My webhost offers $25 in Facebook Ads credit that I've never made use of. Wanting to get the word out, I thought I'd give it a try, so I set up an ad linking to the KS page and targeted it to The Walking Dead and some categories that matched it. I set my budget at $5 a day and have run it for four days.

 

According to the stats, during those four days, the ad appeared for 45,724 unique Facebook users and they were exposed to it 1.9 times. It was clicked on 45 times, so basically one in one thousand. Not a whole lot of clicks and I don't know if there were any pledges that came from the ad.

 

It's an option, though and you can target your audience.

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According to the stats, during those four days, the ad appeared for 45,724 unique Facebook users and they were exposed to it 1.9 times. It was clicked on 45 times, so basically one in one thousand. Not a whole lot of clicks and I don't know if there were any pledges that came from the ad.

 

that's about 50 cents per view. Makes me wonder how anyone sells anything onthe web.

 

Have you consider an infomercial?

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Presumably with much larger budgets. :-)

 

And remember, most of the uniques saw it twice.

 

There might be a better follow-through if I were selling a DVD rather than having it link to a Kickstarter. That adds another layer of complexity to the thing.

 

Also, a lot of advertising is just aimed at awareness. Potentially 45K people are now aware that there's something called "The Wobbling Dead" who weren't aware of it before. If my product was on shelves in store, this might translate to them seeing it and saying, I've heard of this and considering a purchase.

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I want to put up one last plea for help for my Kickstarter project. I still have four days left, but a family emergency is taking me out of town tomorrow morning and I won't be back before the end of it. I also likely will only have internet access via my phone.

 

Every little bit helps get closer to that goal, and remember I'm offering those bonus incentives for Hash users.

 

Hoping for a last-minute miracle,

 

Thanks to all of you who have helped, believe me, it is very appreciated!

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Last chance (for me!)

 

Please help! I only have 2 1/2 hours left and I'm only 30% away!

 

Please do what you can!

 

If I don't reach my goal, I get nothing and the project gets cancelled.

 

Thanks, everyone!

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I upped my pledge... only a few hundred $ to go.

 

I don't see my change reflected in the tally. :blink:

 

How in the heck can I contribute twice at the same level. Perhaps I can't?

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Had a long trip back today and was collecting my thoughts. I'll expand on these later, but here are some things I learned from my second Kickstarter campaign:

 

1) Miracles can happen

 

2) Raising $5,000 is much harder than raising $600

 

3) It's much more stressful when you reach your goal on the last day rather than the first day

 

4) Don't give up (see #1)

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If I had a do-over, this is what I would do:

 

>I'd have set my goal at a more attainable point to start.

 

I think psychologically, folks are more predisposed to bet on a winning horse. On Stalled Trek, I reached my goal in a day and yet continued to get backers right up to the end, getting to 367%. I think people who wanted the DVD were more likely to do it when they knew it was a sure-thing that it would be finished. Anecdotely, I was told by several people that they were getting the DVD as a gift for a Trek fan they knew. I'm not sure they would have bid on a gift that might not be made.

 

I received $2300 in bids for Stalled Trek. If I'd set the goal at $2K, i think I would have had a better chance of reaching the goal early on. I could have done this by limiting the final piece. Offering up a 15 minute animation to start with. Then, when that goal was reached, I could have offered a stretch reward, expanding the film to 30 minutes if it reached $5K.

 

I think that would have worked much better. Being so far away from my goal for so long surely soiled people on pledging, because they couldn't see it being successful.

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More on the do-over thinking:

 

>I'd have spent the preceding months building audience.

 

Let's face it, Kickstarter brings in some people, but your success is tied to how many people *you* bring in. Attempting to buddy-up with fansites at the last minute with a "Hello ---pay for my project!" doesn't work very well. I had more success on the Star Trek sites by reaching out to the blogs when I had the Paunk Show pilot to show than I did when the Kickstarter was in play. I should have concentrated on doing the web series first. That could have potentially built up audience, too.

 

>Consider the day and time that I launched the campaign with thought to when it would end.

 

I got excited and launched the campaign as soon as I got home and saw it had been approved. I don't think that was smart. For one thing, it was very close to the end of the day and the tracking sites viewed the 15 minutes as a day and showed that I got zero pledges. This impacted their projections in a negative way. It didn't matter that I had $870 in the first 24 hours, it divided that by two for the first two days. Again, I think there's some psychology that causes people to say, hey, this isn't tracking like it's going to be successful, I'll look for a sure thing.

 

That said, on my first campaign, I launched it first thing in the morning and so my last hours were in the wee hours of the morning, where you're not going to have much traffic and you can't call somebody an ask for help. I'm thinking I would aim for it starting and ending maybe mid-day. That way you get that initial burst of traffic for the tracking sites plus it ends when people are awake. I'd also want it to end on a Friday, preferably just after the first of the month. People get paid on Fridays or at the beginning or end of the month.

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Well, that's enough looking back ...I've got a 30 minute movie to make! :-)

 

I just wanted to put down my thoughts in case I ever go this route again. To be honest, with as many favors as I've called in, I might not have this as an option again. :-)

 

If anyone else finds them handy, you're welcome to them. I think all cases are different, so take it with a grain of salt. Nobody knows what the masses are going to like and attach themselves to.

 

For now, though... it's a success! I get to make my puppet zombie masterpiece!

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Being so far away from my goal for so long surely soiled people on pledging, because they couldn't see it being successful.

 

On the other hand there may have been some people who said "There's no way this will ever get funded. I can pledge a chunk of money and appear to be generous and helpful without ever actually spending any money!"

 

Not that I know of anyone who imagined such a scheme would work. whistling.gif

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Well, another reason why it would be beneficial to go lower at first with your goal and try to meet the goal early.

 

Clearly you don't want people giving for the wrong reason. You want people who are excited about your project and want what you're selling. That person that gets bitten by betting you wouldn't make it isn't likely going to help you the next time around ...and if they don't honor the donation, then they end up short-changing the project, which can jeopardize the creator's ability to finish it.

 

You also don't want to feel like you are pressuring people to fund you. I'm hoping I didn't do that with my campaign. I tried to keep most of the messaging in the phrasing of "help me get the word out" until the final push, and then I tried to include "if you can" in my verbiage. I didn't directly approach anyone and say, I need you to do this.

 

In fact, the generous backer that got me over my goal came out of the blue (even though it was someone I knew) and voluntarily upped their pledge a couple of times to get it over. I was actually just frozen with fear, watching the seconds tick down and thinking how much it was going to suck to have it fail so close to the goal. :-)

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On the other hand there may have been some people who said "There's no way this will ever get funded. I can pledge a chunk of money and appear to be generous and helpful without ever actually spending any money!"

 

Heck, I do that with every kickstarter I support.

Who actually wants to spend real money! :lol:

 

Which reminds me... I've got a supercomputer on a chip that is suppose to be arriving one of these days...

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I'm not entirely sure that people realize there is a difference between liking and sharing. Or maybe they don't know how to do it? (Being so difficult to identify the link that says "share" and clicking on it.) :-)

 

That was a great frustration for me. I personally messaged several of my friends specifically asking them to share the link on their timeline and was put out when some of them didn't. Almost to the point of unfriending them, but eventually I thought better of it and some of them came through later on. I think in the end, there was only one who didn't and I just figured she was too busy saving lives to find time to do it.

 

The first time 'round, when I wasn't asking for that much and met my goal so easily, it was all fun. Each new backer was a bonus. This time, it was exhausting and stressful and I may have had several years shaved off of my life expectancy. :-)

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The surprise for me is Facebook! I kinda thought that my friends and family would at least SHARE the link! I'm on day 3 and 5 people have shared the link....

 

I've shared it now, i was just waiting for the initial surge to dissipate so it wouldn't be competing with all the others.

 

But i have so few Facebook friends it may be inconsequential either way.

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