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sohmer

Your Mind to My Mind

Nov 4, 2013

The past few days have been a flurry of activity at the Blind Ferret HQ, mostly centered around the dark pit I affectionately refer to as ‘my office’.

Since I post about the potential LFG series, I’ve spent my days pouring through thousands of e-mails, hundreds of Facebook messages and dozens of comments here on the site.

I’ve responded where I felt it was necessary and time allowed, but please know that I read every single word you folks sent my way. I greatly appreciate the time you took to let me know your thoughts.

Overall, the response to the idea of an LFG animated series was about 98% positive.

The main trepidation I saw, was the concern that money given for the purpose of the film, should not be re-purposed without approval. And that, I agree with.

To be clear though, and clear up any misconceptions some folks have, we have never, EVER, asked or taken money for the purpose of funding an LFG movie. The only money that has been put into development of the film has been our own, no one else’s.

To date, LFG has done 1 Successful Kickstarter, and that was to fund the completion of This is War. I did state that any additional funds would be used towards the movie. That ended up being about 38k, which you can see that breakdown here.

So for that, you folks are right, and I will be asking the LFG: TiW Kickstarter backers whether they would like that 38k to be used on the series, or whether they want that coin to remain in the bank, to be used on the film when possible.

Aside from that, we are going to go forward and try to finance the pilot of an LFG animated series.

The Kickstarter could launch as early as this week, or next. Check this space for more info.

Again though, thanks to everyone for their feedback on this, and for your continued support. We get to make this comic because of you, and all we want to do, all we’ve ever wanted to do, is create more content based on this wacky world we call LFG.

-Because I Can.



  • Drew B.

    The last time you had a post in the News section that wasn’t mentioning something to be bought, some new pitch idea, some convention to attend, some active kickstarter, was August 26th. http://www.lfgcomic.com/home/ Is it much wonder folks are getting the feeling of being sold to? I usually have a more personal feeling of connection with other indie game developers and web comic authors, even when there’s no actual back and forth between me and them.

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      Sorry you feel that way. I’ve always used LICD.com for my more personal blogs, and LFG for Sci-Fi/fantasy stuff. I just don’t get to blog as much as I’d like to unfortunately.

      You can follow my twitter though, which is alot more personal and random shite.

      • Drew B.

        Wait, you have another comic site?

        • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

          Ha!

          Yeah, each strip has a very different audience, so I use each site differently.

          • Drew B.

            If I’m not mistaken, both audiences are fans of occasionally witty webcomics by Lar and Sohmer. Don’t miss the similarities in your audience for the sake of the differences. Having enjoyed one of your comics makes it far more likely that individual will enjoy another by you. It also opens up to audiences who may enjoy the theme of your other work better, but happened upon the one with the theme they are less interested in.

          • Fusionater

            Well he’s not wrong, I’ve laughed a LICD before, but it never hooked me quite as well. :)

          • MrLightRail

            Why do I keep having the image of Dnar trying to masturbate? Damn you, Sohmer for creating him!

        • Final Echelon

          Been a huge fan of LFG & LICD for some time now. :)

  • MrLightRail

    Would it not be safer to create a pilot to shop around, and if sold, use that money for further episodes, like other programming? I would think that Comedy Central would jump on it.

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      That’s exactly our plan!

  • Christopher Clarke

    I think something you should keep in mind when considering starting up a new kickstarter is the timing of it. This would be your third kickstarter in the past year and that seems to be a bit quick for such things. I remember seeing the kickstarter for ‘This is war’ and considering donating to it (I honestly don’t remember if I got around to it or not). Then I saw the game kickstarter come out almost right on the heels of the this is war kickstarter and thought that it was a little too soon to be going after another project. It’s not that I don’t think you have good ideas or projects worth funding, just that the people that donated generously to the first kickstarter might not have the available funds to be as generous to a second. Perhaps giving some more time between these projects would allow people to donate generously as they have had time to regenerate their available spending funds. I would suggest that you wait until early next year (February or March) for people to get their holiday spending out of the way and replenish their extra spending funds. I think the animated series is a good idea and one worth considering, but I think your timing for these things could be better.

    Just a thought.

    • Dru

      This….
      Ignoring all other kickstarters and what people think of those, choosing the holiday season to ask people to help you fund things doesn’t seem like the most business-savvy option.

      All of my extra at this time goes for getting my family and friends gifts; I’m not going to take away from them to give to something that may or may not ever happen.

      And before someone spouts out “Just $10 would be a help!” I’m barely scraping up enough to get everyone that I need to gifts, and I’m sure that others are in the same boat.

      Even if I could afford $10 now, would it really be that big of a deal to wait a couple of months for people to get their holiday money? That $10 donation can jump up to $20 or even more in January.

      • Sylihra

        Totally agreed. The holidays may not be the best time for a kickstarter. I know I’d like to contribute, but if it’s going up that quick there’s zero way I can since all the extra funds are going toward family. But January…January is an extra pay period month, and I can’t be the only one who’s pay schedule lands that way. lol

    • Ted

      Within the past 12 months Blind Ferret has launched 5 kickstarter campaigns.Depending on when it starts, this could be their 6th campaign within a year.

  • Fusionater

    As I said before, just avoid the typical problems of adapting a webcomic like this(don’t make it a motion comic, don’t try and follow the original word for word, etc), and the business side of it, like finding a…tv show lawyer I guess to sell the show to a network if you can’t do it yourself. Set yourself up to succeed and I think an LFG series could be one of the greats. :D

    As a backer of this is war, go for it, I say. :D

    Also, can someone PLEASE link me to the released LICD pilot everyone’s been blathering on about??? D : <

    :D

    • Drew B.

      On the production side, may I recommend Donna Grillo, the voice casting guru from Invader Zim? I suspect a fair deal of screaming may be necessary.

    • Ted

      Typically Entertainment lawyers are for looking over contracts and handling various legal matters. Agents/Managers/Reps organize meetings, negotiate contracts and shop around the project. Some producers may take on the task of shopping around a project or handling negotiations.

      Most people do not produce a pilot on spec, especially for animation, and instead choose to produce a sizzler. In animation, often a sizzler is used to sell the show/concept before a full pilot is produced. Even if a full pilot is produced, a sizzler is still often created as either a tool to land the pitch meeting, as a tool for pitching the project, or as a leave behind.

      If it is the first show a company has produced, it may be wise to cut out the parts of the pilot that don’t work and condense the episode into sizzler. Many a crap pilot can be cut into an exciting and interesting sizzler.

      The most common time a pilot or entire season is produced on spec is when the producers are looking to sell the show into syndication and bypass trying to get distribution on a major network.

      • MrLightRail

        Care to expound on what a “sizzler” is?

        • Ted

          “Care to expound on what a “sizzler” is?”

          Oh sure. A sizzler (also referred to as a sizzle reel, pitch reel, etc.) is a short video (usually 3-to-5 minutes) that gives an overview of your project. Think of it like an extended trailer or highlight reel for your project. The idea is to convey your vision for the project and to show you are capable of producing the project.
          It is designed to peak interest and facilitate a conversation between you and the others in the room.

          Sizzlers are used when pitching or TV and Film and are even used in the business world as another marketing tool.

          A sizzler is nice because you don’t have to produce a full project, you can highlight the strengths of the project, and they are short enough to keep people’s attention and give time to talk about the project.

          In TV a sizzler is a tool most often used when trying to pitch a project and get a development deal.

          Few people create a full episode and try to sell the series. Most studios will require changes and compromises on the project. It happens. So it is better to not go in with a full episode as a new pilot will probably end up getting made.

  • Ted

    I’m glad you are going to see if the LFG: TiW backers want the money put into the series or not.

    I would suggest before you move forward with the campaign that you get a good producer on-board. Someone who can really get the project laid out and see that everything is done on time, on budget, and done right. Bring in people that are more experienced in TV and animation than those currently involved in this or past projects.

  • Marco Vivero

    It is my believe that you are addicted to Kickstarter. Take it easy man, allow your auddience to replenish their money before asking for more, deliver a Kickstarter before you open a new one, you still owe me my Bear 2 book and it is really really late, I don’t know about others but I won’t consider giving you any more money before I have my book in my hands and even though I would love a LFG tv show I won’t fund it if my book’s not here. Besides, as other have already said, it’s holiday season, people have houndrends of things to spend their money on. Take a rest and allow us to spend on other things before asking for money again.

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      All the bear books are out, man, see the Kickstarter updates for more info, and if you’re missing yours, get in touch with customer service, and they’ll take care of it.

      • Marco Vivero

        As of today, they are on a Van on their way to the post office. So I think I’ll wait before contacting customer service. But thank you, looking forward to it, my son is already born. I still think you should do the LFG kickstarter next year anyway, but good luck man.

  • nicktyrong

    “To be clear though, and clear up any misconceptions some folks have, we have never, EVER, asked or taken money for the purpose of funding an LFG movie.”
    You’re seriously gonna say that? WITHOUT the qualifier of saying “from a kickstarter”? I’m not even surprised anymore, with you.

  • regularjoe

    My 2 cents would be to wait till after the holiday season, as cash flow starts to dwindle for most people

  • Final Echelon

    I think it is wise to ask the KS backers about re-purposing the funds and I hope they agree. However, I think the best move would be to focus only on the series. No movie, no shorts, no stretch goal rewards, none of the frills that have been customary with KS’s of the past.

    Do a Kickstarter to create the pilot then follow that with a GoFundMe (or whatever “fund my biz” page you like (heck, do multiple)) but follow the KISS principle (no, not the one with Gene Simmons). Keep the use of the funds as focused on the series as possible.

    For the KS, let the pilot’s completion be the only reward (not even a keychain). After that, everything goes to the series. Why? Because owning ~insert dream car~ swag isn’t nearly as nice as actually driving your own ~insert dream car~. Besides, if it takes off, the swag will follow.

    Create the series strictly for web viewing. Each episode’s production dependent upon viewers/readers donating funds. This will help it reach the largest audience and increase your chance of viewer funding. It works for PBS, who says it wont work for LFG?

    Having a great pilot is good. Having a multi-episode series that is so poular it’s funded primarily (if not entirely) by it’s viewers, is a lot better. Which do you think will be easier to get funding for?

    I love LFG..I really do. Because of LFG and LICD I really don’t mind Monday’s anymore because I know that I will get a new LFG and 3 new LICDs (I dont get to read them over the weekends).

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      Thanks man, great feedback!

  • loxmyth

    My main concerns: [edit out incoherent phrase from previous edit]

    1) Whether you can sustain the story at a higher production rate. Of course if you tell the _existing_ story to date, that wouldn’t be a problem for the first few episodes. I’m not sure how quickly you’d burn through those.

    2) Given the LICD pilot, whether you can get a bit of help from someone who has experience writing/editing for that medium while you learn how to move your sense of timing from one medium to the other. (You did get a lot of good feedback from that exercise.)

    I do think LFG’s got a better chance of successfully making the transition than LICD did. Good luck!