Crowdfunding art and the cost of animation


As evidenced by my now multiple posts on the subject, I’m a fan of D&D liveplay show Critical Role, which has made headlines again, this time for its recently-opened Kickstarter project to fund an animated special from the first campaign of the series. With over $7 million raised in just over a week, easily surpassing the funding goal of $750k and becoming the most funded film and television project on Kickstarter, the special has morphed into a fully animated retelling of portions of the first series. In following these updates, what stood out to me, apart from the sheer volume of funding raised, was the cost and labor cited by the crowdfunding campaign needed to produce the project, which stated that each minute of television-quality animation would cost them between $30-50k to produce, explaining the high initial funding goal for what was initially a 22 minute special. This news, while significant to me personally, still seemed highly topical as we begin our animation projects, and drew attention to the often under-recognized labor-intensive nature of animated projects, something we will likely get just a taste of in the weeks to come.

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