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Gooseberry: Campaign Extension?


cgc-gooseberry-iconThe Gooseberry team is considering extending the campaign, but only if a certain threshold is met this weekend.

Ton writes:

Several people asked for announcing to extend the campaign. That’s something we seriously consider. And here’s a way you can make it sure it happens:

If we reach 3000 supporters by Saturday, we extend [the]campaign to 60 days total (= add 18 days).

Me, I'd rather see them continue trying to raise enough funds for an awesome project than give up. What do you think?


About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. 2,500+ supporters may not be enough to make a feature film, but it could be enough to make a kickass short, or a TV pilot, or a game, or a development sprint, or anything. We raised a lot of money! Whether we get to make a feature film this year or not, I feel good about the future of Blender and Open Movies. BF can keep my contribution whether or not the goal is met, and I hope others will feel the same way.

  2. The donations are building nicely, just not as fast as anticipated, so perhaps it's time to go ahead and start anyway? Perhaps when people start seeing some progress, that itself will generate more supporters/donations. I'll keep my Cloud membership going whatever happens, at least until the 18 months are up. Ton and the team deserve success.

  3. David McDermott on

    Even if you don't make your target I still want to contribute, I'm sure there are other people who would also want to. It would be good to have flex funding.

  4. Florian Huber on

    First of all, thanks for your work, to Ton and the Gooseberry team. I really wish you success in pulling this off! (I also wish the community would step up more and pledge enough to get started. You got a lot already, guys, give some back now!)
    That being said… I think you made both the goal itself and the process of reaching it unnecessarily.
    At the moment we´re trying to get 3000 supporters. If you add up the numbers, more than 3000 people pledged already. Just not all for a cloud access, some just gave some money. Even if 7.600 people pledged 40€ each, or 15.000 pledged 20€ each in time, you´d have reached the amount, but not the cloud subscriptions. You mixed two things here, crowdfunding a feature film (and with a pretty ambitious amount), and getting a completely novel cloud-service off the ground, at once, with the same campaign, and if either fails, both fail. That was unnecessary. Had you tried to get the film funded with small amounts, as is established in crowd funding, and offered the cloud service on top, as a hard-to-resist bonus, a lot more people with empty pockets night have stepped forward and pledged, but as it stands, a small donation doesn´t really count. That´s a two-class crowd funding campaign, if you will, where some people´s money is better than others, and only those who can afford the cloud access (and for some the required pledge will certainly sound like "a lot of money") are "proper" supporters. That´s bound to prevent people from pledging.
    Plus, the campaign window is too short in the first place. It might have been better to split this up into different project phases, with smaller amounts required. With what you achieved there, you could convince (or better: excite!) more people to pledge.
    Lastly: if this is a project "about the people" (and I am convinced that´s what you intend to do), then where is the discussion? I understand that there are some things that need to be designed by some few, or even one person who makes the call. But you could have opened the whole campaign up for discussion, find a process where enough people would have signalled their willingness to support the project, in a way that feels right for them. Maybe people feel left out of this process, and now they are faced with a really ambitious campaign target, where they, individually, feel unable to make a real contribution - so they make none at all.
    I´m certain this community could fund this thing, and would be willing to (everybody who ever used this great program, for free, better should be!), but you have to play it right, and let them have a say, too, or you scare them away...

    • Agreed.
      I love to support blender but the "minimum" donation i can make is $25.60 ?

      Or for 60$ i get blender cloud but not even for the duration of the project.... just for three months?

      Its a lot of money for... not a lot?

      If I was buying a professional multi-million dollar movie its cheaper.
      Frozen, on blueray, was cheaper.

      I know we pay more to support, but seriously, to not even have an option for "donate $10" is a bit hard, it makes it feel like "all your money, or don't bother"

      • I think it's actually possible to donate less than $25.60
        Clicking on "Pledge a custom amount" you can either select one of the presets or directly enter your custom amount, e.g. $10

          • Carl Erik Tengesdal on

            With the cloud access though, you do get access to all the blender foundation training material. That should be worth the money.. :)

    • I didnt get that at first, but blender cloud is "mixed up" with the croudfunding campain because its a fundamental part of the croudfunding via subscription model. Its well explained by Francesco Sidi in this interview at 8:33

      So in fact 500 000€ is the amount needed to get the project started. But the calculation is, that 10 000 BC subscribers give 10€ per month while 18 months of production to get in total ca. 1.8 mio €. This amount wouldnt be possible to reach with a single croudfunding campain. So the blender cloud is actually a good idea, because the money isnt needed all at once, its needed step by step during the next 18 months while production.

      In fact the total budget of the film will be much higher than 1.8 mio - from 3 to 6 mio €. Blender Foundation will take care of the rest with sponsors and an "exploitation window":

  5. Assuming the whole movie needs 500€. If the Blender Foundation gets 250€ only, why don't just create half of the movie, the first part, something similar like the Lord of the Rings that was split in 3 parts. If the first part is interesting and well done, maybe people will be curious and more keen to invest for the second half :-)

  6. I feel like this would have made a lot more progress on a site like Kickstarter, I can't say I understand or support the reasoning to start an independent crowd funding venue, especially by itself. I had a feeling this would not make funds nearly fast enough to reach the goal having done this, even if this is Blender, and sure enough it's been slow. If you ask me it would have been a lot smarter to start the independent crowd funding site along with a Kickstarter campaign, and halving the goals for each. The Gooseberry site's goal would have been reached as we can see already, while simultaneously reaching out to other communities and those who are more comfortable with the Kickstarter site, giving the Kickstarter campaign a good chance of reaching it's goal. Then, even if the Kickstarter hadn't met it's goal, the Gooseberry site's half could either be made use of for an a lesser version of the project, or extended as it might be now.

    • But who on Kickstarter do you think would actually donate? Only Blender users would actually be interested in the development of Blender and the progress hasn't even started on the film, so I don't imagine the actual film could excite people at such an early stage. Most of the film projects I see on Kickstarter have already been quite developed, with footage, story, character bios and concept art being shown.

      • The first half of the funding could be used to have a substantial amount of work done on the film and for creating an appealing Kickstarter campaign, which could be started after the Gooseberry site's independent campaign. In which case, they could enact the same thing as suggested above and halving the funding total again, having a "part 2" campaign on the Gooseberry site, and a Kickstarter campaign, now only requiring 1/4th the original funding. Dividing it that way would significantly improve the odds of reaching the entire goal just by intelligently distributing the campaign efforts and having patience, while also giving the public a lot more to see and look forward to.

      • Scott Amsberry on

        From what I've seen, there's a lot of love for Blender within the Open Source community that extends far beyond actual Blender users. The success of Blender, or any Open Source project, is a testament to what can be achieved with an Open Heart and an Open Mind. People who are passionate about Open Source will want to see this type of project succeed regardless of the type work they do or the type of software they use. Asking for help from the Blender community is the obvious place to start. Step 2 should be to approach the rest of the Open Source community. They care about what Blender represents whether the use it themselves or not. There is, on some forums, a real sense of ownership with regards to all things Open Source.

        I would agree with you, that Kickstarter may not be the best place to reach them. I think it's up to us to spread the word in other forums.

      • Brian Lockett on

        You greatly underestimate both the power of Kickstarter's significantly-higher traffic and how much people love to support causes championing a voice about digital freedom.

        I've made this argument in full as to just why Kickstarter should be used (14x higher traffic than Gooseberry page; project is bound to become a front-page campaign), how it can be done (via U.S.-based team member CG Cookie), and what the project would offer those who aren't Blender users (promoting the philosophy of free culture; being involved with an animation of high appeal; exclusive behind-the-scenes access).

        As I said then, Blender's cause stands for more than mere free software, but a culture of freer, more accessible world. They're catering to an ideal, on a worldwide scale. They're standing for an ideal greater than the Blender community--they're proving a point that concerns the future of software and Internet freedom, and making history here. Advertise it exactly this way and watch the money pile up.

        Plus, it isn't everyday that normal people get a hand in a feature-length animated film, coming from many studios worldwide. There's no Kickstarter to date offering a project like Gooseberry, of its scale, its scope and its voice. Most Kickstarter films are short films, and few Kickstarters films are even animated.

        Most films on Kickstarter simply aren't about a public voice of free culture. Gooseberry is feature-length, Hollywood-quality, and created in a way never really done before (across small studios worldwide). with a voice. It stands alone. There's no sense comparing it with other films when Gooseberry would be first of its kind.

        By the way, Project Gooseberry has everything it needs already for a successful campaign: promotional footage, story in the works, character design from a Disney-recognized artist, and concept art galore. There have been successful films with even less to show for them.

        There really are no excuses left here, to be honest--it's just a matter of taking the opportunity and catering well to it. If they want it, go for it.

        • I do agree that it would be great to try and take advantage of the huge amount of traffic on Kickstarter, but I'm not sure about people unfamiliar to Blender donating. While I'm sure there are people outside the Blender community who want to see it succeed, I'm not sure how many of them would be willing to put money forward, considering the amount of people from inside the Blender community who have donated. Maybe I'm underestimating how interested people are in Open-Source stuff, buts that's my opinion.

          I don't want to be that armchair criticism guy who points outs flaws afterwards while doing nothing, but I do think the focus of the campaign has been too muddled. At times, the message is, donate so we can improve the features of Blender. At other times it's been about making film history or making a film together. I do think if they run the campaign again, I feel they should focus on one major selling point which would appeal to the most people.

  7. I think you should stick with the feature length film Plan, but I also think an extension would be alright to reach that goal. Blender in general seems to me to be fueled by a Word of Mouth style of advertising which can take longer in some cases, but I believe tends to also stick with the people it reaches much better and for longer. I know I'd remember my friends or colleagues recommendations about something much more than a 5 minute expensive advertisement.

    Whichever plan you go with I'm interested in seeing blender grow. I have been incredibly surprised and elated by Blender moments after I found it. After trying out 3DS Max, Maya, Hexagon, Truespace,... Blender was the only one that really clicked at all. So, Thank you guys for your hard work on this. You have my support in this venture.

    • I know what you mean about when it clicked. I used 3dsmax on and off for a long time but never had the motivation to keep working on my 3D skills. Then I discovered blender 1,5 years ago and since then I'm sold. Great software, great community. I'm happy to support the Gooseberry project. Hopefully I'll be able to contribute to the project some way (besides a cloud membership ofcourse).

  8. I think YES! Let the rest of the blender users get the chance to prove their appreciation for the great free software they are all using and make their marks in helping to make Blender even more AWESOME. If you can afford it, don't wait! pitch in and get tons in return. Nothing grows without a little water :)

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