A very big thank you to everyone who took the time to watch my "Iron & Ice" demo.
Your notes were most welcome and I am taking them to heart.
I have been working on the basic concept for this show, a group of explorers rediscovering a glaciated Earth, for more than forty years.
Not quite there yet.
Did discover several things as I worked on it.
1) As a designer I'm a pretty good writer. (Next time I'll get someone with a much better and innovative visual sense to help me)
2) It IS possible to do almost everything yourself...but not necessarily a good idea.
3) Having a great sound engineer/composer/musican pays off incredibly. My guy, Rich Goyette, scored the two episodes I produced like feature films. He also did all the foley work and many, many other things. It has been scientifically proven that good sound actually makes people think you have improved the picture quality.
4) You can get really good voice actors just by asking around. I have connections with local amateur theatre and that is where I found most of mine.
5) Plot IS important, but not nearly as important as having good characters with strong relationships. I dropped the relationship ball on this one because I was too worried about getting the plot rolling.
6) Half an hour is NOT a good length for a serious science-fiction show. It is no accident that (my hero) Gerry Anderson's best, most successful show was the hour-long Thunderbirds.
7) The Uncanny Valley is real and sadly Moviestorm puppets seem to fall in the Marianas Trench of it. Even though the animation is technically better than "South Park" or pretty much any anime out there, people judged it against Pixar. Even when I asked people not to comment on the animation because my beloved Moviestorm was the only affordable way I could do the demo, they still told me how much they hated, yes, hated, the look.
8) There is absolutely no other program as easy to use as Moviestorm. Doing these demos would have been impossible without it. I called the demos "Pre-Viz" hoping that would mitigate some of the resistance. Industry people seemed more accepting than average viewers.
I wrote and produced two demo episodes of "Iron & Ice". This one, the typical episode, is better to my mind than the pilot, but for those interested here is a link to that pilot episode.