Anime Veterans Ask For $580,000 to Make 24-Minute Sci-Fi Film

Anime Veterans Ask For $580,000 to Make 24-Minute Sci-Fi Film

Under the Dog is an in-production 24-minute animated film that seeks $580,000 to tell a story about an elite death squad.

Last weekend at Otakon, an anime convention, came the announcement of many acquired anime titles from Japan, but one panel announced the Kickstarter for a completely new project from a team of industry veterans at Creative Intelligence Arts. Under the Dog is an ambitious sci-fi action thriller about a society after a terrorist attack hits Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The anime takes place in 2025 as the UN has formed an elite group of gifted students with the goal of eliminating others with powers like theirs. The UN closely monitors the operatives and will kill people important to them should they fail or fall out of line.

Creative Intelligence Arts is asking for $580,000 to fund Under the Dog. The anime will be 24 minutes long, which seems so little when asking for nearly half a million dollars. In the FAQ for the Kickstarter project, Creative Intelligence Arts explained a single episode is more expensive in dollars per minute of animation compared to a full season.

Many of the Under the Dog staff members were present at Otakon, such as the writer of the original story, Jiro Ishii, character designer Yusuke Kozaki (best known for his designs on No More Heroes and Fire Emblem: Awakening), and producer Hiroaki Yura (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and Steins;Gate). Ishii produced the video game 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors and wrote 428: In A Blockaded Shibuya, which went on to become the story for the anime Canaan. Under the Dog director Masahiro Ando previously worked with Ishii when he directed Canaan. Ando has also directed Sword of the Stranger, Blast of Tempest, and Hanasaku Iroha.

In a panel at Otakon, Yura said Creative Intelligence Arts chose Kickstarter to avoid the restrictions anime production committees place on projects that could be risky. "I'm sick and tired of the investors telling me, 'If it only sells in Japan, it's OK,'" Yura said. "No, it is not OK!"

Independent funding in Japan is hard to acquire because the industry relies on production committees. Corporations help to minimize financial risks, but the committees are made up primarily of investors who may place profit ahead of creativity.

If the project is a success, Creative Intelligence Arts estimates it will deliver Under the Dog by December 2015. It will include a Japanese voice cast and English subtitles.

Source: Under the Dog (Kickstarter)

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O.O
Ok, Let me go get my wallet now.

24 minutes isn't a film - it's an episode, and barely at that! I don't care what genre it falls under. What special animating technique are they using that would require over half a million dollars to produce? If they have a 2 1/2 minute trailer, then it's obviously not for equipment costs. I know anime fans think their genre is special in some way, but ya know what? So do bronies. Recoup production costs after the "film" (more of a short really) is released, not before.

Remus:
24 minutes isn't a film - it's an episode, and barely at that!

I missed that 24 minute part. That really sucks.

A huge budget for a single episode, featuring yet another team of teenagers with superpowers. If they really want this to be more international and not just a localized in Japan ordeal, they could at least come up with a less generic and boring sounding premise.

That said, they haven't skimped on the sound design. And Sword of the Stranger was a really fun film. Just use less shaky cam please.

"...directed Sword of the Stranger..."

Sold, in principle. Sword of the Stranger has the best action scenes in any anime ever.

But $20 - the minimum that gets you the episode - is a lot for half an hour of content, however good it might be. I'd probably pay that for an hour, or maybe 24 minutes if it was The Best Thing Ever. But I won't know if it's the Best Thing Ever until after reciews come out, and I don't think the value is good enough to justify the risk here.

24 minuets? You'd have to be one hell of a writer to tell any kind of decent story with that. That's barely enough time to introduce the characters. It's guaranteed to have amazing animation, given its pedigree, but otherwise it just looks like an explosion filled action romp. At best this could lead to something bigger if it's highly successful. At worst it won't even get off the ground.

That's kinda the disconnect between Kickstarter projects and actual professional productions. In the eyes of the industry, half a million dollars for a single episode (or short film of equal length) really isn't that much when it comes to animation (for reference here's a quick breakdown of some of your favorites from lineboil.com. http://lineboil.com/how-much-does-an-animated-tv-episode-cost/ ), and considering that this is a short film, and therefore will likely have far more ambitious animated sequences (yes, some animation can actually cost more than others, even though it is essentially just people drawing every frame) this budget actually seems really modest.

Personally I think this isn't so much a problem with budget as it is with the way they are looking to raise it. From a crowdsource perspective it is a relatively large buyin for what we are usually given in entertainment value for the same amount. This is why, as awesome as kickstarter is and can be for many projects (I've personally backed several and love the idea), crowdsourcing has a long way to go before it is the rebel that brings down the traditional system that some once thought it would be.

Britpoint:
"...directed Sword of the Stranger..."

Sold, in principle. Sword of the Stranger has the best action scenes in any anime ever.

But $20 - the minimum that gets you the episode - is a lot for half an hour of content, however good it might be. I'd probably pay that for an hour, or maybe 24 minutes if it was The Best Thing Ever. But I won't know if it's the Best Thing Ever until after reciews come out, and I don't think the value is good enough to justify the risk here.

Don't ever go to Japan were a 2 episode Blu-ray (47min runtime) costs $73 ($53 at Amazon with 'special' discount) at retail.

They probably think a $20 minimum pledge is really cheap considering what anime costs over there.

youji itami:

Britpoint:
"...directed Sword of the Stranger..."

Sold, in principle. Sword of the Stranger has the best action scenes in any anime ever.

But $20 - the minimum that gets you the episode - is a lot for half an hour of content, however good it might be. I'd probably pay that for an hour, or maybe 24 minutes if it was The Best Thing Ever. But I won't know if it's the Best Thing Ever until after reciews come out, and I don't think the value is good enough to justify the risk here.

Don't ever go to Japan were a 2 episode Blu-ray (47min runtime) costs $73 ($53 at Amazon with 'special' discount) at retail.

They probably think a $20 minimum pledge is really cheap considering what anime costs over there.

Yeah, this is why I tend to buy my anime BDs in season box sets! They generally seem to be an order of magnitude closer to reasonable.

Believe it or not they are not off-base when they are asking for a half-mil for a single episode- the most expensive parts of animation comes at the front end with hiring the animators, voice actors, and other staff members. It's essentially the same cost whether you're doing it for one episode or 300 at the very beginning. The only difference for longer series is that they have to do things longer-term, but it costs less as you already have everything in place.

I was at Otakon and while I did not see the panel they had on it, I did hear about it a bit and it is quite the ambitious project. Little Witch Academia was one of the best animations put together in a while and it helped launch a new studio, and it was only one episode, with one more episode which was funded by Kickstarter as well.

So yeah, what they're asking for is actually fairly reasonable, and could lead to a longer series if needed.

Nice visuals (especially on the backgrounds) and animation but

roseofbattle:
an elite group of gifted students

I'm so sick of their improbable young casts that I'm not interested.
Not to mention 24 minutes... yea good luck getting anything worthwhile out of this.

You had me at

Directed Sword of the Stranger

That anime was easily my favorite movie in the year it came out and I would love to see more of his work, even if it is only 24 minutes, the dude has proven he can make quality content and that is all I can ever ask from someone. If I get the money, I will be donating to this project.

I really hope they didn't spend 60 grand on that trailer.

I'm sorry but if all that funding is going into a 24 minute short film. Then that really doesn't seem worth the investment, at least to me personally.

Anime is really expensive to make, so I'm not really surprised.
I understand they're trying to send a message with this, but I'm not sure it will work.

That said, the trailer alone is pretty damn nice so I'm happy we have that at leat.

24 minutes AND not released until December 2015, for the low, low price of 1/2 million $$?! Seriously?

That's not .....this is one Kickstarter I hope fails. Seriously it's ridiculous. I can understand if they're doing a full on 1.5-2hr movie or a full on mini-series lasting 4-12 episodes. But to only do a single 24 minute thing in that length of time with that wad of cash just screams something is wrong!.

The trailer looks interesting, but for that amount I expected a feature length film. However I am unfamiliar with the costs of making this stuff so...

And again with the high school kids? Really? They went to Kickstarter so shouldn't that mean they should try to take risks and produce something different? Not something that would be approved by production committees anyway from the looks of it.

roseofbattle:
Anime Veterans Ask For $580,000 to Make 24-Minute Sci-Fi Film

The anime takes place in 2025 as the UN has formed an elite group of gifted students

as the UN has formed an elite group of gifted students

an elite group of gifted students

students

Stopped reading riiiiight there. I could stomach Gunslinger Girls, but another anime about elite highschool commandos with Mary-Sue powers? No thanks.

hentropy:
Believe it or not they are not off-base when they are asking for a half-mil for a single episode- the most expensive parts of animation comes at the front end with hiring the animators, voice actors, and other staff members. It's essentially the same cost whether you're doing it for one episode or 300 at the very beginning. The only difference for longer series is that they have to do things longer-term, but it costs less as you already have everything in place.

If that is the case, why not make it a full movie or a min-series?

Seriously?

Another group of teenagers assigned to do the job that normally adults would do?

Fuck Anime.

NO. MORE. HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.

I have already seen this story done about a billion different ways a billion different times. I don't want more HS students. GIVE ME SIENEN PLEASEEEEEE

 

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