Impulse Gamer Interviews Chris Williams on Red Fog - -

Kickstarter Interview: Chris Williams on Red Fog

Hello readers. Iím back with the second interview in our series of Kickstarter interviews. Last time we spoke to Aaron Giles, creator of ambitious animated web comic Blackgold, today the focus is on a project that has managed to successfully reach its funding goal through Kickstarter.  

That project is Chris Williamís Red Fog, a post-WWII Nazi Zombie romp through Europe that features a new Zombie Reich ready to punish the Allies for the way WWII ended. The graphic novel exceeded its pledge goal of $8,400 by over $2,000 and demonstrates the power that Kickstarter can have. I spoke to Chris about the Kickstarter experience and where the project goes from here. 

1) As a creator how beneficial is a program like Kickstarter to getting your project off the ground?

Kickstarter was great for us on so many levels. Firstly, it gave us an avenue to raise the funds required to self publish our book. Secondly, it provided us with a platform and an opportunity to spread awareness for the project.  And finally, it ensured we maintained the intellectual property rights for Red Fog. As I originally wrote this as a movie treatment, IP rights were extremely important. Those were three great benefits to the program, and Iím glad we were successful in reaching our funding goal. Kickstarter is definitely worth a look if you have a project youíd like to take to the next level.

2) Do you believe it is now easier to get your project made, through programs like Kickstarter and the Internet?

Kickstarter and IndieGoGo both offer great opportunities for artists to take less traditional routes for getting their works to print. For starters, thereís no need to pitch and get approval from a creative VP before you can take it further, so some of those barriers have dropped somewhat. We are pitching directly to fans of the medium, and if they like what we are trying to do, they will help us make it happen. So in that regard I would say it definitely is easier. However, it still took a lot of hard work and diligence to get the word out. Kickstarter offers you a venue, but you still need to market your project.

3) Does a program like Kickstarter present any problems and difficulties of its own? For instance what happens if you do not obtain the funding you require?

I feel like the platform worked for us, but I also believe there are ways they can make subtle improvements. I would love the site to do a little more in the way of actively promoting the projects. They do have a project of the day, but there are a lot of projects competing for that coveted spot.

In terms of the funding, we decided how long our pledge drive would last (up to 90 days) and how much we hoped to raise. Had we not achieved our pledge goal, we would not have received a dime. Personally, this appeals to me because it puts the onus on we the creators to come up with a project that appeals to the backers.

4) How do you decide what rewards to give your backers?

The rewards were probably the easiest part of our whole pledge drive. I work in the animation industry, and this is just the kind of stuff we animators like to collect.  T-shirts and signed books were a no brainer. Also, Mike Docherty was more than happy to offer original drawings and even draw zombie fans into the book as characters. Heís such a pro with an impressive credit list, so it was a unique opportunity for fans of his work and collectors to get something truly original.

5) You've been successful with getting funding through Kickstarter, would you use the platform again?

It was a great experience, so yes! We were excited about our project and it was a great opportunity for us to share it. Thanks to all the backers for helping make it happen!

6) You were successful but was there a Plan B in case the project did not get funded through Kickstarter?

Well, I suppose I was Plan B. When I originally drafted the outline, I was very excited about the potential of Red Fog as a film property, video game and all the other peripherals. So if I had to, I would have definitely fronted the money myself to produce the book. Iím grateful I didnít have to though. With the cost of the book covered, we can now focus all of our energy into making the best product possible.

7) Now that you've obtained the level of funding you wanted what's the next step for the Red Fog project?

Mike is almost finished chapter 1 and I think itís looking great. Once thatís wrapped, we hope to get some rewards out to our generous backers in the early spring so that we can then focus on finishing the artwork by the end of 2011. Itís a big project, but we are extremely passionate about it. Itís going to be a fun year for Red Fog.

8) Red Fog features Nazis and Zombies, something you might say the industry is crowded with. What sets Red Fog apart from the rest?

Itís true there are a lot of Nazis and Zombies out there. Personally, I canít say there are too many because I love the subject matter. However, if we look at film, and this was originally intended as a movie treatment, there really arenít very many titles. Dead Snow is the most well known of the bunch, but Red Fog is very different. Mike joked with me when I pitched him the story. He said all I had to say was ĎNazi Zombieí and he was in. I know there are a lot of comic fans that agree with this, but I promise there are unique story elements to Red Fog that will really excite fans of the genre. I just canít tell you what they are yet.

9) The story description lists the Nazi villain but will there be a central Allied character the story follows?

Martin Bormann, who was one of Hitlerís most trusted advisors, resurfaces as the Reichís new Chancellor and he fulfills his dream to reengage the allies in a ground war. Among them, we will meet Major Charlie Pike who served with distinction as a US Army Ranger on D-Day. His vast experience and heroism in WW2 will be counted upon once again in order to stop the Nazis once and for all.

Bormann is a man desperate for the heroes of D-Day to pay for the defeat of the Third Reich, and heíll unleash an unimaginable force to do it. Nothing can prepare Pike for what he is about to see.  

10) Finally, is Red Fog the type of project that will be a one-off or do you think there is more you can do in the Red Fog world? 

I really like the way it ends at the moment, but I can see there is potential for more. For now though, Iím going to hope for Red Fog to be well received among the comic faithful. Go zombies! 

Once again thanks to Chris for taking the time out to do this interview and remember the name Red Fog because I think itís one weíre going to be hearing quite a bit about when it gets close to release.


All Images and Content © 2010 C.Williams/M.Docherty


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