Kickstarter Interview: Chris Williams
on Red Fog
Hello readers. Iím back with the second interview in our series of
interviews. Last time we spoke to Aaron Giles, creator of ambitious animated web
today the focus is on a project that has managed to successfully reach its
funding goal through Kickstarter.
That project is Chris Williamís
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
CLICK TO ENLARGE
All Images and Content © 2010 C.Williams/M.Docherty