Blender Artists wanted for first Open World Film!

Hello All Blender Fans!
I am writing to let you know that my website,, is hosting the world’s first Open CG Feature Length Film. The concept behind this is that anyone in the world can be a part of the CG film-making process. The entire process from scriptwriting to the final film will be kept open to anyone who wants to contribute. We are in the scripts & concepts stage now, and in a few months we will start into the production stage. Members will then be able to sign up for projects, and work in teams on various aspects of the production.
All project files and assets will also be free to download, as well as the finished product.Of course, I have placed a STRONG emphasis on the use of Blender throughout the production stage, and the standards that will be set will be done with Blender users in mind
I am really hoping this is something the Blender community would like to be a part of. This is the future of media as we know it, and Blender has a lot to do with it.
I will be covering all the costs of running this site, so you will find no ads or donate buttons, only what you need to effectively be a part of the project.
Please visit the site, and decide if you would like to be a part of this unique, world-wide event… Thanks for your time!
CJ Maynard

Edit: I am appending this thread because I think I need to make a few things clear. I am a video producer of 12 years. I began thinking to myself that I needed to do something more, and this idea came to me. It seems as though it is being greeted with some hostitlity and fear, and I want to make clear that this is just as much YOUR project and site as it is mine. I will always be open to suggestions and ideas to make it better.
I am hoping we can create something that transcends nationality, language, and cultural barriers to create something unique. This site will only bring me personal satisfaction, that is why you will never find any ads or donate buttons on the site. I am completely open to suggestions about how to improve the project, and how to make it something you all want to be a part of. The site has been up for a day or two, and has not had a chance to develop more than a few visitors. Hence, the post here in Blender Artists. I have been using Blender for almost 3 years now, and I actively support the open-source movement. I think Blender will be the cornerstone of this productions, and you, the Blender community, the heart and soul of what we will create. At the moment, I had decided to leave the script up to vote from a number of community submissions. This way, the community remains a part of the process. If you wish to skip this step, check back with us in a month or two. That’s when we get into the planning and storyboarding stage, and begin work on the actual production itself. Nothing is required of you to be a part of this. I am not asking for money, or selling email adresses to vendors, or anything else that I hate as much as all of you do. You can choose to contribute, or just choose to watch, or not be a part at all. For those of you who are interested, please pay us a visit.

You need a script, dude. What screenplay writer’s forums are you posting this at?

Any chance that you are going to post some background and your relevant experience on your website?

Without at least an “about us” on your website it sounds quite a bit like a couple of 12 year olds in their backyard deciding “Hey! Let’s put on a play!” What’s your background? Film school? Previously produced work? Nothing?


P.S. Might also be useful to indicate if you’ve had any team or project management experience.

I have a few scripts, but I want this to be something the community can decide on. I don’t mind making a decision between the ones I already have, but that’s not exactly the point. Please actually read the site before making any judgements about it.

By the way, here are a few screenplay writers forum invitations:


I am just announcing this site to the public today, and it was my intention to announce it to Blender users first. I will be posting in all sorts of forums the rest of the day, don’t worry. If you have no interest in the scriptwriting stage, please join us in 2 or 3 months as we begin formal production. That is where us Blender people will have the most fun!
CJ Maynard[/SIZE][/SIZE]

She’s read the site, Maynard. That’s why she’s asking. There’s not a whole hell of a lot there. Three people posting, including yourself, and some crazy idea about a gazillion sub plots to keep everybody happy which you seem to endorse.

“I’ve got a script but I don’t want to show it because I want the community involved” that sounds awfully familiar. I’d better leave now.

By the way, it’s customary to say “thank you” when someone gives you an idea and you act on it.

Yes Orinoco, and Rome was built in a day. I suppose you have seen plenty of day old websites become an instantaneous you-tube, without ever posting anything or making an effort for attention. What, exactly do you propose I do differently. I am a video producer, not a web guy. If you have a constructive piece of criticism, fine. THAT’S WHY THE SITE IS THERE! If I had a crew already, what would be the point of posting anything here? I am covering all the costs and donating all my spare time to this project, for an opportunity to provide those of us who can see the potential in it a chance to participate. If you do not want to be a part of it, I don’t mind. I am only looking for people who want to be there, and if you are not one of them, then maybe consider that others may not have the same view as yourself. The open-source world is all about the community, I just now posted some information about myself after Lynda had made the suggestion to do so, but it was my intention to remain near anonymous. I am not doing this for money or for fame or for any other reason than to try to offer something good to the world and to people like myself. If you wish to keep your talents to yourself, fine. Do not knock the attempts of others to share thiers with the world.

Uh… Block of text. Brain is blue screen of death. Dying.

You have a web site. It has very little info. Come up with a script and then bring everybody on board for the fun. People are much more likely to join up if there’s a vision, but less likely when a vision has yet to be established.

Get a story concept, make it good, because you’re going to have to stick to it for the long haul.

Dear Mr. C J Maynard,

Altough you will probably mean it with your very best intentions, your message and your website do not really come across as something in which you’ve put a lot of time.

You’re asking for other people to show what they can do, but you wrote it like you’re taking candy from a candy store (“I could use this, I could use that”) and you did not really show anything from yourself.

What is your work experience? Could you show recent works? How much time are you willing to invest into it yourself? And into what? Are you a leader who can actually lead this movie you’d like to do? Etc.

It’s not that people don’t like you, but anyone can say he’s a producer or whatever. That includes a 10-years old kid in his basement. When you’re going to do something like this, it would be a really good idea to approach it as something professional. Like you could be getting a new job with it or something. Treat it like an application you would send around companies. That would be one way to attract people for a project. Another way is to start by doing everything yourself, and gradually let other people flow in when they see your movie and get excited to help with it. It’s all about excitement, and you won’t excite people with an empty web page and some text with some promises about how great a movie will possibly be.

However, what I currently see when I read between the lines is this: Hello, I would like to make the worlds first open movie and I will need people for this and that task, so I can sit back to watch them making my movie.
(please remember: I’m not saying you wrote this, it’s what I read between the lines)

Put some more time into it. Treat the project like a girl. What you give, is what you get in return. This being a community does not change that. You have to stimulate members of this community to join. Not almost beg them (again, that’s only how I read the post).

Hope this helps, and good luck with the movie.


Hey zog34. I appreciate your constructive criticism. I have posted an open invitation to a number of screenplay writer forums. You all understand, no matter what, this stage must be done. I fear I have posted this to the general Blender community a little too soon. I have only the best intentions here, and as I am completely in love with Blender, and owe the Blender community a lot in these last few years, I wanted to tell you all first. I have started receiving some script ideas, and in a couple months we will have a coherent piece to work from. I understand that the scriptwriting stage is not necessarily the most exciting for most of us. I also understand that if we skimp on that stage, we will not have a script worth doing all of this for. Please, consider joining us as we progress into the development stage. I just wanted all of you to have the first opportunity to be a part. I know I can not do it without all of you, so by all means if you have CONSTRUCTIVE criticism (I really prefer not to be called “Maynard”, for instance), then please email me at [email protected]. This way this list of posts on blender artists will not grow excessively long. I really think this is an amazing concept, so please, tell me what I can do better… Thanks again zog34 for not taking an attitude with your criticism. Let me know if you have any other suggestions

Thanks, oogsnoepje.
I am willing to give every ounce of free time and energy I have for this project. The site is new, and while I am not new to production, I am new to how to start up something like this. I think you are right about the time frame, but I was unsure of any other way to get the word out than to, get the word out. As for me, I have been a producer for 12 years. I am an editor, motion graphics artist, DVD author, Shooter, Project Planner, and huge fan of Blender. I have worked full-time for a production facility in San Diego for the last 10 years, doing everything from shooting corporate events to producing the live television broadcast of our local Mother Goose Parade. I have never posted any of it online, but as soon as my personal site is up, it will be posted there. I just don’t see this project as being my personal demo reel. This isn’t about me. As I said before, I appreciate those who take a constructive approach to criticism, and I have taken your suggestion to heart, oogsnoepje.

No, actually I haven’t. What I’ve seen is day-old websites become week-old websites, then month-old, then year-old, with little but the initial flurry of activity to indicate anything going on.

I propose you read the sticky. Perhaps you did, but you’re too… enthusiastic about your idea… to develop the requisite relationships here. But please don’t meet our skepticism with hostility. That will gain little.

I already gave you some constructive criticism: get a screenplay first. And a suggestion as to how to go about that, which you seem to have taken. Did you miss it because I called you ‘dude’? A thicker skin might be in order, too.

You’re putting words in my mouth, CJ. The open-source world is all about relationships, and if you can’t hear “there’s not a hell of a lot there” but think “It has very little info.” is useful, “CONSTRUCTIVE criticism,” then see my advice above about skin.

I can’t imagine how anyone who’s even lurked here for more than a few days could think that.

I wonder about that line that says all the content will be made availale for download - I mean, that’s a lot of content for a feature length movie, the typical full scale movie in digital would be huge files that would dwarf Elephants Dream, right? I can’t even handle the files that ae available for that, much less try to download a complete movie’s assets.
CJ Maynard, sounds like you have high hopes. I wish the best for you. Maybe you could consult with members of Project Orange, Project Peach, or members of the Plumiferos movie, and see what obstacles might be necessary to overcome in this endeavor. They would be the knowledgeable ones to offer advice. Saying it will be open sounds like everyone will be included, but in reality, someone will have to be excluded if it is to get of the ground. You can’t use everyone and everything, so finding focus seems to be the major issue.
Good luck.

It’s interesting, and it’s apparent to me that he doesn’t want to jump into anything other than the scriptwriting yet. Maybe you should have introduced it a bit more clearly. I.e: ‘People needed for input on script for new open cg film’.

I’m also apprehensive when you say feature length, as that will be a massive task. A 20 min film would be perhaps more appropriate. You could even make it as an episode and then if it’s successful, make a second episode, and a third, etc.

As it is I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt CJ, as you haven’t asked for model submissions and all the rest, but have only talked about working on the script - I think if you can prove to us over the next weeks that you’ve got some people together to work on a good script, you may pique our interest.

And craigomatic is right - you should try and get in touch with the Plumiferos/Project Orange/Peach guys.

One reason you’ve bumped into so much criticism is because you’ve labelled this the “First Open world Movie” when, in fact, it’s just one more “open movie” project crawling over the carcasses of all those that we’ve seem live and die before it.

In fact, it’s crawling over the carcasses of far-less-ambitious “open movie” projects and the Grim Reaper is already wringing his hands over this project.

As I mentioned in the other “let’s make a movie” thread just below this one, The Crosswalk showed a lot of promise and even though it was only to be a two-minute short movie, it still failed to be completed after around three years of effort and some excellent progress. It spawned a few similar projects but I don’t believe they were completed either before the dedicated forum was take down.

One that comes close to what you’re proposing is (Was? Last post April 07) The Magenta Project. That thread is well worth a read since it covers most of the stuff you can expect to be covering here.

The closest we’ve seen to success so far is “Extinction Level Event”. That project isn’t nearly as open as what you’re proposing and the originator has put in a hell of a lot of work himself.

Plumiferos is only open in the sense that is uses open-source software and keeps a public blog of progress. Beyond that it’s a commercial feature-length movie project.

None of this is to say what you’re proposing can’t be done but rest assured the cynicism and skepticism you’re seeing is well-founded and not just empty hostility.

I fear I have posted this to the general Blender community a little too soon.
I suspect so. I don’t think anyone here is experienced at writing a feature-length movie and I’m among those who think it would be impossible to write a script in a fully-open “anyone can contribute” manner - never mind produce a movie that way (it just isn’t modular like software is. The final product is linear and every contribution - every on-screen object, every sub-plot, every joke - affects the user experience in a way which isn’t true for non-linear, modular projects where unnecessary parts are often ignored by the end user).

These “around the world, fully open” projects drag very slowly since some of the crew are always asleep while others are awaiting or making decisions. Some simple decisions can take days as key people miss each other on the forums or chat lines - or go on holidays or get sick without informing anyone.

So you’ll spend 6-12 months getting a “finished” script together. Spend 6-12 months making concept art. Spend 6-12 months story-boarding the script. Spend 6-12 months getting models made as the story-board dictates - and make sure they match the concept art. Spend 6-12 months getting a rough voice track down (use whoever’s available but respect the scripted characters). Spend 12-24 months making a 2D story-board animatic to match the voice track. Spend 6-12 months getting voice actors to lay down the finished voice track. Spend 12-24 months animating (this might be a conservative estimate so allow 48 months). Spend 12 months polishing the animation with lighting and effects. Spend 6-12 months writing and recording a musical score and recording an effects track. Spend 6-12 months compositing. There will be a little overlap in some of these tasks, but not much and I suspect many of my time-frames could be underestimated.

People spend a whole month animating one or two simple characters in very simple settings for a ten-second entry in online competitions - and many don’t fully render the completed animation but make-do with an Open-GL render. Pixar spend 3-4 years with a multi-million dollar budget and the world’s best talent working fulltime (and long hours) and with access to a massive state of the art render farm running dedicated software, to make a single movie.

If your project runs true to form, you’ll be using incredibly detailed, high-poly scenery, ray-tracing, fluid sims, soft-body and cloth sims, explosions, fire and other intensive halo-based effects, reflections, refractions, ambient occlusion, sub-surface scattering, physics engines and so on and so on. The list will grow over the years as more features are added. With this in mind, and assuming you don’t have Pixar’s budget, allow a few years just to render the finished frames.

And then, give the whole lot away to anyone who wants it. (And, on that note, for a project of this scale you would really want to make sure you’ve got all the legal loopholes covered so no contributor suddenly decides they want royalties for that model tree you used in scene five).

That’s why there’s skepticism. But, as I’ve said before in similar threads, don’t let that stop you. Where would we be if the Wright Brothers had listened to criticism?

One thing you have to your advantage is some experience in video production. That puts you streets ahead of others who’ve proposed similar projects. But what I would suggest is that you prove, to yourself and others, that you can sustain commitment to and management of an open project. Get someone to write a one-minute short and follow all the steps required to get it finished. This, in fact, would be a significant milestone and you and everyone involved would learn a hell of a lot about managing such a project so you’ll be better prepared to make something longer.

As a further suggestion, I will say that many of the above time-frames could be significantly shortened by thinking ahead and dictating a very simple style (maybe no scenery or backgrounds at all, for example).

A piece of CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, CJ Maynard: maybe you should work on your attitude and not attack so many people. Based on your actions and reactions on this thread so far, I do not think I even want to visit the web site.

If you want people to work with you (and others), you need to know how to positively motivate them…

I am with AndyD. Anything is possible just a full featured film is no easy task and a lot of time, money, resources and sleep need to be sacrificed to see one through to completion.

I checked out your site and well if you just put it up then I don;t expect there would be a whole lot of stuff to share thus far.

As you said, you have 10 years producing experience which is 10 years more than me, so I am guessing you are well aware of the downsides of these sort of things.

Just be prepared to spend years working on it before you see any results, and as it is a community project, expect styles to differ drastically.

AnimationMaster are doing a similar project which is just now starting to see some good results. I wish you the best of luck! I truly do. When you have a script idea, please share it with us!

I am amazed this morning as I read these replies. I think all of you, including Orinoco, have very good points. And I apologize if any of my wording came out as being defensive. I am very excited about this project, and I understand the fear and apprehension everyone has about donating their time to it. I have spent the last month planning how a concept like this could most realistically be accomplished, and at first, I was completely skeptical. I do realize it could be an intense mission, but I am willing to give everything I have to it. I am very appreciative of the ideas and support you have posted, and today I will get in touch with some of the various teams already doing “closed” Open movies. Dan, you made a great point about approaching this in an episode style setting. It certainly would be an easier proposition in shorter form. I will be posting that thought in the forums, andit will be up to those who have already signed up to decide what they want to work on. And Orinoco, I am afraid I may have taken your previous posts as an attack when they weren’t meant to be. If that is the case, I am truly sorry.

Here’s a little something I started writing a few months ago and finally “finished” tonight. Much of it is already covered in my post above but it expands on my thoughts regarding these projects. Take from it what you will and I sincerely wish you luck with your project.

me and another fellow blenderhead, are in a process of writing a story(yet another edit/addition: story&screenplay both, then we will go for the storyboards, allso we are additionally allready drawing some concept artwork) for an(open) animation, will it be a short or something more will depend on our story(and later on, we might end up cutting it shorter if we so decide/need…), and as of now we are not looking for people to participate because its just to early for that, now i don’t see why we couldn’t join together in forces but i have not spoken to Tom about this yet, and hes the story writer who has learned story-writing in some school before… so right now, id leave the decision to him… :wink:

hmm… think ill go send an email to tom then… :slight_smile:


oh yeah, btw google for:“The Cathedral and The Bazaar” and check it out, imho, for an open movie the “Cathedral” way of doing it is more suited… :wink:


ah, i googled it myself: