YAOM Project (Yet Another Open Movie)

Hi all, as advised,

 I will discuss this project before pulling in team members, releasing detailed information and so forth. First of all, I am a media professional (generalist) that is stepping into producing. I want to learn how to produce a full feature film. Its my hope that others out there want to learn how to make a full feature film with Blender. So- its already been done. Yes, but not a full length 60+ minute quality feature. So how can it be done- especially with people not familiar with making a full length feature with Blender?


This project will NOT immediately work on the full feature. But rather, it is a series of 8 films (hopefully all award-winning) culminating into the full length feature. No- not 8 pieces of the full length… 8 films. How does that help everyone involved to learn the process well?
Simple- we double the length adding an added complexity until we get to the full-length. For example:
:30- Fur
1:00- Particles
2:00- Destruction
4:00- Smoke…

64:00- Full Level

So each time the project gets harder- but the original team learns how to overcome these complexities. This way, precious time is not spent solving massive problems for one large film- which wastes a LOT of time sometimes.

The story will be EVERYTHING. In other words, we’re not necessarily doing fluid calculations that require 700 GB because we can (Please say someone can do that though). If it does nothing for the story- then nope. These featurettes and feature should (will) rival a PIXAR production. That means story first, CG second. Quality will be a real focus. What if those onboard are just learning? Don’t join if you don’t LOVE research, trying new things, and CG in general. Asking questions, and making it happen has to be key qualities.

We will use other software- but mainly Blender. So this includes for example Sculptris, After Effects, Mocha, etc. But no other 3D software can be used accept for Blender. If someone wants to do motion graphics/ compositing in Blender- no problem- as long as it looks professional. This is about learning the process to accomplish a full feature with Blender.

Please comment if you’d like to join or you think its a good idea. Please read the FAQ’s first if you need (third post). I’ll try to answer all of the details also-

Just a hint, that is quite a slab of text. Either a quick description with a link to a website or some pictures (like some enticing concept art) to spread it out would help with readability. Sounds nit-picky, but with internet attention spans being what they are it should literally give you more readers and thus more potential interested artists.

Took me a while to figure out that you are looking for US and Canadian industry users only - who are willing to work on three unpaid short films in a row before any funding is gathered. If I understand that right.

I think you’re right on both points. I posted the FAQ’s after this post and edited the first- hope that made some sort of difference… I didn’t want to invest into putting the information on a website just yet, until I knew someone was interested. As far as it being open to US and Canadians. This is a point for discussion. Yes to the second statement. The first three shorts are actually shorts (:30, 1:00, 2:00). Easy to accomplish, but they can give viewers a pretty good idea of what to expect in the future. This way we earn our reputation first- then accept donations- I think its only fair.

The main reason for US/ Canada is the time zones. Our maximum time difference is about 3 hours. This means we have a pretty solid chance for emailing/ contacting each other (not that everyone would respond immediately anyway). Actually, the reality is, once the individuals are chosen for the project- they can accomplish their duty how they want to within our agreed time frame- so if they want to suddenly do an open call to help them out- thats fine. I am very well aware that there are some fantastic artists in France, Australia, Netherlands :)… but I do feel its better for speed of the project considering we can’t all be in the same room. What do you think? Is there a perfectly viable way to conquer the time zone barrier? Or can it be tented under the project leads decisions?

By the way- the scripts and character descriptions will be given out first to the team- then we’ll work on the concept art/ storyboard.


Any guidelines?
Simplicity, quality, responsibility. This is a learning project- meaning you don’t have to be a pro to start. But if you’re not, just keep in mind that you should be prepared to dedicate some real time into learning quickly whats necessary to not let the team down. (But we’re nice- so we’ll help and give suggestions where we can).
If you want to be a part of the project, the requirements are:

-Intermediate or Pro Blender user
-Working in the industry (Not necessarily in the trade applied for, but in the industry- or preparing to work in the industry)
-Capable of making the time to learn and carry out your agreed part.
-Good Communicator (Theres no such a thing as too many emails- well maybe, but you get the idea. We’ll agree on using Skype or something else.)
-US or Canadian Based (Just for better coordination with the time zones and all)
-Nice Person- No Art Divas

Will we get paid or at least take donations?
No and Yes. I propose that for the first 3 featurettes- no, we won’t be accepting donations- after the fourth we can. This way we earn our worth. The Full Feature (due to likely rendering costs and maybe simulation costs) will be pay per download, but for a fee that covers our production expenses. Full feature would require a lot of time, so hopefully we would have earned our reputation for a quality movie by then. We’ll make the feature well worth it.

Will there be a website?
Again- working for our stars I think is the best way to handle this sort of thing. So, after the first animation is successful- then we put up the site for tracking the rest of the projects and adding profiles, etc.

How long will each animation project take?
That will be determined by how long the team members involved feel it should take. Once its agreed upon- then we hold to what we’ve agreed upon. You will be responsible for keeping your word and finishing your part. (Sorry- no micromanaging here- please apply as an office worker for that)

What skills are needed for the project?
Most roles will be doing double duty. So just the basics… Scripter/ Programmer, Lighting, Modeler, Animator, Compositor, Texturer, Shader developer (Which is likely under texturing unless someone knows how to write some for Blender/ YafaRay), Sound Designer, Technical Director, Art Director, Project Manager, Web Developer, App Developer…

App Developer?
Yes- for the last two features. This will allow us to learn developing games or informational apps spun off of the feature. (iPad/ Android only) You won’t be involved until the last two films- unless you just want to develop basic, fun apps for the films as we go along.

Is it going to cost me anything to join?

Won’t we need money for rendering and stuff?
Yes, I’m the producer- I’ll get that done.

How long would it take to complete 8 featurettes/ features?
Well, as mentioned, the first 3 are short, and should move fairly quickly. After that, it really depends on the help and time we put into it.

What if we can’t finish it?
We will.

Can I at least take a look at the story lines to see if its worth it?
They are hush- hush, but, well… for your eyes only:

#1- (Photo Finish) Animals engage in a hilarious race to a finish line for an unusual prize.
#2- (The Scenery) A woman is listening to her own theme song, and the scenery and people seem to change with her mood.
#3- (Its No Picnic) Two posh lady bugs are trapped in the country after traveling with a picnic basket from the city. There they learn to respect the country folk, and love the simple life.
#4- (Waterman) A man- who has mistakenly invented a water magnet- tries to use it to save a town from a drought- with some very unintended consequences.
#5- (The Guitarist) Several orphaned teens try to make it big in the music world when a tragedy happens. Fortunately, one of them is discovered, but will it cost him his life-long friends?
#6- (Crocodile Tears) An Epic Musical about an Amazon crocodile baby exploring his new world. His world is shaken when it is wrecked by tragedy. Not being able to find friends, he has to learn important lessons in life in order to survive.
#7- (Live Circuit) A strange accident leaves an ordinary servant-bot with a runaway program. The program makes him alive- or does it?
#8- (Franqlin’s Note) THE Epic Feature. In the distant future, little inhabitable land is left. As the daring astro-blazers are desperately looking for other planets to inhabit, the last large area of inhabitable land which now houses all of the human population- is sinking. What secrets did the founders hide? Can they find a planet for billions of people? Can they move billions of people before disaster strikes? One inquisitive young man may have the answers, but is it too late?

OK- Cool! Will the titles or stories change?
The titles might change (though not likely), but the stories will not.

So when does all this start?
As soon as we finish discussing whether anyone wants to make this happen. If its a yes and there is support- we blaze forward!

What if I have to quit due to other personal reasons?
Please find a qualified replacement, and introduce him/ her to the team.

Do you have a link to some of the work you have done, animation, modeling, lighting, film, script writing. Any short-films or films you have been involved basically a portfolio of work.

As mentioned- I am a media professional. I have worked for some fair-sized company names, but I will not be posting my personal demo reel- as producing is the new role for me and this is the first time producing a full length feature film (Likely for everyone involved). So in this role, I will maintain the job of being the guy that gets the people that makes it happen. So my work is not really relevant for being a producer. But… if you really want to see some of my work, I will be posting it at a later date- and theres likely an image or something floating around Blender Nation :wink:

that’s why I asked, because I thought the must be some projects that you worked on that are no longer under an NDA because the are a lot of these kind of projects that show up on BA than dissappear never to be heard of again. It would be nice to see just how serious you are about this.

You are asking for a lot, scratch that a massive amount of work so I think its only far to ask a lot from you as well. Showing people some of the work you have done before could go a long way in making them buy into this.

The first thing a producer needs to be good at is bringing people onside and getting behind them. It takes leadership.

It takes even more leadership when you want them to work for free!

Who cares that you claim to be a media professional? (it’s not that I don’t believe you BTW, but anyone can say it, you may have been working for 20 years in media, it still won’t help without a little something more…)

Why does anyone need you? why should they get inspired? why should they dedicate a large chunk of their freetime to work for you?

If you want anything but apathy you need to give people something to get excited about… the large slabs of text above don’t cut it!

You need to sell yourself or your idea and inspire us! make us believe!

BTW, Just to let you know I’m writing this to try and help you think about how you come across.

It’d take a great pitch to get any interest so unless you’re Stephen Spielberg, Jerry Bruckheimer or JJ Abrams in disguise then just saying “I’m a media professional” will count for little.

Not to be too much of a shill for myself, but I did give a presentation about this at the 2010 Blender Conference (starts around 04:30). Perhaps you’ll find it helpful.

Seems a wide range of arguments and advice here. Will be sure to keep this thread on my watchlist.


Thanks for the replies! Well let me first say- I'm not trying to start a movement- just create some movies. :)  I did say that I would post my reel later, but not now. This is wisely due to what has just occurred... A discussion about my work- I don't think I want it to spin into a Blender Nation thing which distracts from the intention of the project- to learn ;) This is not work for free as noone profits from the first films, and all who are working on the feature are reimbursed. This is about step by step, gradually learning to work on a full length feature. 

So to that end… I welcome open discussion about the project and methods for organizing film production- not my qualifications as a producer, because, well… I don’t have any yet! But I do have the skills and dedication to finish the films (the most important role of a producer). There is no obligation to want to be a part of the project, I’m not collecting money, theres no “catch”. Just people who want to go through the process openly and get the experience leading up to a full feature. So maybe it should continue that- like those who already are (Thanks by the way!!), should continue PMing if they’re up for it, and we’ll go from there. I’ll send more information.

Thanks Fweeb for the link…
Michael W- I don’t think any of us will be Spielbergs, but we’re gonna finish some cool movies!
tyrant monkey- Yes it is a lot of work, if enough want to- the project will not disappear- I like finishing things. :slight_smile:

PS- Michael W, and tyrant monkey, BenDansie… took a look at your concept work- I will PM you guys with more details.

It’d take a great pitch to get any interest so unless you’re Ton Roosendaal, Stephen Spielberg, Jerry Bruckheimer or JJ Abrams in disguise then just saying “I’m a media professional” will count for little.

Fixed it for you Mike :wink:

Just curious… are you wanting people to commit to all 8 projects upfront?

Since its for the purpose of ramping up to perform a full feature (64 min.), then it would probably be good to volunteer for all eight if one can.

Dude don’t pm me with anything, I have learnt my lessons with this forum movie business and am not crazy enough to volunteer for one ever again. This already sounds pretty ambitious with few resources to back up that ambition. you need moohlah and lots of it if you want to make good quality movies and talented people who you will pay to do the work.

But for those that want to work for you, you really need to sell them on this idea. You really asking for a lot so I think you should show some of the things you have done before it will go a long way in building confidence in your project.

Rememeber most people will really know nothing about you, and won’t know whether to take you seriously or not.


Not that I wouldn’t (ever) consider working unpaid on a short film, but at this point I’m filtering through ideas for my own solo projects. Pretty sure Michael W is already working on his own short film piece already.

Thats basically why we are suggesting you post some art or visual concepts or previous work - it has to be more gripping and fun than working on my own gear. I’m quite happy to pour hours into Blender projects but they might as well have my own name on them when I finish unless there is an exciting reason to team up with people. Or money to pay for things like rent and candy.

There are a couple of obvious points here that I think you are not alone in failing to consider.

You say you want to learn through the process of doing and assemble a team under you to do these films. Your previous work experience is not applicable because you have never done this before. But you have similar experience that tells you, you can.

However in spite of the fact you’ve never done it before, you fail to consider that part of learning how to do it, is learning how to come here and ask us for help. When you consider that that is about 99.999 percent of your plan, being responsible for rendering really, is not much of a responsibility. Being a leader and a developer of ideas is also not that much of the workload. Regardless if you agree with my conservative estimate of percentage, the bulk of the day to day workload will come from a community involvement. So since it is - fair to say - the majority of the plan, you are failing to consider the biggest obvious point. That is, what do we want?

The most basic question you’d have to ask is. “Do we even want a community open movie?”

And if so, “How would we like to see it come about?”

Assumptions can be forgiven. But on top of that, when it is indicated from us what we want, you negate these very basic requests with all of the reasons why this can not be the case for your project. This can be forgiven too, as long as you level up and realize that you should listen to us if you want our help. This is not because of importance. This is just about the “how to” do it. And good people have spent much time with this in the sticky above this section. Put there for a reason. For you to learn what is expected what will work and what won’t.

And on that note, that is another basic assumption. What will work?

Aside from just asking for help, what is the best way to organize and produce a 3D film?

The thing is there are plenty of talented artists here. There are plenty of people who can give you tips on how to go about this.

If you were to follow these suggestions (also you could just do a search here and print out volumes of information on this subject) then you might have a chance of success. If you don’t you are more or less shooting yourself in the foot.

If you in fact want to do what you say, which is finish and actually do this. Then get off to a good start and begin putting together a plan that takes into account what this community actually will want not what you think it will want coming in. And you’ll find it is just basic common sense.

If you are not able to supply what we want now, maybe now is not the right time to present it. Maybe you can do some homework and come back with a plan based on what we have asked for.

This is in the spirit of helping you to succeed. From my view, the alternative would be to sit here and watch as you crash and burn. Because so many have. And there is no doubt many will fail in the future for the very reasons I outlined here. The question you have to ask is, "what statistic do you want to be a part of? And if you want to succeed, perhaps you might have to change your approach. Just sayin’.

And good luck.

Thanks for the discussion!

 So this is what I needed to know- if it was a viable idea. I didn't mean to offend anyone by contacting them. Actually, the only reason I PM'd was because I LOVED your work. I thought it was really awesome! Tough crowd!

I think it was already mentioned about open projects that there would be plenty of people who want it to succeed, and just as many who want to see it fail. Great fuel to keep it going! So those who are contacting me who want to be a part, please continue and we’ll keep it going.

Thanks all!

I’ll only be answering inquiries by PM concerning the film at this point, but if there is any other suggestions for creating an open film, maybe they should be moved to a thread about “Creating an Open Film”- just a suggestion…

Actually a more accurate statistic would be there are more people that want an open movie to succeed, in fact they far out number the people who are very very few indeed (in this community) who would even conceive of wanting something such as this to fail.

And the number of people who want it to succeed far out-number the people who actually know how to make one succeed, and therefore most of them fail. Not because they get countered by people who don’t want it to succeed.

I think everyone who views these things want them to succeed. Self included. I like seeing projects do well. Unfortunately they don’t often - if ever - originate from this section of the forum. They usually reside humbly in the WIP section.

There are already scores of threads on that subject. Try the search function. Then again the sticky as I said before.

I don’t think there is anyone left with the energy to hash it all out again. We have all said the same things scores of times over and over. Yet these threads pop up as if none of that happened before. Again that is why there is a sticky. It is there for your benefit. So that you don’t have to have people trying to tell you what to do when you post a thread.

Unfortunately, noone ever reads it, or if they do, they figure it does not apply to them. Then they come here and post a thread. And it starts all up again.

Just like Ground Hog Day.

I got you babe.

Scene 7:
Camera: Zooms in to close up of fingers grabbing the thin branch as the man hangs over the cliff.
Man: Must… not… give… up!

OK- I did read as much as I could before posting and tried to follow the procedures, but I’ll check the sticky’s and search for more information. I still think the plan is excellent for learning and is workable. I’ll try to put it into a WIP as a good start.

Thanks again guys!