The Blender Institute has scaled back plans for Project Gooseberry, its proposed feature-length animated ‘open movie’, after its crowdfunding campaign failed to raise its €500,000 ($640,000) startup costs.
At time of writing, with a day officially remaining in the campaign, the sum raised stood at just over $380,000.
If everyone who has signed up for a monthly subscription stays signed on for the full 18 months, that total will rise to $890,000 – over twice the previous highest sum raised for a crowdfunded animation project, but still far short of the estimated €3.5 million ($4.9 million) needed to complete the movie.
Not enough support for a feature film – yet
In his campaign wrap-up, Blender Foundation chairman Ton Roosendaal commented: “The conclusion is clear: there’s not enough support to make a feature film. Yet!”
Instead, a scaled-down team – including staff at the Blender Institute, but minus the 12 international partner studios scheduled to work on the project – will complete a pilot for release as a standalone short next summer.
The accompanying development work on new cloud and asset-management features for Blender will also continue as planned.
A pilot for now: the full movie may resume later
If the pilot attracts enough additional interest from sponsors or potential distributors, work on the full animated feature will resume; otherwise, the Institute will just “happily move on to [its] next project”.
Anyone who has pledged money will be able to get a refund, but Roosendaal is calling for subscribers to stay on board to help produce the project in its scaled-down form.
Judging by the comments at the foot of the blog post, most people are.