SEED UPDATE: LOTS GOING ON!
Wow. I almost don’t even know where to begin. Well, I suppose the best place to start is by saying a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all of our SEED supporters. You guys have been wonderful. We’ve had about 500 people step up to the plate and show their appreciation for all the hard work I’ve put into the thousands of pages worth of blog content, books and websites I’ve authored, the over 500 videos I’ve uploaded (most between 1 and 3 hours in length) and the hundreds of radio shows I’ve done since 2010. All of that is on-line for FREE. So, I recently put out an “ask” to my 186,000+ YouTube subscribers basically saying, “Is all of that work worth at least a one time gift of $30 to you? If so, go here…” Many responded, with a YES. And we started receiving contributions from that ask. Most contributed something between $3 and $100. And some signed up for monthly support. But we also had a small handful of people who each gave a substantial amount of money toward the project (you know who you are – THANK YOU!!). Whether small or great, all of it adds up and we want you to know it has been greatly appreciated and every dime will be going toward this project. Within a short period of time, we exceeded our initial crowd-funding goal of $150,000. So, where’s all that money going?
Well, the funds have been divided up into four different projects based on the wishes of each donor. Most contributed toward the TV series, but some contributed toward the video game and some toward the comic book. We have separate bank accounts for each project, and the funds went into the appropriate projects based on the wishes specified by the donor. This has enabled me to really get the ball rolling on several things at once. I’ll start from the smallest budget item and move on toward the biggest…
The SEED Fiction Novel
Last year, I hired a writer named Christopher Whitestone to turn the first TV script into a novel. He completed his first draft almost a year ago now. Since then, I’ve been editing it and using it as a foundation for the comic book and even adding some new stuff to the TV scripts. We’re holding off on publishing that just yet because I want to make sure all of the projects are in agreement with each other, so that they compliment and work together in a synergistic fashion. Sometimes while working on one project, ideas feed into the others and vice versa. So, it will be a while before that is ready for publication as I need to get the comic book caught up to the same material. This leads us to…
The SEED Comic Book
As of today (9/23/19), we are about 4 pages away from completion on our first issue and I have to say, I could not possibly be happier with the results. I’m working with two artists: Yeysson Bellaiza from Venezuela and Anthony de Zayas from Spain. These guys are amazing. Click on the thumbnail pic to the right to enlarge a sample of one of the most recent pages they just sent me (minus the dialogue):
Once this comic book is finished (as of today, we are about 4 pages away from completion), the next thing we will be doing is restarting our Audio Drama production. We will do a dramatized version of the comic book narrative, with sound FX and music – the whole deal – just like what we did back in 2014. Stay tuned for opportunities in that regard. Once completed, we will then have three products: the comic book, the Audio Drama and the audio comic book (app). We’re really excited about all of this.
The SEED Video Game
OK. With this one, things have switched gears a bit. We had been working on a different game a few years ago that got put on hold due to lack of funds. Then, another project came up for the guys I was working with (Tony Martin and Justin Elms) and it has the potential backing of a few other ministries. This second project is called Noah VR and yes, the VR stands for Virtual Reality. It was originally meant as a teaching tool regarding Noah’s Ark and the Flood. Then, we started talking about turning it into a game – and doing so in a way that would have a tie-in to SEED. I’m not going to mention what that tie-in is here though. You’ll have to wait for the game to see for yourself. 🙂 Suffice it to say, I came up with a storyline and certain elements of the plot for this game that are directly linked to the three-part Pilot Episode for the SEED TV series. As I’ve stated many times before, SEED is “fact-based fiction” and it deals heavily with Biblical themes. What Biblical theme is most recognized all over the world? The Great Flood of Noah. So, it’s the perfect place to start with epic possibilities. I’ve got about $10,000 currently invested in the programming of it, and soon we’ll be releasing a video Trailer explaining what we’ve done so far and what still needs to be done in order to complete the project. Needless to say, we’re very excited about all of this, so stay tuned for more on that as things develop!
The SEED TV Series
It was apparent that we needed a new SEED Production Office. So, I’ve leased a descent sized space (slightly bigger than the one I had before) in a much better environment. I liked my old office, but it was much more corporate. The building I’m in now has way more of “creative vibe” to it. People came to work in the other building in dress shirts and ties. In this building, it’s far more casual. It’s run by Christians and many of the clients are in various creative arts, so there is much more potential for in-house collaboration.
We’ve already started having professional meetings there (working on script writing and brainstorming character/season arcs, etc.) and it is proving to be a very nice place to do business. This is also where we’ll be recording the Audio Drama.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, SEED is now going to be made as a photo-realistic CGI based project. So, I’ve also used some of the funds that have come in for the TV series to do some major upgrades on my existing computer system:
CURRENT COMPUTER SPECS:
MSI X99A Gaming 7 motherboard
Intel Core i7-6800K CPU @ 3.40GHz, 3401 MHz, 6 Cores, 12 Logic Processors
128 GB RAM
2 GeForce RTX 2080Ti GPUs with SLI bridge
So, this is now my “beefed up” home computer. It’s enough to do most of the work I’ll be doing from there. But I’m going to be building a real monster for my SEED office computer. Probably a mini-render farm too, now that I’ve actually got the budget for it. This is the set up I have in mind for that:
The hardware is all actually INSIDE this auto-riser desk system. So, it would have my primary working computer and the render farm side-by-side, all contained inside the desk itself. This is the motherboard I’m considering too…
The reason for all of this hardware upgrading is because of the recent 3D/CGI software purchases I’ve also made:
This is in addition to the software I’ve already been using for some time now: DAZ3D and Poser. Here are some videos showing what can be done with this suite of software (click on the title heading to learn more about each):
I have used Poser the longest, and only recently began using DAZ3D as it seems to play well with the above software. Using DAZ3D, I created CGI versions of the 3 main characters in the first comic book issue:
Prior to making the hardware upgrades to my computer (mainly the graphics cards), these renders took forever. Now with the new upgrades, these only took a few minutes. After doing these characters, I wondered if I could create a 3D version of myself (about 10 years younger to play one of the parts in SEED). After messing around with the software for a few days, this was what I was able to create:
While not a perfect representation, I have to say, it’s pretty darn close. So, I’m happy with what I am currently able to do, keeping in mind that I’ll only get better the more I use it.
So after I realized I could create the SEED characters myself, I started to look for an FX house that could take my characters and really do some high quality animations with them. Well, last week (9/17), I had a video conference call with my friend Morné Theunissen and two other guys who work in the SPFX industry in South Africa. During the conversation, I committed to a budget that I really didn’t actually have. Basically, I was taking a step of faith, believing that I would be able to get the rest of it, when it came time to do so. Well, a couple of hours after that conversation I checked my PO Box and someone (you know who you are – THANK YOU!) had sent me the EXACT amount I had committed to that morning! YHWH is so good and faithful! So, I sent these models of Lt. Caine and his Grumman TBF Avenger airplane to the South African SPFX house to begin testing:
Now nothing has been finalized just yet, but I’m currently in dialogue with Morné to contract with these guys for turning my first SEED comic book issue into a photo-realistic 3D animated short (which will actually serve as the Teaser for Episode 1 of the TV series). This is a demo reel of the guy/team I’ll be working with if everything goes well:
Needless to say, I’m extremely excited about the quality of this team and and very hopeful that we can work together to finally get SEED off the ground in terms of the TV series production. So, please be praying with us that everything works out and that these guys are in fact able to pull off this level of quality for the budget I currently have to work with.
Alright. That about brings us up-to-date on what’s been going on with SEED! Stay tuned for more as things develop. In the meantime, if you are as excited about all of this as we are and would like to help make this thing really take off, please consider making a contribution to the project. We really appreciate your support.