Paradigm Shift

MCMThursday, May 8, 2003
This post is from a version of my blog with inconsistent timestamps: evidently I was very good at defining 'modified' dates, but not 'created' dates. As such, I can't be sure when the content was actually written. Sorry!

Where we go from here is not set in stone. There are few things we're working on, and in the interests of transparency, I'm going to lay them out here see where we go. To cash in on a partially-applicable term, we are going to try to make Dustrunners an open source animated series production.

I don't want Dustrunners to die. I've thought about it a lot, and while there have been times I've cursed the day I thought of asteroid piracy, I still want it to work. I am dedicating as much time as humanly possible to this project so that it can survive. But rather run it myself, I want to get your help too.

What I envision is a stupidly-democratic way of working a production. Dustrunners, as a project, will be free to community development. Issues like casting, styles, designs and the like will be debated and voted on in articles like this. The direction of the show will be dictated by the people who have the most invested in it: the viewers.

Now I know the next thing you're thinking is that it makes no sense to participate in a project for a private company, because in the end the costs are going to be spread among the free contributors, and the profits will go... well...

But stop right there, because you missed the important part of the term: Open Source Animated Series Production. I would like to open the business of running Dustrunners to the community as well. Balance the costs of producing with the rights of the contributors, with the desire for cheap content. How to handle file-sharing and intellectual property rights, not from a theoretical standpoint, but actually as a producer of a media product. How well do ideals mix with your feeling of responsibility for those who helped make the show? It's an issue I grappled with a lot, but I'm interested in seeing where it goes under the control of a community.

Now there are two or three issues to cover off at this, the first blurting of the idea:

  • The intellectual property rights for Dustrunners remain the property of Idyllings. There is more to this issue which I'd like to discuss later, but for now we will stick with the default.
  • As the creators of Dustrunners, Spin and I would like to claim 10 or 15 special credits to let us bypass the community-voting system on specific issues. For instance, we'd choose Cyril to do 3D. Now, truthfully, we aren't going to use these things willy-nilly... think of them as creators' prerogatives.
  • The storylines for the series will not be open. After much contemplation, I realized there's no fun in everyone knowing where you're going next in a series. If you've seen Alias, you'll know what I mean. The fun is knowing that you don't know, and so in that regard, the veil of secrecy should remain over the show.

Now keep in mind, this is my initial idea. Get used to this format... it's like a brain fart on a page. Through the comments below we should shape this idea into something workable, and then hopefully get a mission statement and general contract between Idyllings and the community, goveing how we do business in the future.

Tear it apart, if you will.

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