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Crowdfunding for Homicides: horror series seeks backers

Harley Ogier | Oct. 14, 2013
New Zealander Lewis Roscoe aims to produce “world's first CG animated web horror series”


New Zealand producer, scriptwriter and animator Lewis Roscoe aims to produce the "world's first CG animated web horror series", The Arksville Homicides. We got in touch to ask Roscoe about the technology behind the scenes.

The series is set in the late 1960s, in the fictional American town of Arksville, Pennsylvania. It follows, as the title suggests, a series of homicides that take place in the town. Corrupt officials, organised crime and a satanic cult all conspire to make the manhunt for the killer a difficult one. You know, difficult enough to span a whole series.

Roscoe has been working for the last eleven months on the prologue and teaser for the series.

The aim of the crowdfunding campaign is to raise $10,000 to fund "roughly" 4-6 episodes, in a 20+ episode first season.

Roscoe plans to release one ten-minute episode every four weeks, via "YouTube,, Vimeo and other media formats". When the first season is complete, a DVD will be produced -- pledges of $50 or more include a copy of this DVD as a reward.

Hosted on Indiegogo, the campaign is set up such that Roscoe will receive all pledged funds, even if the $10,000 goal is not met. Thus, the more interested parties chip in, the better the result for all.

The campaign closes on 1 November.

The Indiegogo page provides a breakdown indicating roughly how the funds will be spent, a somewhat rare, but useful and encouraging sight in a crowdfunding campaign.

Projected allocation of crowdsourced funding. From project crowdfunding page (link in text), all image rights to Lewis Roscoe.
Projected allocation of crowdsourced funding. From project crowdfunding page (link in text), all image rights to Lewis Roscoe. Click the pie chart to enlarge.

The Tech
40% of the goal ($4,000) is earmarked for equipment (specifically, 'animation stations') to speed the CG rendering process. Roscoe tells us that, though he's "probably not the ... techiest person when it comes to hardware, at the moment I have an [Intel Core] i5 Quad Core 2400 3.3Ghz with 8GB RAM and an i7 Quad Core 3770 3.9Ghz with 16GB RAM, which share the render load." He aims to get at least another Core i7-based PC to cut the render time down by a third.

Most of Roscoe's PC hardware is purchased from local vendor and system-builder PB Technologies.

In terms of other production hardware, "sound capture is quite easy, you can use an iPhone to record foley sound (post-production sound effects) and clean it up on Audacity". For voice audio, Roscoe uses a desktop microphone with a windshield, and also edits in free software package Audacity.


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