“First Cycle” is the first 10 minutes of the free and open source episodic film.
Blender Institute has released the first segment in a new episodic open source animation feature film. “Cosmos Laundromat: First Cycle” tells the story of Franck, a suicidal sheep who lives on a desolate island. He meets his fate in a quirky salesman, who offers him the gift of a lifetime. Little does he know that he can only handle so much lifetime…
The “Cosmos Laundromat” project started in 2014 as an experimental feature film in which an adventurous and absurdist love story gets told by multiple studios – each working in their own unique style. The project was initiated by Blender Foundation to improve animation production pipelines with the free and open source 3D software Blender. Based on the results of a crowd-funding campaign in Spring 2014, the Blender Institute in the Netherlands decided to first work on a pilot.
The opening of Cosmos Laundromat, the 10-minute pilot called “First Cycle”, now has been released for the public on the web. In the past weeks it had successful preview screenings in the EyeFilm cinema in Amsterdam; at Siggraph in Los Angeles; and in the Presto Theatre at the Pixar campus in Emeryville, California. The official theatrical premiere will be at the Netherlands Film Festival in September. The film has been nominated for the prestigious Jury Prize of the Animago festival in Berlin.
New episodes will depend on audience feedback and additional funding. Recurring revenues will be expected to be generated via the Blender Institute’s subscription system “Blender Cloud,” which gives access to all of the source data that was used to make the film. New episodes are also meant to be made using free and open source software only, sharing the entire works with the audience, free to use, free to remix and free to learn from.
Ton Roosendaal, producer and director of Blender Institute, spent a week in Los Angeles presenting Blender and the film project. “The reception we had was fabulous, especially from artists who work in the animation industry. They totally dig the sophisticated story build up, the high quality character animation and the amazing visuals. And most of all they root for us to become a success, because we are proving there is independent animation production possible outside of the film business with its restrictive distribution and licensing channels.”