Wednesday, February 05, 2003

status check: kestrel studios

I had a spare 20 minutes today at work and decided to rearrange the hideous mass of papers, artwork, pitch materials and other things that had overwhelmed my desk at Pipeline.

Of course, the debris is not only from Pipeline, but from Kestrel Studios as well. As I moved stuff around (in a futile attempt to organize the chaos) I started looking at what Kestrel had actually accomplished in its almost 2 years of existence (since March 2001, with the launch of The Lost #1).

Why?

Because, from time to time, I believe in assessing exactly how things I'm involved in are doing. And to benchmark success or failure against others in the same space or industry.

When Nikki and I formed Kestrel Studios, our goal was to develop and provide quality content - not just in comics, but in a variety of media. It was (and is) a lofty goal, but something we felt we truly wanted to achieve. Here are some of the things we’ve done, in terms of Content Development:

Print Media

The Lost #1 - Alfar, Alfar, Arre with Bucu, Vergara, Dimaano
The Lost #2 - Alfar, Alfar, Arre with Bucu, Vergara, Dimaano
Ruin - Alonto, Vergara, with Bucu, Alfar, Alfar
Ab Ovo #1 – Alfar, Alfar, Vergara, Bucu, Santos, Garcia, Jamlang
Ab Ovo #2 (Feb 24) – Arre, Banico, Dimaano, Simbulan, Vergara, Bucu, Ibardaloza, Palumbarit, Alfar, Alfar
Stroke #1 – Alfar, Alfar, Magallanes
Stroke #2 (Feb 28) – Alfar, Alfar, Aquino, Jimenez
*The Lost #3 (sigh, this is all done, but financing is hard) – same team

Television & Digital Media

Simeon Rex: The Odyssey Begins (market)
“Codebreaker” TV series (in dev)
“Dreamer” TV series (in dev)
Hinirang fiction

Film & Scripting

film company consultation
scripts for various corporate accounts

Hmmm. Not bad, given that 95% of my time is focused on Pipeline (and now part of my brain will be allocated to Cams and Pipeworx). The comics and books cost an arm and a leg and are true labors of love, and surprisingly the money came in with the animated TV series development (Kestrel was paid for concept, bible, loglines, the works) and the actual scripting (plus my fees as a director during production). So can a livelihood be made from all this? Sure, if you don’t mind the “feast or famine” reality of things.

I want to publish more, though: KC Strange, The Lost, The Strong, Cuentos du Hinirang, Tales of Southern Stars, plus a book of my plays. And Kestrel will, somehow, though with a slower pace.

But still, being a literal “Mom & Pop” operation (with a lot of outsourcing) and having modest success doing something we like is enough to keep us going. And of course, the wonderful thing is that a lot of our friends have similar "studio-esque" set-ups that allow us to work with other either gratis or for professional fees, depending on the project: Arnold and Cynthia at Tala Studios, Jason at Dynatica Comics, Marco with MAD, Carl with Carver House, Vin with QuestVentures, Noel with Flim, Teret with Glue, and so on.

So is it possible to put out a comic book? Yes. But make sure it's written well. Pretty pictures are pretty, but content is king.

A magazine? Yes. Book? Yes. Website? Yes. TV series concept? Yes.

Just think it through and find a way. We've been doing it for a almost two years.

Two years in March.

Imagine that.


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