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Pixar Artists Are Raising Money For A Short—And They’re Not Using Kickstarter

Pixar artists Dice Tsutsumi (art director, Toy Story 3) and Robert Kondo (sets art director, Ratatouille) have announced that they are producing an independent short film. To help raise funds for the production, they are auctioning some of their exploratory sketches on eBay.

The auction serves as a valuable reminder that crowdfunding is not the only way to raise money for a film project. By auctioning their drawings on eBay instead of offering them as rewards on Kickstarter, Tsutsumi and Kondo are avoiding the often stressful task of organizing a major crowdfunding campaign as well as circumventing Kickstarter’s hefty fees, thus ending up with more time and money to devote to their film.

The two artists could yet end up running a crowdfunding campaign. “We may do Kickstarter too if we get man power to set it up in the future,” Tsutsumi wrote on Facebook. “It takes a lot of work to set up [a] successful Kickstarter.” Of course, there’s nothing wrong if they choose to do that. It’s refreshing, however, to see some out-of-the-box thinking that doesn’t treat crowdfunding as the holy grail, but rather as a component of a diversified fundraising effort.

  • shadypotential

    i LOVE Dice’s work. His work in The Art of Toy Story 3 made me get into painting. His work seems so simple and stunning. definitely one of my favorite artists. good luck with the short!

  • jorge verdugo

    I try one time to do an indiegogo but i think is only for famous people
    with a lot of connection

  • DJ

    These are two really talented guys but there’s no way I would pay what they’re asking for for any of the pieces they’ve posted. Maybe I’m just a troglodyte but they don’t seem worth it to me. Good luck to them though, I hope everything goes well.

    • sarah

      $100 for an original artwork sounds reasonable to me, even though it’s more than I can afford.

    • jonhanson

      Art pricing is crazy man, but they’ve all got bids so they obviously know what they’re doing.

    • and this kind of thinking is why sooo many talented artists struggle to make ends meat…

      please explain how years of practice, tons of education fees, and thousands of dollars of supplies for honing their craft, doesn’t make their work worth that much much….

      • DJ

        Because art is sold and priced by the value that the buyer gives it. This is a poor analogy but the point I’m trying to make is that I’d rather buy a cheap $15-$20 bottle of wine than pay hundreds of dollars for some super-distilled, marvelously brewed wine, I can’t tell the difference; wine is wine. I’ve already given acknowledgement to the artists, their record speaks for itself and I’ve no doubt about the years and years of success, failure, and schooling that they’ve spent honing their craft. I’m simply saying that the work doesn’t speak to me. I wouldn’t pay the price that they’re asking for it even though I’m sure there are many others who would and certainly will.

    • mick

      64 quid?!!! bargain! What would you value these original art works at?

  • Carl Russo

    I just did an Indiegogo campaign for my non-animation book project. I only raised half of my goal, but, unlike Kickstarter, I get to keep the money. More important, I came into contact with some of the big-name authors in my field, some of whom agreed to write “advance praise” blurbs for my book.

    I’d recommend Indiegogo for the publicity factor alone. And for animators, you’re getting a chance to display your work at a high-profile site via the pitch video.


  • DawnAllies

    It helps if you’re even remotely known on the internet to try and sell art anywhere to try and fund a project. A lot of the Kickstarter ones are from people who simply don’t have the popularity but want to share the possibility of their idea.

  • Klyph14

    How to raise money for a short without using Kickstarter:

    Establish yourself by working at the most famous cartoon studio, then use that fame and notoriety to promote and sell your art to raise money.

    It’s that simple everyone!

  • Joel

    I’ve never heard of Indiegogo, seems like a great alternative to kickstarter. I’m looking into options for funding a project now as well. It’s definitely harder when you’re not already famous or have a strong online presence. I’m a huge fan of both of these artists, especially Dice. Hope it works out for them.

  • Daniel

    *ouch* it will be hard to raise money through auctioning if the quality of the drawings look like that.. It would probabley be more successful if they sell more of their environment pieces since they are obviously better at that..

  • jonhanson

    Definitely an interesting approach, but it does miss out on the bread and butter of kickstarter funding, the many people who are willing to toss in a few dollars.

  • to my knowledge

    i think they got rid of that rule quite a while ago

  • eman

    why is the without kickstarter important?
    This is just an old way of going about it.

  • I would honestly prefer a kickstarter. Then I could get a small print of one of their works. If I wasn’t a student and had an income, I would love to buy something of theres–the prices in the auction seem reasonable. But not everyone can swing it. At least with a kickstarter, I could give what I can and maybe get a postcard print or something. But I understand them not wanting to spend the time, especially since they have such busy lives. But because they are so prolific in the community, you could almost argue that they wouldn’t have to do as much marketing for a launched Kickstarter. Just as everyone here is saying that their fame is why they don’t need Kickstarter, it’s their fame that would really let them manage a kickstarter without sacrificing much or their own time or the quality.

  • KevinDougherty

    I don’t think Kickstarter is perfect but it’s hard to argue with their track record. I think Cartoon Brew has it in for Kickstarter (and crowd-sourcing) in general and I don’t really understand why.

  • QRT

    Kickstarter takes 5%. If that’s your idea of a “hefty fee,” I hope you never get a good look at your credit card bills.