I am pretty excited today because I finally get to announce Season 2 of the Ctrl+Alt+Del Animated Series.
Back in late 2005, I announced our first season of animated shorts, which launched in February 2006 and ran for 12 months. The first season was, and continues to be, a success, now on DVD as well as Xbox Live. However it was the first time a webcomic had been animated in this fashion, and for both myself and the team at Blind Ferret Entertainment, it was our first time tackling a project like this. So in that regard it was a gigantic learning process for all of us, and while the first season was well received, it also had the fair share of flaws that come with trying something completely new.
After the first season ended in January 2007, we opted to not launch right into the second season, as had been originally planned. Instead we stepped back from the project for a while to examine what we had learned, the audience feedback, and what we could do to improve the overall process. So that when we came back to the table later that year, we had a better idea of what we were getting into with Season 2, and what type of pre-planning would help us achieve our goals. So after some very long talks, last fall we began working on Season 2.
One of the big problems we faced with our first season was the schedule we set ourselves on from the start. The episodes ended up taking the whole month to complete, so that when they were finally done, it was time to release them. We didn’t really have a lot of wiggle room to go back and make changes and alterations, because our deadline was up. It was really frustrating for all involved, so that was one of the first issues we addressed. We determined that in order to give ourselves plenty of time get the episodes right, just how we wanted them, we needed an adequate buffer. So we started working way in advance this time around, in order to have three episodes fully completed before the first one launches this spring. That way we’re ahead of the curve.
Another hurdle we faced was that the animation studio we were using was in New Hampshire. Not that there’s anything wrong with New Hampshire, I love New Hampshire. Except I live in Connecticut and the Blind Ferret team lives in Canada. So our ability to be hands-on with the episodes as they progressed was extremely limited. Blind Ferret Entertainment has now built an entire in-house animation team, so not only do we have more direct control over the animation, but we can produce better animation more cost effectively. Which in turn means longer episodes for you guys. On top of that, thanks to a very handy system, I personally am able to be far more involved in the animation process than I ever was before. Instead of seeing new dailies (updates on the scenes as they progress) every 3-4 days, I now see them every evening, and can make notes and changes before the animation gets so far that it’s a huge ordeal to fix.
Overall our goal for Season 2 is to improve episode quality over the season, as the animation team gets used to drawing my characters, and receives more direction from both myself and Randy and Ryan at Blind Ferret. We’ll be doing a lot more action and parodies with this season as well, and from the work I’ve seen so far, I’m already far happier with the animation quality, and I feel confident it will only improve over time.
We made a few casting changes as well. We’ve hired new voice talent for Ethan, who I feel fits the character even better, as well as new voices for Lilah and Zeke.
Season 2 is expected to launch in March, and as we did last time, we’re offering an “early subscriber’s” deal. If you sign up between now at February 1st, not only do you get all 12 episodes of Season 2 as they are released for a mere $19.99, but you also get immediate access to all 12 episodes of Season 1 as well. In February the season price goes up to $24.99, and after March it will be $29.99.
Episodes will be available in Quicktime, WMV, as well as new Ipod versions. And Season 2 will be offered with Closed Captions this time, right from the start.
So sign up now and get all sorts of Ctrl+Alt+Del Animated goodness for the next year!