Open or closed?

by - 2012/03/02 97 Comments Production

In a previous post people mentioned they’d hate it if we would give too much away here. I realize there’s a certain level of fun getting a surprise when you watch a film. However, this is also a making-of blog… so how will we balance sharing here? Here’s a couple of suggestions to promote more openess for Mango than previously for Durian/Peach/Orange.

1) Organize external help

If we want help from the outside world again, we should be able to talk about what we’re making, right? For example, we can really use help with props again (real ones and cg ones).We will have complicated vfx challenges to tackle as well – not only in smoke/fire sim and with fracture. Discussions and reviews – what to film in a studio, what to do on a film set in town, and what we’ll rely on to do “in post”- would be great to share here with an audience too.

2) There’s a lot of fun to share

We are going to talk to the costume designer, there’s going to be a casting stage – and we’d like to introduce the characters here – and we’ll do filming on public locations (and will also allow visitors on the set). We will be doing storyboading, animatics, test renders, experiments… if we have to think twice before sharing anything the threshold for posting here will get higher and it’ll result in only very few posts.

3) Low posting threshold = more involvement = less frustrating crits

I think that a higher level of openess here will also work very well for the team. During Sintel, the quite critical blog following we had was often spoiling the fun and interest to post here. We should be able to post unfinished work-in-progress here without immediately getting flooded with (constructive but) negative reactions. I think that can best be tackled by posting much more, allowing followers here to track actual progress and get involved in the process that way.

4) Process of film making is coolest thing ever!

The process of making a film is much (much!) more rewarding than watching it; even when you can only witness it from the outside. Also when you already know everything (like me), it is stil a mystery how the film will actually look or work in 6 months from now. This is a gradual process of small steps during a long period… and actually we only know if it works in front of an audience in a theatre!  Further, even though I’ve seen ED, BBB and Sintel like a 1000 times, I can still enjoy watching it. Having seen it grow and come to existence only makes watching it more interesting. Every time.

Realize that you already knew the story of a lot of movies you’ve enjoyed. Lord of the Rings, Titanic, TinTin, etc. Did it spoil the fun? Wasn’t it much cooler to watch how the filmmakers solved things in the end?

Anyway! Feedback welcome :) The team will be arriving today and tomorrow, and after next week we should together make a good decision on what to keep hidden, and what to share. Personally I think we could share much more than we did for Sintel. Just not the final edit and script itself.


  1. Gianmichele says:

    I agree with you about the open nature of the project. Having said that I think that you really have to keep the final twist of the project wrapped. It’s good to know casting, location filming and everything, just don’t spoil how the story ends.

  2. Gizmo says:

    I love watching the process of a film evolve and with Sintel you really got a sense of problem/solution approach. I hope this continues with Mango. That said I did think it harsh some of the negative crits that were said about WIP’s, after all it was a work in progress. If people don’t want spoiler’s then don’t follow the blog or have some sort of spoiler alert warning.

  3. Aaron says:

    I agree with what you’re saying.

    Seeing the journey you guys go through can, and will, help to further appeciate the final result. As well as being an interesting look into how a Sci-Fi film can be put together, any difficulties you overcome, etc.

    I agree that the final edit and script shouldn’t be shared until the actual viewing. Any plot twists and things of this nature would also be best kept ‘secret’ too. As you mentioned; we all like surprises! ;)

    On the whole, I think those who do not wish to know details of the film should either take care as to the posts they choose to read or not follow the blog at all.

    I never had a chance to follow the Sintel blog (late to the Blender game), so I’ll be following this one passionately. I also don’t wish to know too much of the film, but I’d still like to follow the development process and see how the project unfolds.

  4. JG Loquet says:

    OPEN !

    Following such a project from the beginning would be
    so much fun and very instructive !

    Really looking forward to following this one as I’m
    particularly interesed in VFX, please share as much as
    you feel possible !


  5. Dusty says:

    You could use spoiler code on your website like that you see in forums from time to time.
    Worpress has a plug-in for it I think.

    It would enable transparency for those who want to know it all and leave surprise for the rest of us who have good willpower. ;)

  6. Tobias says:

    I wouldn’t mind if you shared everything. Maybe have two blogs/pages. One like the previous projects, and one where there a spoilers all over the place. Maybe even have a dedicated IRC channel for mango where the artists can ask for help and so on. Maybe you could even share the meeting protocols (or video record them?) as you do with the dev meetings.

  7. gustav says:

    I agree with Tobias. I see no problem in sharing more or all information in less official/obvious channels. The movie would still be suprise for those who not actively seek to contribute to the project… win win, since involvment would help make a better movie.

  8. Morten says:

    Having insight in an exiting process is intresting and educational. But I hate spoilers! And I would not like to know hove everyting looks inn advance.

    If you choose to do so anyway, it would cool if you would put it in a subcategory called “Spoilers”. I promise not to peek…

  9. Manollo says:

    @ tobias and gustav,
    I think the main purpose of the project is to make a open movie and share it with us… not open 2 blogs in the same time, and think every days about : “can we share this news on this bog or this one ?”.

    Or maybe, Mango could be the first closed-open-movie in the world ^^

  10. Ben Dansie says:


    It wouldn’t really be two blogs. If something was story related, or related to the last 2 minutes or whatever, you just add a flag to warn people then write away as usual. I like this idea as the artists can write whatever they feel comfortable sharing and people who don’t want to spoil the ending can read the blog along with those who don’t mind either way.

    One memory I have from Durian is the publically viewable SVN logs of our work. Obviously we had to commit files for the end of the film, but couldn’t write ‘fight scene with Scales’ and such.

    As a result, we artists of varying amounts of sleep started posting things like “Revision 2365: Committed world peace. Should solve multiple issues.” Which was fun, but not all that useful when we had to find a certain revision that broke a rig or hair rendering. A spolier tag or section or whatever would help take one more thing off the artists minds.

    • Manollo says:

      @ Ben,
      Good point for you. Just a Spoiler tag could be a good idea.
      As the time of Mango artists is preserved for really important stuffs, and having pleasure to share with us :)

  11. Anders says:

    Please be as open as possible. I would love to join a blender foundation project some day, so the next best thing would be to get to go behind the scenes along the way.

    Maybe just have a little sign saying “SPOILERS” at the top of a post if it contains spoilers.

    Another cool thing would be to have a webcam from time to time, showing an overview of the people working and/or one guy and his computer. I heard about some game studio doing this for a game.

  12. ShoePie says:

    Each project shared a little more than the last so hopefully this will continue without giving too much away. And any discarded edits of green screen footage could be fun for us to play with, even if you mute the audio.

  13. Bjo&Cie says:

    Yeah ! Of course OPEN !
    But a « Spoilers » category (or like ) is a good idea.

  14. Daniel says:

    I think the best compromise is to have blog posts which reveal significant parts of the plot start with a spoilers warning (and you have to click the continue button to read the rest of the post).
    I hope no one would get too upset if the plot was given away a bit unintentionally. I would prefer more posts and learn a little more than I would like about the plot than have the blog turn stale.

    Could you still keep a scene or 2 super-secret however? So even those following the development closely have a surprise and something unexpected to look forward too.

  15. Tobias says:

    I’d like to see as much as possible.

  16. Brandon Hix says:

    I agree with a lot of the suggestions here for ideas on how to keep this project as OPEN AS POSSIBLE. Surprises are fun, but come on this is a production blog, if you don’t want to know the ins and outs of the film you bought, then don’t follow the production blog! I also agree that a good solution would be to have like collapsable boxes which contain more sensitive info during blog posts which are hidden by default. That way the user can decide whether or not to read up on spoiler info.

    As a pre-sale customer for Sintel as well as this film, I feel i’m not just paying for a short film on dvd with some tutorials, but also the privilege of being involved in all the intricate details of a short film from afar. And to do that I think the more we all know the more we can all help out and become involved in helping the team to produce something that we all can be extremely proud and excited about.

    You wouldn’t keep the feature list for the development side of Blender a secret just because you wanted to surprise the community, so I don’t think you should do it for the rest of the production either. Again if people don’t wish to know all the ins and outs of the story then either don’t follow the production blog or create a way to keep the info hidden for those who want to be surprised.

    Thanks again for the update!

  17. Payton says:

    I agree with the low posting threshold idea. I don’t care what it looks like, bad spelling, or anything. I just wan’t to see what you guys are up to. I would love to see a LOT about the visual effects and how you pull them off.

  18. Miquel says:

    Agree with Brandon Hix: keep it open, this is a production blog for an open film project.

    I’m sure you can skimp a bit on detailing any big twists, but err on the side of disclosure because I’ll have forgotten them by the time the film is out anyway.

  19. J. says:

    The relative secrecy on Sintel had a good reason, as the ending was very suprising and emotional.
    But on Mango I almost know for sure that the after the big fight the two protoganists will kiss! :D

    Filming at public locations in downtown Amsterdam:
    What about set security and crowd control?
    You don’t want staring bystanders in your frame + you got very expensive equipment out the open.

  20. Peter Houlihan says:


    If people don’t want to know anything about it they don’t have to read the blog.

    Maybe split the blog? Into a “taster” blog and an “in depth” blog?

  21. Tobias says:

    If I want to see a movie without knowing anything about the ending and so on, I go to the cinema and watch a random movie. If I want a shallow description of how a film was made, i rent/buy a random movie and watch the extras. But if I reeeaaally want to follow a movie production from beginning to end, and maybe even help out a couple of hours once in while, where do I go then? I think that that place should be the mango blog/irc/twitter what ever. :-) I could even pay 10-20 € extra besides the dvd to get that extra real time contents/experience, a small chance to get my art/opinion into the film.

  22. Boris says:

    Open :) I agree with Gianmichele only the ending of the story should be a secret.

  23. Calum Knott says:


    Id love to be able to watch the project progress, as if i was actually sitting in the office :)

  24. Evan says:

    Leave it open please.
    I love watching the process of creating a movie, as I learn a lot from the mistakes and successes that you have.
    If I didn’t want to know this information and I wanted to be surprised when the movie was released, I can simply unsubscribe from this blog and not visit it. Problem solved.

    Thanks for asking!

  25. Andy says:

    Progress updates would be great – I check back regularly. Really helpful to see workflow posts. Also opens up potential for crowdsourcing for needs (extra modeling etc?) or advice from the community on key questions. Tricky to manage constructive criticism but in the end I imagine it would make the project stronger. Keep up the good work

  26. roofoo says:

    Why not just put SPOILER ALERT before certain posts so people who don’t want to find out can skip them? That seems reasonable to me.

  27. kubeczek77 says:

    open ;)

  28. JosmicBlend says:

    I like this quote-
    “The process of making a film is much (much!) more rewarding than watching it”
    That’s exactly how I feel when I’m making an animated short!

  29. Lars Brubaker says:

    I think you should definitely show as much as possible, including final plot twists and edits. I would like to justify this with one anecdotal personal story, and one scientific study. First the science:

    It seems as though people like stories more when they know them in advance.

    And now a personal story. For many years I have tired to follow the creation of any movie that I’m interested in as deeply as possible. My reasoning has been; the movie is only 2 hours long but the creation goes on for months. I get months of enjoyment our of the movie, even if the final film is bad!

    I’ve experience the same thing with games. I have built video games for many many years and have always enjoyed the process of creation more than the process of consumption.

    I believe that fundamentally this blog is for the people who want to follow and enjoy the creation. I, for one, can’t wait! :)

    Thank you so much for making these movies.

    • ian says:

      Ah, that link is super interesting! I agree; every film is such a crazy ball of human effort that if you know enough about the story behind it, it’s almost impossible to not enjoy it (for me, anyway).

    • David Jordan says:

      I was just thinking about this article in regards to the discussion here. I do think that the spoilability of a film can vary greatly. A mystery novel or any story which is greatly impacted by a major twist nearer the end obviously can suffer from a key spoiler. Other kinds of stories seem fresh even though we already know the story going in. Being surprised by certain things is one way to enjoy a story, and appreciating how something known actually happens is another.
      Personally I would like OPEN sharing, except for certain twists if there are any, and spoiler tags for major plot points so people who don’t want them can avoid them. Share it all, but just give a little warning for anyone who wants to check up on you guys but wants to be surprised at the end.

    • Bailey says:

      As an avid movie creator and enthusiast, I wholeheartedly agree that one should seek to derive as much enjoyment as possible out of an upcoming movie. I also have a personal story: Last year I strove to enjoy as much content as possible leading up to the movie Sucker Punch. I had a great time watching and reading about it. In the end I didn’t like most of the movie, and it wasn’t anything like I had hoped it would be. However, I sure had fun anticipating it. Now imagine if I hadn’t sought out the content. I wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun in my life.

      On a second note, there are thousands of movies that I can go see in the theater to enjoy solely as a consumer. I come to the Blender project because it is unique. It’s the one place I can watch the entire process from beginning to end. Don’t be like all of the other movies out there. There’s plenty of those. So, stay open and keep it up! Love this stuff. :)

  30. Jon says:


    The more you share = The bigger the crew (around the world)

  31. matthew/mofx says:

    I’d say as open as you can be without giving away to much of the story line. I think with this years project there are a lot of new production techniques that we have not seen before. Tracking, compositing, matte extension, etc. I would love to see how you go about accomplishing these things, but I don’t want to know to much about the story.

    Also can anyone say another “Model Sprint” sorry kinda bias on that. Super, excited to see this come together.

  32. Nicholas Rishel says:

    The most interesting thing about Blender and Blender Institute’s open movie projects is that they are built in such a way as to let those who wish to be educated in making respective projects may learn from the resources made open to them. Keep the information coming, but focus it to things that will help us become movie makers. :)

  33. Jonathan says:

    I like the way you are looking at it Ton. I am extremely excited about the constant stream of updates. Thank you!

  34. nezumi says:

    I guess if somebody dont want to know some things/spoilers may simply do not enter MAKING-OF BLOG (*sigh* really? It needs explanation?..) till premiere. Simple as that.

  35. The ultimate fun in watching a movie is, well, watching the movie itself! There is so much more in the finished work than in all pieces of information you could hand out before, what with the plot, acting, directing, cinematography, editing, compositing, sound design, music and whatnot all coming together in one, final experience. It´s not like you could ever spoil that by giving away too much of the plot or the details. This film will (I strongly expect) not live off one piece of plot-twisting that you could spoil. And on top of that there is the excitement of what you guys can possibly pull off by just doing it, making this movie. It´s a total inspiration to see your process, how you make things possible, in itself and in relation to what the end result will be.
    Second: Blender is a community effort, and filmmaking in general is a team effort, and in an open movie project like this it can come together. There is so much knowledge out there in the blender community, people are eager to see this come together and want to participate. If you need help, have a question, need renderpower or want opinions to work out a workflow, just post it here and you´ll be flooded with responses. It would be a loss not to tap this resource!
    And whoever really wants to be totally surprised should exercise some self-discipline and stay away from the blog!
    I, for one, want to read as much about this project as your time allows you to post, and in depth and in detail! Thank you so much for doing all this!

  36. crowline says:

    totally open! you can flag spoiler-ish content, and people who dont want to know dont have to follow the blog/view the spoilers.

  37. Xavier says:

    Open EVERYTHING … All steps, story even, but only for the first third of the movie ! There will be plenty to show, and plenty to discover.

  38. LOGAN says:

    I vote “OPEN”. The process is very interesting and I know the urge to share that comes from a creative process. And negative crits on work-in-progress is made by people with a passion from their product. So if you want to gather feedback from a production blog, use someone which is not close to the production to filter out the important feed back so you guys don’t have to read through all positive and negative reactions. But just compiling a list of praise is good for morale but, hey, you all know it’s gonna be good.

    There’s gonna be the good, the bad and the ugly. But you should not care about the individual bad reactions. Take the critiques that are important. 1000s of people will mean 1000s of opinions. So not be open because of opinions is a bad idea.

    But what about spoilers? Well, a blog can never replace the finished movie. But people would like much info. In the end it will not be the negative reactions or spoilers that will slow the posts but the time pressure.

    I wonder if daily blog posts will keep coming, but I surely hope so. And if there’s enough posts, people won’t have time to linger around one post they think needs improving and discussing how things could or would have been better.

  39. sozap says:

    I agree with most of people here, the more open is the better. And with spoiler warning so people have the choice.
    One goal of these open movies is to test and improve blender, so I’m very interested in seeing how you do things and to learn from you. Not only with blender related parts, but also in the process of making a movie in general. I always find it very inspiring. I think these open movies have something special, it’s also a lot of educational material . Anyway thank you for what you’re doing, everytime it’s going better and better !

  40. Jan the Freeze says:

    Post everything but the script and the complete storyboard.
    Forget the spoiler warning.If you give us the script we will bother you with our interpretations and opinions on a thing that is locked anyway. Let us try to puzzle the film together with what you give us. Fierce critique will follow anyway. There is an army of pixelneukers out there just begging for your fist renders to tear apart! Enjoy it!

  41. Greg Zaal says:

    As long as there’s some spoiler warning (with even an expanding paragraph/images) then I’m happy :)

  42. Pete says:

    I am interested in any detail I could get on the the film. My vote is clearly on open!

  43. dagobert says:

    Closed. work on the movie first. good luck.

  44. Piotr Adamowicz says:

    I don’t mind spoilers. Come on. It’s a film about VFX and robots! How much can you possibly spoil it? I’d rather get more updates and more info.

  45. Danny says:

    OPEN! Keep us up to date, but don’t throw any spoilers like plots or actions. It’s nice to see what the team is creating, like a screenshot. But don’t show everything. Keep it open, but surprise us.
    Oh, and by the way. I’m very excited what the team will create in the first week!

  46. Andre Ittner says:

    I love see news

  47. Guido says:

    Ton, I agree with you in all 4 points!

    I love to see the film evolving in every aspect. And it’s absolutely OK if you do not reveal every detail (e.g. the end) of the story. But blender-specific and vfx-specific (intermediate) results, discussions and decisions would be great to share:-)

  48. Please keep as much of the production as open as possible without giving away those parts of the story that provide the final twist. In this, of course depending on the script, you might actually be able to create even more interest around the story as people would be able to speculate as to where it’s all leading to in the end. For example, the story in Sintel was beautifully constructed in that it wouldn’t have made a difference even if a large part of the story and production had been completely open from the very beginning.

    The Blender Foundation basically gave birth to the concept of the open movie production. The more living documentation there is of the whole process from beginning to the end, the better the world is for anybody wanting to learn the trade or improve the pipeline.

    In the end, regardless of what you decide. Just make a great movie and enjoy the experience! :)

  49. JCarterFan says:

    The more info, the better. The Blender foundation is all about openness and sharing of information. The purpose of the blog should be to provide instruction and insight into the complete process of making the film, so that others can use that information in their own productions. For those who don’t want spoilers, DON’T GO TO A WORK IN PROGRESS BLOG. Ideally, I’d like to see every meeting, no matter how small or inconsequential, video recorded and posted. If it were physically possible (I know it isn’t) I’d like every artist to be streaming live video of their desktops to the web, and recording it so that particularly interesting bits could be posted later. At least, it would be good for the artists to post videos of SOME of their process- narration might be nice, but it would be enough to have keypresses and mouse clicks displayed onscreen.

  50. Another Daniel says:


    I agree with the gist of everything already said. The more open the production is, the more fun it will be to enjoy this fascinating story of an movie coming to life.

    When I read books, I hate spoilers. But for movies it’s different – the reasons are already well explained above. So I agree to the solution of an spoiler warning system. It is important that there will be something like a button that has to be pressed before one can see anything telltale.

    Thinking further, there could even be a multiple-level warning system – like “spoiler” and “end-of-story”. For the artists it would stay as simple as tagging the article with one of these special categories. And the readers would be able to choose the level of secrecy.

    I personally want to have the deepest possible insight into the movie creation process and I’m sure that even with the most open blog possible the team will have kept some surprise secret in the end. Let’s be surprised!

    Have Fun and be palmy!

    • David Jordan says:

      I love this idea! I personally don’t want to read “end of story” spoilers (concept art for final scene is fine) but regular “spoilers” are perfectly fine with me. :)

  51. imagineer says:

    I reckon you guys got the balance right with BBB (by far my favourite Foundation production)
    Let us see extensive production records afterwards, keep the story secret, put the call out for help and share details with those new insiders willing to help. Trust this baby to the team, and let it develop in the womb in it’s own time. Keep the insults, jokes and comments flying in the team, no-one gets flamed for saying what they think. Protect the story and the team. Recht voor de raap maar ook leuk.

  52. Make it Open when it needs to be open. Leave some surprises for the audiences.

  53. Ben Lau says:

    A spoiler reveal would be awesome. I actually implemented the technique from the article you linked for the Trac project management software as a plug-in. It works great. For wordpress this looks like the recommended plug-in is Redactor. I’m not sure I like the behavior as much as the one Sean linked to. Another useful bit for some later posts might be Scrippets which allows you to display script fragments in a nice way.

  54. Stuart says:

    Open is the way to go. It’s great to see all these posts so frequently and it’s really interesting to see the process as it happens. I will agree with the SPOILERS tag though – even though I’ll read those posts anyway :)

  55. A'nW says:

    You have already seen the majorities opinion I think, but here is my bit for anyone of influence who may glance over this (Personal opinions following). This being an ‘Open Movie’ I am in favor of you guys releasing everything. Script and all (though if you want to implement some sort of “spoiler alert” system, that’s a good idea). To be perfectly honest (hope you don’t mind), the “plot twist ending and grand finale, etc, etc” of some short film (yes, even the Blender Foundation’s short film) is rather insignificant in the scheme of things. After all, if the ending of a movie was really THAT important, most of us would never watch a movie twice, yet we do. For me, there are a couple reasons for this. First is the fact that a large part of watching a movie is just admiring the hard work that went into making it a reality. Second is that no “spoiler” is ever actually the same as actually watching it on screen. Does reading this line: “The ring gets destroyed in Mount Doom”, really equal watching the movies? I should hope not! (Hope I didn’t spoil them for anyone! :)) Take “The Hobbit”. I have read the book dozens of times. I know the plot and story like the back of my hand. But I’m going to be at the theater opening day! That’s because I can’t wait to see ‘how’ they did it, admire the awe inspiring visuals, and be touched by the performances of great actors.

    That is what makes the Blender Foundations Open Projects so unique. They let the masses almost sit in the studio and witness the ‘how’. That is what is significant about the the Open Projects in my opinion. No “Oops, we can’t post that! Its a spoiler!” should ‘spoil’ that. And the thing is, is that we can still be touched by the final product. Reading a few script lines or seeing a few final scene WIP shots shouldn’t dampen the emotional response of actually seeing it played out by great actors against awe inspiring visuals. At least it won’t for me.

    Well, that turned into kind of a long post! Again, just me opinions. I hope no one takes offense, I am perfectly fine with people wanting a surprise ending and all that. I just think they should stay away from an “Open Movies WIP production blog.” :)

  56. Jay johnson says:

    After working at ILM and now most recently at Dreamworks Animation I think you should post every detail but not answer all iF it is too time consuming. The amount of communication is a constant challenge but also indicitive of the real world, where everything is a fire until it is put out, then onto the next.
    Jay Johnson

  57. Paul Årskog says:

    open but keep the ending a surpise

  58. Lyle Walsh says:

    I wish I was a fly on the wall. I’d love to see how decisions are made. How about a webcam!

  59. Chad Gleason says:

    Ok, after reading this blog, I now retract my earlier statement, and fully support the mango team releasing everything and sharing the movie making experience with the blender community. Let’s do this! :)

  60. Chad Gleason says:

    To add, I also read earlier that you didn’t actually want to release shot lists or production schedules. Honestly, I disagree. Production management is something that is usually overlooked when filmmakers tackle their first short film. It would be awesome and educational to see how the blender foundation organizes their productions. ESPECIALLY to see how you handle scheduling problems! It could give a lot of would-be fillmakers some very important insight.

  61. Rob says:

    Definitely open! Every other movie ever made keeps their secrets from us. Why should an ‘open’ movie put any effort into being closed?
    For those who prefer movies to be closed so they are surprised when they see it… they can choose from one of the millions of other movies that do that. Or they could avoid reading a making-of blog!

  62. Eric says:

    The art and fun for filmmakers lies in deciding which elements best move the story toward its (surprise twist) ending. The mystery, which cannot be “spoiled”, is how well this thing plays to an audience. Just be honest. If you address filmmakers, storytellers learning how to structure a presentation, then assume that consumers, the audience, will get bored and go away. You will have to invite them to the premiere. I suspect this happens naturally. Blender is for people who create.

  63. Thorben says:

    Another vote for ABSOLUTELY OPEN. I have bought the DVD, and I check this site multiple times per day. Please keep up the constant stream of blog posts, it’s so interesting to read about every aspect of the production (as opposed to watching the “Making Of” of a Hollywood movie, where they hide most of the interesting bits from you). I personally wouldn’t mind reading the script or looking at the storyboards beforehand, for me this is about the process and less about the end result.

  64. Another Daniel says:

    This CSS function is nice, but it doesn’t work with javascript disabled – and there are crazy people like me who turn it off by default ;-)

    The spoiler block should work without javascript. (Or maybe the spoiled content can be fetched later by javascript – that way it would work fine for me)

  65. horace says:

    spoilers don’t spoil.

    i think this is true. :) i have never minded spoilers.

  66. horace says:

    oh! somebody already posted the link. i should have read everything fist. :)

  67. Rogério Perdiz says:

    Absolute open is better I say.

    I think that having hundreds of points of view available all the time is and excellent resource that is a shame to waist and I believe it can seriously improve all aspects of the final product :)

  68. Oliver says:

    Definitely OPEN! There arent that much great institutes, which are making an “Open Source” Movie, especially in Blender. And when there are some institutes, they dont show the making of a movie, which makes it difficult for a “normal” person, who wants to create a short movie etc., to create an own movie. So all in all I would prefer to keep it up! :)

  69. Francisco Ortiz says:

    Open is the challenge. Will this impact the sales? Ton is the best person to answer that, which in my opinion, is kind of sad. Go for open if you want to do something really new.

    You need feedback from outside the Blender community too. What about showing WIP to absolutely strangers on the streets?

    And also, don’t forget to call Joeri Kassenaar sometimes.

  70. stephen says:

    How about you have a closed off section where external people helping with the project can access scripts/prop models/textrues etc, everything they’d need to help out on the production. You can then have the main part of the production blog focussed on covering non-spoiler development news.

    The closed off section could be easy to sign up for, so there’s no limitations on who can join, but at least then you’re making a distinction between what information’s available where. People who want the film to be a surprise would no doubt not work on the project (would be pretty hard to work on the project without knowing what’s going on) but then people who want to know or want to help on sprints can sign up…

    Give people the choice and they’ll choose what’s right for them ;-)

  71. CorsairX says:

    Open is good – I don’t mind spoilers and I’m really interested in seeing how the process of making a movie actually works!

    That said, I remember some of the posts during Sintel, especially the reaction to the trailer. A stricter moderation policy might be the order of the day because a lot of those posts were exceptionally negative and not in the slightest way constructive. Honest feedback is one thing, but sledging is something else entirely.

  72. I’m all for open.
    Share as much as you can.

    Not only to follow, but also as a document for later.
    And it makes stuff as subtitels much easier.

    I dont think it wil stop the harsh critics. Not from me anyway.
    It might even make it worse, because why didn’t you follow my super great advice?
    The first viewing if Sintel was weird, the expectations where sky-high and the movie was not finished.
    For me it was a big bummer that it turned out to be an esther wouda story and not a martin lodewijks.
    The site had been very unclear about this, so openis might prevent that. Not that the esther story was bad ( alhough it was in the first view ).

    People who dont want to know can just not read the posts. Maybe a color for the post can help in spoiler alerts.

    Anyway. Great to see this project on the rails.

  73. Giovanni Gallo says:

    Closed closed. Guys just suprise us! You are good. That’s enough. Do you best!

  74. Elliot Saba says:

    I agree with the more “open” side of things. I enjoy surprises as much as everyone else, but I am much more interested in having the opportunity to truly get on the inside of the production process and see what’s going on. I can always be surprised by going to a theatre and watching a movie there. I am not going to have the chance to feel like an insider to a movie production anywhere else.

  75. danilius says:

    I vote totally open with spoiler alerts. This way, everyone gets to choose what they want, and the input will simply be amazing.

    It’s an incredible opportunity to yet again push the boundaries of the concept of “open*” (i.e. open everything: code, content and technique) have Blender and its community leading the way yet again.

  76. arelem says:

    Perhaps another blog area named Trashers or maybe Negatives where the negative posts could go, so that the devs and contributors do not have to see a potentially unwise thoughtless comment process which wrecks concentration.

    Endeavour to at all times keep the work and posts positive, this gives the process greater power to produce astonishing work.

  77. Markus says:

    Open please! I’m most interested in the blog and openes while you are making the film. I did pre order the DVD, however I’m more interested in the whole production process with all the challenges. 80% of all movies are made from books (at least that is was “Everything is a remix” said)…I guess spoilers are common and OK (I don’t mind, but because other people asked) you may want to add spoiler alert tags to the posts – but please don’t hold anything back. And make sure to make it as most comfortable for your whole team, for example don’t create those crazy SVN commit names again. Good luck with the movie and thanks for making all the open projects!

  78. Markus says:

    I have one more idea, maybe Blendernation could write an article every week with all the things happening without any spoilers… and here is 100% openes without any secrets… even discussing all the twists and the ending etc… this would make it easy for the Mango team because everybody can just post anything without worrying or a censor reading over the post first. I think this would also produce a better final result. Win Win for all. Easy for artists, Blendernation gets some more readers and no spoiler fraction is happy and the open all fraction as well.

  79. Open! Open this project as wide as you can, and not only will we all flock to this blog to lap up the shiny, shiny source material! I will bet you will see a lot of sweet fanfilms and creative collaboration as a result!

    And there will be trolls, I do not deny. Right now I’m watching the revolting spectacle of bitter snark flooding the Raspberry Pi website because the board has failed to go Moses on the /global problem of postage/ and the price has failed to include shipping and handling, and you will not escape this. But take heart, reasonable people know that what you’re doing is amazing, because we have the self awareness to think of what we, ourselves, have been able to get done lately…

  80. Cessen says:

    Just put prominent spoiler warnings on posts that reveal significant things about the story (especially twists and the ending). If people don’t want spoilers, but don’t have the self control to not read the spoilers, that’s their problem. ;-)

  81. Ian says:

    Open. I’m with the rest of the folks on here. Open it as wide as you can. I wouldn’t worry too much about the negative critiques.

  82. Jay says:

    Surprise! Another vote for open. BUT my reasoning is a little different than what others have posted;

    The previous projects have been fairly closed. The results of this strategy are well known and documented (through the online response). For the benefit of future projects, I think it would be well worth it to do an experiment, and try this one open. Then do an analysis afterwards, and see which way worked out better in the end. Taking risks and iterating is the only way to improve.

  83. Vidrazor says:

    Close it. The film and making of can all be released after the project is done. This allows the team to concentrate on the project at hand. Nobody ever sees the making of any film they go see in a theater, why should this be any different? It doesn’t matter that it’s an “open movie”, production is production. Make the film, release it along with it’s making of, and that’s that.

  84. captainkirk says:

    I think that it should be as open as possible without giving too much away. I enjoyed watching all the videos that were posted about the previous open movies more than the movies themselves so I think that there should be more stuff like that.

  85. slukas says:

    OPEN !!!

    I’m filmmaker myself and I use blender for production. I’d love to see everything here – I want to follow your every step. And more images please!


    And if one want to be surprised when the film is ready – that person just shouldn’t follow this blog. Simple.

  86. Obscure2u says:

    Its a really good question. I would have liked to see slightly more posts on Sintel but over all it was a good level.
    I think having a Blog progress update would be good with no spoilers and a separate production management progress section would be awesome. If people want to hunt for detail addictively then they can. This can then act as a crowd sourcing utility for people who want to throw in some concept art, models, or effect tests for the core team to review, update, use, and especially ignore as required.
    If a submitted model, concept etc gets approved then it can become available for the community to texture, retexture, material etc.
    I would probably hold back on script and finale details till late in the production to reduce the amount of unused assets. Or maybe include the first half of script so people orient to gain an accurate perspective of the world presented with some director notes to convey “the vision”.

    I can understand holding information back because the more you share the more it gets used against you. But be bold and confident we have faith you’ll make the right decisions. :)

  87. grfrog says:

    Open is definitely the way to go, however you may want to recruit a team of volunteers just to moderate.

    You may want to set up an entire forum, that can be separated into different aspects of interest in production and with heavy moderation keep feedback on track and productive.

    Seeing all aspects of the real time production, the processes and current constraints(software, hardware, time, money, and others), would be hugely helpful in shaping a realistic discussion of blender and its use now and in the future for both users and developers. Keeping the arm chair film moguls from hijacking everything by doing nothing but questioning every artistic decision and drowning serious,useful discussion in the process is going to be the challenge.

  88. Jerome says:

    The open way is great, just like … following the artists before the final explosion, be a discret, transparent part of the process. I’ll love it this way.

  89. blendercomp says:

    I also vote for open.
    I’d been closely following the Sintel blog and was disappointed by the documentary and the few tutorials which were eventually made available. I had hoped that once the process was not thoroughly documented on the blog, it would be well documented in the DVDs, which it wasn’t. Unfortunately.

    Open will keep followers more interested in the whole production and will enable you to get all the help they can offer.

  90. Acilio says:

    Open would be the best, but it some mechanism to alert of posts containing spoilers for those who would want to preserve the surprise for when the project is concluded.