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Question about Kickstarter project

Hello everyone!

I've received an invitation to be part of a BL novel project. I'd be celshading the characters, by the way.

I have never done anything apart from commissions, so I understand very little about commercial works.

It's said that 45% of the funds will go to artists, and I believe it's 2-3 artists working on it (the background artist, the artist in charge of the cel shading and the lineart artist, which I believe it's the project owner).

If any of you guys have any knowledge about that, I'd like to know how these things usually work.

• If I were to work on it, I should probably ask for payment upfront for each CG in order to avoid scam, right?
• After the game is released, and if it's successful, do I have the right to part of the money?
• If yes, how do I ensure I will be paid? Is a contract needed?
• If not, should I charge extra for commercial rights?

Overall I just really wanted to understand the procedure and what to do in cases like this to assure I will not be scammed :c

Thank you so much in advance!

EDIT: The Kickstarter thing has already started! They have donations of over 5k+ dollars by the way.

EDIT2: I've contacted them asking about the financial part, and they've told me they'd pay me upfront. They also said they'd be fine with a contract but I have no idea how to do those? LOL someone help please? ; x ;

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 31st, 2017 06:12 am (UTC)
This is just my 2 cents, might not be the best way to do stuff, I'm not a lawyer (aka contract stuff), and I'm pretty sure I've rambled excessively so I hope it makes sense at this point. At least I can give you some more to think about 'til someone else comes through who might have more direct experience with it!

First off, a contract would pretty much be required for any large project like this, especially since it ensures that everyone is on the same page. Honestly just because it isn't a guaranteed-to-go thing (Kickstarter, right?), I'd err on the side of paranoid just in case things fall through when it comes to most things about it -- if it's something that could change (time frame, amount of work, pay), put it in the contract. Similarly, I personally wouldn't count on royalties being paid unless it's super clear that the person you'd be working for is very serious about it being a business rather than "hey, I got this cool project..." It'd be something to be discussed in the contract, either way.

I'd ask what the Kickstarter goal would be and how much you would make if it exactly makes goal so you can do the math. You do want to be thinking of it as a commercial thing, but since you are being hired to do only part of the art -- coloring as opposed to doing the whole thing -- I think it would be more like a service, so you wouldn't be passing along copyright rights stuff? I think? I'm not sure on this. But I think this is a case that you just make sure you'd be paid a reasonable hourly wage depending on how long the work would take you. Obviously if the game's Kickstarter goes well you can certainly make a lot more if your pay is percentage based, but make sure you're getting a fair deal for whatever work you have to do if it just barely hits the goal. Make sure the percentages are in the contract and that percentages are based on a specific goal amount (in case they say, nah, it's not a $10k goal any more, it's $5k now). Possibly have it by character/piece in case the cast increases as well? Yeah, it could get complicated.

Obviously since things aren't guaranteed to make goals, yes, I'd make sure to get some part of it up front. The best way I can think of is to basically have them pay for whatever art they want done for Kickstarter release date. I'd hope they don't want 110% of the art to be done before the Kickstarter is even posted since it's not promised to go meet goal, so hopefully there's a rough percentage of work that could be easily calculated. Like if it's going to be 5 characters with 6 poses each but you need only 2ish characters with 3 poses worth done by the time Kickstarter happens, that would be what they'd pay for. That way if it tanks, you've been paid, and they have some art completed to try and build more of it in their spare time. If it surpasses the goal, they pay you the rest that makes up your total percentage of the proceeds, you do the rest of the cel shading.
Mar. 31st, 2017 10:31 am (UTC)
Thanks for the reply!

I didn't make it clear yet, but they've already started the Kickstarter thing. They have a donation of a lot of money, let's say o:
Mar. 31st, 2017 06:30 pm (UTC)
Some things to remember about Kickstarters:

-Even if it's far surpassed its goal right now, it could still fall below the goal and make $0 in the end. People can artificially inflate the amount and then cancel their purchase to the campaign the day before it ends, or have their credit card maxed out when it comes time to collect the funds.

-Don't expect to make a third of the total visible on the Kickstarter page. I don't know what the campaign's reward tiers are like but the organizer may need to account for shipping fees, merch production, etc before finding out what each person will make. Not to mention Kickstarter's sizable take.
Apr. 1st, 2017 12:47 am (UTC)
Ahh I see! Thanks for the clarification, I was never into kickstarter so I didn't quite know how it worked. I also wasn't expecting to earn much tbh considering it's just the coloring. It was mostly not to be scammed and to understand if coloring gives me any copyright which I don't think it does. x:
Apr. 1st, 2017 02:00 am (UTC)
Appealing colouring is very important for the sales of a comic! I just meant that the $$$$ number you see on the Kickstarter page isn't the true profit, it's the number before all the expenses and Kickstarter's fee are taken out.

Don't sell your work short. :)
Mar. 31st, 2017 03:53 pm (UTC)
If you want to assure complete legal confidence, you'd need to hire a lawyer for a solid contract. Otherwise, payment up front for each image you complete. There will be a lot of transactions, yes, but it ensures you won't get screwed over.

After the game is released, you do not have a right to part of the money. This is why a contract would be very handy for spelling out these terms, because legally, they're not obligated to give you anything extra after you're finished with your work. Ask them if you'll be paid royalty after your work on the project is done.

If they say yes, tell them to make a contract, and if you know anyone who's law-savvy, have them look at the contract to make sure you aren't going to get screwed over.

Without a contract to define this, you are being paid to draw it, not work-for-hire, therefor they are not paying for commercial usage. If the game is free, they do not need to pay for commercial rights. Because it's a collaboration you're being paid for [you're only cel shading], the legal jurisdiction can get a bit confusing with commercial usage.

Please please please tell them to get a viable contract because I can tell this can go downhill fast. If you've already done art for them, please tell them to get a contract before you do any more.

Edited at 2017-03-31 03:54 pm (UTC)
Apr. 1st, 2017 12:55 am (UTC)
Thanks for the reply! I guess I will mostly focus on upfront payments, since I don't think it makes sense to charge for copyright or commercial right over coloring? I'm unsure about this tbh!

I will also take a look on contracts because being their first project, I don't think they also know about this kind of stuff. So it's probably a first to the both of us!

But I don't plan to ever get into a project like this without a proper contract. Thank you again!
Apr. 24th, 2017 09:31 am (UTC)
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