Author Archives: admin

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  ["post_title"]=>
  string(23) "(FR) Expo à Neuchâtel"
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(FR) Expo à Neuchâtel

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Posted in News | Comments Off on (FR) Expo à Neuchâtel
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 moultrie news

Keeping Willy Grunch alive - A local company’s viral hit and a novel plan to revive it

AR-160429970.jpg&MaxW=840&q=90  

Three years ago, a small animation studio based in France called Moondog Animation Studios created a five-episode series about a lanky, trouble-prone guy named Willy Grunch. The company embarked on the project after Alain Auderset, the Swiss comic book artist who first created Willy, approached Studio Director JM Khayat about animating him.

So Moondog raised some money and made the five two-minute episodes about Willy Grunch, which they put on YouTube and Vimeo for anyone who was interested. Bryan Ransom, the company’s CEO, said they did some marketing for the series, but right around that time, they were also busy relocating the company from France to Mount Pleasant.

In the years since, Ransom said the series would often come up, and they would talk about how they could reinvigorate it, including exploring the possibility of making it a TV show. But for a number of reasons, the animated Willy Grunch stayed confined to his five episodes online.

“It was there, and it would rack up a couple hundred views every month or so,” said Ransom, “but it wasn’t like thousands upon thousands of millions.”

Virality

Then, just a about a month ago in mid-March, Auderset, the comic book artist, got an email. It was from a friend directing him to a Russian Facebook page. Whoever managed the page had posted one of Moondog’s Willy Grunch episodes, and it was popular.

Within a week, the video had three million views, and the guys at Moondog found other pages that posted the video, five in total, and there may be more. Altogether, they counted nearly seven million views from just about all over the world, and everywhere it went, people were talking about it.

“There were hundreds of thousands of shares. There were like three or four hundred comments,” Ransom said. “It was just going everywhere.”

At first, they were mad. After all, somebody on the other side of the world had taken their work, chopped off the intro that attributed it to them and put it online. (The video still had the end credits, so it wasn’t scrubbed of all attribution.)

But Khayat, the studio director, said that feeling was quickly eclipsed by a sense of validation.

Moondog’s founders – Ransom, Khayat and CTO/Technology Strategist Ben Davis – formed the company with a mission, which is exhibited by the Willy Grunch series. Ransom said they want to make animated stories that do more than entertain, but have the power to make people think about big life questions.

Their videos are really geared toward the 15 to 30 age group, and while most animated videos geared at that group err toward the crazy and crude, Ransom said they put more stock in that group’s desire to seek answers to those big questions. So, every episode of Willy Grunch has a theme, a sort of moral constructed by the choices Willy faces and the consequences of his decisions.

Khayat said seeing the video’s popularity and the conversations it provoked felt like evidence – after three years – that there is a real desire and market for that kind of content.

“We had that proof,” he said. “That was a good feeling.”

“Kind of a, ‘I knew it,’ type of feeling,” Davis added. “I knew it could work.”

Free Willy Grunch

The video’s virality also offered them valuable information about what people like. The five videos they created cover a spectrum of themes and how they are conveyed, and one video was more popular than the others. It clearly had a moral, but it was not as specific as in some other videos, and in the comments, people used that openness to interpret the theme how it made sense to them.

“People read into it how they want to because we’re staying at that parable level,” Davis said.

The video’s newfound popularity also gave them momentum to build on to make more Willy Grunch videos. To make the first episodes, they started a campaign on Kickstarter and had huge success. Their goal was to raise $99,999 in four weeks. They raised $117,000, and in the process, they learned a thing or two about how to entice people to donate.

After a mediocre first week of the Kickstarter campaign, they dreamed up Workout Wednesdays. Whenever someone donated five dollars on a Wednesday, the Moondog team made a video of one of them doing five pushups, then calling out the donor’s name. By the last Workout Wednesday, Ransom said six people did something like 250 pushups each, and they tried every way they could to make it fresh by doing the pushups in a hand stand or on top of a car. Plus, donors shared their personalized feats of strength on social media, prompting their friends to look up the campaign and get involved.

“Just awareness is one thing,” Ransom said, “that interactivity of people is where you get that next stage.”

As they move toward launching their fundraising campaign to “Free Willy Grunch” and make more videos, they’ve got ideas for how to once again make the donations interactive, but they’re also doing a few things differently.

For one, they’re getting Mount Pleasant-based developer Chris Wolf to make their fundraising site for them – willygrunch.com – set to go live today.

The episodes will be free, but donors will get access to live Q&A’s and other perks.

But even more unique is there’s no set end to the campaign. Instead, they’ll keep making episodes as long as the money is coming in.

Khayat said that in a time when viewers can stream what they want when they want and their attention is being further divided seemingly every day, they’re trying something different by giving the audience a say.

“We said okay, let’s leave it to the viewership,” Ransom added. “They can give five bucks today as a one time, or they can become a subscriber and give five bucks a month, or whatever they want to do.”

And Khayat said, that leaves it to them, Moondog, to make content worth keeping alive – even after three years of sitting dormant.

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Keeping Willy Grunch alive

  Keeping Willy Grunch alive – A local company’s viral hit and a novel plan to revive it   Three years ago, a small animation studio based in France called Moondog Animation Studios created a five-episode series about a lanky, … More… More…

Posted in Press | Comments Off on Keeping Willy Grunch alive
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Saturday 5 March 2016, somewhere on a motorway in Switzerland...

This road, rolling by in a monotonous way, is actually a really good opportunity to have a tête-à-tête with God, isn’t it? But, to tell you the truth, my prayers sometimes sound as hollow as that banal ‘How are you?’ two passers-by in a hurry to get home might exchange. 

Good grief, Alan! Get a grip of yourself, you’re talking to your Dad*, to someone you love!... 

OK, I’ll focus!

Amongst other things, we talk about my cartoon that came out 3 years ago:
When all’s said and done, I have to thank you that it didn’t do well right away...
No - seriously - Lord, cos otherwise I probably wouldn’t’ve had the time to bring out my book A date in the forest. But couldn’t you do something now?
Remember, I used to love to say that that cartoon would touch millions of people! And we’re so far away from that...’ 

*affectionate nickname for God

 

Buzzzz...
That very day, a complete stranger of Russian nationality posts one of those cartoons I was just talking about (there are five of them in all) on his Facebook page. And just a few days later, this is brought to my attention through a post on my Facebook wall...
Hey, what does this writing mean: 3.4M? That really can’t be what I think it is. My doubt is sufficiently great for me to decide to consult a specialist on the matter and I go into his private den (my teenage son’s bedroom, if you prefer)...
My Benjamin is slumped over his desk, busy doing magic things on his computer, but when I see his eyes jump out, I understand that it really is a matter of... 3.5 million views !!

 

And the story goes on !!
Following on from this phenomenon, the studio, Moondog Animation, has decided to reactivate their procedures, with the aim of producing new episodes. A crowdfunding has just been launched that you can all take part in: more information on www.willygrunch.com



To see the cartoon: https://www.facebook.com/goodfulru/videos/546783215503169/?pnref=story

My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/A.Auderset

 

 

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A crazy thing on Facebook

  Saturday 5 March 2016, somewhere on a motorway in Switzerland… This road, rolling by in a monotonous way, is actually a really good opportunity to have a tête-à-tête with God, isn’t it? But, to tell you the truth, my … More… More…

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on A crazy thing on Facebook
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 orange godshop Autumn 2015 (3 years later) A time to harvest
I sometimes have the impression that I’m a kind of gardener here on earth, with the responsibility of growing trees directly imported from the Garden of Eden. As far as I’m concerned, they are essentially artistic. Their fruits have a taste of good humour and produce faith when we bite into them (yes, really!). I owe these wonders to Jesus, the Sun of Eden. Without a daily session sunning themselves by His side, my fruits would be seriously lacking in vitamins...
Each of them demands constant attention and grows very slowly! Take the musical orange tree, for example, it took no less than 5 years before producing its first fruit in the form of the CD Saahsal (alternative rock)! The same is true for the DVD with the sweet and sour taste of Lemon–Man-Show (The One Man Show). As for the comic book tree, it benefits from the accumulated care it has received from us, and, as a result, only takes one or two years to bear its fruit. As for the woodland fruits growing in the shade of my Appointments in the Forest (Volume 2), they will soon be ripe. 
‘Chance’ has decreed that almost all these fruits reach maturity at the same time...Not something you see every day in the workshop! 
The envoy 1
I’m already busy watering a new, still tiny, comic-book tree, when I hear the telephone ringing over my shoulder. It’s probably because I haven’t quite emerged from my drawing that I don’t put up more resistance to his strange request... At the other end of the line, a doctor suggests that I have a consultation with him so that he can speak to me about “something”. Aaargh, probably a psychiatrist looking for a hopeless case...
It’s sufficiently strange for me to have the urge to do the washing up….. (‘cos I do it while chatting to God…). I have a distinct thought which comes to me suddenly from the invisible person I’m conversing with, and which ends up whetting my curiosity….well, well, well…...you’d think that He was behind this appointment…. 
I get lots of visits at the workshop; and, my goodness, at times some of them are stranger than others …. (maybe one of my exotic plants exudes an hallucinogenic substance into the air!?) but, actually, I welcome such visits with particular attention.
The doctor, a laid-back but thoughtful person, explains to me that the Lord has commissioned him to create a group aimed at supporting my work.
Inside my head, I’m thinking: ‘Lord, so you really had heard that request after all…?!’
I had got a whole pallet of Spanish comic books reprinted, which for the moment are merely gathering dust in a corner of my workshop. (Following the episode in the Canary Islands, http://evangelicalfocus.com/magazine/795/The_Canaries_a_dream) ….and, what do you know, the doctor sets off with 300 of them under his arm with, as his first mission: making it known (!)  
The envoy 2
A few days later, I’m just wondering how I’m going to cope with the imminent bumper crops, when one of my friends and counsellors turns up at the studio.
‘Alain, d’you remember your Comic Book Without Words? Why hasn’t it come out? I think that something needs to be done about it, so I’ve consulted two other friends (one of them being the doctor!) and between us we have decided to finance the printing. Here’s the money for a first edition (of 5,000 copies)...
‘Lord….seriously ? Now ?!’
 
A time for responses
So, in the end, I was present at the birth of that Comic Book Without Words*, as well as of the Auderset support group, whose principle mission, for the moment, is to help me distribute the former. 
Following this (the telephone often rings right into my flat), I have had numerous requests that are out of the ordinary. Here’s one particularly meaningful one: 
‘Hallo Alain, we need your help! We’d like to reach the prostitutes in my town with the message of Christ’s love, but unfortunately, they all speak a multitude of very different foreign languages, couldn’t you produce a comic book without words?
‘Man, that’s crazy! It’s only just come out...!!’
How heart-warming to see that everything had been planned in advance like that, and that, at last, I’m participating in a project which is so much bigger than I am, in every way... So the silence of all those years wasn’t a question of falling behind or of failure, but a question of seasons.
Only the Master of Time really knows them, whether for our lives or for our projects. Whatever happens, let’s remain confident in this invisible hand into which we have placed them. Some days later, the Comic Book Without Words set off to a similar charity, working amongst prostitutes in Geneva (without any consultation with the first charity)...
The book has also been ordered to be used in a prison setting, as well as for other fantastic projects….. 
The story continues
It’s only taken three weeks to run completely out of stock, but thanks to a new gift, we’ve been able to print another 7,500 copies (with Biblical references translated into 4 languages). Recently, a special edition has been ordered by a Swiss mission. The echoes of people touched by this funny little book are beginning to reach my ears... I’ll probably have the opportunity to talk to you about them another time. 
In the iTunes store, iBook, etc.
Another fantastic thing: My comic book Conventional Wisdom (as well as RobiMarcel and Willy Grunch) is now available in a digital version in French, English, German and Spanish. 
With Saahsal, (www.saahsal.com) the music group, we’re playing more and more often in real hotspots of rock... May your thoughts towards us be as fertiliser for our creativity!
*to see Comic book without words for yourself, follow the link: www.auderset.com/bd-sans-parole
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The Master of the Seasons – Part 4

  Autumn 2015 (3 years later) A time to harvest I sometimes have the impression that I’m a kind of gardener here on earth, with the responsibility of growing trees directly imported from the Garden of Eden. As far as I’m … More… More…

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on The Master of the Seasons – Part 4
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The finishi….starting line!

The missionary organisation in question covers an enormous area largely composed of lawn. It's almost as if they wanted to put that fitted carpet, omnipresent inside, also on the outside. But there are also artificial ponds and trees surrounded by flowers with such care that it’s as if something doesn’t quite match with reality. A private, luxuriant forest surrounds their offices, which are themselves also meticulously well-ordered in a building that looks as if it is carved into the rock. I have the impression of being an envoy from Europe who has come in quest of reinforcements from the United States army. In a few minutes I’ll be late…..

Before entering the feudal domain, I have to cross a barricade with guards who ask to see our papers. Are they really expecting me in such a place? The security guard removes any remaining doubts as he removes the barrier. The road is so clean that it looks as if it has just been drawn for a children’s book of fairy-tales and legends. A delegation, all wearing ties, is waiting for me at the entrance and welcomes me, just like the technical team of a Formula One racing driver, they show me the toilets, pat me on the shoulder, sympathising with my misfortunes.

The toilets are so luxurious that you feel guilty about going (it’s a bit like pooing in a salad bowl placed in the middle of the living-room table). For the little Swiss guy that I am, everything is excessive here, but I refuse categorically to judge what I see, I’m just in another dimension with other rules. I wet my head under the tap to chase away as best I can the last shreds of tiredness. It’s time! In a jiffy I find myself on a platform. The audience is staring at me, curious to hear what this guy from nowhere has to say to them…(unless it’s because of the water still running down my face).

 

1st meeting

I don't have much vocabulary in English, but what I have I give to them in good heart, but at any rate, it's with the latter (my heart) that I speak. My sharing has the same effect as a key, giving me access to their hearts. Emotion can be seen on their faces. From now on, whenever I cross paths with someone from this closed world, they will recognise me as being the little guy that Jesus found thanks to a Christian comic book thrown in a bin…..

 

The testimony of K.

When I finish, a respectable elderly man sits down at my table and shares his testimony with me:
I was a junkie, lost in New York and, like you, I had nothing at the start but I found Jesus in a rehab centre. When I telephoned my father, a practising Jew, to tell him, he wept. My mother took the phone from him and said to me:
Your father isn’t crying with sadness, but with joy, because we too have found Jesus and we’ve been praying for you for a long time…..”
Ten years later I become head of the centre. Reagan, the United States president in person comes to visit my business and congratulate me on its good management. I have become one of the bosses of McDonald’s aid sector, I’m here now sharing my expertise for my neighbour…..’

The guy pats me on the shoulder and leaves. I’ll learn later that he is one of the big bosses of the place, that his presence on that day is exceptional and that after listening to me, he passes on the message to those who are to see me to take my work seriously.

 

Amazing! Awesome! Wonderful!

What enthusiasm on seeing my drawings! (You’d think they had all just won the lottery!)

Everyone seems in favour. The director offers me a week at a hotel! After my time of sharing, I am invited to several meals, you’d think that all the doors of the country had been opened! They are talking of a future tour so that I can give my testimony and interviews with TV companies, meetings with key figures. The director is already asking me to present them with a draft version of ‘Comic Book Without Words 2’!

 

Return to (my) earth

During the return flight, I have something of the impression of returning victorious from a battle, I have the impression of having my suitcases full of promises. But I am happy to be back in the workshop in my little country that I love, because even if I have to confront its nagging problems of survival, it is nevertheless my homeland whose logic I understand better.

A short time has passed and the mission writes to tell me that they are not going to get involved in my comic book project. But when I ask them, I insist on knowing what the problem is, I get no answer. So I tell them that, if it’s a question of money, I agree to do it for free, because the aim of reaching all these people comes before my interests….but no-one replies to me any more. The line goes dead….

 

Failure

At the end of the day, I find myself back at square one, without any more results….

Why? After all, I was sincerely counting on God’s intervention! (?) Maybe something will come out of all of this later on… (or not)

Resigned, I place the book in a drawer, (next to the Spanish project) and decide to go back to other projects. But before that…..I sleep.

part 1  part 2  part 4

 

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The Master of the Seasons – Part 3

The finishi….starting line! The missionary organisation in question covers an enormous area largely composed of lawn. It’s almost as if they wanted to put that fitted carpet, omnipresent inside, also on the outside. But there are also artificial ponds and … More… More…

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on The Master of the Seasons – Part 3