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Ransom for “Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant” Flash Animation

My friend Kent Kemmish, at Halcyon Molecular, has offered to put up $50 for someone who does the best animated flash version of Nick Bostrom's classic essay "The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant" (German version). Let's say that the challenge stands for one month, until August 7th.

My other friend Kevin Fischer is also putting in $50 for a total of $100.

Would anyone else be interested in adding to that purse? We probably need to boost it by a few times to make this happen.


Kent Kemmish initially put in $50.
Kevin Fischer put in $50.
Luke Parrish put in $50.
Steve put in $50.
Christopher Hamersley put in $50.
Lincoln Cannon put in $50.
Didier Coeurnelle put in $200.

The purse is now at $500.

Kickstarter won't work because it has to be created by the person who does the project, and they are encumbered by having to promise deliverables. Both of these do not apply in this situation.

Comments (39) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I’ll put up another $50 for that.

  2. Me too. Can something be set up for donation?

  3. Count me in for another $50. Might make a great project?

    • True. I guess the flash animator would have to start their own Kickstarter project. However, they could do so knowing that they would have these initial funders and promoters to get the ball rolling. Whatever way works, it would be great to see this happen!

  4. I’ll put in $50 for that.

  5. I’ll put in 50.

  6. Great idea. Honestly, I am afraid that a few hundred dollars would no be enough. But let’s try. In a first time, I’ll put $ 200 for that.

    For information, four years ago, I translated the text in French and I paid for a translation in Dutch

    • You rock. I am also interested in making this project reality. I will try to find a flash artist/developer and hopefully a narrator as well who would read the story out loud.

  7. Can Michael or someone create a Kickstarter project and then transfer it to whomever agrees to perform the work?

  8. OMG. You mean actually get involved with something?

    Post setting something in Kickstarter up, I am still no certain on the process for finding someone to do the task.

    Also, per Didier’s comment, I agree on whether the amount is enough.

  9. Yes Steve, seriously I know you’re half in jest, but I’m exhausted of people commonly implying that I should do the work on every project. This happens to me many times per day, emails that go like this:

    Emailer: “Anissimov, look at this project! This would be good for H+”
    Me: “That’s nice.”
    — awkward silence —
    Me: “So, why don’t you do it?”
    — more awkward silence —

    Post setting something in Kickstarter up, I am still no certain on the process for finding someone to do the task.

    Read this sentence aloud and tell me how it sounds.

  10. The funniest prize money ever:

    “In May, with support from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Dr. Bradski helped organize the first Solutions in Perception Challenge. A prize of $10,000 is offered for the first team to design a robot that is able to recognize 100 items commonly found on the shelves of supermarkets and drugstores. Part of the prize will be given to the first team whose robot can recognize 80 percent of the items.”

    For comparison, firing a minigun for 12 s costs $400,000.

    There’s something utterly inexplicable about our priorities.

  11. Where are the candidate videos to be sent to? Also I assume while keeping to the fable people can have some artistic licence?

    • Post links to the videos in this thread. If you don’t have a link, send them to me, and I will host them online. My address is naderchehab, I’m with gmail and then dot com. I would say the artist can keep an artistic license, as in they are allowed to reuse the artwork that they create for this project in other projects.

  12. A thought: If we take into account that the story is about 30 minutes long (as narrated by Nick Bostrom), then a full blown cartoon animation (at several frames per seconds) would cost several thousands of dollars – I would guess more than 50k, which is unrealistic. With a budget of 3-4k it is possible to create an animation with 1 frame per 5-10 seconds, which I believe is more reasonable. If anyone has experience with this, let me know.

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  24. The animation company that I manage did indeed create the Fable of the Dragon Tyrant animation. Nick Bostrom played a major role it the artistic direction and the narrative reconstruction.

    Here is a link to view the animation

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