Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

T-Shirts Alone Are 4% of the Budget

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Looking at the figures and the estimated deadlines for delivery (most are concentrated around Thomas’ projected release date of February/March 2014, an astoundingly tight production schedule even for a film with whole-hearted studio backing), the obvious question is, “How can this be accomplished?”

If this was your project, then Kickstarter would expect you to have priced all this out beforehand with surplus backers in mind. I look at things like the t-shirts and extrapolate from there. This morning, I visited two online shirt manufacturers — CustomInk and BlueCotton — to seek quotes for a basic, one-color print tee. At the time, the number of backers entitled to Thomas’ limited-edition shirts was 34,000 and change. CustomInk gave me a rough quote for the exact number of shirts I sought: $3.90 each, for a total of $132,600. (“You saved $579,360.00 [81%] with Volume Discount,” the site reassured me.) BlueCotton was cheaper at $3.44 apiece, but it maxed out at 9,999 shirts, meaning some rough multiplication and rougher estimate of $116,960. That’s more than 4% of the total amount raised so far — ostensibly Thomas’ production budget, which also has to cover such actual necessities as crew, equipment, transportation and craft service — just to produce t-shirts.

DVD, Blu-ray and poster manufacturing are anybody’s guess with a studio’s facilities at the ready. If you were pooling estimates on the market, you could expect to pay around $1.50 apiece for manufacturing and packaging 18,000 DVDs. Blu-ray duplication isn’t much more, but packing along with the DVD — as promised to the 7,200 backers who have pledged $100 or more — requires totally different packaging. The total manufacturing cost then rises. Posters should cost around 50 to 60 cents each, not including design. It’s a minor if not negligible expense, particularly when factoring in shipping along with movie DVDs and/or organizing the epic signing binge that Thomas expects to comprise himself and eight cast members led by Bell. It’s worth noting the complete series sets as well, of which it’s worth asking if nearly 1,000 even remain available sealed and ready to ship. If those three-disc sets and their corresponding trays require a new round of manufacturing, then the cost rises still.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 15, 2013 at 12:36 am

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