Kids TV series smashes The Chosen crowdfunding record
The Wingfeather Saga attracts $5 million from individual investors
If you have a Christian TV series that you want to get made, contact Angel Studios – the small production company that backed The Chosen and has just helped a popular book series smash fundraising records to create an animated version.
Angel Studios has become better known since it broke crowdfunding records with the first season of that Jesus TV show The Chosen. But The Wingfeather Saga this week eclipsed the production budget of that gospel-powered series.
The $5 million budget for Wingfeather‘s first season was raised by crowd sourcing directly from individuals, who will receive return on investment dependent upon success of the series’ distribution.
Aiming to create the computer-generated animated series in the next 18 months, Angel Studios will use the same app-based distribution method it has successfully deployed for The Chosen (freeing the series from the need to rely on bigger streaming services, such as Netflix or Apple TV).
A four-book series published between 2008 and 2014, The Wingfeather Saga was created by Andrew Peterson, a Christian musician and author. “It is not overtly Christian, but like [The Chronicles of] Narnia and The Lord of the Rings is deeply Christian in its worldview and storytelling,” summarises Angel Studio about Wingfeather‘s foundations.
Peterson’s novels are about three siblings – Janner, Kalmar, and Leeli – in the land of Aerwiar as they battle against Gnag the Nameless, the evil leader of the Fangs of Dang. Across the course of four novels, the children grow into who they really are, are helped by their queen mum Nia (and others), and discover their role in the Maker’s plan.
“I bear the Maker’s image, and one of the ways that plays out is that I delight in making,” explains Peterson, the son of a pastor who has always loved drawing, music and writing.
“If a reader is willing to trust me with a little of his or her imagination, I want to light it up with truth, and beauty, and goodness. I want you to know that I take my job as storyteller very, very seriously. I believe deeply in the power of Story. It has informed the way I live, my relationship with God, and, as crazy as it sounds, my understanding of the meaning of life …”
“Gather all the wickedness in the universe into its loudest shriek and God hears it as a squeak at best. And that is a comforting thought.” – Andrew Peterson
“My dad’s a preacher from the South, so you can imagine how folklore, anecdote, humour, absurdity, good character (and odd characters), good and evil, and the Bible shaped the narrative of my childhood.
“So, [The Wingfeather Saga] is a story about light and goodness and Truth with a capital T. It’s about beauty, and resurrection, and redemption. But for those things to ring true in a child’s heart, the storyteller has to be honest. He has to acknowledge that sometimes when the hall light goes out and the bedroom goes dark, the world is a scary place. He has to nod his head to the presence of all the sadness in the world; children know it’s there from a very young age, and I wonder sometimes if that’s why babies cry. He has to admit that sometimes characters make bad choices, because every child has seen their parent angry or irritable or deceitful – even the best people in our lives are capable of evil.
“But of course the storyteller can’t stop there. He has to show in the end there is a Great Good in the world (and beyond it) … Gather all the wickedness in the universe into its loudest shriek and God hears it as a squeak at best. And that is a comforting thought.”
Creatives involved with VeggieTales and DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon sequel have teamed with Peterson to transform Wingfeather Saga from a written odyssey to a screen adventure.