I was looking at some of the Kickstarter stats for movies, as of 28 Dec 2016. Just looking at the “film & video” stats, I observe the following:
Of the 59,966 projects attempted, 21,995 hit their funding goal (37%).
Of those 22k projects funded, 14,987 (call it 15k, about 68%) were under $10,000 raised. 3,200 had between $20,000 and $99,999 raised, and $20,000 is about the bare minimum for a decent quality short segment, say one of the easier chapters with not a lot of f/x. On the higher end of that range, much greater quality, or a much longer segment or one with more interesting parts and f/x, could be produced. The whole book has ~16 hours worth of material or more, as is, and if done as a proper half-season of TV it could easily be fleshed out to more than that to show the developing relationships and such-not. A reasonable quality segment that would be a two-hour movie (say, the first quarter or so, up to where the ship start flying and you get the idea there is more to the ship than a hull) would cost more than a $100,000, and only 325 (~1.5%) have been funded to that level. Some scenes need a set created, but once that set is made the marginal cost of shooting on it is relatively trivial. To do anything like the whole thing at basic TV quality would likely be in the million-plus range, for which only 6 have made it. Can we dream to make it seven?
But even a decent 20-minute short might have potential to generate enough interest to raise funding and investors to create the whole series and turn a profit based on syndication, Amazon (they allow self-publishing for videos now, much like kindle books!) or Hulu sales, etc. So it will be interesting to see what a real producer can put together WRT budget estimates, timelines, costs, profitability, investor versus donor options, etc.