For what little it is worth I'll offer the following thoughts:
I have two paths forward from here..
- Pitch the series idea to a network and try to get someone to develop it. Which might even get funding and create an opportunity to create some jobs for animators in our community. But also a loss of control, because they could use whoever they want to develop it...
If the series were to be picked up I see a few likely outcomes (of course there is always the innovative alternatives but...)
As you state the project would be taken off in a different direction (modified to fit a specific commercial market).
That project would likely not be created with A:M
2. create a distributed studio similar to the Tin Woodman of Oz project, so that A:M animators and community have a role and a stake in it.
Similar to TWO and SO the key here would be to get buy-in to make it a viable project.I was talking with Paul (fae alba) Harris last week about Martin's goal in movie making that targets a 7 day cycle.*If* TWO had the success that it started out on a trajectory of I can't help but believe we would be at the stage where your project or one similar would already be in product.
I don't want to sound negative in any way but the height and depth (and degree of success) depends almost entirely upon the artist(s) involved.
As they loose faith in a project (and they all will at one time or another but hopefully not too many at the same time) the going gets very rough.
If the project is small... and the webisode size might be well fitted to this... the opportunity for success is magnified.
And if planned properly those webisodes might fit quite well into a feature film length presentation.
3. keep puttering forward doing it myself until I die..
Some day we need to discuss the subject of mortality in depth for both creators and projects.
The trick there of course would be to put a positive spin on dying. (I think I'm up to that challenge. )
I do think that this is a given even if you see success in either or both of the other two options.
I also think that being able to point to a body of work will inspire others.
Whose inspiration you then choose to grant rights to your creative property will depend entirely upon your own criteria.
I can think of many directions Tar could go and I'd guess that many of those would not align with your vision for the world of Zandaria.
In each of your three scenarios going forward there are considerable compromises.
But the good news... I don't think any of those directions would turn out to be a wrong decision.
I will say that if you opt for anything that releases rights make sure that you either control final decisions and/or recoup those rights later on.
The example I would cite is the many years that Marvel Entertainment had to delay plans because production companies sat on their projects.
I'll hand it to them though... as they've got those rights back they applied what they learned and didn't allow that to happen (quite as much).
I suppose it might be okay if someone were paying you very handsome for the inconvenience of delaying production.
Then you could afford to move forward with other projects.