The Kickstarter campaign for Birth of a Man: A Minecraft Film, a fan film "set in the world of Minecraft," was canceled by its organizer today.
Brandon Laatsch's proposed film would have blended live-action photography with "physically constructed Minecraft-style blocks and premier visual effects to tell a story of adventure, revenge, and creation — the likes of which has never been seen before." Laatsch, whose special effects appear in YouTube videos on the BrandonJLa, Node and RocketJump channels, hoped to raise $600,000 from backers on the crowdfunding website. At closing, it had earned $63,980 in pledges from 1,008 backers.
In the Why Kickstarter? section of Birth of a Man's Kickstarter page, he acknowledged that developer Mojang owns the Minecraft intellectual property, but expressed his belief that he would be able to "take certain creative license" with the IP as others have done before.
"Minecraft is a game created, developed, and owned by Mojang," Laatsch wrote. "As one of the most outstanding and inspiring independent game developers of all time, Mojang has encouraged the Minecraft community to take certain creative license with the overall world of Minecraft. Taking from their cues, we saw a unique opportunity to step up to the plate and create something that we hope will be a distinctive and incredible epic film." Birth of a Man was planned for a later 2014 release on YouTube.
Earlier today, before the Kickstarter campaign was canceled, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson took to Twitter in an apparent attempt to explain developer Mojang's perspective.
"We don't allow half a million kickstarters based on our ip without any deals in place." he wrote. ":/"
We've reached out to Laatsch and Mojang and will update this article as more information becomes available.