An animator and storyteller who grew up in Summerland has raised close to $2.5 million through a Kickstarter campaign.
The fundraising came for Jenna Woldenga’s work in retelling a Dungeons and Dragons game.
The campaign, Fool’s Gold: Into the Bellowing Wilds, received support from nearly 17,000 backers. The concept is described as an adventure that takes place in the world’s deadliest jungle where everything wants to kill you.
Woldenga has been a full-time Dungeons and Dragons animator on YouTube since April 2018 and she has 719,000 subscribers on her Dingo Doodles channel.
Her work on the Kickstarter campaign is a retelling of a Dungeons and Dragons game she played with five friends from 2016 to 2018. A book and Kickstarter campaign are connected with her work. Her fiance Felix Irnich is writing the story and they’re working with Toronto-based Hit Point Press.
Woldenga said she wanted the storytelling in her videos to be understandable by all, even if they are not familiar with the details of Dungeons and Dragons.
“I try to keep things casual and retell the story to my audience like a person would at a party,” said Woldenga. “For anyone who doesn’t know Dungeons and Dragons, I try to explain it like I would to my grandma.”
“People who have watched it have told me that they really don’t need to know Dungeons and Dragons in order to enjoy the story.”
Woldenga, who graduated from Summerland Secondary School in 2012, has had a lifelong interest in art. Her art career started with a web comic at her site, electricbunnycomics.com.
“They were simple one page jokes that reflected what was going on with my life and pop culture. It was a great tool to learn how to write comedy,” she said.
After six years of creating comics, she got a contract with a video game company to create funny comics about their game. She had a one-year contract and was able to save enough money to start a YouTube channel and try it for one year without financial consequences.
Now that her Kickstarter campaign has been completed, Woldenga plans to keep working on videos and finish the series. At present, she has completed 24 episodes, with more on the way.
“I’m hoping at the end people will be able to binge watch the huge body of work and experience the Dungeons and Dragons campaign as I did with my friends,” she said. “I’m one of the few people in the world who have been doing this and I hope to leave my little mark on the Dungeons and Dragons world.”
Her goal is to become a creator and writer for television or streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu, and hopes to convert her stories into full-blown animated television shows.
“I know it’s gonna do great and I’m hoping it’ll pave the way for me in the future to be able to tell the stories I want to tell,” she said.
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