How/When am I going to render this film?


I've animated over 800 shots for the film up to this point which takes me into the seventh of the films nine sequences- but as of this time I've only rendered 6 shots 0_0

I started rendering on one of my PC's- an older 8 core which has Cinebench score of 6.7. I haven't turned the other three old core2quad boxes on as I don't want to destroy the power bill.

Here's a look at my available PC's to render on and their cinebench scores

So my render farm is a bit old and slow by now- Since I don't have the budget to upgrade (I used the money raised from pre-orders to pay the voice actors)  I'll have to be patient. 

Running older,  less power efficient PC's 24/7 might be MORE expensive in the long run than upgrading their processors/mainboards/ram to newer models now as the new models consume less power.

Ideally I'd be able to replace the parts inside of the 3 render nodes and upgrade them to i7-3770's which would make just those 3 nodes faster than the 5 machines I have now- saving money on the power bill with less machines running and more energy efficient machines at that.

Newegg.com has an option to not pay for 12 months with no interest, you just have to pay it in full before the 12 months is up. So I'm debating whether or not to do that and pay it off with money from the sales of the film.... hmmm....

So it would be $2000 to upgrade the three render nodes- and another $1500 to cover the power bill of 3-4 months of 24/7 rendering.

I guess its good if my only problem right now in regard to the film is the financing- the film is coming out AMAZING! And production is speeding along so yeah...



So I have a few options- 

1- render on the one PC  24/7 and it will take 6-12 months from now to finish rendering the film- the monthly power bill won't be insane- this is the most likely option but it would push back the release date from Dec 2013 to June 2014- the film would be "done" in August 2013- it would just take all that time to render

2- render with all my PC's 24/7 and it will take 3-6 months to finish rendering the film BUT the power bill will go upwards of $500 a month which I can't afford unless I raised the money to cover this- then the film would be released on schedule in Dec 2013

The cost to upgrade the render nodes to i7-3770's  is about $620 each (I would also have to upgrade the motherboards,  ram, and cpu cooler)

As the cost of power rises (with everything else) - rendering your film can become a financial liability or a time sink- so raise/earn/save the money to cover the costs or be prepared to wait.

Covering the costs of rendering was the main motivation for doing a kickstarter for the film, which wasn't successful. BUT I will probably launch another one soon now that I have actual footage- but I'll set the amount to just cover the costs of upgrading renders nodes + power costs. A $3500 kickstarter should be doable eh?

Thoughts? Ideas? Recommendations? Let me know!

Update 6-13 - The mainboard on the one render server/client that was rendering just died- so I'll really have to do something about this now. Decisions-decisions!