Thinking this out in more detail, where are the problematic issues involved from each participant’s point-of-view?
The art-buyer might be a larger entity such as a publication, broadcaster or institute, but might be an individual scientist, an artist-initiated digital publishing or interactive effort.
- quick overview of visuals to be purchased, either directly in the form of a searchable library or indirectly to serve as a reference, determining the expected quality of a contracted piece
- easily defined contractual clarity of usage rights, including potential exclusivity, time / geographic limits
- one-stop payment (ie. transfer to one entity defining ownership, not individual members of a team)
- pitch-visuals to promote the sale of a project
The authors are anyone involved in the content creation process. The simplest collaboration would be a one-man show, such as Mark Witton… scientist, artist and publisher in one. The more complex collaborations might be a number of scientific consultants, artists, developers and a publisher. I suppose the first doesn’t need a coordinating site like I propose, nor would a visual illustrator plus scientist collaborator. But with increasing complexity, a collaboration platform might well enable the team to become a team.
- access to project opportunities, job generation
- reward in form of credits and financial reimbursement
- trust that these rewards are forthcoming and thus: transparent overview of team constitution, progress and profit
- ideally, a course of action in cases of dispute
A missing link here might the classic role of executive or creative producer. If someone with this role is involved, they are likely to bridge both POVs.
The project’s POV is defined within a limited amount of time, with a clear-cut termination goal… a series of illustrations with set format, resolution, content. An interactive book with game doc defining platform, content, look and performance requirements… not at all trivial to determine at the beginning of a project, but crucial to the feasibility of a successful project. I could imagine some projects being financed in advanced, but as ie. broadcasters are more likely to be a hindrance to plausible palaeovisualization, the assumption must be that financing is at least partially deferred.
- clearly defined timeline and goal
- project management support (transparent team roles, goals, tasks, schedules, etc.)
- intuitive communication and remote collaboration tools
- exploitation > sales, potentially to continue development on to further projects
Sounds simple, but there are ample conflicts-of-interest between these POVs. What if the result is an asset, which – in order to increase sales – might be offered on various establish asset sites and therefore extend beyond the scope of the collaboration platform. The promise of transparency for the authors is broken. As it likely will be upon payment, as an art-buyer will pay one entity, likely via transfer or paypal, in exchange for distribution / usage rights. All this emphasizes the role of trust in team members, which perhaps should only be able to join the platform via invite, and makes a reputation system necessary.