Fathom Studios made a highly progressive move by opening themselves up to scrutiny from the outside. They posted their progress on-line over a number of years, and not in the form of sanitized press releases or occasional images. They were actually using their site to post dailies, rough footage, fragments of animation as they were being scrutinized, polished, and reworked. This was a first for any active studio production.
Fathom Studios produced animation for broadcast and industrial clients starting in 1994. One of the reasons Delgo became possible was because of its work for these clients akin to Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy because of the similar warm-up work WETA did on the Hercules and Xena series. Fathom Studios then took two years creating a proof-of-concept test, ninety seconds of animation that gave Marc Adler and his team the confidence and the financial muscle to take on the challenge of making a movie completely outside the Hollywood system.
Fathom Studios signed only recognizable, bankable actors for principle parts as part for their production master plan. They then rolled out their cast announcements gradually, thus maximizing the PR impact and addressing potential distribution concerns of the companies they needed to get the film into theaters.
Had the lowest per-theater gross on its opening weekend of any wide release in American film history, breaking the record set by _The Ten Commandments (2007)_ (qv, by being released on 2000 screens and grossed a total of just $690,000 against a budget of $40 million.
As part of the marketing for Delgo, the production team would upload Digital Dailies to the internet, allowing fans to follow the production as it happened. Many of the production's animators were contacted by university professors and Hollywood agents on the strength of these Digital Dailies alone. The uploads were receiving on average a half million hits a month.
Animators and crew members were recruited locally from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia Tech and other smaller digital outfits, while students from the North Atlanta High School drama department would act out scenes for reference material for the animators.
Fathom Studio entered in to a partnership with Dell to provide them with the hardware to make the film, in much the same way that Hewlett-Packard supplies DreamWorks Animation and Apple work alongside PIXAR.