Will ‘Veronica Mars: The Movie’ Usher in an Era of Crowdfunded Films?
UPDATE (March 14): The Veronica Mars crowdfunding project broke Kickstarter records by hitting the $1 million mark in four hours. (The previous record was held by PC game Planescape: Torment, which did it in six.) It reached its $2 million goal in ten hours, and continues to climb.
When Veronica Mars went off the air in 2007 after only three seasons, its fans were devastated. Like many shows that have come before and since, Veronica Mars attracted a small but dedicated cult following, but didn’t have the mainstream appeal to convince the networks to continue airing it.
Isn’t that always the way it goes? Some of the best shows on TV (OK, I might be a little biased), like Arrested Development, Firefly and Freaks and Geeks have met the same fate – cancelled before their time, doomed to be quoted forever but never seen again.
But one Kickstarter campaign might change all that.
If Veronica Mars fans can donate $2 million on Kickstarter by April 12, 2013, creator Rob Thomas, star Kristen Bell and Warner Bros. will make a Veronica Mars movie. According to the Kickstarter page, this is their one chance to make the film. If the money isn’t raised by the deadline, the opportunity to make a Veronica Mars movie will pass forever.
But I wouldn’t worry too much about that. As I finish writing this, almost $630,000 has already been raised, and there’s still 30 days left. When I started writing, the count was at $530,000.
Of course, as Thomas says in a letter to fans on the Kickstarter page, the more money they raise, the better the movie they can make. To encourage donations, they’re offering some really sweet perks to their backers. Along with things like T-shirts, posters, digital downloads and DVDs, backers can also buy themselves custom voicemail messages and video greetings recorded by cast members, tickets to the movie premiere in L.A., positions as background extras, private screenings, the opportunity to name a character in the movie and a speaking role in the film.
Despite having never seen Veronica Mars (maybe I can start now!), I’d love to see this project come to fruition because of what it would mean for the movie and television industry. I’d like to think that crowdfunded projects are the future, and that studios, networks and record labels will eventually go the way of the dinosaurs. Let’s make it happen.