Of Kickstarter, Crowd Funding and Veronica Mars

I bloody loved Veronica Mars.

Veronica Mars

A smart, beautifully written show which was fresh and engaging, it was a little bit undermined by a final season which was clearly filmed under the shadow of the ax; it lacked the confidence to play out storylines across the whole series and seemingly went for abbreviated mini-arcs in case it got cancelled mid-season. Unfortunately, when it survived to the end of the season it then threw caution to the wind and turned to finale into a set-up for another season which never came. It became the by-word for a show that lacked closure.

Well, as you might have heard, that’s about to change. as reported over here on The Wrap. A campaign on Kickstarter raised $2 million in under a day, which will pay the production costs for a movie. Warner Bros have apparently given the go-ahead, and the project is very much real.

This is some fairly amazing stuff, and says a huge amount about how the industry is changing. As I mentioned when I wrote about the illegal download thing, everything’s very much in flux in terms of finding production and distribution models that work. We’ve been intending to try the crowd-funding model at some point very soon, allowing us the freedom the make exactly the kind of movies we want to make and our followers want to watch. It’s an exciting new horizon and maybe, just maybe, it might prove a good fit for a certain movie we’ve been drip-feeding information about all year.

On a totally unconnected note, here’s the teaser artwork for Evil Apps, which premiered over on our Facebook page earlier this week.




Totally unconnected to our eventual crowd-sourcing plans, honestly.


Anyway, back to Veronica Mars. I love the idea of a show simply refusing to die because the fan base don’t want it to. When Joss Whedon’s massively enjoyable Firefly was prematurely cancelled, the show was given another roll of the dice in the form of cracking big-screen spin-off Serenity. Unfortunately, the box-office takings of the spin-off made further journeys unlikely, regardless of the fact that Serenity is a critically well-regarded flick that is widely loved by the target audience.

But that was then. That was 2005. That was a different business model.

The box-office (or video-on-demand, or DVD sales) of the Veronica Mars spin-off aren’t the be-all and end-all of the show’s fortunes in the way that Serenity’s were, because the new business model means that the movie can be more or less in the black the the first point someone buys a copy (unless there’s a huge marketing spend outside of the Kickstarter budget, which is doubtful). It’s sure to prove a fantastically liberating way of making stuff, and it potentially means that shows can continue as long as people want to see them, rather than being dependent on the whims of the networks.

Given that this week Vimeo have also launched Vimeo on Demand, the future is looking very interesting as far as both funding models and distribution platforms go.

For the companies that can whether the storm, I think there’s some potentially wonderful opportunities just around the corner.

PS. Incidentally, I talk about distribution deals in my hour-long live show about zero-budget horror filmmaking “Werewolves, Cheerleaders & Chainsaws” which we’re distributing absolutely free. You can watch the sucker on the link below. It’s NSFW with some gore, swearing and nudity. Hope you enjoy it.

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