Two words, Veronica Mars. Many know the name from the popular crime-drama series that ended in 2007 after 3 seasons. Yesterday the series began making a lot of noise on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. In less than 10 hours a campaign known as the “Veronica Mars Movie Project” surpassed it goal of $2 million, potentially rewriting the way studios and filmmakers fund future endeavors.
The Veronica Mars team has tried multiple avenues to get their project on the big screen. Eventually series creator, Rob Thomas, approached Warner Brothers to ask for their blessing to launch a Kickstarter campaign, in order to fund a Veronica Mars movie. Fans were asked to pledge various amounts in return for a series of rewards.
In a matter of hours, the Veronica Mars Movie became the first Kickstarter campaign for a major motion picture to reach $1 million in pledges. In a few more hours that record was then smashed when the project hit is campaign goal of $2 million. As of 10 a.m. this morning the backers keep increasing by the second, and with 29 days remaining until the campaign closes, it’s hard to tell what the final amount might be.
Imagine having to organize and distribute those rewards to 44,000 backers (and climbing).
So what does this mean for the film industry? Forbes ponders whether this will be a boon or bust for the industry model. The campaign is certainly a good deal for Warner Brothers, but what trends and perhaps unrealistic expectations will it set for filmmakers? What productions will now be expected to rely on their fan base to fund and revitalize shelved projects? What television series, films and other once dead storylines will be brought back to life through crowdfunding and the will of fans?
Want to learn more about crowdfunding? Then mark your calendar for Wednesday March 27, and the next Film, Music and Interactive Happy Hour in Seattle. Guest speaker Steve Edmiston will talk about the ins and outs of successful and failed crowdfunding. The consequences of a failed crowdfunding initiative can leave a mark on your work, but the strategist who knows how to play the system can come out on top. Hear tips and strategies drawn from his experience as well as a recent academic study of 47,000 crowdfunding projects by Ethan Mollick of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.