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The Future of Filmmaking

Posted on the 21 March 2013 by April Whaley @aprilcwhaley

The Future of FilmmakingKickstarter Website
            One of the big news stories lately has been the success of a recent crowd funding campaign to fund a movie version of Veronica Mars on the popular website Kickstarter.  The creator of the original television series that inspired the project, Rob Thomas, posted the Veronica Mars Movie Project early on March 13.  Thomas and star Kristen Bell have been unsuccessfully attempting to revive the cancelled show since it went off the air in 2007.   They finally approached the idea of crowd funding in a last-ditch effort to leave it up to the fans of the cult show.  Warner Bros., who owns the rights to Veronica Mars, agreed to the Kickstarter launch.  They assumed that if Thomas could reach his pledge goal of  $2 million, the lowest amount needed to make the film, it would prove there was enough fan interest to justify the expense. 

        The $2 million goal was an ambitious project for Kickstarter, the largest campaign so far in the film category.  Thomas was determined to make the most of this opportunity, however.  He wrote on the Kickstarter website,“This is our shot.  I believe it’s the only one we’ve got. It’s nerve-wracking. I suppose we could fail in spectacular fashion, but there’s also the chance that we completely revolutionize how projects like ours can get made. No Kickstarter project ever has set a goal this high. It’s up to you, the fans, now.”

       Within four hours and twenty-four minutes of the Kickstarter launch, the Veronica Mars Movie Project had already become the first project in the film category to reach the $1 million landmark.  The $2 million goal was hit in less than 10 hours.  As a personal fan of Veronica Mars, I donated to the fund as well.  The speed with which the pledges grew surprised everyone involved, and ensured that Warner Bros. would approve the film.   They’ve also agreed to cover the marketing and distribution for the movie.

The Future of Filmmaking
Unsuccessful Movie Poster
       The question on everyone’s mind once the Kickstarter goal was met, however, became, “What does this mean for the future?” Many news sites immediately began speculating on what other cancelled television series could also be resurrected with crowd funding resources.  Producers such as Joss Whedonhave had to quickly respond to the Kickstarter news.  Whedon’s cancelled show Firefly is one of the first to always be mentioned in terms of devoted fans demanding more.  Whedon responded immediately in the press, saying, “For me, [Kickstarter] doesn't just open the floodgates.”  While Whedon is actually a fan of Veronica Mars, and excited by the new opportunities available with this campaign, his own situation is very different from that of Rob Thomas.  Can the success of one project really alter the way movies and television series are funded in our society?
The Future of Filmmaking
Concept Art for Attempted Spin-Off

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