When the Veronica Mars Movie Project on popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter.com ended, the project had earned $5,702,153, more than $3 million over what Rob Thomas needed to start the project. Originally requesting $2 million, Thomas and the entire world found the project reaching the mark in less than 12 hours. With backers from over 21 countries, including Austria, Canada, Ireland, The UK, and of course the United States, this project was the fastest crowdfunded project on Kickstarter with the most backers of any project that ever existed on the site.
We’ve Got The Power
There have been many times that fans have done something that made a network reconsider their options concerning a show. From Serenity the movie, the many tons of nuts that CBS receive for Jericho, the Subway campaign for Chuck, and the light bulb campaign for Friday Night Lights, fans have always been willing to do whatever it takes to keep their favorite shows on the air. Veronica Mars fans were no different, only this show asked for money and more than 90,000 people were willing to fork over the cash. For so long, people in love with television has been at the whim of network executives who are only looking for shows that increase their revenue through advertising billing, not necessarily shows that the viewing public wanted to see. Those executives proved that the 90,000 plus fans who would do anything for Veronica Mars were not worth the time, effort and money that was required to keep them happy by keeping their show on the air. Kickstarter helped prove that this small group of fans – because really, what’s the percentage of 90,000 people versus the total population of the 21 countries that were privileged enough to donate – had the ability to resurrect the dead. Through crowdfunding, they were greater than the sum of their parts.
What does this mean? What realm does our “power” extend to? We’ve seen indie albums made (and I mean actual vinyl albums), helped developed indie video game projects, funded art installations, and helped documentaries and indie films become reality. Does the power that Kickstarter, and other crowdfunding opportunities, give creative people with interesting ideas making an impact on their world today?
According to Kickstarter.com, 43.82% of all projects started on Kickstarter successfully collected monies. Kickstarter has an all or nothing approach to funding. Sites like indiegogo.com offers creatives an opportunity to set goals and keep what they collect, even if it is not the entire amount needed and the all or nothing approach – each to encourage responsible and reasonable monetary goals. Specifically on Kickstarter, the Veronica Mars Movie Project was the highest funded project in the film category. Charlie Kaufman has successfully funded an animated series through Kickstarter and the guys responsible for Mystery Science Theatre 3000 have successfully funded their new venture, to create a Rifftrack for a theatre showing of Twilight – a hilarious voiceover similar to what they did for B-movies on MST3K.
With the high profile nature of the Veronica Mars Movie Project’s crowdfunding as well as the recent noticeable return of Arrested Development, the general public sees that they could have a say in the return of their favorite shows. It also says something about how everyday people can put their money where their hearts are when it comes to creativity. Want to support an art installation that documents an important moment in your city’s history? Want to help your favorite local band record at a nationally known studio? Want to support a documentary that chronicles your great-grandfather’s important role in history? All this and more is within the world’s reach. According to crowdfundinsider.com, “the gaming industry may have been changed forever by the phenomena [of crowdfunding].”
If you thought Veronica Mars received so much more than asked for, try looking at Ouya, which was originally going for $950,000 and raised more than $8 million. Ouya is an open source gaming console built on Android for television. Since their funding, they’ve gotten an exclusive game from Final Fantasy and Vevo will stream their music videos through the platform.
These are example of success that have been hard to come by traditionally, success that was made possible by crowdfunding opportunities. Veronica Mars has been off the air for six years. If Warner Brothers wanted to make a movie, they’ve had more than enough time to make their move. It was the love of Rob Thomas and the Veronica Mars cast and their fans, as well as the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform, which made this movie a reality. Years of talking about it has come to fruition and the fans are the ones who have spoken. We used to be friends a long time ago and thanks to crowdfunding, we get to visit the world of Neptune once again.