Hollywood executives are now going beyond the traditional methods of obtaining funding for films. Instead of searching for wealthy backers, many films have turned to a website called Kickstarter, a private for-profit company that helps raise funds via “crowd funding.” Rob Thomas, the creator and writer of Dawson’s Creek, 90210, and Veronica Mars, started a Kickstart account to launch funding for the creation of the Veronica Mars movie with the original cast. The intended goal was to generate $2 million from backers. However, on March 13, the launch day of the project, the fund for the Veronica Mars movie received over $1 million in backings. As an incentive for the backers the creators intend to give premiere passes, memorabilia, and even a part in the movie to the highest backers. In order to get the project started the stars of the hit TV series released a video encouraging fans to back the project (see the promo here). Another popular TV series Arrested Development, turned to Kickstarter when the producers could not afford the copyright fees to release the Arrested Development Documentary. There budget was much smaller, specifically $20,053, needed to use certain images within the documentary.
Kickstarter is giving a whole new meaning to the power of the fans. Not only does this make the producing process of a project easier to fund, but also it allows the project’s fans to feel as if they contributed to the making of the film. Another draw to these types of projects is both shows have been cancelled for over six years. The anticipation for a reboot of these shows is making the audiences even more determined to bring back something people have loved. The fans have stayed true to their TV favorites even years later. However, the Veronica Mars and Arrested Development projects are special situations. Both shows have creators who are willing to struggle for many years to get the project going as well as a cast who is available to reunite for the project. In both of these cases, the fans are eager to fund these projects if it means bringing back the nostalgic show. Thanks to Kickstarter you can create your own job title in Hollywood.
What are your thoughts on this new wave of fan engagement?