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C'mon Hollywood: Why should we pay you to make movies?

Mar. 19, 2013by: Paul Shirey

This past week we witnessed a new evolution of crowdsourcing. The campaign to greenlight a VERONICA MARS movie, based on the short-lived TV show starring Kristen Bell, was able to raise more than it’s $2 million goal in less than 24 hours, making Kickstarter history and sounding the war drums for fans all over the world. It felt like a glorious victory for the show, which has a loyal and dedicated fanbase, fueled by the show’s creator, Rob Thomas. For his part, Thomas has remained committed to seeing the show return, which lasted for three seasons before petering out due to low ratings.

As of this writing, the Kickstarter campaign has garnered $3.6 million, which is well above the proposed goal and still with 25 days to go, while expanding into more international markets. It sounds like a dream come true, right? The fans have spoken with their wallets and now their dreams of seeing the show continue will come true! Everyone wins!

Or do they?

Let’s first consider what Kickstarter (and others like it) is: Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects, such as films, games, music, art, design, and technology, brought to life through the direct support of others. Now, who would need such a thing more? Big-name studios or new filmmakers?

The majority of film projects that are successfully funded via Kickstarter fall in the $10,000 or less goal. So, what does that kind of money say about those raising money for their film? It says that it’s mostly independent filmmakers trying to make their way into the medium; people who don’t have a major studio property or Hollywood connections. They’re simply ambitious artists trying to make a career in a very tough industry, with the majority of the money probably coming from family and peers.

Now, guess how many film projects have raised $1 million or more via Kickstarter? Only one: VERONICA MARS, a well-established property owned by Time Warner., a billion-dollar a year corporation with its hands in film, television, books, Internet, etc. Yes, a company with plenty of damn money to fund a feature film of a cancelled TV show.

Here’s the first issue (and what I see as the biggest): Crowdsourcing a major studio film immediately steals the wind from the sails of lower budget indie projects that are trying to take flight. There’s no proof in numbers on that yet, but it’s what I suspect will happen if this becomes a trend. By taking the spotlight away from new filmmakers trying to make their first feature and giving it to a group of well-established creatives and big-name studios, it makes it that much harder for them to take advantage of the Kickstarter phenomenon, which best serves the starving artists who have yet to garner any kind of recognition that could net them that kind of support.

If VERONICA MARS’ success creates a flood of campaigns by well-established filmmakers then you suddenly have a rush of people tossing money into nostalgic-minded or creator-centric projects (think GHOSTBUSTERS 3 or Scrubs: The Movie, etc.), leaving the new guys back to square one, their new window of opportunity gone, like a bully stealing lunch money on the playground. “Sorry dude, I already pledged $85 bucks for a sequel to SERENITY. Good luck with your indie flick, though.”

Then, there’s the common sense factor: Why should we pay studios to make movies? Don’t we already pay when we buy a ticket? Consider that the studio isn’t funding VERONICA MARS’ budget at all. The budget is whatever is raised on Kickstarter. Warner Bros. is picking up marketing and distribution, but that’s it. I mean, really, could we have made it any easier on them? It’s the most risk free investment they’ve had since Nolan ushered in THE DARK KNIGHT trilogy.

And, here’s the kicker; there’s no guarantee that VERONICA MARS will be successful! Fans pledging $3.6 million isn’t small potatoes, but it doesn’t guarantee that the final film will generate any more than that at the box office (or VOD, which is where the film is headed). Warner Bros. could easily have funded the film themselves after seeing the level of interest, but instead they’re going to allow the film to proceed with your money as the budget. The risk of a flop remains the same, whether they fund it or not, but why take on the budget if they can just use your cash? Not only that, but get you to pay twice (or more) with DVD, digital downloads, and rentals.

I’m more than happy to see the fans have a project they love come to life again. I think it’s great. I think the pledge support alone has proven that the desire is there. However, it feels like abuse when they’re paying the budget for the film when there’s a billion-dollar studio that is well within its means to fund it on its own. There’s a whole generation of filmmakers scraping things together to make their own projects, which are underfunded and without the benefit of big-name stars and studio support. These are the creators who will usher in the future of TV and cinema; fresh voices and new ideas that will create the next VERONICA MARS and the like.

Fans can support what they want and do what they want with their money. If a cheap t-shirt and a “signed” DVD is worth paying to have a movie made and then paying to see it, then so be it. But, think about every shit movie you paid to see in theaters; Would you want to pay that twice?  Would you want to be responsible for it?  Let the studios take the risk, just like any other business.  Your ticket purchase is enough. You want to invest? Do it for those that are hungry for a first chance, rather than those wanting another risk-free gamble on a past failure. The choice is yours.

Extra Tidbit: What do you think? Should studios have the right to muscle in and use Kickstarter? Do you think it's fair? Is there enough room for big studio projects and smaller indie fare? Let's hear what you think about this!
Source: JoBlo.com

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1:42AM on 04/02/2013

Getting what we want out of it

I am sorry, but to me there is absolutely no down side. If we want to see the movie, one which would not get made otherwise, we can donate, don't have to, but can. It was Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell who started the kickstarter project because the studio did not want to make the film or anything having to do with the series. As far as I am concerned, it gives fans of cult classics a chance to have their voice heard and possibly to bring new viewers to a beloved show. No downside.
I am sorry, but to me there is absolutely no down side. If we want to see the movie, one which would not get made otherwise, we can donate, don't have to, but can. It was Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell who started the kickstarter project because the studio did not want to make the film or anything having to do with the series. As far as I am concerned, it gives fans of cult classics a chance to have their voice heard and possibly to bring new viewers to a beloved show. No downside.
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6:16PM on 03/20/2013

It's my money. I'll spend it how I want.

Sorry for the double post.
Sorry for the double post.
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5:55PM on 03/20/2013

It's my money. I'll spend it how I want.

I'm sorry but I'm thankful I will get to see this project that wouldn't have otherwise happened happen. I'd give a kidney for a Veronica Mars movie . I would have donated even if I wasn't getting cool things in return for doing so. Seeing a movie happen is enough for me. If I were a millionaire I'd have funded it myself. People also act like the people spending money on this would have spent their money on other Kickstarter projects if they didn't support this. I'm sorry but no. I wasn't just
I'm sorry but I'm thankful I will get to see this project that wouldn't have otherwise happened happen. I'd give a kidney for a Veronica Mars movie . I would have donated even if I wasn't getting cool things in return for doing so. Seeing a movie happen is enough for me. If I were a millionaire I'd have funded it myself. People also act like the people spending money on this would have spent their money on other Kickstarter projects if they didn't support this. I'm sorry but no. I wasn't just looking somewhere to blow my money. I wasn't trying to find a project to support. I'm fairly broke but that didn't stop me from contributing to this. I have contributed on Kickstarter once before and that was to contribute to a friend's movie. I read the script and believe in it. With other projects on Kickstarter I have no clue how they'll turn out. I have no investment in these other projects. Had this not happened I would have just kept my money. This is being funded by diehard fans who came there specifically to contribute to this project. They wouldn't likely have even gone there otherwise. On the bright side while there some might decide to contribute to another project. Not I personally but I have read a couple of comments from people who did contribute to another project they came across. I don't think big studios will all of a sudden start using Kickstarter to fund big projects. But I do think it might be used for other niche projects. I know Firefly fans have already been clamoring for them to do one for another Firefly movie. But whatever, as long as I get my Veronica Mars movie I don't care. I figure I would have seen this movie 3 or 4 times theatrically to support it. I won't get that chance now because it's only going to be a limited release and it won't open here. So instead of spending tons of money on it theatrically, which includes gas to go to my theater which is an hour away and money for tickets, I may as well just contribute to this movie. Especially since the day it's released I'll be getting a digital copy and when it's released on DVD/Blu-ray I'll be getting the combo pack.

But whatever. People waste money on all kinds of things. Going to the bar, smoking, clothes, etc... I actually feel like I'm getting something worthwhile in return for this. WB won't be seeing a huge profit from this. They're paying marketing and distribution costs. They just didn't want to lose any money on it.

Enough with this stupid backlash. People need to get over it. If you don't want to contribute to the project then don't. I and other fans had mentioned on Facebook for like the last year that we'd gladly help fund the film if WB would just agree to make it. When it was announced that they agreed it was one of the happiest days of my life. Can't wait for the movie.
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8:20AM on 03/20/2013
People can spend their own dime how they want.
People can spend their own dime how they want.
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12:11AM on 03/20/2013

Complete, unabashed 100% agreement

"Hi, we're a major Hollywood studio. We made billions of dollars last year, but if you want us to make a movie out of that TV show you liked, you have to foot the bill for it. BTW we'll still be keeping any profit it makes. Thanks for giving us free money to do this, AND for buying a ticket when it comes out. Want a t-shirt so you can advertise our movie for free as well?"
"Hi, we're a major Hollywood studio. We made billions of dollars last year, but if you want us to make a movie out of that TV show you liked, you have to foot the bill for it. BTW we'll still be keeping any profit it makes. Thanks for giving us free money to do this, AND for buying a ticket when it comes out. Want a t-shirt so you can advertise our movie for free as well?"
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12:17AM on 03/20/2013
It wasn't WB's idea to do the movie, it was the creator Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell's idea. There was no way WB would have ever touched the Veronica Mars property ever again had there not been the Kickstarter! The two of them had talked about doing a movie for years, but nothing ever came of it because WB wasn't going to make a movie of a failed TV show with low ratings. Kickstarter was their chance to show WB that it was worth doing!
It wasn't WB's idea to do the movie, it was the creator Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell's idea. There was no way WB would have ever touched the Veronica Mars property ever again had there not been the Kickstarter! The two of them had talked about doing a movie for years, but nothing ever came of it because WB wasn't going to make a movie of a failed TV show with low ratings. Kickstarter was their chance to show WB that it was worth doing!
10:51AM on 03/20/2013
Maybe it wasn't WB's initial idea but they're still going to take your money to make the movie, then charge you a ticket to see it. This is not the definition of "showing the studio it's worth doing", because the studio is not on the hook for it. But I'm sure they'll be happy to keep the profits made (if any) from your investment.
Maybe it wasn't WB's initial idea but they're still going to take your money to make the movie, then charge you a ticket to see it. This is not the definition of "showing the studio it's worth doing", because the studio is not on the hook for it. But I'm sure they'll be happy to keep the profits made (if any) from your investment.
12:10AM on 03/20/2013
WB was NEVER going to touch the Veronica Mars liscense ever again. The show was critically recieved, but had poor viewership. As with Firefly probably over 80% of it's fans joined the bandwagon when the series hit DVD. There was no way that Veronica Mars would ever come back if Rob and Kristen hadn't done the Kickstarter. The movie isn't going to make hundreds of millions so I'm okay with payin $25 to help it happen (plus an exclusive t-shirt!), $10 for the movie ticket, and $20 for the
WB was NEVER going to touch the Veronica Mars liscense ever again. The show was critically recieved, but had poor viewership. As with Firefly probably over 80% of it's fans joined the bandwagon when the series hit DVD. There was no way that Veronica Mars would ever come back if Rob and Kristen hadn't done the Kickstarter. The movie isn't going to make hundreds of millions so I'm okay with payin $25 to help it happen (plus an exclusive t-shirt!), $10 for the movie ticket, and $20 for the blu-ray. How the hell would WB even vet that ther was enough intrest? Even if they knew, would they care? Universal and Whedon know that there's a huge fanbase for Firefly, but their not touching that. Sure Serenity flopped, but most of that show's fans probably came on after the movie. Either way, I'm glad Veronica Mars did a sequel. I don't want Kickstarter to go crazy and start seeing big studios putting all their movies on it.
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12:10AM on 03/20/2013
...and again sorry.
...and again sorry.
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12:03AM on 03/20/2013
Sorry...
Sorry...
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12:03AM on 03/20/2013
Is there no way to delete double posts?
Is there no way to delete double posts?
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12:01AM on 03/20/2013
Jesus...you guys still have this double post problem?
Jesus...you guys still have this double post problem?
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10:59PM on 03/19/2013
How is this a bad thing? It is anti-piracy, and get's what really fuels entertainment ($$$) to the talent that needs the money. It is showing that that 2.5 million viewership would pay $50 a piece to see that product if studios won't fund it, it is taking away the monopoly big studios have on product. Hell, I can honestly say some fan product is on par if not superior to the "real thing" anymore. Imagine making Preacher happen like this? It would definitely make HBO jump on it again.
How is this a bad thing? It is anti-piracy, and get's what really fuels entertainment ($$$) to the talent that needs the money. It is showing that that 2.5 million viewership would pay $50 a piece to see that product if studios won't fund it, it is taking away the monopoly big studios have on product. Hell, I can honestly say some fan product is on par if not superior to the "real thing" anymore. Imagine making Preacher happen like this? It would definitely make HBO jump on it again.
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8:50PM on 03/19/2013
So basically, if Stephanie Meyer starts a Kickstarter project for a new Twilight saga, we're doomed to another half-dozen, brain-melting films because the "fans" demanded it? Bad idea.
So basically, if Stephanie Meyer starts a Kickstarter project for a new Twilight saga, we're doomed to another half-dozen, brain-melting films because the "fans" demanded it? Bad idea.
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8:13PM on 03/19/2013

There is no "correct" way to use kickstarter

The beauty of the format is that you can donate if you WANT TO. That's it, end of discussion. What we do now is pay studios to make OTHER movies (i.e. we bought tickets to see The Dark Knight, that revenue made it possible for them to make Green Lantern). I'd much rather help fund things this way. And again, it drives me nuts when people complain about a kickstarter. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DONATE. NO ONE DOES.
The beauty of the format is that you can donate if you WANT TO. That's it, end of discussion. What we do now is pay studios to make OTHER movies (i.e. we bought tickets to see The Dark Knight, that revenue made it possible for them to make Green Lantern). I'd much rather help fund things this way. And again, it drives me nuts when people complain about a kickstarter. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DONATE. NO ONE DOES.
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7:19PM on 03/19/2013
Seems to me like what the Kickstarter thing is doing is attracting INVESTORS. Which means that they should give each of these Kickstarter backers a percentage of the profits rather than just looking for a quick handout. I certainly wouldn't be investing in a movie on Kickstarter unless there was some kind of financial remuneration once they'd turned a profit. NOT just being sent a pdf of the shooting script.
Seems to me like what the Kickstarter thing is doing is attracting INVESTORS. Which means that they should give each of these Kickstarter backers a percentage of the profits rather than just looking for a quick handout. I certainly wouldn't be investing in a movie on Kickstarter unless there was some kind of financial remuneration once they'd turned a profit. NOT just being sent a pdf of the shooting script.
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6:51PM on 03/19/2013

Depends on the project

According to [link] who often cite all the requisite information to come to a consensus on networths, Kristen Bell has $8 million. Who knows how much "Veronica Mars" creator Rob Thomas has, but it's probably in the $5-10 million range as well. So lets say between them and an outside, interested investor, they have $30 million at their disposal. It's a massive risk to put that into a feature which would probably honest cost them $5 million or more. Hell, Clerks 2 cost $5 million to produce and
According to [link] who often cite all the requisite information to come to a consensus on networths, Kristen Bell has $8 million. Who knows how much "Veronica Mars" creator Rob Thomas has, but it's probably in the $5-10 million range as well. So lets say between them and an outside, interested investor, they have $30 million at their disposal. It's a massive risk to put that into a feature which would probably honest cost them $5 million or more. Hell, Clerks 2 cost $5 million to produce and that had no action or major set pieces beyond the Mooby restaurant.
The rule of thumb when creating ventures of this nature is to avoid, at all costs, putting your own money into it. These are Hollywood veterans who know the game and have played it well with this Kickstarter campaign. I wouldn't worry about the future, unless all these fans expect a return on investment.
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4:36PM on 03/19/2013
Well it'll be interesting to see what kind of precedent this sets. Veronica Mars was a cult fave, but not a huge commercial success initially. I think there's a good chance a lot more movies that Hollywood doesn't really want to make will seek crowd-funding to be financed. I don't think studios will play that game with their big tent-pole movies, or really, as long as they figure their investment isn't completely ridiculous. In a straight numbers way, I don't know a good argument for WB to
Well it'll be interesting to see what kind of precedent this sets. Veronica Mars was a cult fave, but not a huge commercial success initially. I think there's a good chance a lot more movies that Hollywood doesn't really want to make will seek crowd-funding to be financed. I don't think studios will play that game with their big tent-pole movies, or really, as long as they figure their investment isn't completely ridiculous. In a straight numbers way, I don't know a good argument for WB to finance VM, because a lot of the fans waited and bought the DVDs anyway. I do think just because there's a demand, not every fan-favorite deserves a companion movie. Meanwhile, I want to see smaller projects succeed. So I certainly hope this doesn't spiral out of control.
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4:36PM on 03/19/2013
I absolutely do not agree with pretty much anything said in this article. First of all, you make it sound as if there was only one Kickstarter project at the time. As I'm typing this, there is currently 865 projects in the Film & Video category alone. Saying it's either big Hollywood projects or indie movies that will work there but not both is a faulty premisse - there's plenty of space for both. Secondly, when did we talk more about Kickstarter then now, after Veronica Mars' success? Big
I absolutely do not agree with pretty much anything said in this article. First of all, you make it sound as if there was only one Kickstarter project at the time. As I'm typing this, there is currently 865 projects in the Film & Video category alone. Saying it's either big Hollywood projects or indie movies that will work there but not both is a faulty premisse - there's plenty of space for both. Secondly, when did we talk more about Kickstarter then now, after Veronica Mars' success? Big projects bring more people to the site, which in turn gives more chance to the smaller project who doesn't have a following. I suspect most of the people who funded VM were fans of the show, not Kickstarter.

As for the people paying twice, I don't think I'd do that but who cares? It's not my money they're spending, it's theirs! People work hard for their money, they shouldn't be prevented from funding a movie if they feel it's what they wanna do.
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4:13PM on 03/19/2013
Fantastic article. This is just a stepping stone. Studios are going to exploit this. There are legions of sheepish fans who will donate for comic adaptations and other franchise material. even if they don't get a DVD. Disney says "Well we don't really know the appeal of a Boba Fett spin off. So we're going to stick with the broad family stories. But if fan's front the budget on our kickstarter page, we'll make it." You know that shit will have it's budget within the week. It's an excuse for
Fantastic article. This is just a stepping stone. Studios are going to exploit this. There are legions of sheepish fans who will donate for comic adaptations and other franchise material. even if they don't get a DVD. Disney says "Well we don't really know the appeal of a Boba Fett spin off. So we're going to stick with the broad family stories. But if fan's front the budget on our kickstarter page, we'll make it." You know that shit will have it's budget within the week. It's an excuse for Hollywood to take even less risk and make less original product on their own... and I can't believe most of these comments seem to support that... fuck you guys like really.
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3:30PM on 03/19/2013
I'm very torn on your article here. On one hand, no studios should not be using Kickstarter as a means of funding their movies. But I think the general public is smart enough to tell the difference between a filmmaker raising money for a studio movie that he would otherwise never get the funding for vs. a studio raising money for something like Man of Steel 2. I mean, Rob Thomas started the Kickstarter campaign, not the studio execs and he did it because studios were playing their business
I'm very torn on your article here. On one hand, no studios should not be using Kickstarter as a means of funding their movies. But I think the general public is smart enough to tell the difference between a filmmaker raising money for a studio movie that he would otherwise never get the funding for vs. a studio raising money for something like Man of Steel 2. I mean, Rob Thomas started the Kickstarter campaign, not the studio execs and he did it because studios were playing their business smart and not investing in a movie with an unknowable return. But he does know that there are people who want to see this movie so he used the means available to him to get it funded. In a month when Disney has a kickstarter campaign for Star Wars: Ep.7, I think the general public will be smart enough to tell Disney to fuck off and fund it themselves. There are just major differences in how it's being used and it's not as black and white as you make it seem to be that studios are now stepping in on Kickstarter as a means to fund their projects.
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3:27PM on 03/19/2013

This could change everything

Studios right now are realizing that they might not have to pay for movies to be made if the demands high enough, Could Marvel in a few years do something like... You want a Black Panther movie then help pay for it to make it a reality.
Studios right now are realizing that they might not have to pay for movies to be made if the demands high enough, Could Marvel in a few years do something like... You want a Black Panther movie then help pay for it to make it a reality.
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3:23PM on 03/19/2013
Not sure how funding the making of the movie is paying hollywood, but I guess I thought it was kind of cool that a movie that probably had no shot of being made can be made because of the power of being a fan. Who doesn't want to say they helped participate in getting something there were passionate about made w/ a little swag thrown in for their donation?
Not sure how funding the making of the movie is paying hollywood, but I guess I thought it was kind of cool that a movie that probably had no shot of being made can be made because of the power of being a fan. Who doesn't want to say they helped participate in getting something there were passionate about made w/ a little swag thrown in for their donation?
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1:19PM on 03/19/2013

It's ridiculous

The money they raised is a pittance in marketing. It will all be sucked up no matter what lies they tell everyone. Kristen Bell is a millionaire, if she cared about this project so much, and her fans, you guys would have gotten a movie already. Kickstarter is for small independent guys who can't get a break or funding. Not millionaires who just don't want to pay up to make something they think is cool, but will do crappy things like this. I don't even know what Veronica Mars is LOL.
The money they raised is a pittance in marketing. It will all be sucked up no matter what lies they tell everyone. Kristen Bell is a millionaire, if she cared about this project so much, and her fans, you guys would have gotten a movie already. Kickstarter is for small independent guys who can't get a break or funding. Not millionaires who just don't want to pay up to make something they think is cool, but will do crappy things like this. I don't even know what Veronica Mars is LOL.
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6:16PM on 03/20/2013
You're so wrong. Back when Bell actually did have more money her and Rob wanted to get the rights from WB and she wanted to fund the movie herself. WB would not allow them to do this.

As a friend said in response to saying Bell could fund it herself:

"People saying Bell should fund it herself aren't thinking about the logistics here. For "House Of Lies" she probably makes somewhere in the wheelhouse of $100,000 per episode - for 12 episodes. So $1.2 million for her primary source of
You're so wrong. Back when Bell actually did have more money her and Rob wanted to get the rights from WB and she wanted to fund the movie herself. WB would not allow them to do this.

As a friend said in response to saying Bell could fund it herself:

"People saying Bell should fund it herself aren't thinking about the logistics here. For "House Of Lies" she probably makes somewhere in the wheelhouse of $100,000 per episode - for 12 episodes. So $1.2 million for her primary source of income (and then remove agent fees, manager fees, publicist fees, etc). Add in maybe $500,000 for movies she makes that are big (and most are not - her last movie only cost $1 million total to make) and endorsement deals here and there and she probably makes $2-3 million a year. Same goes for Dax Shepard. They are also about to start a family. Why would they want to devote their entire year's salary to making this? It doesn't make sense. Bell isn't some huge name like Jennifer Aniston who makes $20 million a year just off "Friends" residuals. I'm sure she's donating whatever she can of her own money as this is a passion project for her."

Just because she's a celebrity doesn't mean she's as rich as some seem to think.

One reason WB is doing this Kickstarter is to gauge how much interest there even is in a film. They didn't think there would be enough to fund a movie themselves. And they're probably right about that. I also don't think they believed enough money would be raised. They didn't think the show had enough fans or believe that people were so eager to see it that they'd contribute. I personally see it as sticking it to WB. Showing them that they're wrong and us fans do want this bad enough. I don't care if someone even donates $1 it's just nice to see the amount of donors increase. At the moment I'm not super impressed by the amount of donors but I am pleased with the amount of money raised. My hope is that we'll get another movie or a return of the show one day. For now it will just be great to see this character return and keep this character alive. I hope this show will gain many new viewers and fans. It's one of my all-time favorites. I have lent out my copies so many times and everyone has loved it. I've bought the seasons for all of my friend's daughters. I kept getting asked by a couple of friends if there is any news on a movie. I was happy last week to have some big news for them. For us fans, this couldn't be a better thing. If WB tries to use it to fund some blockbuster movie then b*tch about it. But if this is the only way to see a passion project happen I'm all for it.
11:55AM on 03/19/2013

sorry for double post

This is a broken system. If you wan't to criticize something, criticize copyright law. Licensing. The ridiculous Nielsen ratings system. Leave crowdfunding out of your c'mon hollywoods because that 3.6 million dollar pledge is all of Veronica Mars fandom screaming "c'mon hollywood"
This is a broken system. If you wan't to criticize something, criticize copyright law. Licensing. The ridiculous Nielsen ratings system. Leave crowdfunding out of your c'mon hollywoods because that 3.6 million dollar pledge is all of Veronica Mars fandom screaming "c'mon hollywood"
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11:55AM on 03/19/2013
sorry for double post
sorry for double post
11:46AM on 03/19/2013

CONGRATS: This is THE dumbest C'Mon Hollywoods I've read (and i read when Sturdy was a regular)

"Let the studios take the risk, just like any other business."

Here's the problem: the studio would never 'take the risk' Wanna know why? Because the projected return wouldn't warrant it. Why would WB make a VMars movie when it could focus its resources (exorbitant as they may be, they are still finite) on Batman and Superman and billion dollar returns. Big studios stay big by playing in the major leagues. The unfortunate truth is that owning the rights Veronica Mars allows them to
"Let the studios take the risk, just like any other business."

Here's the problem: the studio would never 'take the risk' Wanna know why? Because the projected return wouldn't warrant it. Why would WB make a VMars movie when it could focus its resources (exorbitant as they may be, they are still finite) on Batman and Superman and billion dollar returns. Big studios stay big by playing in the major leagues. The unfortunate truth is that owning the rights Veronica Mars allows them to collect royalties without even thinking about bringing these characters back. For one, it's free money with NO work; for two, considering all of the coordination and effort that would go into resurrecting a series like VMars, the profits would be insignificant when you can just fart out another Green Lantern movie and reap the benefits of the big box office, the six flags cross-promotion, collateral animated flicks (all, of course, bolstered by the studio-fellating joblo dot com).

Sure, it sounds stupid that we have to help fund our own movie but without Kickstarter we'll NEVER see these characters again.
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11:55AM on 03/19/2013
double post sorry
double post sorry
2:03PM on 03/19/2013
You lost me at "Green Lantern" and "big box office."

You lost me at "Green Lantern" and "big box office."

2:27PM on 03/19/2013
i chose green lantern deliberately for that exact reason. Look at a big, expensive movie that nobody liked, except i guess that one commenter who i swear hits EVERY article, that still pulled in 219 million worldwide. Now that all the returns came in, safe assumption that the studio's profit there is either negligible or non-existent, but that's still a big number. Studios make plays for those big numbers... that's where they look to assign their risk. And it doesn't hurt to have all those
i chose green lantern deliberately for that exact reason. Look at a big, expensive movie that nobody liked, except i guess that one commenter who i swear hits EVERY article, that still pulled in 219 million worldwide. Now that all the returns came in, safe assumption that the studio's profit there is either negligible or non-existent, but that's still a big number. Studios make plays for those big numbers... that's where they look to assign their risk. And it doesn't hurt to have all those merchandising & cross-promotional dollars flowing in.

Before this kickstarter, which seemed more realistic: a Veronica Mars movie or Green Lantern 2 feat. Channing Tatum
3:22PM on 03/19/2013
Green Lantern barely made back its budget and even helped to end the animated series. It was, by all definitions, a costly failure. Now, look at something like The Help, which came out the same year as Green Lantern. It cost $25 million to make and garnered $211 million worldwide. That's a hell of a profit, which beat the hell out of Green Lantern domestically and still beat it overall in terms of profit. (Green Lantern's final take was $219 million, a pretty sad take for a film that cost
Green Lantern barely made back its budget and even helped to end the animated series. It was, by all definitions, a costly failure. Now, look at something like The Help, which came out the same year as Green Lantern. It cost $25 million to make and garnered $211 million worldwide. That's a hell of a profit, which beat the hell out of Green Lantern domestically and still beat it overall in terms of profit. (Green Lantern's final take was $219 million, a pretty sad take for a film that cost $200 million to make).

So, the studio's plowing money into a big-budget feature is no more or less a gamble than a smaller film. However, when smaller films take off, they tend to outpace profits by a large margin. Don't take my word for it, though. Do the research and you'll find the facts.

Bottom line; There's no reason WB couldn't foot the bill on Veronica Mars other than lazy greed. "For one, it's free money with NO work." Exactly the problem.

And, for someone saying that this site is, as you say, "studio-fellating" you're doing a fine job of standing up for them.
11:27AM on 03/19/2013
Kickstarter is voluntary. If you don't like it, don't pay. I didn't. If you really want to see a Veronica Mars movie, help them fund it, and then go see it because they were finally able to make it with your help, than you got exactly what you wanted. I really don't see the harm in that.

I mean apparently $35 gets you a copy of the movie. Spending $35 to help get a movie I'm interest in seeing plus a physical copy of it is WAY better than spending $12 on a movie that was just ok.
Kickstarter is voluntary. If you don't like it, don't pay. I didn't. If you really want to see a Veronica Mars movie, help them fund it, and then go see it because they were finally able to make it with your help, than you got exactly what you wanted. I really don't see the harm in that.

I mean apparently $35 gets you a copy of the movie. Spending $35 to help get a movie I'm interest in seeing plus a physical copy of it is WAY better than spending $12 on a movie that was just ok.
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+4
10:47AM on 03/19/2013
I can't wait to see how the studios will manipulate this funding model if it proves to be a financial success.
I can't wait to see how the studios will manipulate this funding model if it proves to be a financial success.
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10:41AM on 03/19/2013
The green "I'm hip to this news" indicates that you wrote a very thought-provoking article, Paul.
I can see two pros and two cons to big studios having Kickstart campaigns.
On one hand, studios are businesses. And, by necessity, businesses must be somewhat risk adverse. They cannot just repeatedly "piss away" four million here and four million there. Such losses might add up. Therefore, fans need to speak the studios' language in those fans' negotiations. If fans want a niche movie made (e.g.
The green "I'm hip to this news" indicates that you wrote a very thought-provoking article, Paul.
I can see two pros and two cons to big studios having Kickstart campaigns.
On one hand, studios are businesses. And, by necessity, businesses must be somewhat risk adverse. They cannot just repeatedly "piss away" four million here and four million there. Such losses might add up. Therefore, fans need to speak the studios' language in those fans' negotiations. If fans want a niche movie made (e.g. an unrated exploitation wide theatrical release), if they want to see a cult classic revived even on DTV, those fans might have to convince not only their fellow fanboys at the studio but also the money-grubbing suits who could give two shits about a fan's beloved Veronica Mars, Swamp Thing, horror character, or any other property. Big studio Kickstart can at least get a desired movie made. Furthermore, fans are not foolish for giving money to a big studio. Generally, big studios have established talent. Any project's cast and crew really know what they are doing. And, a fan's investment might be likely well used. In contrast, some independent film-makers, especially if neophytes, make great films, and others certainly do not. For entertainment, the big studio movie is the surer bet.
On the other hand, big studio Kickstart is a lousy idea. People should not send their hard-earned cash to the big studios. For one thing, as you point-out, studios have plenty of money. So, they should use their competent abilities to make good movies that will surely return an investment whether four million dollars or two hundred million. For another thing, as you point-out, fan funds are finite. Fans need to close their checkbooks at some point; they cannot fund everyone. Therefore, who needs the money more? The big business, corporation, with plenty of money to manage wisely? Or, the independent "small" business that might not have much start--up capital at all. As you point-out, any endeavor's future relies often upon supporting the new guy. Finally, I would like to ask. If a fan supports a big studio financially, just how much INFLUENCE does he think that he buys? Does he believe that the studio will let him review the script before shooting? Will he get to pick the cast and director? Will he get to decide whether the studio releases a work that is respectful of the work upon which it is based? Just how much does the investing fan get to also play producer? Granted, some studios will make someone give someone an executive producer credit if the person provides enough money. However, fans (a.k.a. movie consumers) should think about whether the studio provides what the fan hopes and expects. In other words, are the generous fans going to get what they paid for?
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10:35AM on 03/19/2013
If the people involved were passionate and dedicated enough about the project, they wouldn't need to make a Kickstarter. I'd rather support up and coming independent filmmakers (even then, I'm a little uncomfortable funding to since it feels like hard work is being exchanged for hand outs) because I can see where they're coming from more.
If the people involved were passionate and dedicated enough about the project, they wouldn't need to make a Kickstarter. I'd rather support up and coming independent filmmakers (even then, I'm a little uncomfortable funding to since it feels like hard work is being exchanged for hand outs) because I can see where they're coming from more.
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+13
10:34AM on 03/19/2013

Don't Forget

If you do donate enough you get a digital copy of the movie within days of the theatrical release. So your don't have to pay twice. Also getting the Blu-ray/DVD Combo is out there as an option. So for $35 bucks you get a new t-shirt, and a copy of the movie.
If you do donate enough you get a digital copy of the movie within days of the theatrical release. So your don't have to pay twice. Also getting the Blu-ray/DVD Combo is out there as an option. So for $35 bucks you get a new t-shirt, and a copy of the movie.
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+5
10:29AM on 03/19/2013
Whats the difference betweeen funding it now or giving money when its made for them to earn back the studio investment? If you aren't comofortable given more than 10 bucks than don't do it. If you like the idea of getting a TShirt, DVD, digital download, and seeing a movie you've wanted to see get made for 6 years for $50 bucks, then there is nothing wrong with that.
Whats the difference betweeen funding it now or giving money when its made for them to earn back the studio investment? If you aren't comofortable given more than 10 bucks than don't do it. If you like the idea of getting a TShirt, DVD, digital download, and seeing a movie you've wanted to see get made for 6 years for $50 bucks, then there is nothing wrong with that.
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+10
10:26AM on 03/19/2013

It's going to be irrelevant soon

The whole distribution model for movies is going to shift in the next decade. For those of us who like to go to movie theaters and watch films in the company of strangers - that's bad news. For people who are sick of studios muscling in - we're going to see a democratization of film making that's going to put the pinch on them, they way it has on music labels and chain stores. Here's to the end of "The Distributor."

Studios definitely have the potential to abuse this model, but it won't take
The whole distribution model for movies is going to shift in the next decade. For those of us who like to go to movie theaters and watch films in the company of strangers - that's bad news. For people who are sick of studios muscling in - we're going to see a democratization of film making that's going to put the pinch on them, they way it has on music labels and chain stores. Here's to the end of "The Distributor."

Studios definitely have the potential to abuse this model, but it won't take much to kill the goose with the golden egg. I also think it might be overlooking the intelligence of a potential kickstart donor. I personally have been very selective about what I've donated to. (Veronica Mars: no. Helping local independent movie theater stay in business by switching to digital: yes). That actually brings up a potential C'mon Hollywood topic - The Studios bullying of theaters to go digital. It's a 6 figure cost being thrust upon all theaters - whether its a megaplex, or an arthouse. And it's really the last thing these small cinemas need right now - not to mention putting projectionists out of work (and a real projectionist will tell you there's a lot more to it than putting the reel in the projector and hitting "play.")
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10:19AM on 03/19/2013
Sorry but I don't care how a Veronica Mars movie is getting made. It is getting made. I gladly donated. It is something I want to see and am more than happy to donate some cash to something that would not have gotten made otherwise. Yes this may begin the start of a trend for studios to force some projects to be paid for by fans, but honestly, how this has not happened yet is almost inconceivable. This is a business. There is no incentive for a studio to gamble on movie for a low rated
Sorry but I don't care how a Veronica Mars movie is getting made. It is getting made. I gladly donated. It is something I want to see and am more than happy to donate some cash to something that would not have gotten made otherwise. Yes this may begin the start of a trend for studios to force some projects to be paid for by fans, but honestly, how this has not happened yet is almost inconceivable. This is a business. There is no incentive for a studio to gamble on movie for a low rated cancelled tv show many years after it went off the air. I wish it wasn't like that, but it is.
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+5
10:18AM on 03/19/2013
I do see the argument for why Kickstarter is not being used correctly for studios like WB and others. The money generated by this project to produce the movie is a fraction of what WB probably writes off at the end of the year; it's minuscule.

However, I'm completely behind this idea. Rob Thomas clearly has a story left to tell in this world, otherwise he wouldn't have A) started this Kickstarter and B) secured all the major players from the show to join him. Is it odd seeing a video blog
I do see the argument for why Kickstarter is not being used correctly for studios like WB and others. The money generated by this project to produce the movie is a fraction of what WB probably writes off at the end of the year; it's minuscule.

However, I'm completely behind this idea. Rob Thomas clearly has a story left to tell in this world, otherwise he wouldn't have A) started this Kickstarter and B) secured all the major players from the show to join him. Is it odd seeing a video blog of millionaires begging me, Joe Blow, for money to help produce their movie? Yeah. But it was clear that the only way for a VM movie to happen was with a grand gesture by the fans. People can send all the peanuts they want to a studio in hopes of getting Jericho back on the air, but Kickstarter has shown there is a different way to go about it. It's a way for the fans to feel invested moreso than just mailing in complaint letters and wondering if anyone receiving those letters actually gives a shit.

The studio told Thomas, "If you get x amount of money, we will go along with it." I don't see the big problem with it. I've never watched VM, but I respect the passion from fans when someone says put your money where your mouth is. Is this going to work for every show that was cancelled? Absolutely not. Serenity 2 would require a budget five times that size to conceivably make it look respectable on the screen. But for shows like VM where the budget isn't enormous, this could work.

As to the point that this takes away from the smaller, independent movies Kickstarter has been financing up to this point, my counter argument is this: If someone wants to fun both a studio and indie movie through Kickstarter, they will. If someone can't spare extra cash to an indie because they already spent x amount on the VM Kickstarter, they probably shouldn't have spent that money anyways in the first place.
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