If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Kickstarter is an strange beast. On the one hand, it allows for struggling filmmakers to connect with those generous patrons who would help sponsor their movies, thus allowing for more artists to break into the business. But on the other hand, you never know who or what project might turn up on the site asking for money. Case in point, just yesterday a Kickstarter was posted for a 'Veronica Mars' movie. For those unfamiliar with the property, 'Veronica Mars' was a 2004 crime drama starring Kristen Bell as a young detective helping her father solve the murder of her best friend. The show ran for three seasons and followed Veronica through high school and into college. Series creator Rob Thomas, who put the campaign together, set a goal of $2 million for the proposed big screen version; a goal he reached in less than a day. Kristen Bell has since starred in films such as 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' and 'When in Rome' as well as appearing in popular shows like 'Heroes' and 'Gossip Girl.' There is no word yet on when production will begin now that the goal has been reached.
This story is important for a number of reasons, and not just if you happen to be a diehard fan of 'Veronica Mars.' I saw a few episodes when it aired, and I liked it well enough. I thought Bell's performance was great and the odd mix of comedy and film noir tropes really gave the series a unique vibe. All that being said, this is a landmark situation in terms of its implications toward other television properties struggling to find their way to the big screen. The history of television is littered with stories about shows that cultivated an enormous audience, but couldn't seem to stay on the air for one reason or another; be it corporate ignorance or financial burden or whatever. If the corporate overseers are suddenly largely removed from the equation, not entirely of course as they probably retain rights, and fans are put in charge, what other projects might this Kickstarter approach yield? Could we finally get that 'Arrested Development' movie we've been teased with for so long? Could 'Firefly' get another movie? What about 'Jericho?' GeekTyrant made a great point about the potential for Chris Carter and David Duchovny to put another 'X-Files' film together this way. The flipside of the coin here is how this will affect the smaller projects on the crowd-sourcing site that are now fighting for attention with big stars and big name properties.
What do you guys think? Are you excited for a 'Veronica Mars' movie? Do you see this potential trend as a shot-in-the-arm for fan control, or a step backward for the viability of Kickstarter to help the independent filmmaker?