So last week there was the Veronica Mars movie kickstarter. I had given up on seeing any continuation of the world of Neptune High and its denizens and environs, and so it was surprising and hugely exciting. Here was the chance of making Veronica Mars a movie, and I could help make it happen! I could get the amazing Kristen Bell a movie role that wasn't sidekicky or a bad rom-com. Plus, it was pitched as Veronica's 10 year high school reunion, and if there's a unrecognized movie genre I love, it's the high school reunion movie.
Heady stuff, that was. Apparently not just for me, as the project was fully funded at 2 million dollars in less than a day.
And that was one thing. The week before I had pledged to a $7500 movie project that didn't make its goal. My brother's friend had a movie he wanted to make, and they're still trying to, but on the even cheaper than they'd originally planned. I threw some non-Kickstarter money at them too, partially as a gift to my brother, but mostly because I think you shouldn't have to be a big deal to make cool stuff.
My favorite podcast (NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour) talked this week about what the Veronica Mars kickstarter was a harbinger of, and what this means going forward. Panelist Linda (who I usually agree with on many many things) talked about her concerns regarding an interview with Rob Thomas where he said there were multiple avenues he had considered but he was going with what the fans wanted. And while I see the issue with that, I think there are similar issues in the system as-is. Yes, the Neptune High reunion movie will probably give the fans what they want more than a different tack would, but I expect that a studio would ask for that kind of crowd-pleasing route had this been funded more traditionally.
I keep wondering what if this had happened with a different fandom. Specifically, I wondered if Serenity would have been the movie it is had it been backed by fans. There are issues with the kickstarter process, starting with artistic freedom and ending with the fact that Warner Bros is going to make some serious money off a film partially funded by fan donations.
But mostly I wonder how big a deal you have to be to make kickstarter work for you. I watched Amanda Palmer's TED talk about asking for help and letting people pay for what they love, and that obviously works for her, but it didn't quite for my brother's friend. Other people are making it work for different things. I bought a live tour cd whose tour had been kickstarter-funded, even though I didn't know the artist when that happened. I'll happily watch Hannah Hart's video tour when it kicks off next month, and again that funding drive happened outside my awareness. (That's another fun YouTube channel - she does a comedy cooking show called "My Drunk Kitchen.")
And meanwhile, I'm supporting the things I love and respect when I can. Whether it's giving to a weird YouTube channel about natural history, taxidermy, and animal dissection (the Brain Scoop) or supporting the creation of a DVD set so that the people who made Lizzie Bennet can get paid, which they kind of didn't when actually filming (this was the appeal that worked on me - I am always an advocate of people doing work that I admire being paid a living wage for that work),
(Another side note: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is coming to an end. Darcy and Lizzie got together in yesterday's video, and I have watched it about ten times. It's so ridiculously good.)
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