I just saw the Veronica Mars movie for a second time this weekend, a movie I backed on Kickstarter a little over a year ago, just before the project hit it’s initial $2 million dollar goal.
I didn’t pledge anything crazy, a little over the price of an average concert ticket and certainly less than the ticket price of a professional sports game, which is my way of saying that I was not at the LA or NY premieres and didn’t throw down the cash to be an extra or anything extravagant. I suspect like most other backers, the t-shirt was the biggest reward next to the actual existence of the movie itself.
In fact, a little bit of math reveals that 88% of the 91,585 backers pledged $100 or less, that is in despite of the many levels of rewards which peak at $10,000. So you see, my story really isn’t all that special, but given the fact that I am the norm rather than the exception I still think my story is worth sharing, especially with the media’s fervor for declaring this to be the next new way cancelled TV shows will live on*.
If others turn to the Kickstarter platform to try and replicate the Veronica Mars movie crowdfunding success, and they already are, there’s little doubt in my mind that the majority of fans who pledge to other projects will probably have a similar experience. So here’s what it was like to be an ‘average’ Veronica Mars movie backer.
Well, I got my Kickstarter backer rewards (t-shirt, stickers, script, digital download & DVD), a Thank You on the official Veronica Mars movie website, and lots and lots of emails. Some were housekeeping in nature, answering questions and providing information about backer rewards, timelines, and distribution; but the others were updates filled with everything from casting announcements and behind the scenes pictures and videos to soundtrack listings and explanations of the technical filmmaking processes that were underway.
For the most part, it seemed like as a backer I received an email before an announcement or video or something of the sorts was made public, but just barely. The Internet has a way of making things feel a lot less exclusive, still it was nice to have everything delivered right to me. As a TV addict and longtime Veronica Mars fan I would have no doubt tracked down most of the information; however, convenience was a nice change of pace. Also, it made the year-long wait a lot more tolerable since there was continually new Veronica Mars movie goodness arriving in my inbox.
Friday, March 14th was especially exciting. The Veronica Mars movie was real and in theaters! As I eagerly counted down to the 4:30 showing I had tickets for, other portions of my backer rewards like the PDF version of the shooting script and a link to my digital download arrived, further fueling my excitement. And then it was time to see the movie, and it was awesome, after all it had been 2,488 days since the last new episode of Veronica Mars had aired. It was like seeing an old friend again and falling right back into the natural rhythm of things.
I’ve still got a DVD copy of the movie coming to me in the future, but for now I imagine this weekend kind of marks the end of my Veronica Mars movie backer journey, after all the movie’s been made. Would I do it again, for another cancelled show?
Sure, if another project similarly had all of its ducks in a row. I’m not really a fan of the ‘let’s just never let things die’ trend, but Veronica Mars ended on an ambiguous note and its creator and cast were all on-board for more.
Veronica Mars wasn’t the first cancelled TV show I loved to come back for more, see Firefly and Dead Like Me, but it was the first to give fans a real say in whether or not it would live on. And I think that was the coolest part of being a backer, having the agency to make it happen.
While save-our-show campaigns can be fun, I’ve never been naive enough to believe that fan noise alone can keep anything on the air. Money makes the difference and I appreciate Warner Bros willingness to let fans put their money where their mouth is.
I wanted to see more Veronica Mars, an opportunity arose, and I backed it. At the end of the day I got to help make a movie and as a result I got to spend a little more time in the town of Neptune with my favorite P.I.