I’ve been meaning to watch Veronica Mars for several years, but I’ve never actually gotten around to it. I guess I should get on that.
I’m always happy when someone finds a way to circumvent the established systems that are in place for keeping people from getting their creativity out to the people that would appreciate it. Garageband, iTunes, YouTube, Kickstarter and a host of other softwares and services (including the Internet in general) that mostly didn’t exist a decade ago exist, in part, to shake up the status quo of the creative industrial complex and break down the barriers between content creators and their fans. They also exist to make large amounts of money for their owners and shareholders.
See, that’s the thing. The systems by which creative people are given license and funds to create a thing and distribute it to their audience aren’t changing all that much. It’s just that we’re slowly removing redundancies, levels of arbitrary approvals, and decreasing the number of obsolete middlemen in order to take a 50 step process down to a 5 step one. I want to make this. Do you want it? Ok, give me money and I’ll do it and then you can have it. Here, I made it like I said I would. Thanks. That’s pretty much how it’s always been, accept now those are the ONLY steps (in most cases), instead of just the major milestones between dozens of other, smaller ones. That isn’t to say creating a thing like a show or a book or an album doesn’t require hundreds of steps, and hours and often times people. It’s just that there are fewer INDIVIDUALS that can tell you, “No. Stop this,” and you’d actually have to stop.
The Veronica Mars Kickstarter (which funded on its first day and is currently hovering over $3 million) is a different beast than your typical crowd funded project. Instead of a person or team with an idea to make a thing, and all they need is money and time, this is a studio owned property that’s jammed up sideways with the typical Hollywood bullshit red tape. Rob Thomas doesn’t own his show, which means some WB exec said, “We’re not going to give you $2 million to make a movie for a cancelled show that no one cares about. Come at me with a pitch for an adapted fairy tale but with hot teens and we’ll talk business. Now it’s TIME FOR COCAINE!” And Rob Thomas said, “A) I do not front Matchbox 20. That is a DIFFERENT dude. And B) How about I get the Internet to give you $2 milly? Then can we do our movie?” And that exec probably replied, “SURE WHATEVER IS IT HOT IN HERE TO YOU IT’S PRETTY HOT TO ME I DON’T THINK IT WAS THIS HOT BEFORE I DID ALL THIS COOOOCAAAAAAAAAIIIIINNNNNNNNNE!!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! AAAAAAAAAAGHGHGHGLGLGLGLG!!!!!”
I honestly forgot what I was writing about during that last part, so I’ll wrap up by saying that this is the first step in a BIG BIG change in how very expensive projects get made or whether they get made at all. There will certainly be some (probably A LOT) of people that take this idea and try to replicate its success in extremely dumb ways, but there will probably also be quite a few worthy projects that get off the ground because of it. I don’t think we’ll get a Serenity 2: Zombie Wash In Space from Kickstarter any time soon, but I bet we get a few more proper finales to some unduly truncated TV shows. It’s a BIG baby step in the right direction.
COMMENTERS: First off, are you psyched for this Veronica Mars movie? Did you love the show or overlook it as “Buffy without monsters” like I did? Second thing: What property do you think would best benefit from a Kickstarter resurrection? A cancelled show, a long rumored and eventually shelved movie project? A video game sequel that never happened?