If you haven’t heard, there has been a phenomenon happening over the last year. Veronica Mars blew up Kickstarter. In March of 2013, the entertainment industry was turned on it’s head by a little, cancelled television show called Veronica Mars. Ok, so now you are confused. A cancelled TV show turned the industry on it’s head. How would one do that if it’s cancelled. Introducing Kickstarter.
Up until last March, Kickstarter was best known for funding Amanda Palmer’s latest CD and music tour. That in and of itself was impressive. She was able to, independently from a major record label, raise over $1 million over the course of 30 days to fund a new CD and entire tour. The money came from her fans, and in turn, she promised everything from deluxe downloads of her new music to entry into a “backer” party in the cities across the world. Ya see, this is how the whole Kickstarter thing works. You give money to the cause/event/project of your choice, and if they hit their funding goal, you get your backer reward (it varies depending on the project and amount of $$$ you pledged). The entertainment industry was floored that an artist was able to raise that kind of capital in such a short amount of time. Amanda Palmer is a brilliant business woman, huge supporter of her fans, and her Kickstarter campaign even inspired her TED talk (watch the talk, it’s worth your time). I’m sure the entertainment industry thought this was a rare occurrence never to be duplicated. They were wrong, and wrong on a major scale.
Veronica Mars was a small show on the UPN and CW networks (remember those?) that lasted three seasons from 2004 to 2007. It was a show about a female private investigator, Veronica Mars. Oh yeah, she’s a high school student in a very affluent part of southern California (zip code 90909) when we first meet her. Her father Keith Mars, former sheriff turned PI, ex-boyfriend Duncan Kane, best bud Wallace Fennel, biker Eli Navarro, and swoon worthy bad-boy Logan Echols all revolve around Veronica while she snarks and sasses her way through three seasons. It’s another story of a great show not really getting it’s due and getting cancelled too early. Due to Rob Thomas’s catchy and quirky writing, the characters became beloved and lived on as a cult classic, much like Firefly by Joss Whedon. The fans of Veronica Mars became Marshmellows.
Last March 13th, my social media feeds started blowing up about a Kickstarter campaign being launched by Kristen Bell (the titular character of Veronica Mars) and Rob Thomas, former show runner. They had struck a deal with Warner Bros. If they could raise $2.2 million then Warner Bros. would publicize, promote, and distribute the movie. They raised the $2.2 million in 24 hours. Not to be stopped, the fans upped the ante, and by the end of the campaign, they raised just north of $5.7 million and had the most backers in Kickstarter history.
So, then what? Well, then they made the movie. Rob Thomas apparently had several scripts outlined and drafted, but after realizing that the fans were, well rabid, for this movie, he has said (via Twitter) he went with the version that the fans would want the most. In the summer of 2013, the Veronica Mars movie went into production, and on March 14, 2014 it premiers!
Want to know what I thought of the movie? Check out my review of the Veronica Mars movie.