Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Veronica Mars Movie Kickstarter Campaign - What Happens When Fans Unite

It has been .. wow!... 6 years since cult TV series "Veronica Mars" (VM) was pulled from the defunct station UPN.

The last episode did manage to tie up some loose ends but it also left its faithful viewers with an unsatisfying cliffhanger.

Hardcore fans will know that there was a Season 4 unaired pilot that featured Kristen Bell, the effervescent star of "Veronica Mars" working in the FBI. But that has never stopped "The Marshmellows" (i.e. VM fans to the uninitiated) from clamouring for a follow-up movie.

And finally, after many years, their dream has come true!

Just this week, with the help of an exclusive EW article, Kristen Bell announced on Twitter that a Kickstarter for the "Veronica Mars" movie has been launched. The target was set at USD 2 million, and fans had 30 days to reach that target.

What actually happened was pure magic conjured by the powers of Neptune.

The Marshmellows stuck together and got Rob Thomas (creator of "Veronica Mars") and Kristen Bell their USD 1 million in 4 hours and surpassed the goal of USD 2 million in less than 24 hours! That made the crowd-funding project a record-breaker in Kickstarter, and most of Hollywood film industry could not help but sit up and take notice. What a day that was!

With 26 more days to go, money is still pouring in from supporters all over the world. (At this point, it is past the USD 3.5 million mark with over 54,000 backers!) This is despite the fact that currently, the rewards are only available for those in the USA and Canada. Heck, even Red Dot Diva - who is not eligible for the rewards - has put in a few ka-chings because she had loved the wittily crafted series and enjoyed the cast's wonderful acting for three years.

From the VM Kickstarter page, Red Dot Diva gathered that the WB - who still owns "Veronica Mars" - has given Rob Thomas the go-ahead to make the movie, but is not contributing to its production costs. So, understandably, there are still distribution rights to negotiate with TPTB for international folks to enjoy the film - on the internet or otherwise.

Pic credit: Ed Menezes/The CW
Still, the matter of scheduling returning cast members would be a tricky one. Kristen is currently acting in Showtime's series "House of Lies" but she is all on board about the movie. Obviously, Kristen loves the character of sassy Veronica Mars as much as the Marshmellows do. So do the other cast members, like Jason Dohring (good-bad-boy Logan Echolls whom most girls want), Ryan Hansen (rich womanizer dude Dick Casablancas) and fan-favourite Enrico Colantoni (best Daddy Sheriff ever Keith Mars) - who all made appearances in the Kickstarter video. The enthusiasm the key actors have for the VM movie is definitely an important success factor of the campaign.

Rob has also said that he intends to bring the other characters back, so the Marshmellows would most likely get to see what happened to the rest of the gang like, Wallace, Weezil, Mac and Piz. Lately, there have also even been requests by fans for the revival of the memorable and scheming Kendall Casablancas (Charisma Carpenter) to be in the movie.

However, the project is not without its naysayers. Those who are dismayed by the success of the VM kickstarter have voiced their concern that the backers are not going to see their return on investment. "Are fans just forking out the money for big studios to sit back, relax and enjoy the profits?" were the cries of protest.

Possibly. However, a fan's interest, especially an invested and loyal fan's interest, may be borne out of more intrinsic needs - the desire to see one or many of their favourite characters and stories come to live once more on the big screen. Or getting some form of recognition from your favourite celebrity by having them follow your Twitter account, or the chance to attend a glitzy movie premiere.

And - if you have the money to be a high backer - probably the desire to be part of the production process itself, by being an extra on set, or having a small speaking role in the movie, and have your name down in movie history. Whether or not the movie makes big bucks or not.

Personally, Red Dot Diva cannot wait to see what unfolds in the coming months for this exciting "Veronica Mars" movie kickstarter project. It has already taken a life of its own and it's definitely worth noting how this will impact other indie ideas and projects. What's more, the nudity fund has also captured her interest *big grin* ;)

Did I hear Nudity Fund?? Lookie here:

To top it all, Red Dot Diva is just over the moon that Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell are hoping to be able to do a "Veronica Mars" movie panel at San Diego Comic Con this July, especially if production can begin before then. W00000tttt!

Can the planets be ever more aligned?


For the best updates on the VM movie project, follow these wonderful folks on Twitter!

Rob Thomas -
Kristen Bell -

And check out a wonderful website - Zachary and Kristen - for more updates too! The website is owned by Red Dot Diva's pal, fellow token Asian and SDCC roomie, Jasmine.

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