The Veronica Mars
Movie Kickstarter Campaign
By Sam Davidson
It has been a good year for fellow “Marshmallows” worldwide. What are “Marshmallows” you ask? Well, “Marshmallows” are what die hard fans of the pre-maturely cancelled Veronica Mars have called themselves for years.
Veronica Mars only ran for three seasons, and was abruptly cancelled in 2007, leaving fans devastated and desperate for some closure. Well fear not “Marshmallows,” because your prayers have been answered!
Last March, the creator of Veronica Mars, Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell, reunited to create a Kickstarter campaign to fund the movie that fans have been begging for. Since Warner Brothers still owns Veronica Mars but would not fund the project, they gave permission to Thomas and Bell to take a stab at getting the funding on their own through their fans on Kickstarter. If you are not familiar, Kickstarter is the world’s largest crowd funding platform that helps in bringing creative projects to life. Whether these projects come from amateurs trying to get their dream movie made, or entertainment professionals looking for funding, Kickstarter has been extremely successful for many.
Thomas and Bell decided that since the studio would not make the film, they would give it a shot themselves with Kickstarter. No one knew if this tactic would work, but Thomas and Bell decided it couldn’t hurt. Then, on March 13th 2013, Thomas and Bell launched the Veronica Mars Movie Kickstarter campaign, and set a goal of $2 million. What was to follow was a very fortuitous outcome for Thomas, Bell, and all Veronica Mars fans alike.
Not only did Thomas and Bell reach their goal during their first day of funding, but they were also the first Kickstarter campaign EVER to hit the $1 million mark in the least amount of time. By the time the Kickstarter campaign ended, the project had raked in $5.7 million, over $3 million beyond their goal. This astonishing outcome broke many records, making “The Veronica Mars Movie” the most successful Kickstarter campaign thus far.
Within the past year, Thomas and his team have done a phenomenal job of giving the Kickstarter backers everything that they had been promised. Depending on how much the backers donated, they received different perks, including a one liner in the movie. In addition to the stellar incentives of being a backer, Thomas and Bell sent out hundreds of email updates, giving their backers and fans a real inside look into the project, making them feel as though they were truly a part of it.
Last month, Thomas and Bell officially released the movie’s release date, which will be March 14th, 2014. The unexpected success of this particular Kickstarter campaign has prompted many potential changes in the way movies are made. Moreover, this particular success story also showed producers, writers, and fans that if you really want something to get made, nothing is impossible.
For years Thomas and Bell were trying to make this movie with Warner Brothers, but it was always a no-go. Now people can take projects into their own hands, without having to succumb to a studio. With that being said, not every project will find success on Kickstarter.
It seems that the projects that become the most successful on Kickstarter already have a somewhat built in audience that they know will support the project. Clearly, this is the main reason why the Veronica Mars project was so successful. With that being said, this project in particular could change the way that different media platforms create and market their content. Also, the success of “The Veronica Mars Movie” Kickstarter campaign could mean that more of our favorite TV shows could be turned into movies! This could seriously be the start of a huge trend and a triumphant breakthrough for media and independent producers.
Whether you are a fan of the series or not, there is no denying how impressive and unexpected the results of Thomas and Bell’s Kickstarter campaign was. It’s a true testament to not only how effective fan-funded projects can be, but also how devoted Veronica Mars fans have stayed over the past 6 years.
Check out Kristen Bell’s “Last Words” to her fans when the Kickstarter campaign only had twenty-four hours to go!