Let me just begin with the fact that I have never seen the Veronica Mars TV show and won't comment on the quality of the show, good or bad. I do like Kristen Bell and have enjoyed her work as well as other members of the Veronica Mars cast. This isn't about the Veronica Mars property specifically, this is a larger issue altogether.
On March 13th, 2013 a Kickstarter project was created and publicized for a possible Veronica Mars movie. The goal was to raise $2 million dollars in 30 days from fans of the show to make the movie happen. Well it worked like a charm, and the project hit its goal well within the first 24 hours! I read many threads on Reddit and other online gathering spots and the views were pretty heavily skewed towards the positive. Veronica Mars has a cult following so this was of no surprise. You hear VM talked about with the same fervor and excitement as you do Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly. Take a look at the announcement video and notice all the winks and nods to the fans, this was destined to make the show's loyal following sit up and pay attention. So at this point you must be asking why are we questioning whether or not this is a good thing. Actors who are passionate about the show get to entertain fans one last time, fans get to help make it a reality and enjoy the product, and the movie studio gets to make a profit! Yeah, we all get what we want...ok wait a minute. That last one was kind of suspect. The movie studio, in this case Warner Bros., gets to make a profit without taking any real risk. This is where things start to break down for me. Sadly, that's not all thats happening here. There is something even more insidious going on. WB who gave the VM cast and creator the ok to do this is getting absolutely free advertising. Actually, its more than free they are getting paid to advertise to fans. Take a look at a quote from the Kickstarter project's FAQ: All funds will go into a Veronica Mars Movie Project production account which has been set up by Warner Bros. on our behalf. I think some people think that Veronica Mars' crew is just taking the movie to the streets and going independent, sadly this not true. WB is very much involved and gave them permission to even do this, another quote: Kristen and I met with the Warner Bros. brass, and they agreed to allow us to take this shot. They were extremely cool about it, as a matter of fact. Their reaction was, if you can show there’s enough fan interest to warrant a movie, we’re on board. Make sure you read over that last sentence again. This is exactly what pisses me off about the entire situation. Do you really believe that WB has no idea what the fan base is like for Veronica Mars? WB is a multi billion dollar company with marketing teams and strategists who research exactly how well any show, movie, or DVDs do to generate revenue; don't be naive. While I don't believe that the folks directly involved in this Kickstarter are out to dupe fans I do think this was a very calculated effort on the part of the studio. The second this project was announced the internet went bonkers with fans pouring in to give up some cash to make it happen. Popular internet sites generated massive stories about it and let the less informed fans know what was happening, driving more money to the project. This is a complete win/win for WB. They get you, the fan, to front the bill for all or most of the project (my guess is all) and they get to release it in theaters and reap massive benefits. Keep in mind WB would have to pay for distribution rights, but that pales in comparison to making the film. What about advertising? Well they have 29 days left in the Kickstarter and that is 29 days of FREE PRESS! As the funding numbers go ever skyward we will hear more and more about the project. Its only a matter of time before it hits mainstream press and Kristen Bell is on Late Night with Conan O'Brien! At that point we are through the looking glass folks. So what comes next...
Here is my guess, you will start to see more lost television shows, failed sequels, and lower budget indie movies (owned by big budget studios) hitting Kickstarter in the not so distant future. There are some great shows that I would love to see get this treatment. Frankly, I want a Party Down movie, but I am not willing to allow gigantic corporations like WB to manipulate the show's fans to reap a sweet profit. Kickstarter has no incentive to not let this get out of control due to their 5% take off the top so once it begins there will be no end. So are you ready for big corporations to take over a program that was designed to give the little guy a chance to make it? I'm not. Kickstarter was created so that people who couldn't get heard or noticed finally could. If WB wanted to make the movie they should reach into their deep pockets and fund it themselves and hope it interest folks enough to see it. Holding a gun to the head of a fan favorite project and threatining to shoot it unless fans fork over the cash is ludicrous and frankly disgusting.
All that being said, good luck to the Veronica Mars crew and its fans, you made some history. I hope I am proven wrong.