We are certainly in a digital age. These days, you need not look far to find information, can watch your favorite movies and tv shows with the ease of signing into a Netflix account, and can share your views on anything with people halfway across the world.
In the olden days, if your favorite TV show was canceled, you were limited to penning angry fan-hate mail to the production companies and demanding more while studio executives tossed your correspondence in a wood chipper and laughed their huge, corporate guffahs. Not anymore, my friends.
Something miraculous called Kickstarter has come to the rescue, and it's almost by accident. Kickstarter.com is a wonderful tool that was launched to the Web in April of 2009. The website is dedicated to artists showing their wares (or rather, what they plan to make), and offering rewards at multiple donation levels to people kind enough to put money towards the project. Sometimes the rewards are as simple as a T-shirt or a download of the project, sometimes as lofty as getting the title Producer or getting your name printed in a book. The kind of projects that can be funded include comics, video games, artwork, films, and various technologies. It steadily gained popularity to the point where they've collectively $500 million in donations by over 3 million people.
I was currently witness to a couple of achievements in Kickstarter history. One was a comic book series being bound into a volume called The Tomorrow Girl by Aaron Diaz. He asked for $30,000 to make this project come true. Sound like a lot? Well art costs money, my friends. And not only did he make his $30K in funding, he exceeded it, making Kickstarter comics history by recieving combined donations of over $530,000.
The other project I was privvy to was The Veronica Mars Movie Project. Veronica Mars was a TV show about a smart girl detective in a town called Neptune. The show was canceled, but not before it gained a core of fans that would remain true to the series years after it's demise. Creator Rob Thomas posted a plea on Kickstarter that he would make a Veronica Mars film if the donations reached $2 million. A very modest number for a film production. Boy he was certainly surprised when they made the budget...IN A DAY. As of the time of this posting, the funding still has 14 days to go, and the donations have topped a whopping $4 million.
Trust me, everyone has been paying attention to this on the Internet. Other fans of cult TV shows like Firefly perked up immediately. They do this from time to time when they see an opportunity for their ill-fated show, canceled after only eleven out of the fourteen produced episodes aired. They want a revival. Unfortunately, creator Joss Whedon is too busy with Avengers related work and he's tied in to Marvel for the next few years.
But this has formed so many opportunity for fan crowd-funding to be a major aspect of Hollywood in general. Now other canceled shows like the animate Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series are getting another look. Canceled recently, these incredibly popular superhero series produced quite the fan outcry, inspiring pleas for a return by YouTubers and groups on Facebook. On April 11 Warner Bros will be holding a meeting specifically to see if crowd-funding would be a feasible idea to bring back these shows. The site SMGO.tv (My Show Must Go On) is planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign once they get the go-ahead to do so.
Just imagine, for $10, you could make something happen.
Or you could go to Starbucks. The choice is yours.
It seems that fans have a lot more power than ever before. By putting in your two-cents (opinion) or actual money, you and thousands of your compatriots can rally together to bring back your favorite shows. It may mark the beginning of something great in entertainment at large--a sort of supply and demand that shows Hollywood and TV studios what we really want.
But then again, a ton of us requested Paranormal Activity, and look how that monster grew (for better or for worse.)
The power to pick and choose...I want that one!
What are your thoughts on these developments? Is technology the way to go to fund our favorite forms of entertainment, or will we see a negative shift in supply and demand?
Picture Source: freedigitalphotos.net