A popular cult TV show broke multiple records with its Kickstarter campaign last week by harnessing the power of its fans to help fund a follow-up movie to the series.
“Veronica Mars,” a neo-noir mystery series starring Kristen Bell, aired from 2004 to 2007 on UPN and The CW until it was abruptly cancelled at the end of its third season. The Kickstarter campaign was launched last week by creator Rob Thomas to fund a full-length feature film to wrap up storylines and give fans closure.
“Almost since ‘Veronica Mars’ went off the air, there’s been talk of making a movie,” Thomas wrote on the Kickstarter page. “Warner Bros. wasn’t convinced there was enough interest to warrant a major studio-sized movie about Veronica, and the project never got off the ground.”
After learning about the crowdsourcing site, Thomas and the cast decided to put the movie into the fans’ hands and ask them to help fund it. The campaign reached its $2 million goal in less than 11 hours — the largest film project in Kickstarter history. Since then, pledges have continued to pour in, reaching more than $3.5 million at press time.
Justin Curtis, a political science major and fan of the show, donated to the Kickstarter because of his loyalty to the show.
“It was a unique show, and there hasn’t been anything like it since on TV,” Curtis said. “I felt like $25 was worth finally getting some closure to the story. Plus, I get a copy of the shooting script, which is a pretty cool prize.”
Curtis said this Kickstarter campaign demonstrates the power fans have when it comes to their favorite shows.
“A ‘Veronica Mars’ movie would never have happened without this Kickstarter,” he said. “The studio wouldn’t support it, so the fans really took charge and raised the money ourselves. The fact that more than two million dollars was raised in less than a day really shows the passion that the fans still have for the show, even though it was cancelled more than five years ago.”
Daniel Hearn, an electrical engineering major, said he hopes the success of the “Veronica Mars” campaign bodes well for other cult TV shows in the future.
“Maybe if we had Kickstarter years ago, we could have gotten the fourth season of ‘Arrested Development’ a lot sooner,” Hearn said. “Hopefully this sets a good precedent for other shows that got cancelled too soon.”
Hearn added that, with thousands of Kickstarter pages vying for peoples’ dollars, the campaigns with million-dollar goals should be projects that are important to fans.
“The million-dollar ones I’ve seen have been things like this or the video game equivalent,” he said. “There is a huge market for sequels to cult classics of all media types, and Kickstarter is a safe way for companies and studios to gauge how much interest there really is in their specific project.”