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Monday, April 15,2013

'Veronica Mars' Kickstarter ends, smashes records: What does it mean for film industry?

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Bell in 2011

The Kickstarter campaign for the Veronica Mars film, a much-loved franchise that raised well over its budget from crowd donations, closed today, having shattered expectations and records.

But what does the campaign mean for the film industry?

Most films raise money from producers, who invest in a film in exchange for a share of profits when the film is released.

But the VM model sets forth a different precedent: The film studio, Warner Bros., did not have to put forward any of its money as a risk. Neither did any investors or producers.

Instead, VM fans put down the money with no expectation of getting any share of the profits. And Warner Bros. gets to make the film for free and keep more of the profits for itself. By forcing VM creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell to use Kickstarter, Warner Bros. minimized risk — to zero dollars — and maximized profit.

Will other beloved franchises follow suit? It's too early to tell, but there's a precedent here that could change the way movies are funded.

See the story at Slate.

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