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"Veronica Mars" was able to do something no other cancelled show has ever done.
The quirky Kristen Bell CW network cult favorite was able to raise $2 million on crowdsource site Kickstarter in ten short hours to bring a film to the big screen.
The project, which has now raised more than $3.6 million and still has 24 days to earn funds, was a last ditch effort by creator Rob Thomas to bring the show to the big screen.
As a result of the film rocketing off, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution will manage the limited 2014 release of the film and pay for marketing, promotion, and distribution.
The success of "Veronica Mars" on Kickstarter showed two things: there can be life for cancelled shows outside of getting revived . It also showed that with the right following, a film could become fully funded without a studio.
"This is a significant milestone, particularly in the annals of what we call participative storytelling," says Gomez. "That community was empowered to express its love for the show in an incredibly tangible way. They became participants in the telling of the story. So the question isn't, can these events be replicated, so much as can they be replicated well? The answer is absolutely yes, but certain criteria have to be met."
According to Gomez, anyone hoping to follow suit should keep the following in mind:
1. The fan base needs to be there.
"They have to either be already self-organized or assembled by key creative stakeholders with great delicacy." says Gomez.
2. Studios will have to participate respectfully, and with transparency.
"They won't be able to change the rules along the way, or there'll be a scorched earth response and the property will suffer damage," says Gomez. "Love will have to be shown all the way down the line, or cynicism will creep in, and that's the great spoiler."
3. You can't pick any old series to resurrect.
"The target audience for "Veronica Mars" during its run are now twenty- and thirty-something. It was a smart show and these are reasonably successful people, as evidenced by the fact that the vast majority of the 55,000 contributors (so far!) pledged more than $35 per person," says Gomez. "So if the show was for little kids and cancelled a couple of years ago, you're not going to see the same results. Same on the flip side for a show from the early 1960s."
"Veronica Mars" isn't the first film to get funded through Kickstarter; however, it is the fastest film to reach $1 million on the site.
Previously, the only other video project to ever gain anywhere near as much traction was the second season of web series "Video Game High School." The YouTube video earned $808,000.
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" screenwriter Charlie Kaufman also raised more than $406,000 in 60 days on the site for his next project.
Don't expect a bunch of films to crop up for crowdsourcing on Kickstarter though.
Variety's Marc Graser pointed out that "Veronica Mars" was a huge missed opportunity for marketers , and that brand reps should now be in "panic mode to be ready for the next big opportunity to come along."
Gomez also views brands as the way to go for future prospects hoping to follow suit.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for brands and other sponsors to become involved. Carrying off a revival all by themselves is not necessarily a great idea, because there's a danger of it being perceived cynically, but I think there's a way to cross the streams, so to speak," says Gomez. "For studios and consumer brands to be an intrinsic part of this model can generate enormous good will, and in this day and age, good will has the potential to become extraordinarily profitable."
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