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Veronica Mars and the power of crowdfunding

Behold the power of the superfans.

Less than 11 hours. That’s how long it took the creator of cult TV hit Veronica Mars Rob Thomas and the show’s star Kristen Bell to raise more than $2.6 million on Kickstarter to fund a long-awaited movie version of the series.

All day yesterday Thomas and Bell were on Twitter, urging fans on and then watched as their 30-day goal was met in a matter of hours. Can’t you just feel the Interwebs wrapping you up in her big URL-arms and whispering sweet social media nothings into your ear?

“My mind is blown. I’ve been fantasizing about this and had to tell myself, ‘Stop it, Rob, you’re being silly. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment,’” Thomas told Entertainment Weekly. “And now today has exceeded the wildest pipe dream I let myself entertain. Holy cow. We better make a good movie. These amazing fans have stepped up. We better deliver.”

As with all Kickstarter campaigns, the Mars movie gives supporters a certain selection of goodies depending on how much money they pledge. And Thomas & Co. weren’t messing around, offering up some pretty impressive thank-you treats that hit the bullseye on the Superfan Stoke-O-Meter. For $10, you get a PDF of the shooting script on the day it hits theatres. For $100, you get a script, t-shirt, movie poster, digital copy of the film, and a Blu-Ray DVD version that includes a making-of documentary. Seriously, you couldn’t buy that much stuff on eBay for that cheap. For $6,500, you get to name a character in the movie, plus all the other aforementioned stuff. And one lucky (and rich) fan who donated $10,000 is getting a speaking part in the film. It all moved so fast that every spot from $400 pledges to the $10K spot are already sold out.


This isn’t the first time fans have taken the fate of a favourite show into their own hands. Supporters of NBC’s Community and Chuck have rallied to their defense—from promoting social media campaigns to raise ratings to buying Subway sandwiches en masse (a Chuck advertiser)—but this is the first case of fans putting their money directly into a proposed project and it broke all previous Kickstarter funding speed records.

Between this and Netflix crunching Big Data to create House of Cards, we’re sliding into some exciting new territory in entertainment and media. OK, so who wants to go in on getting a BJ and the The Bear movie made?