i’d just like to take this brief time to remind everyone who asserts that the internet is full of leeches who pirate and steal hollywood’s “property” and don’t think that there needs to be a new business model for the way hollywood funds and markets film that a relatively small fandom of a relatively small show is about to raise 2 million dollars in 24 hours just because a cast they used to love asked for their help.
so much this
It marks a sea change in the interaction between creators (who are, re TV and film (and music) usually not the copyright-holders, or who have licensed away their ability to use the works they have created) and fans.
I've seen some concern about WB's role in this, and various industry websites say that WB is handling distribution & things related to that (the way 20th Century Fox did for Lucasfilm, or Disney did for PIXAR initially) as well as legal clearance issues (via their legal department). No, it's not an "indie" in the way we traditionally think of them, but many indies get picked up by studios at film festivals & events and distributed by majors; for this film, since WB owns the IP per whatever agreements they have from 2003/2004 with Rob Thomas, that structure was put into place ahead of time.
Fascinating discussion of the studio process, as well as the "ethics of using Kickstarter for something distributed by a major company" went on last night between Leverage's John Rogers and AtlanticWire's Richard Lawson (among others) who wrote something that I thought was frankly ridiculous yesterday (no, kickstarter is not for charities and nobody is saying the VM film is one; most backers are pre-buying a product they will receive and a few people are buying a chance to be in a film, which is their choice to do with their money).
The idea that those who back at the DVD level are being double-charged for the product is, imnsho, incorrect as cartoonist Gordon McAlmin discussed - and he also reminded me that "It's worth noting here that Kickstarter prohibits financial rewards including ownership and financial returns." As someone who saw Avengers twelve times in theaters, and paid for it ten times (two were sneak previews) was I deca-charged? If I was, was I totally okay with that? Or did I pay for something ten times, that I received ten times?
For those who think that the VM kickstarter is a bad use of their money, or who aren't interested, that's their call. Nothing wrong/problematic with coming to that decision. But acting (as mansplainer Richard Lawson did) like your view is the only correct or appropriate one by saying things like, "My gut still finds all the upfront money talk to be a bit unrefined, let's say. Art should exist for art's sake..." will cause a lot of people in the entertainment industry, and in the fandom for any show, film, book, comic, music or sports team, to laugh at you.
The irony of this is, the VM Kickstarter was announced a few hours before we learned there would be a new Pope, and was fully funded just after his first prayers in Rome. Remember the days when the Pope and the church and the aristocracy were the primary Patrons of Art, and the riff-raff's theatricalities were at risk of shut-downs by The Powers That Be because of Indecency and such?
Now, we all know, anyone can create art, and because of the internet and the democratization of funding, anyone can support art - whether it's on ETSY or via a Kickstarter to bring a much-fanned-about story to the movies.
Isn't that awesome?