You may have recently heard about the Veronica Mars Movie Project on Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/559914737/the-veronica-mars-movie-project
This project has created quite the buzz. It was the largest goal set for any film project on Kickstarter ($2M) and not only surpassed its goal, but did so in only 11 hours, making it one of the fastest campaigns to hit its goal, particularly considering its size.
Now, $2M is not a lot of money for a film; in fact, that’s a pretty miniscule budget for a movie set for theatrical release. Upon reading the fine print, one may notice that the filmmakers made a deal with Warner Brothers that if they reached their funding goal, then WB would take it as a sign that the fan demand does indeed exist and would distribute the film (at personal cost).
There have been a lot of articles in reaction to this campaign and much speculation on/demands for other films that might be made this way. On the one hand, it gives fans great freedom in getting what they want by microinvesting. They are getting what they desire. On the other, though, fans are now funding films that they themselves will consume, so they basically pay twice. Additionally, the writer of Veronica Mars has already admitted to feeling intense pressure to give fans what they want, particularly because many of the desires will be contradictory, and fans don’t necessarily want what will create the best product.
This new system has a lot of potential and will undoubtedly be explored further with other films. It’ll be interesting to see how the Veronica Mars film turns out in theater attendance and whether it is viewed as a serious film or just a compilation of fan fiction.