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Old 03-13-2013, 11:58 PM   #61
roguescribner roguescribner is offline
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Several theater chains have V.I.P. or Dine-in movie showings now, one of the perks being reserved seating. It's pretty much the only way I see movies nowadays.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:38 AM   #62
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Let's talk about Veronica Mars...

So the crowd sourcing began this morning and the film has already earned more than a million dollars, I then see headlines saying how important crowd sourcing is and it's going to be the next big thing in movies, blah, blah, blah...

So pending this film actually getting made, what happens when this movie tanks at the box office? As I suspect it will, as internet hype almost never amounts to real world hype (a fact internet fans refuse to believe, I'm sorry, but Joe Average does not care about this). Are we just giving the studios an easy reason to dismiss the crowd sourcing idea?

I think it's great that this method is getting wide attention, but I think it's a huge misstep its in the form of a Veronica Mars movie.
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:31 AM   #63
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Veronica Mars isn't going to get plastered on 3,000 screens. It's likely only going to get a limited release (600 theaters, maybe not even?) and then live out the rest of its days on video. The series averaged about 2.5 million viewers so if that many people see the movie once it'll gross $25 million. If the budget is somewhere between $2 million and $10 million, it'll be profitable. I'm not saying this is the new way to make movies, but movies that otherwise wouldn't get made? Why not? Crowd-sourcing could be a boon for independent filmmaking and properties that studios feel don't have much market value.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:28 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roguescribner View Post
Veronica Mars isn't going to get plastered on 3,000 screens. It's likely only going to get a limited release (600 theaters, maybe not even?) and then live out the rest of its days on video. The series averaged about 2.5 million viewers so if that many people see the movie once it'll gross $25 million. If the budget is somewhere between $2 million and $10 million, it'll be profitable. I'm not saying this is the new way to make movies, but movies that otherwise wouldn't get made? Why not? Crowd-sourcing could be a boon for independent filmmaking and properties that studios feel don't have much market value.
I certainly agree with the value of crowd sourcing, I just doubt the financial viability of Veronica Mars.

If we had better details on who was handling production and distribution we could better evaluate the situation. If it cost $10 million it would need $25 million to break even, a smaller screen count isn't doing it any favors. Are people going to be willing to get in bed with this model if Mars tanks? Seems like a bug gamble on a shaky project.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:40 AM   #65
tigermoth tigermoth is online now
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The thing about crowd funding is that the movie doesn't have to make money. People are already getting their tickets and Blu-Rays as compensation for funding it. This movie only needs to make back its marketing budget that is being paid for by the studio.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:23 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snicket View Post
Are we just giving the studios an easy reason to dismiss the crowd sourcing idea?
As opposed to what? Embracing the idea? What form would that even take?

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Originally Posted by Snicket View Post
Are people going to be willing to get in bed with this model if Mars tanks?
I don't know, what's the model look like and how much to you have to contribute?

:rimshot:

Thank you, you're a great crowd. Be sure to tip your waitstaff.

But seriously folks...

Which people are you talking about here? Future small contributors?

While a splashy run would certainly generate more buzz than an anemic run I don't know if would really make all that much difference in the long run. I would think potential crowd-source contributors would be more interested in whether projects get made than whether or not they make any money.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:24 AM   #67
roguescribner roguescribner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigermoth View Post
The thing about crowd funding is that the movie doesn't have to make money. People are already getting their tickets and Blu-Rays as compensation for funding it. This movie only needs to make back its marketing budget that is being paid for by the studio.
And that's a valid point. I'm so used to multiplying a film's budget by 2.5 to determine its profitability number, but in this case, budget doesn't matter unless WB is contributing matching funds. Yes, they have expenses for advertising and distribution, but it's doubtful that number would exceed $10 million (probably half that). So really, if the movie makes about $15 million it was not a loss for the studio. And then you add whatever additional revenues are generated by home video, etc.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:03 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roguescribner View Post
And that's a valid point. I'm so used to multiplying a film's budget by 2.5 to determine its profitability number, but in this case, budget doesn't matter unless WB is contributing matching funds. Yes, they have expenses for advertising and distribution, but it's doubtful that number would exceed $10 million (probably half that). So really, if the movie makes about $15 million it was not a loss for the studio. And then you add whatever additional revenues are generated by home video, etc.
Now thats interesting and opens up a new can of worms.

WB has the resources to scrape up $15 million by themselves to do this, the studio does not need kickstarter. Now if the director was doing this on his own, and WB was not here I can see a crowd sourcing option making more sense (more on that later). But thats not the case. It really looks like WB is taking advantage of people to pay for something they don't have to. So is WB going to pay back these people who donated? No? Thanks ya'll, for filling the studios pockets.

Since Hollywood is a copycat industry for sure we will see this more, why foot the bill when people will do it for you? This is a problem with me. Rob Thomas probably could get a meeting with WB to do this (and he did) but there are plenty of other people doing their own thing who can't, and they are really the ones who need the money, not WB and Rob Thomas. Kickstarter was not intended for those who had the means to help themselves.

So if kickstarter is just going to become studios using crowd sourcing tactics to exploit people to pay for movies for cancelled TV shows, this would be a huge blow to people who legitimately need kickstarter for their projects. As much as I was excited for crowd sourcing to become a legitimate thing in the industry, I never wanted to see it happen this way.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:27 AM   #69
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But Rob Thomas couldn't get this funded any other way. He tried. He finally convinced WB to let him take it to the fans to prove interest. We know WB is committed for marketing and distribution if the kickstarter reached its goal (and it has by almost double), so they are contributing resources and money to the project. The kickstarter has a little over 50,000 contributors right now and by the comments on the site it seems there are a good number of international contributors. It's still unclear how many people will actually go see the movie in theaters, but if it's only the contributors and their family/friends, the movie isn't going to make much (probably a few million dollars). If everyone who was a fan of the show back in the day went to see it, it's still not going to make much ($20 million or so).

I doubt much if any profit will be had for WB from this venture. And if it is very profitable, you know what? They'll foot the bill next time. Because then it will be known as "a hit" and most fans will be reluctant to fund another venture since the studio made so much money off it the last time. And if it breaks even, the studio can decide it's not worth their time unless another kickstarter helps fund it again. As a fan, I'd be fine with that. If the creator/stars are game, so am I.

WB won't owe any money to anyone if this works. All contributors are going to get some swag for their contribution. $35 for a copy of the shooting script, a t-shirt, and a digital download of the finished movie sounds like a great deal to me. For another $15 you can get a DVD of the movie shipped to your house that will also include various BTS videos on the making of the movie. People are essentially pre-paying for their product(s). If they didn't feel it was worth it, they wouldn't contribute. For $35 someone can help make this movie happen and they'll get a free digital download of the movie so they don't have to pay extra money at the theater to see it if they don't want to (but why wouldn't you?! ).

Kickstarter isn't a charity. It's a patronage site. Just like in other media/art realms, I'm sure some flashy projects get more funding and attention than others. It is what it is. Something like this may inspire people to check out what else kickstarter has to offer. This is my third kickstarter contribution. And once or twice a month I'll browse and see if anything catches my eye. As a big fan of VM, I immediately jumped at the chance to contribute. But not everything I contribute to has been or will be as flashy.

What this means for the future I cannot say. It would be disingenuous for studios to use this to fund all of their projects and it wouldn't be practical anyway. People are going to hit a threshold of what they feel is fair and worthwhile. It'll probably be a boon for cult properties to generate new interest, but anything else? Probably not. Especially when you consider million dollar kickstarters aren't that common and if they aren't fully funded the entire project is cancelled.

So this is interesting, but I don't think it's the end of the studio system or anything. An opportunity to breathe a little life into a dead cult series? Sure. But that's about it. And it also may open doors for beloved cult creators to fund new projects that they can't convince a studio to take a chance on either. Something like "Dr. Horrible" would have been perfect for Kickstarter. And I think ultimately that's where its value will lie.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:04 AM   #70
legendarymatt92 legendarymatt92 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snicket View Post
[Show spoiler]Now thats interesting and opens up a new can of worms.

WB has the resources to scrape up $15 million by themselves to do this, the studio does not need kickstarter. Now if the director was doing this on his own, and WB was not here I can see a crowd sourcing option making more sense (more on that later). But thats not the case. It really looks like WB is taking advantage of people to pay for something they don't have to. So is WB going to pay back these people who donated? No? Thanks ya'll, for filling the studios pockets.

Since Hollywood is a copycat industry for sure we will see this more, why foot the bill when people will do it for you? This is a problem with me. Rob Thomas probably could get a meeting with WB to do this (and he did) but there are plenty of other people doing their own thing who can't, and they are really the ones who need the money, not WB and Rob Thomas. Kickstarter was not intended for those who had the means to help themselves.

So if kickstarter is just going to become studios using crowd sourcing tactics to exploit people to pay for movies for cancelled TV shows, this would be a huge blow to people who legitimately need kickstarter for their projects. As much as I was excited for crowd sourcing to become a legitimate thing in the industry, I never wanted to see it happen this way.
The problem is, what you're describing is a black-and-white system that has no overlap - that Hollywood studios produce their own desired products in public, and that indies (until now) have made theirs in the corner quietly, not disturbing anyone.

The American film industry isn't black-and-white. Studios have their fingers in all the pies and often work in conjunction with smaller studios to help finance projects or get them off the ground. Look at Cloud Atlas, which had money coming in from everywhere (yes, none of the companies really took that much of a gamble on it, but that's another matter). Hollywood studios have co-mingled with indies for a while. Crowd sourcing is just another format for raising money that the studios can jump on; it won't destroy them, it won't beat them, because they'll control it eventually.

You have an idea for a movie but it isn't financially viable and studios turn it down. Do you a) try to finance that movie yourself, using resources collecting through crowd sourcing or b) strike up a deal with a Hollywood studio that lets you show the fan interest in return for some financial backing from them? I, and most people, would go b) every time and, crucially, so would the studios -- they're happy to let you squander money that isn't theirs, and they're even happier to give you money that they know will return a profit.

Crowd sourcing and indie studios won't defeat Hollywood. They'll become more internalised and accepted, and the shift in how films are made will undoubtedly change because of that. The less risk there is with making a picture, the happier the studios are. Crowd sourcing is an impressive and interesting way of calculating that risk and then deciding the outcome.
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