If you don’t know, Zach Braff launched a KickStarter campaign today for 2 million dollars. As of 6:06 pm, he’s halfway there. There are a lot of mixed emotions about the project, a lot of people voicing concern that famous (rich) people are going to take over sites like KickStarter or IndieGoGo.
This comes a few weeks after the Veronica Mars movie finished their campaign, raising 5.7 million. Yet, people didn’t seem as angry when this project popped up and in fact there were quite a few “Is this going to change the way Indie filmmaking is done?” articles.
I wanted to take a moment and compare the two projects and really question what this means for crowdsourcing.
I think the biggest difference between the Veronica Mars movie and the Zach Braff movie is presentation and PR. Here’s some examples:
For one, Zach Braff does not offer a digital download of the film where Veronica Mars did. Zach seems to be saying “Hey, if you guys have it, then I can sell it for mucho money to the biggest distributer.” Zach, give your fans a digital download of the film. Trust them and support them. They are giving you their hard earned money.
Yet, the difference between Zach and Veronica Mars is that Veronica Mars has built in distribution - Warner Brothers. Rob Thomas could have struck the deal beforehand and Warner Brothers could have thought “Hey we don’t have to front the 2 million dollars so why not give a few hundred people a digital download of the film. So, who knows what happened except that we know both of these films will be coming to a theater near you.
Reasons for Making It
Whether these are true or not, the Veronica Mars movie seemed like the cast got together and said yeah we’re in and Warner Brothers wasn’t sure there was a fan base for it. So they turned to KickStarter and their fans said “Yeah! Here we are!”
Zach Braff seemed to say “Look there WERE millionaires who wanted to fund my movie but they wouldn’t make it exactly how I wanted to, so I’m turning to you.”
So, in short, Veronica Mars was turning to their fans saying we’re in it together and Zach Braff was asking Dad because Mom said yes but clean up your room first.
The cast of Veronica Mars aren’t the most famous of people. Kristen Bell is their biggest star although the other actors are constantly working so it didn’t exactly seem like millionaires asking us to fork over money. Although Kristen Bell is worth 8 million (at least according to celebritynetworth.com).
Zach Braff is worth 22 million (again according to celebritynetworth.com) and when Scrubs was at its height, he was making 335,000 an episode. To have him say hey give me money, felt like millionaires asking us to fork over money.
What does this all mean?
Before we started our campaign, we did a lot of research about successful campaigns. The biggest factor? Having a built in fan base. There aren’t that many people that are just browsing KickStarter looking for projects to support. We raised most of our 30K with the help of friends and family.
The super success stories from the film side are people with fans who already have some success. The best way to get rich? Have money. The best way to have a successful kickstarter campaign? Have fans.
I guess what I’m saying is - it is now, more than ever, impossible to get noticed in this town but it is still very easy to give a celebrity money.