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Activity Forums Creative Community Conversations OT: A Veronica Mars Crowd Sourcing Miracle

  • Chris Harlan

    March 14, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    [Andrew Kimery] “Of course, I just think it’s too early to tell if this is a good example of an interesting lateral move.”

    Not for me. I’m thrilled that their doing it. I’m a TV fan, a Veronica Mars fan, and, for that matter, a Warner Bros. fan. So, I’m happy. Will it happen again? Who knows. But it is a lateral move, and they DID make it.

    [Andrew Kimery] “deferred/reduced pay “

    I’m not seeing any mention of this, other than a few bloggers who have made this assumption based on their expectations and nothing else. I’m sure it will be a Guild film. If you actually know differently, clue me in because I’d love to know. I do doubt it though. Will some of the actors take a little less for old time’s sake? I have no idea.

    [Andrew Kimery] ” If standard ‘Hollywood accounting’ is used then the production will be charged exorbitant fees by WB ensuring that the movie will never turn a profit on paper. “

    “Hollywood accounting,” especially when done in relationship with a major international corporation, is not what it once was. A lot of light gets poured on the books, and their are reporting requirements that the old, much more insular fiefdoms didn’t have to live up to. Besides, I doubt anyone involved in this project is confused by the difference between net and gross.

    [Andrew Kimery] ” My hesitation is really centered around WB’s involvement “

    As I said, I’m a Warner Bros. fan, so I really don’t have any hesitation.

    Like I said, I don’t think this is a revolution. I’m just happy about it, think its interesting, and hope more good from it comes down the road. Here’s a take from Forbes:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/03/14/how-exactly-did-veronica-mars-fund-a-movie-in-ten-hours/

  • Andrew Kimery

    March 15, 2013 at 3:23 am

    A quick Google search told me that SAG low budget is for pictures $2.5 mil and under and I’m sure that would’ve made many people work at low-budget scale. With the success of the Kickstarter campaign they are out of low budget SAG scale range though I’m sure normal scale for someone like Kristen Bell would still be south of what she usually makes. I’m not privy to the budget breakdown but we all know that $2 million (the projected budget) doesn’t go very far in terms of making a feature film.

    Hollywood accounting is still alive and well unfortunately. While judges have not been keen on the accounting practices the light only gets shone on the books when someone sues and the case ends up in court (which can be a costly undertaking in and of itself).
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130114/19435221675/hollywood-accounting-strikes-again-investors-29-paramount-films-that-earned-7-billion-dollars-get-no-return.shtml

    Putting aside your personal feelings for this specific project how do you feel about the overall situation in general? A major studio/label/network/etc., has people pay up front to fund a project, it retains distribution rights so it can profit from the finished work while the people who financed the project receive no share of the profits as their money was a donation not an investment. I’m sure studios would love it if this caught on as it allows them to reap the benefits while taking minimal financial risk (just marketing and distribution costs). Movies financed like this probably don’t even need a completion bond as KS has a no refunds policy (even if a backed project never comes to fruition).

    Sure, a movie will get made (hopefully it’s on the good side of TV shows turned movies) but at what cost?

  • Chris Harlan

    March 15, 2013 at 3:48 am

    Andrew, I feel good about it. You’ve got way too much speculation going on, and I’m just not going to follow you there. Every type of business has examples of questionable or fraudulent business practices from time to time. You do not know the particulars of this deal, and you are assuming a lot of things that you have no evidence for, other than you feel that way about “Hollywood.” I don’t see a studio the same way you do, because I see it as a whole bunch of different people at work, not as the entity you see it as.

    I see a group of people who had a terrific time working together finding a way to fund something they want to do that would otherwise not have gotten funding. You see exploitation. I don’t. I think its terrific, and I wish them lots of luck.

  • Chris Harlan

    March 15, 2013 at 4:31 am

    [Chris Harlan] ” I wish them lots of luck.”

    Or rather, a broken leg.

  • Andrew Kimery

    March 15, 2013 at 7:32 am

    [Chris Harlan] “You do not know the particulars of this deal, and you are assuming a lot of things that you have no evidence for, other than you feel that way about “Hollywood.””
    I could say the same thing to you. 😉

    My feelings about “Hollywood” are just pragmatic expectations based on prior history plus current conditions. The biz has a history of doing its best to mitigate its risk (ex. chasing taxpayer subsidies), maximize its profits (ex. previously mentioned accounting) and squeezing people for all they are worth (ex. current VFX uproar) so I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that a studio would gladly let someone else fund a movie no-strings-attached and gladly take in all the revenue from distributing it.

    [Chris Harlan] “I don’t see a studio the same way you do, because I see it as a whole bunch of different people at work, not as the entity you see it as. “

    On the KS page Rob Thomas only refers to Warner Brothers in a monolithic way so I did as well. If Rob would’ve said, “Rick at Warner Brothers wanted to gage fan interest…” then I would’ve said, “Rick at Warner Brothers probably just wanted to see if they could get a couple mil for free.” I’ve worked at some of the biggest media conglomerates on Earth so I understand that they are run and staffed by individuals and don’t function like a Borg collective. Sometimes it’s just easier to say “Warner Brothers” as opposed to “the people at Warner Brothers making decisions about whether or not there should be a Veronica Mars movie”. 😉

    Earlier in the thread you said you wanted to talk about “motives and movements” and I feel like I’ve tried to steer the conversation that way without much success. I’m glad you are excited about it, I hope the movie is great and that the right people get compensated if it does well. I never watched the show and I’m indifferent towards WB so I have no emotional dog in this race. I’m just trying to talk about this situation (given the facts at hand) and even compare it to other similar situations (again, given the facts at hand).

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