This weekend we will see the opening of a movie called Veronica Mars. Now this film is not the first to take a television show from the small screen to the big screen. Nor is it the first time a movie was funded through Kickstarter. However, this film is the first feature length project of this kind to get the big budget Hollywood treatment. And this film has begun a cascade of celebrities looking to their fans for the funding of their pet projects.
Celebrities such as Zach Braff star of the hit series Scrubs, James Franco star of 127 hours, and Spike Lee Director of Inside Man, Malcolm X, and Do The Right Thing have all started their own crowdfunding campaigns. And each has met and exceeded their multi-million dollar goals. Now, some have questioned the necessity of these celebrities asking funding from fans and the unfairness in the amount of publicity they can self-generate via these funding campaigns. After all aren’t celebrities already rich? Can’t they fund their own projects? And aren’t these sites supposed to be for people who can’t get their own money?
Personally I cannot vouch for or against the validity of any of these projects. I do however know that within the Hollywood system dealing with studios can be frustrating, and money talks. I believe that crowdfunding is offering a new way for movies to gain funding. These films are not just the average films being produced by the hundreds in Hollywood. With private citizens funding these projects these movies are sending a personal message about what people want to see. These are truly movies of the people, by the people, and for the people. These are movies of a new generation.