Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fangirl Confessions: Why the Veronica Mars Movie Matters

A long time ago, we used to have Veronica Mars on our television screens but then unfortunately this fantastic teen-noir was cancelled. Since it’s cancellation everyone that was involved with or in love with this show yearned for something more and that something was a movie. Well it’s been a long wait but it’s finally going to happen: the Veronica Mars Movie is a go. That’s not all, because not only is this movie happening but it’s happening because of us and that is a really big deal.

By now I’m sure you have all heard about The Veronica Mars Kickstarter Movie Project but if you have been living under a rock (or maybe just uber interested in the new pope) here’s the gist. At about 10.30am ET Rob Thomas (the writer not the singer) and Kristen Bell announced that a Veronica Mars movie was happening… they just needed a little help. Help coming in the form of 2 million dollars worth of donations from fans. If they managed to reach this goal in 30 days WB would be willing to front the bill for marketing and distribution. Using the funding platform Kickstarter, Thomas and Bell managed to make the target in less than 10 hours; meaning that there will indeed be a Veronica Mars movie in the very near future.

There have been divided responses to this project but everyone recognizes that its success is a game-changing event. I’m not going to go into details about industry models and out-dated funding systems because there are a million people out there are more qualified than me to comment on these matters. I am also well aware of the issues people have pointed out including the fact that Warner Bros is forcing fans to pay for a film simply because they are not game enough to front the funding themselves. Especially considering its Warner Bros that will reap the rewards of the films success. But what these people don’t seem to understand that fans are aware of this.

Fans are not the delusional idiots that most people believe us to be (not all of us anyway). Most of us have a fairly good understanding of how the entertainment business works. We get it (and I mean we because I am one of over 40,000 people that backed this project), we know we’re giving money to the big bad media conglomerates when they really don’t need it. We’re not investing in Warner Bros we’re investing in ourselves. We really love Veronica Mars and we genuinely believe it is worthy of a film. We’re not being duped by studios we are choosing to wield the power that we have always had.

This project is all about fan agency. It’s not your everyday viewer that is willing to invest their own hard earned money to turn their favourite television show into a movie. The so called casual viewer that networks and studios have been so desperate to please for all these years has no place in a project like this. This is all about that hardcore passionate group of people that call themselves ‘fans’ despite the fact that the term comes loaded with connotations of insanity. Think about it this way – the Kickstarter funding project is literally putting a price on how much you want a movie to be made and let’s face it the casual viewer just isn’t going to pay up.  

Honestly though the thing you need to understand is that while I would be pleased by any shifts to the Hollywood system that this projects inspires (as long as they don’t move towards further exploitation of fans) that’s not why I choose to pledge money to The Veronica Mars Movie Project. I love Veronica Mars right down to my gooey marshmallow insides and I want to see it made into a movie almost as much as I want a pony. So in the same way that I choose to go the cinema or buy a DVD, I choose to give money to this project simply because I want to see it.

The truly mind-boggling thing about it is that the reason the Veronica Mars Movie is being made because we wanted it to be. Basically Warner Bros said: “we don’t think you guys will pay to see this movie” and we replied with “wanna bet?” And boy did we rise to the challenge. 

Fans really are amazing people and their choices (even if you don’t agree with or understand them) should not be ignored. The Veronica Mars movie is a thing that is happening because a bunch of passionate people decided it was worthy and no matter what else you that that is seriously cool.

But you know what they say about Veronica Mars fans, they’re marshmallows.