Crowdfunding: Do they work?

Yes and no.

Nowadays, there’s an option that filmmakers can use if they want to produce a film: ask fans and supporters for donations. Sometimes this venture works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Exhibit A. The Veronica Mars Movie. I’m not a Marshmallow, but because I spend too much time on the Internet, I’m slowly joining the fandom. When the show abruptly ended in 2007 in its third season, fans wanted more. And they got it. Summer last year, creator Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell aka VM proposed a Kickstarter campaign to fund the Veronica Mars movie. The campaign ran for 30 days (from March 13th to April 12th, 2013). And in 30 days, the campaign received a total of $5,702,153 pledges from 91,585 backers/supporters. Can you imagine? 5. Million. In. 30. Days. Rob’s goal was 2 million, but the fans completely went all-out to support their beloved fandom. Isn’t that amazing? It’s insane how Marshmallows were able to come up with 5 million dollars to watch LoVe Veronica on the big screen. And to think, The CW cancelled the show despite the good ratings. This Kickstarter project proved that Marshmallows are incredible people.

Veronica Mars campaign

Exhibit B. Wong Fu Productions’ first feature film. March 18th was the last day of their 40-day Indiegogo campaign. Their goal was to reach $200,000 but the backers pledged a total of $358,278. I’m not biased, but I think Wong Fu really deserves the support because they’ve been making quality videos on YouTube since 2008.

Wong Fu Productions campaign

These two are just examples of why crowdfunding is a good resource for feature films or any project where backers could support your cause. But, it’s not easy. Veronica Mars ran for three years so it had a following. It was also cancelled abruptly, so the team and the fans wanted more — kind of like to put closure on the characters. Personally, if I was following the show and they suddenly cancel it, I would be pissed. On the other hand, Wong Fu Productions is already an established production company. Their YouTube channel has one of the best contents in terms of video quality. They have an online merchandise store where they sell “awkward animals” plushies and accessories.

Veronica Mars and Wong Fu Productions already had a following before they started the campaign that’s why they reached their goal. Or they went way over their goal. That’s the main reason why they succeeded. Oh, and because their fans/supporters are amazing.

So that’s really all you need. Supporters/amazing fans who has been there for you from the beginning. And a worthy, quality content or concept.

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