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  1. #1
    Mild-Mannered Reporter
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    Default THE KICKSTAND: Time to Do Some Soul-Searching

    This week, Brigid offers a short meditation on the use and misuse of Kickstarter and the importance of paying creators. Plus: Action figure mini-comics, alien-possessed mutated house pets and Shaolin quests.


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    umop apisdn Z-man's Avatar
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    I don't agree with this article at all. When I donate to a project it's because I want it to be a success, not because I want to be the only one with a copy. And how can it be a success when all of the selling happened months before release? And if it is a success, maybe the publisher shoulders the burden next time.

    And as for Veronica Mars, the problem isn't that Warner Brothers doesn't want to assume the risk, it's that they don't think there's any risk that it would succeed at normal prices. It's just a big hole that thy don't want to throw their money down. Which is why the fans went on kickstarter and gave them money, because they're willing to pay more than ticket and DVD price to ensure that the movie actually gets made, because unless they do the movie won't get made. I don't need an exclusive DVD for that, just the regular DVD (in advance of street date by months, btw) is enough, because without my money there is no DVD at all, for anyone.

    For example, I, personally, would pay several times the cost of DVD, iTunes downloads, and action figures if it would get another season of Green Lantern the Animated Series made, and if a kickstarter opens for that, I'll do it. Because the network has already decided it's not worth it, but it's worth it to me. I don't need an exclusive deal, I just want it to happen.

    That's what kickstarter can do for me: make things happen that wouldn't happen otherwise. And that's better than any exclusive comic or DVD or whatever.
    "Aren't you cold, Finn?"

  3. #3
    Ultimate Mod! Plawsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z-man View Post
    I don't agree with this article at all. When I donate to a project it's because I want it to be a success, not because I want to be the only one with a copy. And how can it be a success when all of the selling happened months before release? And if it is a success, maybe the publisher shoulders the burden next time.

    And as for Veronica Mars, the problem isn't that Warner Brothers doesn't want to assume the risk, it's that they don't think there's any risk that it would succeed at normal prices. It's just a big hole that thy don't want to throw their money down. Which is why the fans went on kickstarter and gave them money, because they're willing to pay more than ticket and DVD price to ensure that the movie actually gets made, because unless they do the movie won't get made. I don't need an exclusive DVD for that, just the regular DVD (in advance of street date by months, btw) is enough, because without my money there is no DVD at all, for anyone.

    For example, I, personally, would pay several times the cost of DVD, iTunes downloads, and action figures if it would get another season of Green Lantern the Animated Series made, and if a kickstarter opens for that, I'll do it. Because the network has already decided it's not worth it, but it's worth it to me. I don't need an exclusive deal, I just want it to happen.

    That's what kickstarter can do for me: make things happen that wouldn't happen otherwise. And that's better than any exclusive comic or DVD or whatever.
    The problem with the exclusivity angle - and it is the case with Sullivan's Sluggers - are when exclusivity is promised, but not followed through upon. Backers were told that KS would be the ONLY place to get the nice hardcover of that book, so that's obviously an incentive for pledging now, rather than waiting. But then Smith started selling the "exclusive" book online, which is a bit insulting to those backers (over 2000 people) that were told otherwise.

    I definitely agree with you about Veronica Mars, though. Those who have pledged are not paying, for example, $50 for a DVD. They're paying $50 to see a movie they've wanted for years be created, and they also get a DVD. I don't personally care about Veronica Mars, but there are several TV Shows that I'd contribute to if they launched a similar campaign.

    Personally, my biggest issue with Kickstarter campaigns are when they don't price the rewards well (which, obviously, is going to be subjective). The most common one I see is for musicians that don't have a cheap-ish entry level to get a copy of their album. I've seen some that do $15 for a poster and $30 for the poster AND a CD, but not just $15 or $20 for the CD. And there should, in my opinion, always be a cheaper tier to get a digital download. But obviously, that's a person-by-person issue, and Kickstarters that aren't run well aren't going to succeed (generally). In general, I'm a big KS fan.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Z-man View Post
    ...It's just a big hole that thy don't want to throw their money down. Which is why the fans went on kickstarter and gave them money, because they're willing to pay more than ticket and DVD price to ensure that the movie actually gets made, because unless they do the movie won't get made....
    This is exactly the mindset that I was trying to argue against in my blog post. As a comic book/genre fan myself, I completely understand the desire to want more of what I like, but why should fans give money to a movie studio who is unwilling to meet their needs in the first place? And while I'd never try to prevent you or anyone else from deciding where and how to spend their money, I'd like to at least see a larger discussion on the topic, other than everyone thinking how awesome it is that fans are financing a movie.

    To me, it's about the principle of the matter, and not setting a bad precedent (or continuing to reinforce a bad one) by subsidizing giant corporations who only care about the bottom line and not the fans. You may be OK with doing so; to you, the reward of seeing a Veronica Mars movie being made is worth the expenditure on your end. And that's fine, it's well within your rights, and the business model established by Kickstarter, to make it happen. But I'm hoping to make an argument for the other side of the issue.

    I don't think it's OK for us fans to go out of our way to support a business entity that ultimately doesn't give a crap about us, other than seeing us as open wallets. It's one thing to pay money to see a Batman movie, or buy a Spider-Man comic. Those are also products put out by corporations to make them money, but at least it's done under a well-established value/reward model. My hard-earned cash for your promise of a product that will entertain me. But to now have us, as the consumers, also fund the up-front cost of making of that product? For the corporation to reap ALL the benefits of the business transaction, with little to no risk to them, with double/triple the financial burden on us? And for them to still retain and control all rights, to reap further benefits of merchandising and licensing, to extend the life of their product's "franchise," while the fans foot the bill?

    That's total and utter bullsh*t.

    As fans, we need to exercise some self respect.

    It's fine to love the X-Men or Star Wars. By all means, indulge your passions. But there's got to be a limit. We have to stop allowing and encouraging these entertainment providers from constantly taking advantage of our slavish devotion to our icons; our mindless consumerism. One way to do that is not buying all 12 variant covers to the next X-Men comic. Another is to stop lining the pockets of George Lucas (now Disney) with money every time they decide to reissue the same Star Wars movie in a different packaging.

    And relevant to this discussion, it's standing up and saying "hey, I love Veronica Mars, but if you can't figure out how to viably make a movie of it, , and you’re not going to cut me in on even an infinitesimally small cut of the ownership/royalties/residuals for my financial contribution, then it's not my responsibility nor my obligation to give you my hard-earned money so you can further profit from it."

  5. #5
    umop apisdn Z-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki5 View Post
    This is exactly the mindset that I was trying to argue against in my blog post. As a comic book/genre fan myself, I completely understand the desire to want more of what I like, but why should fans give money to a movie studio who is unwilling to meet their needs in the first place? And while I'd never try to prevent you or anyone else from deciding where and how to spend their money, I'd like to at least see a larger discussion on the topic, other than everyone thinking how awesome it is that fans are financing a movie.
    And this is exactly the mindset that I was trying to argue against in my response to your blog post. Because the studio is only "unwilling" to meet their needs because the way to movie market is currently set up there is no way to make it without losing money in opportunity cost, if not outright losing money. Kudos to Rob and Warner Bros. for realizing that 56,571 fans want to see the movie enough to pay more than $12 for a ticket and $20 for a DVD, thus pushing it up from "waste of money" to "viable product."

    It's basic economics, supply and demand. The price point is set to where supply meets demand. Except in the movie industry this price has been set for every movie everywhere all at once. A ticket for the Veronica Mars movie is going to cost as much as a ticket to the Avengers as does a ticket for Moonrise Kingdom. A small niche film like this can't really compete, not without the 'gravitas' and award-winning-potential of an art picture. Thanks to this kickstarter, we can let the fans move the price point to where it would be profitable for everyone.

    To me, it's about the principle of the matter, and not setting a bad precedent (or continuing to reinforce a bad one) by subsidizing giant corporations who only care about the bottom line and not the fans. You may be OK with doing so; to you, the reward of seeing a Veronica Mars movie being made is worth the expenditure on your end. And that's fine, it's well within your rights, and the business model established by Kickstarter, to make it happen. But I'm hoping to make an argument for the other side of the issue.
    Yes, using the passion of a small fanbase to get products they want out at a price they're comfortable with is sure a bad precedent to set. Veronica Mars wasn't profitable. Selling ad space and DVDs for it was a losing proposition on the CW's part. Selling movie tickets at the current market price would also be a losing proposition for them. It's not because they "weren't trying" or anything like that, it's because the fanbase, as loud and as passionate as it is, simply isn't big enough. Just ask Joss Whedon when the next Firefly movie is coming out.

    EDIT: and this really is the crux of the matter. The movie is not a "reward," really, it's a product. We're buying it at a price we've decided that it's worth. It's the age old deal, as you said, "My hard earned cash for your promise of a product that will entertain me."

    I don't think it's OK for us fans to go out of our way to support a business entity that ultimately doesn't give a crap about us, other than seeing us as open wallets. It's one thing to pay money to see a Batman movie, or buy a Spider-Man comic. Those are also products put out by corporations to make them money, but at least it's done under a well-established value/reward model. My hard-earned cash for your promise of a product that will entertain me. But to now have us, as the consumers, also fund the up-front cost of making of that product? For the corporation to reap ALL the benefits of the business transaction, with little to no risk to them, with double/triple the financial burden on us? And for them to still retain and control all rights, to reap further benefits of merchandising and licensing, to extend the life of their product's "franchise," while the fans foot the bill?
    The company has decided there was no point in extending the life of the Veronica Mars "franchise," it wasn't making enough money. Certainly not in merchandising and licensing. And why exactly should the business "give a crap about us, other than seeing us as open wallets"? It's a company, it's purpose is to make money so that it can afford to make new beloved shows which are intended to make more money. If they thought that a Veronica Mars movie would've made money, they'd have made it a long time ago. Thanks to this kickstarter, we can make the movie profitable where it wouldn't have been before. Because we can pay what the movie would be worth to us.

    That's total and utter bullsh*t.

    As fans, we need to exercise some self respect.
    By not doing what we can to get what we want? Standing around saying "I want this, but only at the price where you're not making any money. Sure, I'd be willing to pay more than that, but only if you don't ask for it!" That's not self respect, that's entitlement.

    It's fine to love the X-Men or Star Wars. By all means, indulge your passions. But there's got to be a limit. We have to stop allowing and encouraging these entertainment providers from constantly taking advantage of our slavish devotion to our icons; our mindless consumerism. One way to do that is not buying all 12 variant covers to the next X-Men comic. Another is to stop lining the pockets of George Lucas (now Disney) with money every time they decide to reissue the same Star Wars movie in a different packaging.

    And relevant to this discussion, it's standing up and saying "hey, I love Veronica Mars, but if you can't figure out how to viably make a movie of it, , and you’re not going to cut me in on even an infinitesimally small cut of the ownership/royalties/residuals for my financial contribution, then it's not my responsibility nor my obligation to give you my hard-earned money so you can further profit from it."
    They found a way to viably make a movie of it, it's called "kickstarter."

    EDIT: I don't understand your zeal to characterize this as something Warner Bros can profit from beyond the money we've already put in. They can't, otherwise they would have gone through with it a long time ago. That's why they won't fund it, and why we, the fans, are.
    Last edited by Z-man; 03-20-2013 at 12:13 AM.
    "Aren't you cold, Finn?"

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