Kickstopper

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Diana Kingston-Gabai:

Stevepinto3:
Man everyone talking about backing a Firefly kickstater is EXACTLY the kind of thing Bob was talking about here. Firefly (last I checked) is still owned by Fox, a company that is not exactly short on cash. They could easily put the show back on the air with money out of their own pockets, so why would you give them money to do something they can already afford to do?

Because Fox won't do it. They've never shown any inclination to put the show back on the air, much like the CW had zero interest in any projects relating to "Veronica Mars". Hence the Kickstarter campaign cutting them out of the process.

I don't really do kickstarters. But for Firefly... I would probably go, shut up and take my money!

I'm scared by this and yet confused as to what will come of this... kickstarter is a powerful tool and I fear that power and how far it can and will reach... also what is this mars(life on mars was a good show on the BBC) thing? honestly no clue but hey that aside yay people get paid and people get what they paid for I guess.

This article is pointless if not worse outright false, and so many people buying into the narrative depresses me...

If you "hate" corporations that much that you don't want to give them money, then better stop buying those cinema tickets, DVD/Blu-Ray boxsets and merchandising that you do.
All this changes is that you have a say in what gets made. There is literally no difference between putting up the money upfront to take the risk because you believe in something and then getting the product (DVD/premiere ticket/Digital Download etc.) when it is finished, or them taking the risk because they believe people will want it and then pocketing the change.
If you don't like giving money to corporations you better stop buying their products...

But do you remember all those shows you wanted to go on, but were cancelled after a season or half a season because "the ratings weren't right"?

I've got a whole list of them, for instance: John Doe, Day Break, Point Pleasant, Life on Mars (US), Journeyman, FlashForward, Traveler, Birds of Prey to just name a few.
Some of the latest examples would be the Green Lantern and Young Justice animated shows that were pretty great but just got cancelled.
I'd have (and would have) given money to save them, yes even if the receiver is a "corporation", because this is unfortunately a larger problem involving how IP and Copyright laws work and won't get changed before that is reformed.
In fact I wanted something like KickStarter to that effect years before it existed, possibly even 10+ years ago.
Other people apparently too, as Tim Schafer put it in his speech after the end of the campaign:

"If you've ever been told that you are part of a niche market, when you were a kid and you had your favorite TV show cancelled or you hear about your favorite band being dropped by the label for not selling enough and you've just been like "Why does a big company get to choose what music I listen to or what movies I watch or TV shows I watch or what game I get to play?" Now you know, they can't do that anymore. You can choose."

Oh, and if someone makes a "crowd"-platform for collectively as a community of people buying out shares of stock-market listed/traded companies with bad business practices (like EA, Activision, FOX, Newscorp etc.) and forces them to change the way they do business by leveraging the amount of shares they got (even owning 10-20% of a company gives a big influence into those decisions) and with surveys to determine what the people and consumers actually want and puts them to work for the community instead of pure profit. I've thought of that years ago too. xD

That said, KickStarter or "CrowdFunding" is also a BIG, HUGE, GINORMOUS trojan horse for the content industry. Even if corporations think they can exploit it, all they are doing in the long run is giving it legitimacy and getting a lot of people (fans and other interested people that are curious about the concept) on those platforms and involved in both Crowd Funding and other projects (a lot of people that signed up to KickStarter to back one specific project went on to back a lot more, me included).

Now, you might think this gives corporations more power, but in truth it is taking power away from them and putting it into the hands of both creators and fans/users/the crowd.
You're asking why? Well, it's quite simple. The creators of these sort of projects aren't stupid. If they have the chance to work on something and pocket all the change and profits themselves they are going to do it (and they did so in the past). Like how Obsidian got approached by a publisher and they told them to fuck off: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/09/19/publishers-wanted-obsidian-to-use-kickstarter/

The only leverage the studios really has is the IP itself and the facilities and possibilities to make movies (studio lots, experts, equipment etc.)

KickStarter has already written about the "Blockbuster effect": http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/blockbuster-effects or how the legitimacy and attention a huge project like the Veronica Mars movie gets a lot of new people involved as a part of the ecosystem and instead of the "Indie" projects getting less, they get more than they could've gotten before, since there are more people to get the money from and the whole pie has just gotten bigger and more credible ("maybe it doesn't taste like mud?").

These are various independent projects that got a lot less (from $100.000 to $200.000) 1-3 years ago:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2pp/minecraft-the-story-of-mojang
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/58936338/space-command
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/212378023/grimm-fairy-tales-animated-series
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1094772583/the-canyons
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1261313080/dust-0
They could probably triple or even quadruple their budget after the added legitimacy and growth of the ecosystem.

So I'm all for it, all the "Film & Video" category needs to grow is a few bigger projects, "corporate-backed" or not.
All aspiring movie directors need the studios for is money, distribution and marketing.
If they make these things easier for independents by putting up a few projects of their own, and on top of that show their incompetency in the "legal department" by for instance only allowing US and Canadian residents to pledge, it is a net positive in the end.

If the growth ends up being enough for creators to be able to take their teams and "Kickstart" their own properties (and/or gives them more leverage in negotiations with studios when they want to outright "own" their IPs and they can tell them "No, then I'll go to KickStarter instead" or at least make them reconsider entering a contract that gives the corporation full control) independent from studios, similar to how Double Fine, Obsidian and others have done in the Gaming category before everybody wins. It might even help bring down insane "Hollywood" budgets and help create new ways of making high production value series and movies with shoe-string budgets.

This is just yet another case of the massive corporations refusing to try anything new until they know for certain it works. They looked over the shoulders of people who had nothing but innovation to support their ideas, and once again copied/manipulated it for their own uses. Because they know shareholders are an incredibly finicky lot who likely jump the boat at the slightest dip in profits, they won't try anything new useless they know it's almost certain to make them money.
This time round though, they're getting a fair amount of their sales up front. If the project fails, they still make a fair profit from a few T-Shirts and and a load of empty promises. Who's to say that they can't just pocket a few million donated dollars just because they 'needed' more than that?
I don't like it at all. Once again, the individual market is going to be pushed out of what little limelight they have by the bigger powers. There need to be measures in place so corporations don't abuse the system.

Thank you for putting words to what I was thinking.

While I'm happy Veronica Mars will be coming to theaters... I think it should be the first and last property to do this.

Kickstarter needs to outright ban companies above a certain level from even utilizing their service.

My fingers are crossed that WB will prove not to be asses and at the very least match the funds donated by the Kickstarterers.

Why is this even an issue? These major film studios have been getting into bed with private equity firms for years now, in order to make movies. How is using Kickstarter to raise funds for a movie that different from getting private investors to help fund your movie?

At the end of the day, like any private investment, donating to a Kickstarter is as simple as reminding yourself "never put in more than you can lose". If you can afford to put $500,000 into a hedge fund which is used to finance movies then go for it. If you can afford to lay down $50 for a Kickstarter to make movie, then go for it. The only difference would be in the return you get out of the investment - with the hedge fund/private equity your reward is making money. With the Kickstarter your return is a movie you want to watch.

makes sense what bob is saying. look at what happened with project eternity with obsidian. no publisher would fund what they wanted to make but the moment publishers heard they were going kickstarter they were approached by one. the deal they were offered? do the kick starter, fund and make the project, give almost all the profits to the publisher and in return they would get marketing and retail sales help oh and they had to turn over the IP rights as well.

it IS a system that will be abused by companies and consumers will lap it up

Gee, sounds like the results of fucking stupid people putting their money into unoriginal ideas, not corporations "infecting" the green idyllic pastures of crowd-funding. There's a reason corporations rarely put out original ideas and, surprise, it's not because executives are retarded. No, it's because, if there's ANYTHING kickstarter should teach you, it's that EVERYONE likes unoriginal sequels/prequels/spin-offs/etc.

I'll give you a great example:

"Gee, why isn't Hollywood more original? Why do they just churn out shitty sequels and stuff based on games or books?"
"ERMAHGERD, AVENGERS IS COMING! Let's give it all the money!"
"Game of Thrones and Walking Dead are back on TV? Fuck yeah!"
"Holy fuck, they might be making Half-life 3!"

Diana Kingston-Gabai:
Moreover, the $35 reward for this project is a digital copy of the movie - about the same price you'd pay for a Blu-Ray

Where the hell are you buying movies that cost 35 dollars retail? Seriously... most new releases cost like... 20... and only raise when they are a special edition or the like... and even then, I rarely see them get beyond 25 dollars. Any place that sells them for more needs to not be shopped at.

This is not totally dissimilar to very early pre-order offers. For example, whatever they name of that new IP that Bungie is making now - we don't even know if it will be an MMO, a CoD-style PvP focused game with a separate story campaign or really anything about it, including whether it will even come to fruition... but it's still up for pre-order.

Not only is there no way to prevent a fool from parting with their presumably hard-earned coin, but you don't have the right to second guess their decisions. This is a brand new frontier, but eventually it will settle down into the sort of equilibrium between industry and consumer.

Bob, while I completely agree with your article, I can't tolerate this:

MovieBob:
The proof, now, is in the pudding...

The saying is actually "The proof of the pudding is in the eating" The proof is not in the pudding. The mere fact that a pudding exists does not demonstrate its quality or tastiness.

Falseprophet:

The thing about revolutions: it's easy to be idealistic while you're still fighting the good fight. But when the revolutionaries win, they have to get down to the business of running things. Then they learn it's not as easy as they thought. They will probably have to sell out some of their ideals. They might end up being as bad as the regime they overthrew. They might even be worse.

We worry about that when the new revolution comes. Hand me another tequila, throw an infidel on the fire! Let's celebrate while we can!

Deathlyphil:

Tom Breaker: Look, Bill, if this is about reliving the 60's, you can forget about it, buddy. The movement is dead.
William Strannix: Yes, of course! Hence the name: movement. It moves a certain distance, then it stops, you see? A revolution gets its name by always coming back around in your face. You tried to kill me you son of a bitch... so welcome to the revolution.

That's just beautiful.

Let's be honest, the industry/industries would find a way to pull the money from people's pockets anyway, so no real harm is done here.

Plus there's always the chance that at some point it backfires spectacularly and we'll all get a good show.

mdqp:

My point was, that someone else is taking the risk, so that someone else should profit from this (the one doing the funding).

There is a good reason in this specific case for paying the producer (I believe they hold the rights to Veronica Mars), but as a general rule, if they give less to the projects than before, why should they earn as much as before?

And what new risk is it that the backers are taking?

That worry would make sense exactly with the small indie Kickstarters, where the backers are taking the risk that the developer can go bankrupt mid-production, or an entirely unproven new developer might not end up with what was promised.

But big businesses and old proven teams doing Kickstarter solves exactly that: We know that Veronica Mars is getting made, and we know that it will be written and acted by the old team that the fans loved.

The worst thing that could happen, would be if it would end up being badly executed, but even then, the backers are the kind of hardcore Veronica Mars fans who would be in the movie theatres on day one anyways, for the sake of watching the ending of the story that they followed for years, and not just reading reviews and contemplating whether it's worth their money.

So really, the only thing that you can bring up against this model is that it allows producers to make money more effectively, not that it takes away extra money from the audience.

Naqel:
Let's be honest, the industry/industries would find a way to pull the money from people's pockets anyway, so no real harm is done here..

That's some rather strange logic. Let's paraphrase: "Let's be honest, criminals will find a way to commit crimes anyway, so there's no real harm done there."

I guess we should just give up on doing anything good, because it's inevitable that things will be corrupted. There's no point in trying to stop any individual criminal act, because we can't possibly stop all crime.

Entitled:
But big businesses and old proven teams doing Kickstarter solves exactly that: We know that Veronica Mars is getting made, and we know that it will be written and acted by the old team that the fans loved.

No, we don't actually know that.

It's just as likely that Warner Brothers will take the money and produce nothing. There's no obligation that Kickstarter projects actually succeed. If anything, the smaller ones probably have more incentive to succeed, because their personal reputation is on the line. Multi-billion dollar companies can easily brush off any damage to their supposed "reputation" because that means nothing to them.

Entitled:
And what new risk is it that the backers are taking?

That worry would make sense exactly with the small indie Kickstarters, where the backers are taking the risk that the developer can go bankrupt mid-production, or an entirely unproven new developer might not end up with what was promised.

But big businesses and old proven teams doing Kickstarter solves exactly that: We know that Veronica Mars is getting made, and we know that it will be written and acted by the old team that the fans loved.

The worst thing that could happen, would be if it would end up being badly executed, but even then, the backers are the kind of hardcore Veronica Mars fans who would be in the movie theatres on day one anyways, for the sake of watching the ending of the story that they followed for years, and not just reading reviews and contemplating whether it's worth their money.

So really, the only thing that you can bring up against this model is that it allows producers to make money more effectively, not that it takes away extra money from the audience.

I am not worried.

They might take money, try to make the movie, make a terrible movie/or need more money/or CLAIM to need more money to finish it (Kickstarter isn't binding in many situations, for obvious reasons). Being a big producer means nothing, especially since with this kickstarter WB involvement isn't explicitly stated, so they don't even risk getting a bad reputation if anything goes wrong (and even the director/actors involved can safely claim all sorts of reasons as to why they need more money or they were unable to complete the movie).

All of the above reasons to be wary of this had nothing to do with my point, those are general concerns regarding anything to do with crowdfunding.

My point was that if I am the one paying the money, there is no reason why a third party should earn anything from it.

I might be okay giving all the profit to the people I am funding (if I wanted to), but there isn't exactly a good reason to pay the producer, if he doesn't shoulder any risk. As I stated before, it's of course all right if they own the IP, you gotta pay them, but outside of this a producer should be rewarded in proportion to their investment, rather than always taking the same cut.

If two producers were to theoretically fund the creation of a movie, you wouldn't certainly expect having only one of them to earn money from it, right? It doesn't matter if fans also get what they want (the movie), there isn't a good reason why someone makes an investement, and a third party gains from it offering barely nothing to the making of the product.

wombat_of_war:
makes sense what bob is saying. look at what happened with project eternity with obsidian. no publisher would fund what they wanted to make but the moment publishers heard they were going kickstarter they were approached by one. the deal they were offered? do the kick starter, fund and make the project, give almost all the profits to the publisher and in return they would get marketing and retail sales help oh and they had to turn over the IP rights as well.

it IS a system that will be abused by companies and consumers will lap it up

Obsidian had a choice, Rob Thomas didn't because Warner already owned the IP. Ang gaming Kickstarters were already pretty big by the time they tried to fund Eternity, so they had an audience of old-school RPG fans listening to their idea. Veronica Mars is the first $1m+ movie Kickstarter.

Like Dexter111 said above, if anything, this is a huge trojan horse for publishers.

Sure, with the IPs that they they already own, they can continue keeping all the benefits like they used to. But old IPs tend to eventually going to grow old, and they are replaced by new ones, that the publishers proceed to milk as well. But even if Rob Thomas didn't have a choice this time, he will have next time, with a fandom worshipping his every step, with a highly followed twitter account, with the e-mail address of 50.000+ Veronica Mars backers, and with the reputation of a man who can make a decent movie from $3 million, he won't have any obligation for starting new IPs under Warner, and neither will any of his equally famous collegues.

grigjd3:
Kickstarter isn't about leveling the playing field. Rather, it's about charging more money to people who find more value from a project.

This is positively the single best description of Kickstarter I have ever read. This needs to be up on their homepage in 150-point-letters. Kudos do you, unpronunciable sir or madam.

Aardvaarkman:

It's just as likely that Warner Brothers will take the money and produce nothing. There's no obligation that Kickstarter projects actually succeed.

You are wrong.

This is in the Terms of Use that project creators have to sign before launching a project, and there is already legal precedent for creators losing a class action lawsuit for fraud after failing to meet it.

Aardvaarkman:

If anything, the smaller ones probably have more incentive to succeed, because their personal reputation is on the line. Multi-billion dollar companies can easily brush off any damage to their supposed "reputation" because that means nothing to them.

Yeah, that's why Amazon or Steam sometimes just keeps the money of tens of thousands of people instead of offering a game, or why airlines so commonly tend to keep passangers' money without offering a flight.

Wrong. Even if they could get away with it legally, no business could survive the reputation of not delivering a product or service at all for their consumers payment.

Small Kickstarters can be funded by random anonymous scammers, who don't have any reputation. The big ones have.

mdqp:

Being a big producer means nothing, especially since with this kickstarter WB involvement isn't explicitly stated, so they don't even risk getting a bad reputation if anything goes wrong

Yeah, as if WB could just suddenly decide to deny giving Rob Thomas the money and the IP, and the Internet and it's Veronica Mars fandom would never figure out who was responsible for that.

mdqp:

All of the above reasons to be wary of this had nothing to do with my point, those are general concerns regarding anything to do with crowdfunding.

My point was that if I am the one paying the money, there is no reason why a third party should earn anything from it.

You must be new to this whole "entertainment industry" thing. Publishers earning money on artists' work is how it mainly functions, ever since the Statute of Monopolies in 1624 invented intellectual property, and granted it all to the book printers' guild.

Yes, Kickstarter didn't entirely end this, regarding the old IPs, that are already owned by such publishers. But at least it gives creators a fighting chance, to start new IPs independently from the publishers.

Kinitawowi:

Just wait until Activision kickstarts $300 million to make the next COD.

I would love that. Either it would succeed or (hopefully) it would bomb and burn the franchises to ash.

Entitled:

mdqp:

Being a big producer means nothing, especially since with this kickstarter WB involvement isn't explicitly stated, so they don't even risk getting a bad reputation if anything goes wrong

Yeah, as if WB could just suddenly decide to deny giving Rob Thomas the money and the IP, and the Internet and it's Veronica Mars fandom would never figure out who was responsible for that.

mdqp:

All of the above reasons to be wary of this had nothing to do with my point, those are general concerns regarding anything to do with crowdfunding.

My point was that if I am the one paying the money, there is no reason why a third party should earn anything from it.

You must be new to this whole "entertainment industry" thing. Publishers earning money on artists' work is how it mainly functions, ever since the Statute of Monopolies in 1624 invented intellectual property, and granted it all to the book printers' guild.

Yes, Kickstarter didn't entirely end this, regarding the old IPs, that are already owned by such publishers. But at least it gives creators a fighting chance, to start new IPs independently from the publishers.

I wasn't thinking about the denying of the IP, it was more of a "if they would ever try to run a scam, it wouldn't be all that easy to tell the difference between an actual lack of funds and a deliberate attempt at syphoning money". I am not suggesting anyone would actually do it, but it's a possibility, and a big, costly project has a bigger chance of moving the money around. But again, this is more a possible worry with crowdfunding in general, than with big corporations deciding to step in, although I believe the size of a project might affect the possibility to obfuscate the way the budget is employed (at least, that's what I believe could happen).

As I wrote before, I wasn't referring to IPs already owned by companies (of course they will control what happens with them, and earn money for simply allowing the project. We might discuss the fact that I find the current copyright laws simply insane, but that's a completely different matter), but big companies might pressure directors and artists into doing this even for new IPs, while still getting their hands on them, which isn't a great thing in my opinion. Of course there is a good side to it (having less risks would allow them to work on less traditional ideas, without fearing a flop as much), but that's also true for other projects where there isn't a producer involved, so that would benefit them for no good reason.

There are a lot of reasons why a director might do what a producer asks (a promise for a future contract with a bigger budget and a bigger paycheck, for example, but even less "shady" things, it's not like there is a conspiracy behind every corner), even it doesn't benefit their current project or its backers (the crowdfunding guys), and the people funding these projects should probably ask themselves if it's really a good thing to do, should they appear.

It's not like I am saying "we are all doomed! The big fish is going to eat all the small fishes!!!", I am pointing out the fact that shifting the risk on the general public while retaining the same income isn't in the best interest of the consumers.

mdqp:
I wasn't thinking about the denying of the IP, it was more of a "if they would ever try to run a scam, it wouldn't be all that easy to tell the difference between an actual lack of funds and a deliberate attempt at syphoning money". I am not suggesting anyone would actually do it, but it's a possibility, and a big, costly project has a bigger chance of moving the money around. But again, this is more a possible worry with crowdfunding in general, than with big corporations deciding to step in, although I believe the size of a project might affect the possibility to obfuscate the way the budget is employed (at least, that's what I believe could happen).

There are two possible ways the project could not be finished:

#1. Warner misled the production team, and they refuse to let them freely finish the movie from their collected budget. They either syphon away the backer money from them, cancel the whole project, or therwise meddle with the production so that it halts.

#2. Warner allows the team to do whatever they want in good faith, and they run out of money. Warner refuses to help them out with any extra support.

In case of #1, it would take one tweet from a high-level staff member claiming that this is the case, for a huge scandal to start. There is simply no way that any business could survive the reputation of directly taking away consumers' money en masse, and not returning anything for it. It would be treated exactly as if your bank would start refusing to give people back their money that they put in, or if an online store would stop shipping products to paying consumers.

Yes, it would be complicated to legally prove, but it wouldn't need to be proven to begin with. If Ebay would start syphoning away customer money en masse, they could try to deny it and blame it on their sellers, but the fact that people are not getting their deliveries, would make a big enough scandal to seriously harm Ebay.

Big businesses can be greedy, unfair, and generally as customer unfriendly as they can get away with, but simply failing to deliver a paid product would be on an entirely different level from these.

And in the case of #2, like you said, the concerns are the same as with any kikstarter. If anything, the big 1-10 million ones are more safe than the small ones, because people like Rob Thomas have a reputation to protect, and big projects can also beg for some extra investors (in this case support from Warner), while small projects can only silently go bankrupt.

mdqp:

We might discuss the fact that I find the current copyright laws simply insane

Right there with ya, buddy.

mdqp:

but big companies might pressure directors and artists into doing this even for new IPs, while still getting their hands on them, which isn't a great thing in my opinion.

"Pressure them" with what?

They could pressure them to gie up IPs until now, when the publishers were the only source of funding. But Kickstarter is the very reason why publishers can't do that any more.

They tried to do that with Obsidian, and they failed.

It's possible that they will eventually find some producers who are stupid enough to agree with it, but even then, they controlled EVERY IP until now anyways, so for them, the only difference would be that they would be payed earlier.

Kickstarter offers creators a chance to be more independent. just because there is a chance that SOME producers would reject this option, doesn't make it any less revolutionary.

mdqp:

It's not like I am saying "we are all doomed! The big fish is going to eat all the small fishes!!!", I am pointing out the fact that shifting the risk on the general public while retaining the same income isn't in the best interest of the consumers.

And I'm pointing out, that the risk is not just "shifted", but in large part, disappeared.

Neckbeards asking for $10k for a 8-bit platformer, are the "risky" projects.

Just like how before dotcom bubble, the risky online stores were the obscue no-name websites, with surprisingly low prices. After the dotcom bubble, online transactions were made more safe by Ebay, Amazon, and Paypal offering a system that was too big to be a scam.

It is exactly an institutionalized, professional, and large scale system that can make a new business model trustworthy. Corporations that are too big to be just a scam.

Maybe not as big as Warner, I don't think that such megacorporations have a place in the future, but at least big enough that technically they could have spent their own money on the projects, so they are not playing dice with every single project. That is in the interest in the consumers: more active feedback to what gets made, and the only new risk is that the results might suck more than you expected (that was always a risk anyways, when you buya cinema ticket you can't tell for sure whether you will end up liking the movie), not that your money just disappears.

This is not the first Kickstarter like this, where the real goal is not the actual money (because there's financial backing potentially available for that), but to demonstrate consumer interest in a project before a company is willing to invest. Current market research frequently seems wide of the mark. Either saying there's not enough interest in something people clamor for on the internet, or something (say a computer game) being released with controversial features that no one on the consumer side seems to have really wanted (despite the what the developers seem to have thought). So Kickstarter allows an alternative in giving people the opportunity to vote with their wallets about whether they actually want something produced. Now some people feel that this type of research is a misuse on the Kickstarter system because it potentially takes money away from needier projects, bit I think it would be more accepted if there was more transparency about the nature of various projects. Maybe a divide between Funding Kickstarters and Research Kickstarters.

This Veronica Mars film is going to fucking suck. I guarantee it.

Entitled:
Loads and loads of good points.

I believe you are right in most regards, but I still can't help feeling that big companies have proven themselves to be quite uncaring toward the public opinion (I always feel like people have a very short memory when it comes to this kind of scandals), and that they could succeed into twisting around the system. Crowdfunding has still a long way to go, and it still might be unusable for big budget projects (AAA video games titles are beyond the scope of the current crowdfunding system), and some people might be willing to agree being a headfigure for a producer, if it gave them the chance to work later on a bigger, "traditional" project.

Now that I think about it, the problem might be that I am just too paranoid... XD XD XD

Anyway, I am there with you in thinking that crowdfunding is generally a good thing for a lot of artists out there.

Frostbite3789:

synobal:
Bob is just afraid of industry change. He is use to the studios making the huge decision and the consumers just hoping. What's wrong with consumers having more power over what gets produced?

There's a fine line between the consumer having more power, and the illusion of having power while you're really just getting jerked around.

He touched on that in the article.

Kickstarter is already dominated by crappy stories of exploitation and failure. Just WHERE is the Adventure game that brought this idea to the internet world.

Now imagine where you donate but have not investor rights, established studio holds and are dealing with the kind of people who can make millions vanish in days with no outcoming product. I mean 2 million, even if Bell and the cast took paycuts that would take some real guerilla film making. Moreover the control or satisfaction when you don't have to satisfy your customer, when every ticket is pure profit or their is no authority over the creative type because they got theirs? Nightmarish.

Sorry creative types I kinda view you like farm animals. critical, necessary, majestic, miraculous, and given to not produce to human standard and roll in self indulgent shit without an actual farm structure in place to make it so, milk to eggs or bacon. Yeah this leads to the issues of chicken bacteria but chickens wouldn't just jump healthy into our pots otherwise.

Reeve:
This Veronica Mars film is going to fucking suck. I guarantee it.

Thank you for your guarantee. I can relax now. (Seriously, that's less sarcastic than it sounds.)

Raioken18:

I don't really do kickstarters. But for Firefly... I would probably go, shut up and take my money!

Maybe you should stop and think. I seemed particularly immune to the firefly charm and haven't needed to follow everyone from the thing. Its the internet generation's John Lennanon, likely because that's, metaphorically what it was for piracy is social protest, camwhores are the new geisha, gender roles are dissolved in ability (at technical/electronic stuff) matters and we can be psychic and self aware.

Also post many "return from the dead" shows well I'm appreciative some things are of their time and place even if not objectively faulty. Faimly Guy is my goto. After both returns its humor felt out of step and then I realized why. It stood out and commented on things that were very VERY immediate and contemporary (the deluge of fwapping about Dawson's Creek when it was really sleazy and sensationalist, Just One Fox). A great example is Meg, you was an antithesis of the.. well thing Bob accuses Bell of being part of early 200s was girl power season. Britany, Buffy, Lizzy MacQuire, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and more. They were hot, sexy, pushy, and the world was unfolding for them in defiance of wisdom. Only that didn't last and so after FG's second ressurection Meg is just.. well this dumping hole for negativity as she doesn't have her mirror to parody against. And its not that the FG crew or cast lost their stuff its just Meg is a joke who was out of time and DIDn't like others get to transition to more robust ground.

Firefly is the same way it got to live forever in perfect undercut misunderstood genius cut by the man and we kept telling ourselves this story, ignoring the hundreds of other tv shows facing its restrictions that succeeded or failed and not accept it really REALLY was a shakey and flawed premise thing and Summer Glau and cast haven't gone to career superstardom. It even got a revival movie... was it really good because it sounds to me many a browncoat was.. well satisfied but not happy and it STILL failed.

Agent_Dark:
Why is this even an issue? These major film studios have been getting into bed with private equity firms for years now, in order to make movies. How is using Kickstarter to raise funds for a movie that different from getting private investors to help fund your movie?

At the end of the day, like any private investment, donating to a Kickstarter is as simple as reminding yourself "never put in more than you can lose". If you can afford to put $500,000 into a hedge fund which is used to finance movies then go for it. If you can afford to lay down $50 for a Kickstarter to make movie, then go for it. The only difference would be in the return you get out of the investment - with the hedge fund/private equity your reward is making money. With the Kickstarter your return is a movie you want to watch.

What happens, my worry, when the money is responsibly spent and no project emerges. How do the inveswtors get their cash back. And these AREN'T financial investments but internet crowd funders who may have pledged for certain things they'll never get because no product. Moreover I'm sure their is more law to project yanking money people don't have to pay out of Kickstarted project head than for masses of I preordered it in 1999 to get their money back. Or having to hire a lawyer to enforce any restitution or punishment.

Aardvaarkman:
"Let's be honest, criminals will find a way to commit crimes anyway, so there's no real harm done there."

Taking things to irrational extremes is a poor way of making a point, assuming you had any.
Especially that you compare using an advertising platform to encourage pre-orders, to an act of forcibly taking it away from them.

Not exactly the same thing.

It's not like anyone has to participate in those campaigns, and if you're into something you might as well get your T-shirt to wear while you enjoy it the first time.

mdqp:

I believe you are right in most regards, but I still can't help feeling that big companies have proven themselves to be quite uncaring toward the public opinion (I always feel like people have a very short memory when it comes to this kind of scandals)

Oh, they certainly are uncaring. I just don't think that your point of comparison is accurate for these kind of scandals.

As a rule of thumb, big publishers are not participation in outright scams. Sure, they will overprice everything as far as they can, they will dumb down stories, and put you in prison to protect their IP from your piracy, but these are all on an entirely different level from riding off into the sunset with their consumers' money without delivering any product.

And that's not even just a matter of legality, just as they can avoid accountability on Kickstarter by using a producer as a front, they could do the same in other businesses, collecting your money under a fake identity and then run away with it, but they can't.

mdqp:

Crowdfunding has still a long way to go, and it still might be unusable for big budget projects (AAA video games titles are beyond the scope of the current crowdfunding system)

I wouldn't be so sure about that, btw. Project Eternity got $4m, from 74k backers, by asking for $20-$25 and getting $54 on average.

And Kickstarter is still rapindly growing, Torment and Veronica Mars are both going to be past that. Now just triple the min. price point, quadraple the audience, and you have $60 games backed by 300k people, paying $90 on average, giving an end result of $27 million. That's more than the budget of Assassin's Creed 1, or Crysis 1.

And 300k potential backers is a conservative estimate, there are millions willing to pay full price eearly for normal preorders. The only difference between that and Kickstarter is a matter of trust, how sure you are that the game will get made.

I feel like between this and the awful things Jim Sterling has been describing about the gaming world that we as the consumer are starting to abandon our standards and become more complacent.

Naqel:

Aardvaarkman:
"Let's be honest, criminals will find a way to commit crimes anyway, so there's no real harm done there."

Taking things to irrational extremes is a poor way of making a point, assuming you had any.
Especially that you compare using an advertising platform to encourage pre-orders, to an act of forcibly taking it away from them.

Not exactly the same thing.

What's irrational or extreme about it? Have you ever heard of analogy? That's what I'm using here. I'm not saying that Kickstarter is a criminal enterprise. What I'm saying is the logic that "we can't prevent all of 100% of (X) from happening, so why should we even bother thinking about any single act of (X)" is faulty logic.

Would it help it if I reworded it to more explicitly represent this context? "Let's be honest, some Kickstarter projects will find a way to scam their backers anyway, so there's no real harm done."

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