There’s no question that the rise of the Internet and social media has utterly changed the relationship between content creators and content consumers. Fans can now share their thoughts about their favorite movies and shows not just with their group of local friends, but with the whole damn planet…and often directly with the creators of those very movies and shows. I remember how amazing it seemed during the original run of Babylon 5 that the guy who created it regularly interacted with fans online, but that’s more the rule than the exception these days. And when harnessed properly, that can be a good thing. But even fan-beloved creators like Joss Whedon would probably draw the line at actually sending an unfinished script out to fans to solicit their opinions about it. The producers of Iron Sky — and more to the point, its upcoming sequel — had no such qualms.
Search results for: crowdfunding
It seems that everyone and everything these days has a Kickstarter. Some are awesome and some aren’t, some are super practical and others completely esoteric. Yet these distinctions don’t always determine which projects steal the hearts of the public (and the investors) and get funded. We can learn a little bit about crowdfunding campaigns and about what moves the masses by looking at the new king of Kickstarter: the Coolest Cooler.
Yep, a cooler. Surprised? Me too. It’s less of an invention and more of a DIY combination of existing inventions. This cooler has more features than a Ferrari: a Bluetooth-powered speaker, USB port, wheels that can handle the beach, a blender, a bottle opener, LEDs, and a divided internal compartment that holds up to 60 quarts of beer. It manages to be both practical and luxurious, and folks pledged more money than they did for the Veronica Mars movie, Reading Rainbow, and the previous Kickstarter champ, the Pebble smart watch. Those three projects are the types of projects I’d expect to see make history at Kickstarter. Veronica Mars has a huge fan following and had generated movie-related buzz for years, Reading Rainbow has LeVar Burton and the power of nostalgia, and Pebble features cutting-edge smart technology. But the Coolest reigns supreme.
There have been a lot of Star Trek fan films over the years, of varying styles and quality. Productions like the Star Trek Continues and Star Trek: Phase II webseries have combined fannish enthusiasm and even actual Star Trek veterans to tell continuing adventures of the Enterprise crew. But Star Trek: Axanar may be the most ambitious fan project yet. The goal is to create an original independent Star Trek feature film, one which boasts production values that can compete with some smaller Hollywood films. The first step was to create Prelude to Axanar, a 20-minute short film that serves as a proof of concept and stepping stone to the planned full-length feature film. Prelude to Axanar is now finished and online, and I’ve gotta say, it’s pretty damned impressive. You can watch the full 20-minute film on the Axanar Kickstarter page (it’s not embeddable, sadly), and you can check out a trailer for Prelude up top.
Whenever we talk about Star Wars art here on GFR, if often involves the stellar poster designs of Drew Struzan, but we’re going to another galaxy for this one. Academy Award-winning conceptual designer and illustrator Ralph McQuarrie was arguably best known for giving Darth Vader and R2-D2 their signature looks, but his career spanned many other areas than just George Lucas’ universe. And those who don’t mind footing the bill can Kickstart a massive coffee table book showcasing McQuarrie’s multi-faceted talents.
The The Art of Ralph McQuarrie: ARCHIVES crowdfunding campaign is being put together by Dreams and Visions Press, the company that published the original Art of Ralph McQuarrie back in 2007. This 432-page update brings together everything from the limited edition first printing, along with loads of never-before-seen pieces of his work in areas such as technical illustration, movie posters, book covers, non-Star Wars film work, other commercial pieces, and several of his own personal works.
We report a lot of different stories here at GFR; some make us happy, and some don’t. But it’s rare that we get to write about something that makes me as happy as this week’s hugely successful Kickstarter campaign to resurrect Reading Rainbow. If you haven’t been near the internet in several days, LeVar Burton took to the popular crowdfunding site Wednesday to launch a campaign to resurrect Reading Rainbow on the web, and for free in classrooms across the country. They hit their goal of a million dollars before the day was even through, resulting in the following emotional thank-you video from Burton recorded as it happened. (And if it doesn’t choke you up a little, you’re a monster.)
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are returning to the big screen this summer, courtesy of director Jonathan Liebesman (Battle Los Angeles). Unfortunately, the film has been doggedly pursued by bad buzz from the very start, ranging from early script leaks, to negative reactions to the redesigned Turtles themselves, to general malaise at the involvement of Michael Bay (even though he’s only producing, not directing). If you’re a Turtles fan who isn’t loving the look of the new feature film, a new TMNT fan project seeking crowdfunding might be more up your alley. You can check out the brief teaser video for TMNT Banished above. If nothing else, it’s nice to see the classic Turtles design again, rather than the upcoming movie’s freakish Shrek faces.