C: For years they’ve talked about it. Every show that’s canceled before its time creates a buzz and a series of speculative articles in which the terms “movie” and “fan support” and “cast interest” get thrown around. The difference with Veronica Mars — the series whose first season is hands-down THE best season of television in my opinion, but which died an inglorious sputtering death, strangled nearly to death by its own network for a whole final season before being axed — is that the movie conversation keeps coming up.
M: To be fair, the killing of the show, while largely the CW’s fault, was a combined effort. Like many other highly successful shows, it lost its way in season three, as the writers ran out of really good ideas, recycled plots or parts of plots, and tried to introduce “fresh” new characters that didn’t work at all.
C: A lot of that had to do with budget cuts that limited even how many main actors they could use in a given episode.
M: Most importantly, Veronica Mars was no longer smarter than you. That said, like you I would completely trust them to make a great movie, and have hoped for it for years.
E: Yes, just shut up, because C is right — the first season of Veronica Mars was a triumph unrivaled anywhere on television — a perfectly realized vision from beginning to end. It’s unmatched. And surely the people responsible for those astounding 22 hours of television could craft a brilliant 2 hour movie.
C: They certainly crafted an amazing 5-minute sell… but I’m getting ahead of myself. Since the show went off the air in 2007, Kristen Bell, though she’s gone on to bigger if not better things, has still kept talking about wanting to do a movie. Rob Thomas, the showrunner, still kept talking about wanting to do it. They still met and talked about it every year or two, and every time they meet more articles come out to tantalize the longing, loving, unforgetting fans… but nothing happened. Until this morning.
M: Is this morning when you heard? I heard from you, so I have no clue when it actually started.
E: And I’m only catching up now, and so am just stunned!
C: It was around lunchtime, actually, when a friend on Facebook tagged me on this link. Go check it out NOW.
Suddenly, everything faded from view: the project I was writing, the need to eat lunch, the people around me at Starbucks and the curious stares I assume they probably gave me as I watched the video and lost it, laughing hysterically, three separate times.
M: Only three? Really, I’m kind of disappointed at you for that.
C: Three moments of hysteria; many more chuckles!
E: That video is just awesome. The cast munching on cereal together! Enrico Colantoni, in character for 8 years! The smoldering! The puns! The internal monologue! I sure picked the wrong day to be out of the house — first I hear about the new pope on the radio, and then come home to this!
C: And it’s not just the video which promises, so fruitfully, more to come of the brilliant writing one always associates with the the Veronica Mars brand. The begging letter from Kristen Bell signed with her “LoVe” (romantic fans of the show just squealed aloud). Or the hilarious line in the description of the top prize for donating, a walk-on role promising its purchaser can “Think of yourself as Guy Fleegman from Galaxy Quest.”
M: Yes, what makes this plan brilliant is that fans can get more involved than just writing letters — using Kickstarter.com anyone can donate toward production costs, and actually get prizes back like copies of the movie, or video messages from the cast, or tickets to the premiere and after party!
E: You don’t have to be rolling in the dough to get a great treat for sending in a little cash. For a mere $10, they’ll send you a pdf of the script! For $200, the cast will sign a movie poster. For $350, Kristen Bell will record your answering machine message. I mean, come on! I think I just drooled on my keyboard.
C: In short, this funding drive has been created with wit and love to woo me and play all of my buttons and it’s working. Of course I already pledged.
E: Of course you have. Speaking of which, where’s my wallet?
C: Go get it! I’m obsessed with watching the ticker go up.
M: Me too. I haven’t closed the tab in my browser since I first clicked the link.
E: I feel rather embarrassed to say it, but it’s completely driven my desire to research the new pope (a Jesuit! Woot!) right out of my head. Not to mention all, you know, words or coherent thoughts.
C: Don’t worry, there aren’t any in-depth profiles out yet. Back to my current obsession: at noon they had around $180,000. Since they need 2 mil, I thought at first things looked bleak. Raising 100K from just fans’ money is a huge achievement, even when you’re offering t-shirts and signed posters and DVDs and video messages from the stars, and premiere tickets to high-fliers. Raising twenty times that? It seemed undoable.
M: But by the time you sent it to me it was around $400,000.
C: And barely three hours later, the ticker was at 900,000…
M: Just after 3:00 EDT they passed $1 million!
E: It’s 4pm, and the number’s nearly 1.2 mil. YES!
C: But guys, after the nail-biter of “Will it happen?”…
E: Pant pant pant pant…
M: (which, given them getting half way to their goal in just a handful of hours, I think has already been answered)
C: …there’s the next huge question: if it does, what should it look like?
E: You know what? Tomorrow I will care about that. Maybe even tonight. But right now? I just cannot believe this is happening! I am giddy and elated and just too excited for words. I’m just happy. I think I will put on my VM soundtrack and dance out my joy.
C: You’re right. Current and future Veronica Mars fans, tune in tomorrow for our thoughts on what the movie might look like. For now, watch the video again and if you haven’t donated yet… well, who doesn’t want to be a movie producer?