Friday, 18 October 2013

Son Of YOU ASKED FOR IT 2: Electric Boogaloo...

Another day, another question...

Nate Winchester asked... 
So now I'm wondering... although this is a big if (not any day soon, but perhaps in a year or two?), how well do you think the TV production model might translate to crowdsourcing like Kickstarter? 
i.e. Say you and me decide to write a scifi mystery show, we get you to star, Karen Gillian to play your love interest and some other actors and all and produce a pilot. We then put that pilot on kickstarter with a goal of $X and if we reach that, we make 13 more episodes! (or 26 if there's a stretch goal, whatever) 
I know you've said movies by crowdsourcing probably won't work well, but could TV also be another trailblazer here?

I'm afraid casting Karen Gillian would violate the restraining order. 

She just wouldn't leave me alone, you know, and I'm a busy guy, I got things to do.

But back to your question.

I never said that crowd-funding for movies wouldn't work well as a rule. I just expressed concern that it's very hard to get your little indie-film funded when everyone's attention in on the movie/TV star trying to raise cash for their vanity project or a major studio testing the waters if they should revive one of their old franchises.

As for television... well let's look at the facts.

Television isn't a genre, it's a means of delivering movies directly into people's homes. For the first few decades the only way to do that was through the major television networks, then came cable, pay-per-view, VOD/digital download services like Netflix and Amazon, and online viewing via YouTube, Hulu, Cracker and others, or just selling DVDs directly to customers.

So, if you're going to make a series, you need a means to get said series into homes via one or all of those different services. Which means signing up for those services to carry you, but many of them won't carry something unless they're pretty sure that at least some of their subscribers will want to see it.

Now here crowdfunding may help, because you're literally saying: "Look, here's an audience that are willing to contribute to a series based solely on the pilot."

So I guess what I'm saying is that your idea of crowd-funding a series could work.

But here's the catch.

It's the same problem faced by feature films.

How does the truly indie project stand much of a chance against the increasing number of celebrity/studio based projects getting all the attention and money?

When Amazon started their whole TV project they touted as the way new talent was going to break into making television.

What projects got the precious green-light?

Usually shows with established stars and/or creators.

So much for the "new talent."

To get the money, you need the attention, but to get the attention these days you probably need the involvement of someone who already has the money and attention.

Which can be a vicious circle that probably won't get better anytime I can see.

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