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March 16 2013

Nicholas Brendon's new movie Kickstarter. "Big Gay Love" needs to raise $3,500 in the next seven days.

The film is about a gay man (Jonathan Lisecki of "Gayby") who seemingly has it all but is insecure about his looks while attempting to attract a chef he likes (Brendon).

No! This and VM and (possible) Pushing Daisies is going to make me addicted to kickstarter! ... *pledges*
I'm getting increasingly frustrated with movie projects that refuse to offer digital download options internationally. Surely they can work out a way to deliver, like, an mp4 file anywhere in the world?
Sadly it's to do with internalization laws and licensing.
I know now there are smart people in these entertainment companies who WANT to offer online downloads simultaneously around the world they simply CAN'T.
If they offer a download in a certain country when the film hasn't been rated by that countries regulatory body (like the BBFC or MPAA) and don't pay the proper TAX they could easily find they're breaking the law.
Not to mention several distributes will simply refuse to release a film if it's already been released in some form or another in that territory.
These companies can either release a film in their home territory first and then spread out or wait until they've worked out licensing agreements for every single country on the planet, which could take YEARS, before releasing it.
I used to have the same opinion as you, that it's stupid and shorted sighted and nationalistic that they don't go for international releases but the reality is much more complicated than that.
That's a good explanation, Kzap. Thank you.
I was aware that it's largely a licensing issue, I'm simply baffled that, for a project like the Veronice Mars movie, to give an example, they failed to work out a system for international pledgers well in advance (the kickstarter was 'under investigation' for a year before they actually went for it). These kickstarters are also very limited releases. For a property like Veronica Mars, which is tied to one of the biggest studios in the world, something like international pledge tiers should not be a problem.

I'm so interested in laws about media distribution, though. I also can't help but wonder who the lucky bastards are who get to watch things for a living so they can rate them.
It's the reason Mystery Science Theatre 3000 can't air in Canada - rights.
I believe Rob Thomas when he said he did not expect the amount of support a VM movie would get and Warner Bros. probably had no idea what to expect. Because I don't think they anticipated the level of response, they were not prepared for so many international fans wanting to donate.

I doubt that Warner Bros. could have worked out international distribution ahead of time, if at all. It takes a lot of money to work out distribution deals for any movie, let alone one that might not make any money. Since Kickstarter allows international donations but Warner Bros. could not distribute the movie itself internationally makes me think that a few price tiers need to be added. Let's say that for $20 you get everything the $35 pledge would get someone in the US, but not the movie. Would international fans donate? It seems like a lot of them want to.
I think you can donate as much as you want - just just don't get the stuff. People like stuff. Just realized Big Gay Love has the same limitations.
Veronica Mars was never even released on DVD in the UK and awareness of it is extremely low over here. I can't imagine they thought a lack of incentive to people overseas was a stumbling block of any kind when they were looking into sorting out a Kickstarter. I imagine it's the same thing here - why bother sorting anything out when international demand or even awareness is going to be minuscule?
But isn't it relative? It's aired in the UK twice. Originally on Living, and airs on rotation on E4. The first time E4 was airing it, they even took extra effort and put the sensitive "A Trip To The Dentist" from its normal daytime slot to a much later nighttime slot. I think people are fans. If someone is going to be a fan of Veronica Mars enough to fund its Kickstarter, I'm sure they are plugged in enough no matter where they are located to see the show.
I didn't know VM was never released in the UK? It sold pretty well on dvd in Belgium. The demand for international options were massive here, though. Like, really. On the first day, every other comment was someone asking for international options, and I'm sure they got a lot of questions about it too. I think they could have gotten to two million in half the time if everything over 10 dollars wasn't restricted to US. I know I would have pledged 100 bucks immediatly.
I had to import my Veronica Mars DVDs, and I'm from the UK.

I think it was a little difficult for the show to build up much of a following here. Living apparently aired season one weirdly, and supposedly changed the air dates and stuff like that, while I only got into the show while they were airing season two (iirc, I would watch on Living+1 and then watch Grey's Anatomy after). Season three then aired on Trouble, a channel that was mostly filled with sitcoms. A few years later E4 picked up the rights and showed it daily in the mornings and at night, but it's been a while since it has been on their schedule.
Veronica Mars didn't have much of a following in the U.S. either until after it was cancelled. It mostly developed a cult following thanks to DVD releases, Netflix (for a time), and online streaming sites. Also, having Joss Whedon's seal of approval (plus Whedonverse actor cameos- himself included) helped as well. I know Joss's involvement/opinion of the show is how many of us came across it in the first place (myself included).
I think the international following was fairly limited to certain counties and people who could import them. Also, there was obviously the issue of pirated copies. But international also refers to Canada, which wouldn't have had the same issues Europe did.
The UK was the only country to have dedicated Veronica Mars conventions, Redders, so there must be some level of awareness over here. And both season 1 and 2 were released on DVD in this country.
I just want to point out that anyone can buy a DRM-free digital download of the Sound City documentary. I do not see any sort of regional restrictions. I think it is the same way with the Louie C.K. comedy show.

So, it at least appears that a company *can* do digital distribution across the world if they really want to.
I think there is less of a "company" involved in both of those though. I believe they are both self-funded, especially for the reason of not wanting to bother with big companies. It's definitely doable - but I doubt Universal would want mp4's of their film/IP flying around.
The evidence that they underestimated the demand is how fast all the top, limited levels sold out. Obviously, they could have charged more for all of them...
What? I can't believe film regulation applies to digital downloads. For one thing, it's not a commercial product (it's just a reward for a donation), and for another, it's not as if they rate every video that appears on YouTube.

If it's a DRM thing, well, that's a matter of trust isn't it? And if you can't trust the people financing your movie...
I would like to note that even national following within the US is extremely low. In my life, I've encountered a few other Veronica Mars fans, but other people who are not fans for the most part have never heard of the show or thought it was some Gossip Girl type show because it was on the WB. Veronica Mars is one of my most beloved characters, but it is quite sad and true that most people just don't know about it. So an international ignorance of the show is not surprising.
I think it was quite well known here in the Netherlands. Even before it first aired here it had quite a large following both among a Gossip Girl type of fans and a more geeky audience, at least at my high school (strange to think I was still in high school when I first watched Veronica Mars). I still remember because that type of cross-over in audience was quite rare.
@daylight, the VM movie will most certainly be a commercial product and I'm positive DRM will be used. WB isn't going to spend money on marketing and distribution out of the kindness of their hearts. Every movie has a digital download option these days and if the movie only gets a limited theatrical release, it could be possible that the VOD option is used at the time of release or shortly thereafter. So it'll probably end up being a VOD movie with codes issued to contributors to get it for free. How this affects other countries I'm not sure, but it's probably something the studio needs to work out with content providers for those countries.
In case anyone cares about Nick's movie (Ya know - the subject of this thread) they're up to just over $18,000 now. They have six more days to reach their goal of $20,000. I have a good feeling they'll meet it - only $1,744 more to go!

I really like the message of this film, that you don't have to be "perfect" to find love. I feel bad for Bob, and all I've seen is the trailers! I find it very sad that are people who feel that way, that they have to "fix" themselves to "fit into society." So much emphasis is put on the fashion industry and media putting pressure on young girls to obtain an impossible body image (How many girls understand airbrushing and all the other photography and lighting tricks?) but there's the same kind of pressure on men, as well. It just doesn't draw as much media attention because of the old double standard.

I wish this film, its creator and stars all the best. I wish I could afford to donate to the cause.
if the movie only gets a limited theatrical release, it could be possible that the VOD option is used at the time of release or shortly thereafter
That is in fact the announced plan for the VM movie.
@RogueScribner, it's not "kindness of their hearts". It's "fellow investors".
Every "investor" gets something for their pledge. No one helps to fund anything on kickstarter and expects to reap any benefit beyond what their pledge entitles them to. People can pledge to help get an album made or a book published or a game manufactured. They often will receive a copy of the final product and other goodies as part of their pledge. If those go on to be successful products, good. Veronica Mars has a distribution deal with Warner Digital. They still need money to make the movie. It's possible the entire project can get made and flame out like Serenity did. But you know what? Fans will still have their movie.
@ShadowQuest, if I could "+1" your comment like on Reddit, or something, I would!

I submitted this link not only because I'm a Whedon fan who has always identified with Xander's character and wants to see Nicholas' projects succeed but also because I think the message hits home for everyone -- guy or girl, day or straight.

So, thanks again!
@RogueScribner but the digital download IS the benefit. You're totally missing my point.
sscott No problem. And thank you for your reply. I loved Xander, and I think Nick's very talented. (And to think - he got into acting to gain control of his stutter!)

I think there's so much "Veronica Mars" talk in this thread because it was a Kickstarter project, and there's nowhere else on Whedonesque to discuss it. Unfortunately there's so much of it going on that talk has strayed away from Nick's movie.

Only $827 more to go! They can do it!

Nick's looking pretty good lately. Hopefully he's gotten himself back on track now and will stay healthy. Now if he'd just get more work...
They just cleared $20,000! But I am sure more cashy money is welcome and helpful. From the brief clips, I really like what I can see of Nicholas Brendon's performance, and I'd love to see more, plus it looks like a sweet, fun movie :)

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