Fan fiction can be fun to write and fun to read. But it’s also important to understand the limits. Writing a short story is a helpful exercise and a short investment of time for both the writer and reader. Expanding that to epic lengths when you don’t own the property and can’t legally recoup any money for that investment starts making a lot less sense. Sometimes someone falls so in love with their idea, they want to push it through and make it a reality. That’s where the relatively new business model of crowdfunding comes in. No real barriers to entry means that anyone with an idea can at least propose it and hope that it catches the public’s interest. Then they pay and get what you’re making. A win win all around. Fan fiction crowdfunding projects pretty much always fail. Here’s some examples on why.
5. POKEMON EVOLUTIONS
This failed project was searching for £485,500 (British folks like Pokemon too) and raised £133. As in, no one was interested in giving some kid with zero film experience a budget of roughly $800,000 to make his live action movie about a property he doesn’t have the rights to. That isn’t even listed as a potential risk. The only risk he lists is that he’s spent (wasted) two and a half years writing a screenplay about Pikachu getting injured and his owner has to decide whether to let him evolve or let him die. If you don’t care, congratulations, you have a pulse.
This project asked for money for professional cameras and a camcorder (so they could film behind the scenes featurettes), special effects software, and stock footage licenses. What are they bringing to the table? A fanfic script and three high school friends who will do the acting!
Who wants more Breaking Bad? We all do! It’s an amazing show and the creators are giving us a spinoff about Saul Goodman, the sleazy lawyer that helped meth manufacturer Walter White. But Lawrence Shephard wants to do his own sequel. Who’s Mr. Shephard? Exactly. He’s just a guy that wants to make a show about U.S. Marshals that are looking for Walter White who might be dead or he might not be. Apparently the central conceit of the show isn’t that important. What IS important is that one of the U.S. Marshals would be played by some no-name model named Jana Mashonee. In fact, the more you read about the project, the more you may suspect that Lawrence Shephard just wants an excuse to hang out with Ms. Mashonee.
The story has none of the cast from the show so the only reason it’s a sequel seems to be so that this terrible story gets some press. It promises that the show will invite rock musicians to act on the show, under heavy disguises if they want, in scenes set in a 12-step program. And they can improvise their dialog. What’s that got to do with U.S. Marshals or meth? I could go further but you get the idea. It’s a bunch of ideas that don’t connect. The guy tried to launch it this Kickstarter once, claiming Val Kilmer would star, even though he hadn’t been approached. When Kilmer correctly tweeted that it is not something he’d want to do, the project was canceled but now it’s right back up. With $485 pledged towards its massively unrealistic goal of $100,000. Unrealistic both for the idea you’d give that much money to someone who’s never made a tv show and that a tv show could be made on such a small budget.
3. CONFESSIONS OF BEING A SLYTHERIN
Hey, all they’re asking for is $1,800 to make a “viral video” about the world of Harry Potter. Surprise, surprise, the movie “Confessions of Being a Wallflower” which starred former Harry Potter actress Emma Watson inspired these folks to want to make a viral video about a bad guy at Hogwarts that just didn’t fit in. Why would the video even need to be viral if it got funded completely?
2. STAR WARS FAN FILM
This one doesn’t even get an actual title? Oh well. As if the world wasn’t already completely oversaturated with Star Wars fan films, this is… another one. They wanted $2,000 for props but only raised $90. The plan was to film a martial arts scene set on Hoth, filmed in Tahoe, California. Ai yi yi. The entire pitch video is just 19 seconds of two high school students playing with lightsabre toys. My favorite part? Under “Risks and Challenges” it reads:
since there is a martial arts sequence there is a risk of injury, especially working in the snowy conditions we’re looking for, and such an injury could set back the shooting, or worse.
1. NOVA FAN FILM
The guy who wanted to make a movie about the Marvel superhero Nova seems nice. But the entire pitch is him standing with a helmet that he’s working on and a single paragraph. It just says he wants to make a movie about Nova. That’s the full details. He asked for $20,000!