Blur, Goon, Kick Controversy


#1

Over on Cartoonbrew there was quite a stir when an article was written about Blur’s latest attempt at getting a “Goon” story reel funded on Kickstarter.

http://www.cartoonbrew.com/ideas-commentary/why-the-goon-kickstarter-is-a-troubling-project-71851.html

Last week, a Kickstarter was launched to fund an animated adaptation of Eric Powell’s Dark Horse-published comic The Goon. The project has a lot of high-profile names attached to it including live-action director David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en), vfx/animation outfit Blur Studio, and actors Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown.

Sounds nice…but

TNow, Fincher, Blur, et al., are asking for the largest amount yet for a Kickstarter animated project—$400,000. What’s especially noteworthy—and troublesome—about their campaign is that not a single frame of animation will be produced for that amount of money. Because they are asking for $400,000 to create a story reel for the feature film.

Some have raised concerned that high profile folks will drown out the rest of the Kickstarters and truly indie groups. While others have a hatred for all things Hollywood and feel that getting it funded this way is not cool. Espececially for a demo reel that no one will see.

Here is the following article for Tim Miller
http://www.cartoonbrew.com/ideas-commentary/blurs-tim-miller-responds-to-the-goon-kickstarter-controversy-72155.html

What are ya’lls thoughts?


#2

Here are some opinions.
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=2&t=1074945&highlight=goon


#3

Kickstart is an open crowdfunding platform.

This means that both independent and more established filmmakers can use it to raise funds.

Its all up to the voluntary backers of a project, really.

If they want to throw money at a project, they can.

If they don’t want to fund a project, then they can do that, too.

Nobody is being forced to invest in anything, so this is not a big deal.

I don’t understand why somebody as established as David Fincher needs crowdfunding to get a project off the ground.

But Fincher may very well be seeing this as an early experiment in cutting his reliance on big studio funding, and trying the crowdfunded route instead.

In the end, crowdfunding is voluntary. As long as nobody is forced to invest in something, its all good, really…

At least that’s what I think.


#4

But Fincher may very well be seeing this as an early experiment in cutting his reliance on big studio funding, and trying the crowdfunded route instead.

That’s kind of how I was looking at it too. Especially when you consider the property they are trying to develop. It’s one of those IPs where too much studio involvement could easily kill it. It will be interesting to see if this pays off considering they want so much just to cut a demo reel …


#5

I have no beef with them attempting to source funding through alternate routes. Very likely the production has limited appeal, because of the mature content, and the questionable position the content takes on story. I did recently pick up a comic book on the goon, and I wasn’t all that impressed with the story, although the short piece Blur did a while back was quite entertaining.

This can go two ways, but funding something that may not go anywhere would make me question the validity of the project. If anything, funders get a grab bag of stuff … if that has any value.


#6

This is the key point for me.

All of the people criticising The Goon Kickstarter seem to have the attitude that Blur/Fincher are pulling the wool over people’s eyes. Firstly I don’t see this being the case, I think the rewards are balanced and if it helps get a difficult project into theatres one day I’m all for it. Secondly, such criticisms are essentially saying “You are fools - only I am clever enough to see through their lies!”, when it’s entirely up to the backers to part with their own money.


#7

exactly!

I don’t understand why somebody as established as David Fincher needs crowdfunding to get a project off the ground.

Because usually the guy who fund such projects want a say in it…
If your project gets funded on kickstarter, you can do what you want basicly.


#8

And if you get it funded on kick-starter, you don’t have to pay the money back, such as a bank or an investor, if the project doesn’t go anywhere.


#9

That link is locked down. Also i agree that’s insane amount just for story.


#10

Not if your story development process includes a serious previsualization effort. Previs is commonly used to help refine story in combination with an early editorial effort in prepro. This is a good way to pay for that process. Ultimately the results of this will be used to shop the project around for new investors because the we all know a project like this will cost millions.


#11

Honestly I can think of a few little things about it that bother me, but none of it matters in the end cause of that simple argument, it’s voluntary. If people want to give money, why shouldn’t they be allowed to? Overall I’m fine with it.


#12

Sounds like a lot of money for a short, but this is business logic…
400k is an aprox of the cost of blur’s shorts.

Is there another way for making this demo, even if it takes more time? different deal with it’s employees, etc. And using their own money, even if they have to wait a few years… after all if they believe in the project, I would expect they themselves, to take the risk… that would make the project more genuine (IMO)

But anyway, ignoring the money and all the complexity of making a short…
Blur is not really a dedicated animation studio, Their cinematics are great, but all game cinematics tend to be soul-less… The quality of cinematics animated characters are quite low, ‘in my eyes’. something does not fit.

People can do whatever they want with their money, but that wont avoid different points of views about this.


#13

In principle I totally agree, but in practice, there’s something that really rubs me the wrong way about this. This is basically a commercial endeavor with no payback or upside for the investor (you). While some continue to hail this new business model as “bold” or “innovative” or “breaking from the studio system,” this particular project appears to be none of these. They are merely asking people to pay for what a studio should pay for if they thought the project was worthy of development (i.e., potentially profitable), and that sets a bad precedent.

$400k to make a story reel (not a “short,” as the unfathomably ignorant post above mentions) isn’t so shocking, but if the movie ever gets made, it will still fall right into the iron grip of the studio marketing system. And honestly, this sounds like very much a niche project that has little chance of reaping the rewards of even modest comic book/superhero hits.

It’s baffling to me that old pros like Fincher or Tim Miller think they can sell the movie on the strength of a story reel. Typically, movies fill a marketing niche for a studio and are not “quality driven.” Someone posted a worthwhile podcast over in that “studio profits” thread and they are right: The production of a movie is a means to an end (appeal to wide audience, make $$$). They are not made because someone thinks The Goon would “make a cool movie.” Making a story reel is not going to change any of that.


#14

I thought or wanted to believe, these would include more than a simple ‘story reel’, That it would prove some kind of final quality, like a short, now I definelly disagree. wow…


#15

I think it’s great. I hope lots of big name artists bypass the studio nonsense. Recently people posted that Ridley Scott was disappointed in his experience with the production and I think we will maybe see someone like this in the future using kick starter. Just because an artist is successful financially doesn’t mean that they’re still not an artist and I’m sure if they had options they would have used them and I think kickstarter is dream come true for most artists looking for to establish a project they don’t have to “sell out” in order to please the studio. I just think of how many movies are made every year that look like they’re made with some sort of Hollywood template that the studio demand so that they can squeeze as much they can have their artists. I think Hollywood needs a kick in the teeth and kickstarter could be that kick in the teeth, having big name artists saying “forget it I don’t need you, I can get the money myself and make my own projects” is awesome. I think kick starter is the farmers market of movie production we can now bypass these middleman/distributers/stores/big-hollywood-studios and make movies directly for the fans paid for by the fans from the farmer/artist. Produce tastes better directly from the farm and movies I think will be sweeter without all the templates enforced by studios.

Are we happy with the current movie making hollywood model?

I’m not . . .


#16

Well and this is exactly how I feel, I just feel strange complaining since nobody is forced to give anything, but yes, it’s iffy. As you said, my main gripe is that you aren’t investing in a final product, you are investing in a part of it that could never advance into something substantial. Most of the time on kickstarter you invest, and if it makes the goal you get the product you invested in, if it doesn’t make the goal, you get your money back.

Well now we have this situation where you put your money in, it reaches the goal so they keep your money, the story reel is made, and then nothing ever comes of it… so really you got nothing out of your investment.


#17

So if someone invests in this… What does he get in return then?


#18

Other than the direct gifts for investing a certain amount, hope that the movie is made beyond this…

Yeah it’s strange.

I think people praising this and crowd funding in general are missing the point of the controversy behind this. This isn’t crowd funding for a movie, it’s crowd funding for a pitch, there’s a big difference.


#19

With this sort of project, if it has marketable value, they could self-finance it if they really believe in it, and they feel it has a chance to succeed. To build an animatic for the purpose of pushing it onto a Hollywood type, hoping it will get a green light - I’m not feeling so inclined to lay down some ducats. They should do a graphic novel with the story, offer that to those who invest … then use that to pitch their project.


#20

So if i get this right…

They (blur) take no risk in investment and they get all the rewards in the end?
All the ppl that invested the money, get no ‘real’ reward for that? Except some worthless autographed plastic gimmick or something. No % from the profit made?

What if it fails mid production. For example; for some unforeseen reason there are finacial problems and the project cant continue. Do the investors get their money back guaranteed or is it gone and lost forever?