Why “The Goon” Is A Troubling Kickstarter Project [UPDATED]

Kickstarter launched with the promise of helping independent artists raise funding for projects that otherwise couldn’t easily be financed. As I wrote last month, the site’s animation category has more recently transformed into a place where established creators are raising six-figure dollar amounts from their fanbases. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of independent projects on Kickstarter too, but those projects have been drowned out by the established creators who are grabbing much of the attention nowadays.

While Cartoon Brew has a longstanding policy to not promote active crowdfunding campaigns, the prominence of crowdfunding demands that we report on key campaigns that have news value to the community. The project discussed within has already received plenty of media attention, but it also has broader relevance to the animation crowdfunding discussion.

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.

The idea has been around for a while—a proof-of-concept trailer for The Goon was produced in 2010—but the project hasn’t moved beyond that stage. Now, 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.

Why?

Because they are asking for $400,000 to create a story reel for the feature film. Curiously, the story reel that will be produced won’t be made available to the backers of the campaign. While plenty of other rewards are being offered, The Goon represents a first for an animated project on Kickstarter—asking people to donate money to something they can’t see.

So what, you might ask? You’ll be able to see the finished animated feature. Well, maybe. If these guys require nearly half a million to create a story reel, that means they’re budgeting it as a traditional mid-sized studio feature, which will run in the range of $40-70 million (give or take ten million). There’s no guarantee the film will be made unless they can get that funding from a major studio, something that they haven’t been able to do thus far.

Should the film be made by a corporate film studio, that company just saved themselves half a million dollars on the backs of dedicated animation fans who believe they’re funding an indie project, when in reality they’re funding a mainstream Hollywood feature. There is nothing “indie” about the way Fincher and Blur are setting up the film, and they have a responsibility to be upfront about the reality of what they’re creating.

A number of backers have expressed their concerns on the campaign’s comments page:

The problem with The Goon Kickstarter boils down to this: They’re not producing a story reel that will be made available to the project’s backers. That means it’s an open-ended project, and if that’s the case, then it’s a clear violation of Kickstarter’s policies.

Further, while I’m sure Fincher and Blur Studios are well intentioned in their desire to make an animated feature, their approach of mixing their fans’ money with those of media corporations, the latter of whom will receive all the profit from a Goon feature, leads to an uncomfortable situation that is contrary to the entire spirit of Kickstarter. Artists should use the generosity of backers in crowdfunding campaigns to fulfill a creative vision, not to help corporations make money, as The Goon Kickstarter is currently set up to do.

[UPDATE]: Blur Studio’s Tim Miller just posted a comment on the Goon‘s comments page in which he said he wouldn’t share the story reel with the overwhelming majority of backers because, “[W]e believe having the whole film online would cause serious issues with any studio who wants to back the project.” This confirms my thoughts above that this project wouldn’t be possible without a major studio’s support. It also turns the Kickstarter campaign (in its current form) into an open-ended project with no complete project delivered to backers and no funding in place to take it further. This, as I mentioned above, is a violation of Kickstarter’s policies.

[UPDATE #2]: Read the response of Blur Studio’s Tim Miller to this commentary.


  • http://animationanomaly.com Charles Kenny

    Caveat emptor.

    As long as no-one is being misled into what they are getting for their donation.

  • Brian

    Spot on, Amid. I love this comic, but I’m not excited about this kickstarter, for the reasons you’ve listed.

  • Tobias Lind

    Pretty much sums up what I’ve been thinking about this project.

    In contrast, another established studio (Production I.G.) is also doing a kickstarter to actually create an animated short. Great rewards and almost daily updates with sketches, interviews etc. They keep upgrading the rewards as well after getting feedback from the backers.
    Also: they’ve added stretch goals that, if met, will extend the animation by 30 minutes.

    No links, since I agree with Amid about not flooding CB with crowdfunding projects… but we should discuss the issue anyway.

    • http://www.cementimental.com Tim Drage

      Yep, I pledged for that and it’s they’re posting all sorts of great updates constantly!

  • http://animatie.blog.nl Seppe

    You make a valid point, Amid. It seems all the attention had some effect, as Tim Miller has now responded a few times, promising more transparency and updates: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/624061548/the-goon-movie-lets-kickstart-this-sucker/comments

  • Jay Sabicer

    Sounds like desperation time for Fincher & Company. Nobody in Hollywood is excited at this property and neither Blur or Fincher is willing to put up (any more of) their own money to tout it, especially if they have to give a percentage off-the-top to Mike Richardson (it is a Dark Horse property). As much as I would like to see a Goon feature film, getting fans to pony up the cash, with nothing in return to show, let alone a movie seems exploitative.

    Think smaller guys, howz ’bout instead, a 7-minute, self-contained story that shows the characters in action? Offer that as the cheese, so at the very least, we have a Goon toon to show what might have been.

  • beamish13

    I wonder if Fincher is using this Kickstarter as a dry-run for a similar ploy with the HEAVY METAL reboot.

  • Sean

    Seems pretty self evident why the final story-reel won’t be available in digital form and the site is very up-front with this fact. At least one person outside the studio will be able to vouch for the completion of the story-reel (as there is one person in the $10,000 donation level who will have the reel screened for them) so its not like there is no accountability, not to mention it is in EVERYONE’s best interest to finish the thing so it can be used to get the needed funding.

    The kickstarter is an opportunity for fans of the comic and non-talking-animal animation to show that there is indeed an interest in making this type of film using the only language that the bigger studios understand: money. Blur has already done a proof-of-concept animation to show what the film would look like, so producing another short would be pointless. The idea of doing a story reel for the whole film is that it can show executives what a good movie “the goon” could be in its entirety.

    the kickstarter was demanded by fans outside of the studio on multiple occasions. It’s simply not realistic for blur to fund the ENTIRE film through kickstarter, so the storyreel is a more attainable compromise that can still have a significant effect on whether or not the film gets made.

    • http://www.amidamidi.com Amid Amidi

      This is still a violation of Kickstarter’s policies about “open-ended” projects because a.) the creators have already said the finished story reel won’t be delivered to backers, and b.) the additional funding isn’t currently in place to ensure that any subsequent product gets made.

      • Sean

        On almost every kickstarter project I have seen, you have to give at the appropriate donation amount to actually receive/watch the product in question. In this case that donation level is extremely expensive, but it still exists. As I already stated at least one backer will see the reel if this thing gets funded. The kickstarter is for the story reel only, I don’t see how the lack of funding for the movie itself has any bearing on the conversation.
        I don’t understand the seething hatred you seem to have for this project. As someone who supposedly promotes the growth of the animation industry I would think that you would have some interest in seeing a film made that is not another shrek or ice age sequel.

      • http://cartoonsof1935.blogspot.com Ted

        There is nothing in Kickstarter’s rules that say anything has to be given to backers at any level. This project has a clear goal, as required by Kickstarter; the creation of a story reel. While most of us effectively are involved in Kickstarters for what’s in it for us individually, and while it has become de rigeur for Kickstarter campaigns to recognize that and set reward levels accordingly, usually involving delivery of a completed outcome of a project at some level of donation, none of these things is required. They are “rewards”, not “items you bought” (which may very well be in part to help shield Kickstarter from projects that ultimately don’t follow through and never give anything they’ve promised to anyone). The rewards for The Goon mean I have no interest in kicking in on the project, but just because I find there to be not much of anything in it for me (it looks interesting, so there’s some value in it getting made for me, but I’m unfamiliar with it so I don’t have any special interest in the film getting made, and the rewards aren’t very rewarding, at least for a non-fan), but that doesn’t mean it’s violating the actual rules of the site; it just violates the rules of what many of us are willing to kick in on.

      • http://www.studiogattai.blogspot.com unitzer07

        Show me where it says that kickstarter requires donors be furnished with a finished product? If kickstarter deemed the project to be in violation of the policy it wouldn’t have allowed the project to launch.

      • z-k

        Finished portions of the animatic were apparently screened for fans at SDCC this year.

    • Dave L.

      Creating a 10-15 minute short isn’t just about showing what it would look like, it’s about showing what it feels like and giving people who haven’t read the comic a general idea of who the characters are.

      Taking that 400,000, making a 15 minute ‘Day in the life of Goon and Franky’ short, giving it to backers as digital download/dvd/blu-ray (depending on backing level) and then taking the short to festivals to get some awards and/or Oscar eligibility seems to me like it would be a more effective way to get studio attention for expanding it to feature length, as well as giving the backers a tangible reward connected to the film.

      Making a feature length story-reel to shop around to studios (who would in all likelihood still not ‘get it’ enough to greenlight a feature), and only letting one or two of the backers actually see it doesn’t make any sense.

  • Billy Batz

    [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “Stay on-topic. Comments are not a place to discuss ideas not directly related to the post.” Your personal opinions of The Goon comic are not relevant to the crowdfunding issues.]

  • wever

    If what my friends tell me is correct, Kickstarter campaigns are successful if you ask for a figure in the five digits at most! Anything beyond that puts the artist in a guaranteed chance of failing. I cannot keep a record on ALL kinds of projects get funded there, but my impression is that Kickstarter is here to help INDIE people. People who have no access or deal with even a medium-sized studio with major backing. Why else would you ask RANDOM PEOPLE to fund you unless you DO know front end executives? That’s where most of the money’s going anyway!

  • http://www.totalmediabridge.com Kevin Johnson

    “[W]e believe having the whole film online would cause serious issues with any studio who wants to back the project.”

    … would it? I can understand this being true 10-15 years ago, but if the public video reel got people MORE excited and passionate, wouldn’t studios be more inclined to get behind it?

    Seems so odd to me, the point of the internet, business-wise, is to create content that’s good enough to attract fans as well as potential sponsors, whether its advertisers or studios or whatever. It’s weird to create crowdfund something then deny the potential fanbase the right to get excited over it, both in a moral and in a business sense.

    • http://www.animatorisland.com/ J.K. Riki

      Keep in mind that most large studios still operate “the old way.” Heck, the OSCARS won’t accept your film if you release a certain percentage online for people to see.

      It’s stupid, but it IS how it is.

  • http://johntrigonis.com John Trigonis

    I agree wholeheartedly with you, Amid. For me, Kickstarter should be reserved for those who truly need funding but have no other avenues to persue (i.e. indie/DIY folks only.) Far too many celebrities and big names are floating about, and although I do believe that if you want your campaign funded, part of crowdfunding is making it stand out amid the thousands of other campaigns out there, crowdfunding should be for independent artists alone. And there’s nothing “indie” about David Fincher. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this “celebrity pet project.”

  • Hank

    If the studios haven’t gotten behind the script, I doubt they’ll get behind a story reel. No one’s really clamoring for this property to be made other than a smattering of fanboys (even the comic is an acquired taste). Any distributor will have as many challenges as they imagine selling this.

  • http://www.elanapritchard.com Elana Pritchard

    If people don’t believe in it, it won’t get funded. This is the beauty of Kickstarter.

    • Just Sleazy

      1. If it ain’t selling w/ a script it ain’t selling with a fucking story reel. People still read.

      2. They have connections, they can find people and the money if they were truly passionate about this story.

      3. They’re going to pocket a TON of the money. Why wouldn’t they? They’ll spend 60K on 4-5 talented artist for 3 months (maybe), w/ another 40K on music/recording/misc(maybe) and 100K for the actors talent for a couple days work and that’s it. Where’s the other 200K?

      4. The worse is this isn’t an indie project. There’s plenty of honest/struggling and worthy artist/projects. This just feels a little shameless.

      • Uli Meyer

        According to you a talented artist is paid $500 per week? Story reels are the most important part of making a film and it is impossible to craft an outstanding story reel in three months. Studios like Pixar take years finding their film by boarding and re-boarding, spending several millions in the process. That’s before making one animated frame. I actually doubt that $400k is enough to create a story reel if they do it the studio way and have to pay established artist the going rate.

        • Uli Meyer

          This could mean that they are investing some of their own resources (why not all, I don’t know). The test sequence looks like it cost a couple of hundred thousand to make if not more. Animators tend to think you can vow a studio with a slick piece of film, often forgetting that the most important criteria a project is judged by is general idea. If the concept doesn’t get anyone excited, no piece of animation or story reel will change that. You won’t get the execs to sit through a feature length story reel.
          And by the way, one doesn’t need to spend a lot of money for voices for a story reel. A few thousand dollars will cover that. Only very high profile stars can command high fees. Your average character actor doesn’t cost all that much.

  • Eman

    The project (a story-reel) is being made. Whether or not most people see it isn’t an issue covered by kickstarter and does not automatically make it open ended. It’s a clear and definite thing. A direct goal. Something open ended doesn’t have a finite result. The result for this is pretty clear: a story reel. And what they do with that and who they show it to isn’t of consequence. Kickstarters guidelines don’t cover that.

    I don’t see why this is cause to be upset. Like Elana said, if people don’t believe in it, it won’t be funded. The policies of kickstarter are to prevent fraud and scams. I’m not sure what the deeper issue here is beyond ‘kickstarter kinda says you can’t, in a way’.

    The real issue, as I see it, is that there’s no real intensive to donate beyond trust in the possibility of a movie down the line. (again, that doesn’t make it an open ended goal, just a defined step).

    But in the end, if kickstarter does define it as a breech of policy and it is pulled, would it be better to fund the movie project in full as a cheaper and shorter indie flick or drop it altogether, maybe try it as a series of shorts instead?

  • James

    I think xkcd figured this out a little while ago with a “Kickstarter to fund a perfect Kickstarter Pitch”:

    http://xkcd.com/1055/

  • T.D.

    There is nothing exciting or new about this property, which is why funding it is difficult. The humor in the book is very broad, and only occasionally funny. Good luck to them.

  • http://dannypopovici.com Danny

    Great article! The Goon comics are wonderful. The movie needing the fans help to make an expensive story reel, eh.

  • Joel

    Thanks for posting, I had seen this initially when they launched the kickstarter campaign and thought the whole thing was shady. Coupled with the fact that these studios/individuals have money coming out of their @$$, and are trying to get fans to pay for the production is ridiculous.

    • Jason

      Where’s your source that these studios “have money coming out of their ass?”

      Is every small studio Dreamworks now?

      • Joel

        I’ve worked on multiple projects which commissioned work from blur, and I know how much they charge for a 3 minute cinematic. They’re not hurtin.
        David Finchers publicized net worth as of March 2012 is 65 million.
        All I’m saying is I would gladly support the film by buying a ticket when it’s released. Asking fans to front the money for the production is bananas.

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto González

    I don’t see what the big problem is, other than it’s too expensive. Well, yeah, I’m certainly unsure a story reel will help to sell the project better than the script or trailer, but other than that I’m fine with it. I haven’t even read the comic but I think the trailer looks awesome both in visual and story terms. It looks like an animated movie for adults that could include blood and swearing in a clever and fun context and not just shock value for the sake of it without wit, plot or interesting characters behind it (like Rob Zombie’s Superbeasto or anything by Seth MacFarlane).

    Yeah, Fincher doesn’t look like a guy who should be asking for money but these things are expensive and maybe too risky.

    I don’t know if I’ll give them money but I’d certainly like to see it made. While it doesn’t look like the most commercial movie ever it isn’t indie either and forgetting about Kickstarter for a minute, I think that’s a good thing. The fact that we could have an adult animated movie in theatres that is NOT indie and it’s not based on an already succesful tv series (like South Park or The Simpsons). I think this could have a moderate success as other Fincher or Tarantino movies and could help to produce more adult animated features in the future.

    And if not, it still looks like loads of fun.

  • Kevin

    It’s a bit weird to have Cartoon Brew calling shenanigans on someone for violating Kickstarter’s rules. That said, asking $400,000 seems like a bit much considering no one will ever see the direct results. It’s also a bit sad to think about how things are going to be in the near-future if Kickstarter gets overrun by “name” directors financing projects.

  • http://www.studiogattai.blogspot.com unitzer07

    I find it interesting that 1 month ago you post a story saying how great kickstarter is for established artists. Then I get into a discussion with the CB twitter about how indie artists are hurting because they are being looked over for the more established artists. CB: “Sacrifice comes before success. K’startr works best if you’ve already proven yourself…and have an ambitous project that is beyond your personal means.” It’s convenient how the conversation changed to “…but those projects have been drowned out by the established creators who are grabbing much of the attention nowadays.” once the goon KS entered the picture.

  • Justin Weber

    They said the money was for a story reel. If you don’t want to spend money on it, don’t. The end.

    • Kevin

      Caveat emptor? Works for me.

  • Hannah

    it’s interesting, what with all the animated kid/teen horror flicks coming out and doing well this year, you’d think studios would be jumping all over this.

  • Toonio

    Tim Miller and David Fincher should go to town as if they can’t raise the money to pay for the story and sell their movie, no amount of money you can raise through kickstarter will sell it either.

    People should wise up instead of giving money away blindly. Remember the golden rule!

    • Jason

      To give up because Toonio told us to?

      Forget that.

  • Maya A.

    As a backer for this campaign I hope I’m not too biased. I can definitely see how this would violate Kickstarter’s policy but again, I don’t really see a huge problem with this effort. These guys have made it painstakingly clear that the money is being put towards a reel, and not an actual animated film, so it isn’t like they’re trying to deceive people into donating. I agree that it’s pretty disappointing that they aren’t going to make this reel public, but honestly the real reason that I myself donated was just to help the chance that these guys make an actual movie. I don’t feel guilty for that.

  • Mac

    You can draw a story reel all by yourself. What a load of crap. They shouldn’t treat their fans like Hollywood suits.

    I’d only go to kickstarter with almost all of the animation done, because what you really need money for is final mastering, all the gamut stuff that requires specialized hardware, the sound mixing, voice actors, ect. All you need for a story reel is jerks in front of their little workstations, or a bunch of paper. Just offer to clean up under Mark Andrews’ kilt and maybe he’ll do it.

    • Maya A.

      Actually the story reel they’re trying to make involves an actual musical score, plus the voices from Clancy Brown and that other guy (his name escapes me at the moment), which I’m guessing would be fairly expensive.

      • Mac

        Yeah I’m sure they want the moon on a silver string. Kickstartering for pre production, for spec, it’s entitled and out of touch. If your voice actors don’t believe in the project without getting paid up front, your composer of choice won’t pro tools something for you in his free time, then it’s pretty sick to ask people to pay for something that could just die in Hollywood development like anything else anyways.

        • http://brandoughertyjohnson.com Bran DJ

          Why should the voice-over actors or anyone work on this project on spec? Raising money from fans for pre-production work might be gauche right now. But maybe it’s a better idea than trying to raise it from financiers or banks. My suggestion is that they could issue shares to the kickstarter backers so that they get to reap some of the profit of the boxoffice that they’ll also be the ones contributing to. Wouldn’t that be better than a poster?

    • PC

      Just to educate you a bit, when making an animation movie, you START by recording the actors and THEN you animate. Mastering is by far the cheapest part of the movie. But then again if you were in the industry you would know that. The good thing in all of that is that the storyboard artists probably enjoy their job a lot more than you since while YOU post that kind of ****, THEY work.

      Just sayin…..

      • Mac

        I work all day, standing up, drawing storyboards.

  • Mitch K

    If a couple of thousand people donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to this thing it might turn some heads at some studios. This kickstarter campaign might actually let this thing get made.

  • Mr Verde

    I agree with Mac completely. Having made story reels myself (although not for a feature) I find it dubious at best to ask for that much money. It’s not complicated…work nights and weekends and draw your asses off, don’t beg on kickstarter to get a story reel, especially when you have a pedigree like blur and Fincher do.

    • http://www.studiogattai.blogspot.com unitzer07

      So you’re saying blur should just demand their workers volunteer their free time without pay to produce a story reel? Sorry that’s not how it works when you actually have to work for a living.

      • Mac

        Yes if they don’t have the cash for development, then they can’t pretend to be Disney or Dreamworks or Blue Sky or Pixar or Laika or Aardman or dozens other studios that make feature films. Blur is as I understand it a long time visual effects player who makes top quality VFX work, and they even make “character animation”, but they clearly don’t have the cash reserves those other studios do, to afford to pivot into making features without recourse to outside money. None of their sources of funding are biting. David FIncher is a certified genius and has made his place in film history for all time. It’s pretty sick to throw his weight around on enthusiastic internet film fans and treat them like they were just another source of investors.

        Also, pretty much 99 percent of feature films in history are not “preconceived” in a then rigidly executed and unaltered storyboard. Animation especially, and especially in the era of CG.

        • http://www.studiogattai.blogspot.com unitzer07

          I’m glad you don’t run a company then. I’m sure you wouldn’t work for free and it’s completely unreasonable to demand others do the same. Re: 99 percent…If you’re only talking about American productions then I agree, but that’s not all the animation production going on in the world. Japan produces far more animated content and they DO in fact decide on boards that are then executed to the letter. Kinda dilutes your numbers a bit.

        • Jason

          You really need to broaden your views on animation and the process of making it.

        • http://cartoonsof1935.blogspot.com Ted

          Typically, investors obtain a financial stake in a project. That’s not the case here. You can either view the Kickstarter folks involved as generous donors supplying cash to a business for some reason or else as people with no concept of how much a poster a should cost.

  • Zac

    I’d say if you have a problem with their kickstarter, then don’t donate money to it. Simple as that. I’m not the least bit surprised that they don’t want to provide the story reel to backers. With a production this size, I wouldn’t. It’s like one big spoiler time bomb. I think it’d be fair of them to provide the reel after the movie is released. But I’m sure it’s hard for them to guarantee that when they don’t even have a studio yet.

  • Marie

    In addition to the point made in the post, I think it’s ridiculous that an established millionaire like David Fincher is asking the average guy/gal to fund this reel. I have no doubt that Fincher can bankroll it himself, in its entirety and should do so if he et. al. cannot share the reel with the funders.

    • Jason

      What would it prove if Fincher bankrolled it? He’s barely a part of it.

      The whole point is to show that there’s an audience for feature adult animation. People like you are why Firefly and Futurama was taken off the air until fans saved it.

  • http://thelongestdayhasanend.blogspot.ca/ Hilary

    Wow – what a depressing read. I haven’t looked at Kickstarter for a while as I have put my plans for launching a campaign on hold because I am too busy drawing my film, trying desperately to get it finished. Not too mention trying to make the minimum payments of the huge debt on my visa which is funding my project. Somehow I think Fincher’s visa limit is higher than mine and his ability to make his payments is never in question. Like all great ideas, the powers that have money and influence inevitably muscle in when something smells profitable putting the rest of us who do not have that power and influence back to square one. I thought this was the genius seed idea of these crowd sourcing sites in the first place – sharing what wouldn’t normally get seen and helping those who for the most part self fund anyway to finish their dream project. Sure there is an argument for not donating if you don’t want to – but will you spend the time with the dinky $5,000 request from some nobody? Probably not – too much time already spent looking at how much the big guys have raised. Go find your own playground Mr. Fincher.

    • Jason

      There’s nothing stopping you from using Kickstarter to fund your own film other than your own fears of it not being funded. No reason to go bankrupt over it.

      I’m not really understanding your hatred for a cool project just because someone that’s well known in the film world thinks it’s cool. The ‘genius seed idea’ is to promote cool adult animation instead of yet another Smurfs 3D.

      • Hilary

        1.I’m not bankrupt I’m in debt
        2. I’m not afraid of doing a campaign – I have already done one and it exceeded the goal.
        3. I didn’t say I ‘hated’ this project. I love The Goon and and think it would make a great animation. I said that I didn’t think Kickstarter was the right place for David Fincher
        4. There are other films out there they don’t fall in to the Smurfs 3 camp

  • mike

    don’t forget how kickstarter makes money…

  • mike

    …. they take a percentage of the crowdfunding, and this project will probably fund, that’s a big chuck of change….

  • bob

    How has everyone here completely missed the point of this Kickstarter?
    The idea is for fans to show their support for a more adult genre of animated features that the studios are too afraid to put money into. The story reel is secondary to this main goal.

    If this does get made, it could actually push the boundaries of mainstream animation in the West. We never get to see animated films made for adults and your lack of support is why. Congratulations on helping set back animation in the US another 10 years.

    Enjoy your Shrek 8 and Ice Age 20.

    • akira

      “If” and “Could” are the key words there. fincher and others manage to get the materials together to pitch their projects ALL THE TIME. you think some studio execs are going to want to make this movie after sitting through a full length animatic as opposed to a normal pitch session? fincher and blur are only doing this to show public support and provide a discount on their production via kickstarters. they’ll guage box office returns on the number of donations and make a decision.. they already rejected it on content.

      • Jason

        Rejected on content?

        If you knew anything about pitch sessions, nothing is usually rejected but more or less put on the backburner until someone is willing to take a chance on it. If it’s even being reviewed in the first place, it’s already gone through alot of trouble getting there.

        According to your logic, the films Gladiator and Serenity were bad movies because they were ‘rejected’.

  • akira

    yeah this looks totally fishy! it sucks that people will get burned on this and then not donate to other more worthy causes as a result. 400K for an animatic that they’re not going to share with backers?! wtf? i want to see the day when backers start getting royalties for funding these kinds of projects like stockholders

    • Jason

      What’s fishy about it exactly?

      Maybe start your own website where people get to be stockholders. Meanwhile there’s a reason why that button says ‘Donate’.

  • Someguy

    [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “It is OK to post with a nickname or alias, but your email address (which we will NEVER share publicly), must be a real, permanent email address. Comments with fake or non-permanent emails will be deleted.”]

  • John

    Most of you negative posters really have no idea how hard it is to make a movie in Hollywood. No single filmmaker, not even Martin Scorsese or David Fincher can get automatic funding on a film, not matter how good it looks. EVERY film is a battle, whether studio or independent.

    If you dont’ know the history of Blur, they are an amazing animation house with years of experience doing self funded shorts. And even with THAT they can’t find funding for a feature. You can imagine that adding Fincher as a producer might make it easier. Guess what? Not in the least. The studios only want to invest in sure things, which mean sequels or remakes, not fresh content. That means even the bigger filmmakers have to fight for every cent, using pre-sales, foreign investment, tax incentives and other “tricks” to find money. Yes, even the big filmmakers.

    And an animated feature at $35 million IS a low budget feature! It’s nearly impossible to make an animated film, especially one of this quality, for that little money.

    Though I agree it might be nice to offer a screening for the development piece, it is accurate that displaying material in a public forum before it is funded is a reckless way to go. Like JK Riki says, even the Academy freaks out if you show your short online, so much so it will cancel your eligibility.

    Kickstarter, in my mind, is for us fans to help give a talented team an opportunity to shine. It’s not about making money. Believe me, my $50 is not going to make me demand a percentage of the back end gross. I donate because I want to see that film made, and since films actually cost tons of money, I am not foolish enough to think I can participate in funding the $35 million film. So instead I’ll pitch in on the reel, hoping that one day the movie gets made, and I can sit back and feel good I gave a team that struggled to get a project going (yes, even with Fincher and Blur), some help in bringing the project to life.

    And as many said, don’t donate if you don’t agree! But stop complaining!

    • akira

      god forbid the “Academy” gets upset (and screws up fincher’s oscar chances?)…. kickstarter should put FANS FIRST

      • Jason

        [Comment removed by editors. Ad hominem attacks are not allowed.]

  • Jeff

    On behalf of everyone at Blur Studio… THANK YOU John. If given the opportunity, we won’t let you down.

    • Jeff

      And thanks to EVERYONE who’s spoken out on our behalf…

  • http://www.bigdaddyanimation.com Big Daddy

    While it’s good to see creators coming to Kickstarter for their funding, perhaps there should be a different crowdfunding model for films like this. It’s in a different category and should be delivered as such. It isn’t really an indie film.

  • geoffvster

    Big fan of the comic. Big fan of Blur and David Fincher as well, but this should never be a kickstarter project in this form. Blur Studio is not 3 guys working out of the back shed. Fund the story reel internally or get studio money. Don’t ask your fans to back something that we might never see. If these guys are this committed to bringing an animated version of the Goon to the masses and can’t get the studio system to back them try a different approach. I would back a series of short films without hesitation. A great (successful) short might be just what the studios need to make the plunge.

  • Kirby Allen

    Honestly, if you donated money to a project, only to get something in return, you should not have donated so much to the project. I understand the frustration, but I don’t see such reason to put so much energy into “exposing” their actions and pointing the finger at them like a bad dog. They’re doing their best to make something they really love in the face of several studio’s who clearly want nothing to do with them. I’d say that’s pretty noble, whether they update you constantly or not.

  • Organik

    A story reel wouldn’t cost that much. With such vague goals, it almost seems like this campaign is designed to recoup the money that was already spent on the project.

  • http://www.nimblegimbal.com Pryce

    If David Fincher really wanted to make this movie, I am sure that he could surely find $400,000 from his own fortune or that of some of his movie making buddies. It seems that its not a dead cert this movie is going into production, so he is putting the initial financial risks onto the already existing fan base. With that in mind…I will not be investing in the project, I’m out.

  • mark

    So millionaires are asking me to donate cash to help them fund a project that they and hollywood can make millions of off?

    I guess this is trickle down economics…

  • http://twitter.com/jane_writer Jane Writer

    I’m glad to have read this article and the provided updates! Personally, I’m in the minority where I have to be very very leery in jumping on a kickstarter bandwagon because of lack of finances, but I think the reason the kickstarter raised the money indicated by the goal regardless of open-endedness was due to faith and somewhat blind faith of those involved. Now, being a freelance artist myself, I personally would not go the route of a kickstarter unless I have a 110% plan developed in order to not leave gaping holes.