You are hereTales of a Forgotten “Backer” [Updated]

Tales of a Forgotten “Backer” [Updated]

By Jennifer - Posted on 30 September 2015

UPDATE - Sept 28, 2015 - it happened again. I backed a new online TV series and filled out all the appropriate information, name, address, noted my name for the credits, got all the communication (almost too much of it). Then they screwed up a link to their mailing info (related to the perks) so we all had to fill it out again, which I did.

As they edited the show, there were few updates until the day before release. Apparently everyone who donated would get a code to watch the show on a particular day.

Guess who didn't.

No information was sent what to do if this happens, so I perused their Indiegogo Comment section where a guy posted his email address if it happens. Emailed, and the very kind people emailed my code right back. Why wasn't I mailed my code in the first place?

Watched the show. My name is NOT in the thank you credits.

Fuck crowdfunding big names. I'll stick to the small names who actually need help.

------------original rant below March 23, 2014-------------

When I first watched Veronica Mars a few years ago, I kicked myself that I hadn’t watched this TV show about a smart, sassy high school private eye when it aired. I guess I was busy back then with a new job and just moving to a new place and all. I rented the 3 series’, then bought the DVDs and probably watched the series through 3-4 times, each time ending with that painful cliffhanger. Then nothing. Great characters without closure, a great story without an ending. So, I did as many others did, I scoured the internets for information, saw the strange, never-to-happen 4th series teaser, and info was sparse.

Then last year I read that creator Rob Thomas was really, truly going to give it a try as a movie, but needed money. I don’t really have much myself, but when I figured I’d be buying the DVD anyway, and being a writer I wanted to read the script, so I decided to be one of the 90K+ people (this is when I found out we are called “marshmallows”. Interesting.) to give to the cause.

vmeName in. Money given. I’m now a Backer with a capital B. Success! I’m one of those people written about in articles and thanked by famous, pretty people I'll never meet. I helped get a movie made (I wish that would inspire me to make my own, but that’s another story). I’m apparently gonna get a DVD, and a digital download, and a T-shirt, and a copy of the script... woohoo! I’m a mushy, nerdy loser, but I’m proud and I don’t care.

Literally 90 email updates later, I’m super impressed with all the communication. The movie was released to good reviews, and the digital download was released to Backers-only on March 14th (which isn’t actually a “download”, it’s a protected stream). Oooooh. I’m excited. Waiting patiently. Then not patiently. Afternoon, nothing. I checked my email updates - hmm, wasn’t I supposed to get a T-shirt like 2 months ago? 10pm. No digital download. I noticed thousands of Backers were listed and thanked on their website. Not me.

I went to the movie website for “support”. When I clicked the support page, the page was “not found”. Ok. I read through every page on the website and in the emails and found some email address. Emailed. No human answer. Auto-machine said wait a couple of days. Well, it’s a big day, my movie stream should be ready today, and humans should be working, no? No.

3 days later I emailed again. A day later I received a human reply! But it was a survey. What size T-shirt, what’s your email, what’s your address… etc. Um, I Backed your project as an official Backer with my credit card, got your 90 emails -you should have that information. So… huh?dd

Filled out odd, low tech email text questionnaire. Sent.

No answer. Emailed 3rd time. So where’s my digital download? How long can that take? What’s going on here? I should have had that 3 days ago! A day later, “Veronica Mars Team” then sent me a “copy” of the email that was apparently sent to me:

Dear [Backer],

Thank you for being a VERONICA MARS Kickstarter backer!

Below is a code to get a Digital UltraViolet version of the VERONICA MARS movie. The code must be redeemed by May 6, 2016. In order to redeem the code, please visit and enter the following on a PC or Mac (not a mobile device):

Flixster Code: XXXXXXXXXX

Uh. huh? Well, there’s your problem “Veronica Mars Team”. My name isn’t actually [Backer], though I am one.

Fortunately, they did add the actual code somewhere else in the message. Messy. Then had to go to Flixster, signed up, which also created a second account on a site called “Ultraviolet” which apparently will send people out to kill you and sue your brains out (possibly in that order) if you share this movie with anyone else. Meh.

It took a couple of tries to get the account activated, and then I moved to my Roku 3, which is supported by Flixster. Hey! Movie is there. Click. The audio plays, but a poorly formatted purple screen that looks like my crappy video editing machine effects from 1991 plays over it. Badly stretched words read “HDCP Content not authorised”. Apparently they are British people with an affinity for the color purple. They must know something I don’t. Tried several times. Purple.

Emailed Flixster support since there are no answers apparent on their website. At this point, I’m annoyed - I just want to watch the damn movie. Look, it’s not Rob Thomas’ fault (although the Flixster decision, if he did have a hand in it, um, dumb), it’s not the actors’ fault, it's not my fault. Dammit why can’t I just watch this movie that I paid for!

I get tired of waiting. I decide to reboot my Roku 3. Why not? I worked Helpdesk. Our mantra was always “when in doubt, reboot.” I am smart. Loaded up, clicked on the movie again. BINGO.

When Flixster support did get back to me, their answer included something like “We’re sorry, but we don’t support Apple TV at this time”. Very helpful, Flixster support.

(btw I found that this purple screen of non-regal errorness is a common issue with my Roku 3 - reboot is key.)


A “love letter to fans” or however they described it is apropos. It takes a fan of the show to really appreciate it, and I appreciate Thomas flipping a bird at critics as he wanted to please his funders. It was the right thing to do.

VMSHOWFirst of all, many critics thought it was a weak mystery - well, duh, it was the background plot. Not much different than missing dogs or mascots or other high school plots clever-young-detective Mars foiled. The fly-by cameos all worked, even the slightly kludgy addition of the Weevil side-story which 100% you had to have watched the series to fully understand (I know, most of you are saying "Weevil"? What the...?).

I love that it was shot on digital (well, budget, but yay gorgeous Arri Alexa!), and everyone’s characters worked, the start, middle and end worked. As a fan I appreciated the Buffy reference (hellmouth!), the Officer and a Gentleman ref, the “hidden” theme song, the bizarre cameos (Quenta Silmarillion! Bell’s hub!), the FBI teaser reference (in another life!) - all hilarious, smart, and uber cool if you’re an insider… ahem, sorry, a “marshmallow” (I actually find that name stupid, sorry Ms. Bell).

The only small things that didn’t work were the very quick transitions - edits were abrupt at times, and I was constantly reminded that this is really just a TV show on the big screen. It wasn’t edited like a film, it was cut for time. Those little things count. Also, the sound mix is atrocious. Insanely loud then way too soft. Hey sound people, I live in an apartment! In a city! Angry people live in these buildings! I could be killed! Or maimed! Or get the elevator door closed on me!

And, dudes, you really didn’t have to kill the deputy. He rocked the ‘stache.

So, I may never see that DVD or be thanked on the website or receive that T-shirt or get that script to read, but I must say, I loved the movie.

PS. I watched the movie 3 times that day. Because I could!