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Ask Slashdot: Is Crowd Funding the Future of Sci-Fi? 116

First time accepted submitter TBNZee writes "Mainstream TV has has for a long time under-served the sci-fi loving viewers, but with declining production costs there seem to be two potential sources of alternative production/distribution: digital content (e.g. Netflix, Hulu) and crowd funded projects. There's still not a lot of sci-fi shows that are being produced by the major streaming services, but we'll probably see more with the success of Hulu's exclusive U.S. distribution of Misfits or Netflix's success with Buffy and Doctor Who. On the other hand, you have many enthusiastic upstarts on Kickstarter that look novel and engaging, while having a surprisingly professional look to them. Which do you think will ultimately be more successful? Will either be able to replace network content?"
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Ask Slashdot: Is Crowd Funding the Future of Sci-Fi?

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  • by DaveV1.0 ( 203135 ) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @12:18PM (#46259915) Journal
    What I have noticed with main-stream sci-fi is that it doesn't involve actual science. Oh, it might have a shiny, modern or even futuristic veneer, but it is really just fantasy. Firefly was really a western set in space in a very different solar system. Even Star Trek seems to often resorts to magical thinking and the "lone hero" narrative, devolving into a morality play or social drama with a futuristic backdrop and technobabble.

    The biggest offenders are the modern science fiction movies. Think about how often in science fiction movies the plot is "clueless mainstream scientists ignore dangers and the warnings of lone genius who spent his whole career pushing an unsupported theory leading to impending disaster requiring said lone genius to do 'science' and save the day".

    I think the closest thing I have seen to an actual science fiction movie in the last 30 yeas is "Deep Impact".
  • Ask Hollywood: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @12:32PM (#46259977) Journal


    I'm not saying we won't see (crappy) sci-fi movies or TV show pilots funded by kickstarter. We might even have some kind of sci-fi scene champ that starts as a web series, gets a kickstarter, makes a pilot, gets picked up for a season, etc.

    Books or comics might happen too...but again it will mostly be a space in the industry that is of less quality.

    That all **might** happen...but my point is, crowdfunding is not the "future" of sci-fi.

    We need to get real sci-fi fans producing sci-fi films!

    Hollywood has fucked up sci-fi in the last decade or so...the JJ Abrams Star Trek, the new 'Alien' movie, the new 'Predator' movie....they all have dumb fucking titles...the list goes on...heh...Avatar...the only really awesome sci-fi has been from Independent Hollywood...ex: Moon

    Cheap Computer Effects (thanks to ppl like /. readers) are what helped make sci-fi financially viable for Hollywood...go tech industry!

    However, shitty producers & executivces...the guys with the money to make these films happen....**we have been giving them our money for far too long**

    The argument used to be, "We have to go see the [beloved sci-fi franchise] even though they have [idiot hollywood directory] making it...I know it looks like they butchered [fan favorite storyline] but the special effects look great & we need to prove that [scifi franchise] can make money so they'll make another better one"

    It's a feedback loop of shitty sci-fi

    We need to stop going to see these films, and support indpendent films, including crowd-funded ones...but not as an end, but a means to access better factors of production and more capital

  • by Zumbs ( 1241138 ) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @12:34PM (#46259991) Homepage
    It is possible to raise some impressive amounts, e.g. Wayside Creations raised $130K for Fallout: Nuka Break season 2, Zombie Orpheus raised $400K for The Gamers: Hands of Fate, and Far From Home raised $125K for Star Trek Continues. By comparison, a top-of-the-line production like Game of Thrones costs $6 million per episode, so one cannot assume similar production values from a crowd funded project. On the other hand, the projects mentioned earlier are of a decent quality. As noted by the submitter, the price of reasonably good visual effects is falling, which will make it a lot easier to produce on small budgets while still making it look okay. I'm not sure that crowdfunded TV will displace the networks, but it is a good alternative for independent film makers to raise money for their projects. Hopefully, we will get a lot more brave and high quality TV from that.
  • by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @02:07PM (#46260493)

    Yea, remember that failed scifi show, Terra Nova?
    Thing cost $2million an episode.

    Game of Thrones?
    $6million for the first season episodes.

    Short of something unprecedented with Kickstarter it's won't be crowdfunded. While the cost drops over time, you still need a ton of money to get it off the ground and sustain it for several years.

    They don't *HAVE* have to be expensive. The expensive is a side effect of the massive Hollywood egos.

    TV shows are expensive because of:

    Producers, Directors and actors all demanding huge salaries.

    Multiple Producers, Assistant Producers, Executive Producers -- I've seem 8 or more "Producers" listed in the credits for various TV shows. Then there are Directors, Editors, etc.

    Everybody -- EVERYBODY -- has an assistant ( or several ) because God forbid they might have to get their own coffee or wipe their own ass.

    Sets and special effects are all outsourced to various companies who charge the TV studios the same way that government contractors charge the government for their work.

    The Tonight Show (Jay Leno ) which is nothing more than a guy sitting at a desk talking to people has a staff of over 100.

It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's