Let’s #SaveGotham: The ‘Gotham’ crowdfunding play
Listen up and gather close! The Gotham fam hath spoken. Y’all asked for a game plan: how can we work together to save Gotham? We’ve got some ideas, so let’s get our game faces on and start this fight for realz.
Ever since Fox announced the callous cancellation of Gotham, the fandom has worked without rest to save their favorite show from the guillotine. While our Gotham family keeps on truckin’ like Bryce Wayne, there’s hope we’ll see Gotham continue past the paltry conclusion offered.
We’ve been chatting with Gotham’s fandom about the significance of the show, why it needs to continue, and why it’s ridiculous it hasn’t been saved yet. With the end of the ordered episodes fast approaching, we’ve decided it’s time for the fans to take control.
Gotham fan: do you hear us? Do you want your show back? Let’s make it happen, now. Here’s how we can encourage the powers that be to make the right decision for the Batman origin story.
New times, new technology, more power
Thanks to our good friend the world wide web, or interwebz if you’re nasty, fandoms have much more power than previously. Instead of quietly accepting it’s over when our fave TV show is canned, we can use social media and our own community to show our dissatisfaction.
Not only can we voice our chagrin at networks’ poor decisions, we can also assemble other fans to create campaigns to save our shows. Lucifer, Friday Night Lights, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and more have been saved from the brink of cancellation by organized fans.
However, sometimes networks just won’t allow themselves to listen (even when, as in the Shadowfam’s case, you’re flying a freakin’ banner over their headquarters). Luckily, there are always new ways for fans to make them hear, as shown by the epic fandom campaign to revisit the cult classic teen show Veronica Mars.
In the naughty aughties the neo-noir teen drama was a smash with audiences, with superstar Kristen Bell headlining as our favorite-ever snarky Nancy Drew. Veronica Mars, which chronicled the exploits of the sassy girl detective, was canned by The CW after a mere three seasons.
Veronica Mars fans (or Marshmallows if you please) were pretty bummed. Rather than sit back and accept their fate, they took firm action. They posted Mars Bars to the network in protest and continued an unrelenting campaign. Although the creators floated rumors about a potential movie, for years nothing concrete ever came to fruition.
. . . Until 2013, when the creative genius behind the show, Rob Thomas, and star (and queen of our hearts) Kristen Bell launched Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a continuation of the story. In a mere 11 hours, fans pledged without question, and the goal of $2 million was reached. Veronica Mars the movie came out to rapturous fandom acclaim in 2014. Following their great success, Hulu announced plans to continue the story with a new season this summer.
Saving a show isn’t a simple task; raising the money is merely the first step. But we believe using the tactics we’ve seen deployed by fandoms in the past can’t help Gotham find a home for the additional two seasons we were promised.
Cash me inside
The Gotham fandom hoped Fox might do the honorable thing and produce the two seasons promised. Let’s be honest: based on all the complications brought about by ownership issues between Fox (the distribution company) and Warner Bros. (the rights owners) and the looming threat of a Fox/Disney merger, that possibility recedes further and further.
Financially, Gotham isn’t a great show for Fox, based on the number of fingers that go in the money pie (due to the partnership agreement between Fox & WB), and at times it’s seemed Fox might deliberately be ixnaying the show by burying Gotham in a crappy timeslot, which resulted in less-than-excellent live ratings.
Netflix rode in on a white horse to save Lucifer, so if the #SaveGotham campaign can continue to gain momentum, Netflix might have strong potential to become the next Gotham exhibition partner. We’re also looking at the forthcoming Warner Bros. streaming channel and HBO partnership as potential exhibitors for Gotham.
With Fox out, here are our other ideas for how we might save this show.
We know the Gotham audience is passionate and that they want to save the show. We presume they probably spend the national American average (according to Forbes) of $108 per month on entertainment media, which amounts to a whopping $1300 a year.
What we do know is there’s no way Warner Brothers would ever sell rights in perpetuity for any DC- or Batman-related properties, but we do think they’d be open to another exhibition partnership (like they had with Fox), if they could make the money work.
The Gotham fandom might be able to get the shopping wheels in motion for the show to end its relationship with Fox – assured that basic production costs for the show have been met. Gotham going to another network with evidence of a rampant fandom would be a great calling card for the show. After all, streaming channels want to grow and retain their audience. Netflix partnered with WB on Lucifer, so why not partner again on Gotham?
Crowdfunding to victory
Gotham isn’t a cheap show to produce: according to various sources, the production budget comes in at around $4 million per episode – on a par with ratings heavyhitters like The Big Bang Theory and Orange is the New Black. We’re guessing with a new financial deal for distribution WB can probably shave some of those costs.
If every Gotham fan cancelled just one of their monthly media subscriptions and put that $10 towards a #SaveGotham crowdfunding campaign for the show, it could make the difference. Based on Twitter fans alone, such a move would easily fund an extended first episode of the next season.
Here’s how you do it
The easiest part is choosing which crowdfunding platform to use. You could take the traditional route and go with Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, or GoFundMe – but we think Seed&Spark is the best bet.
Unlike other crowdfunding platforms, Seed&Spark is specifically made for film & TV fans. Their film crowdfunding experts have helped hundreds of projects raise millions of dollars, and they could be the perfect match to help the Gotham fans do the same.
The hardest part is getting everyone together in one place. But think of how easy it would be to activate the Gotham fans into action via Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit.
Learning from the experts
Here’s how Veronica Mars did it: “I downloaded the Kickstarter funding app from the App Store. With a swipe of a finger, and my mobile Amazon Account, I pledged $10 to help the producer finance a movie based on the show.
“On Twitter, I told all my followers to do the same. Then, with a quick status update to my Facebook page, I encouraged my family and friends to do likewise – and to tell everyone they knew to follow suit. All told, it took less than five minutes, and now one of the best network TV series of the past ten years will live again, this time on the big screen.”
It only takes one spark to ignite a fire, but crowdfunding needs to be organized. Before anyone set ups a crowdfunding campaign, decisions must be made about who would be leading the campaign, administrating the funds, gathering the audience to make sure no Gotham fan is left behind. We’d also suggest selecting a charity partner, similar to how the Shadowfam have raised funds for The Trevor Project.
The right people, the right time
Remember: the fans are out there and they want a lot more Gotham than what’s being offered. The Gotham fandom is ready to flex their muscles and show the powers that be just how much they want to get Gotham back on the air where it belongs.
If you want to become a #SaveGotham activist with us, join our facebook group for daily tasks. We’ll start sending challenges once we reach 50 members.