Yesterday Zachary Levi’s Nerd Machine crowd-sourced I Want My Nerd HQ effort went live. I’ve already written about why you should help him here. But it never hurts to revisit and keep fresh in people’s minds why this effort is so important not just for Nerd HQ, but in changing the way the entertainment industry interacts with and serves the fan. Join me after the jump to see why you should help this effort.
Zachary Levi apparently likes to try new things. A few years ago he tried and failed to get a booth at COMIC-CON. So he decided to rent out space at a local tavern and hold his own parallel version of COMIC-CON. He is now officially a victim of that success. The event, Nerd HQ, has grown in scope and size until, to quote Zac:
The funding strategy we have been using to produce Nerd HQ is no longer viable due to venue deadlines and the commitments required by the Nerd Machine to properly plan the event. We wish we could continue to subsidize the event ourselves, but we simply no longer can.
If you read the various interviews out there Zac took a substantial personal financial hit when sponsors didn’t come through or canceled at the last-minute, and he can’t afford to do it again.
So Zac is asking for our help. And in a rather bold approach born of his faith in his nerd army, he’s asking us to do it just so Nerd HQ, something that has been free for the last three years, can stay free for those who attend and for those who watch online. That’s right, no tote-bag, no t-shirt, no advance copy DVD, just the same great quality videos of his Conversations for a Cause panels and the free Nerd HQ events and parties for those who can make it to San Diego. Not much incentive you say?
And if you recall my last post on the topic there are a few other non-Yvonne related reasons like helping a wonderful charity, giving back to the other fans and helping to pay for the Conversations for a Cause that we can all enjoy for free even if we can’t make it to San Diego. Or you know, to thank Zac for paying for Nerd HQ last year and making sure he doesn’t have to stand on the corner with a “Will act for food” sign to pull it off this year.
In all seriousness this is an opportunity for us to change the way the industry interacts with fans and supporters of shows or movies. This effort, coincidentally, is starting the same week we get the culmination of another project that was born out of another guy who wanted to try something new.
Rob Thomas and Kristin Bell wanted to make a movie sequel to their cult TV show Veronica Mars, so they went to the studio that owned it (Warner Brothers, also coincidentally the studio that owns Chuck) and made a deal. They could make the movie if they could raise the production costs in a Kickstarter campaign. The threshold was set at 2.5 million dollars (and a portion of that would be going for fulfillment of the DVD, T-shirt or whatever you got for your donation). They hit that threshold within 12 hours and ultimately raised nearly 6 million dollars. It was kind of fun to go back and read the comments in the article I wrote about the effort and re-live the excitement.
The level of support this showed lead to the studio being a lot more generous than their original agreement. They picked up the fulfillment costs (the T-shirt or DVD or whatever you got for your donation) allowing the full 5.7 million to go to production and are now planning for a much more ambitious release of the film.
Zac is doing something similar, less ambitious in some ways, but different and a bit tougher in many ways. He wants us to think of something that has been free, and then put a value on it and help him keep it free for others, and available for ourselves. It is also a chance to show our support for Zac’s efforts to connect fans and the entertainment industry in new ways and to show the world those new ways are popular with the fans and work for the industry, building enthusiasm and support for new or existing projects. It’s also a way to show sponsors and potential sponsors that it is worth supporting Nerd HQ. But why take my word for it, hear it from Zac at the I Want My Nerd HQ site or in his interview at The Hollywood Reporter. And if you can, make a donation.
Just for fun I’d like to see the level of support among our readers, so I made a little poll. Please answer only if you have actually made a donation with the size of your donation. The poll is completely anonymous and is just for us all to see how our part of the Chuck community is chipping in.
Will it work? Tough to tell. Maybe he needed to toss in a Nerd HQ 2014 T-shirt for a pledge of $25 or more. Maybe the present offer is enough. Maybe he needed the whole Veronica Mars increasing volume of stuff for each level of support. Right now he’s closing in on the first $100,000. Not exactly Veronica Mars numbers, but he’s only asking for $5 from each of us. The idea is a little from a lot of people to show the breadth of his support. If even half his twitter followers gave he’d be there in no time, so we have some waiting to do to see how this plays out. I’ll just close with Zac’s own words.
If you believe in this, do this. And if you do this, thank you.