Monday, July 21

Catching New Fans: Rob Thomas

When you visit the Web site of screenwriter and producer Rob Thomas, his work is divided into sections: Books, Film, Television, Music, and Personal Info. But one more category remains on the top of a site that hasn’t been updated since one of his projects received the green light for season two — and that would be Veronica Mars.

By all accounts, Thomas seems as dedicated to Veronica Mars as the fans are to him. I know the fans are, because every few weeks they send me an update on their activities to grow a show that was prematurely cancelled after its third season.

Sure, fan outcry from cancelled television shows has become commonplace, with everyone from Moonlight to October Road giving it their best shot. But there is one thing unique about Veronica Mars fans. They remain optimistic realists — people who accept that Veronica Mars is unlikely to return to television, but may one day see a second life with a Veronica Mars movie.

The secret to their continued success? They have several small but memorable programs in place. I was introduced to one of them last March when they asked me to “try watching three or four episodes” and see if I wanted to watch the rest of the season.

Although the question was padded, because I was already watching season three via iTunes, I gave season one a shot. Four busy months later: my family couldn’t watch three or four shows. They had to watch them all.

They are now waiting for me to order season two from Amazon.com, which will be right after I send the “loan it forward” DVD set to its next destination this week. It’s headed cross country to a blogger who might appreciate the high touch approach to consumer marketing if not the show on its own merit.

If he watches a few episodes into disc two, he might become another fan and then “loan it forward” again. After all, there is something smart about the writing in this enduring series as the primary story arches develop. Coincidently, I felt the same way about season three. The set-up doesn’t seem as strong as the middle, but it eventually becomes vital to the underlining story.

Is it working? Considering one of the fans recently presented actor Jason Dohring (he portrayed Logan) with a scrapbook full of fan letters and artwork and the fact that Veronica Mars is still being positively mentioned in the press again and again, they seem to be doing something right. And in some ways, perhaps, better than anyone else.

Sure, our friends and Jericho fans are still sending nuts, but the Veronica Mars campaign continually captures more fans and friendly media attention without the hazard of having already had its second chance.

But more importantly, after watching two seasons of Veronica Mars, I’m won over with the logic that it just feels like big screen material. Provided Rob Thomas is in the driver’s seat and some of the cast continues to show an interest before they get too old to play their parts, it really could work as an alternative to the consistently typical summer blockbusters that tend to grace the screen.

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14 comments:

Ichthus said...

Thanks Rich for the update on the Veronica Mars fans. I was thinking about them recently. Glad to hear they are still at it.

Rich on 7/22/08, 2:50 PM said...

Hey Ichthus,

My pleasure. I've seen several fall by the way side, but I think VM fans might be onto something. Slow and steady may eventually win the race.

Best,
Rich

Tami on 7/23/08, 8:04 PM said...

Thanks Rich,
Your support is outstanding and I am so glad you enjoyed Season 1.
Tami
Neptune Rising

stubbornone on 7/23/08, 8:09 PM said...

Hi Rich,
Mark Thompson here, I'm glad your family enjoyed VM and thrilled that you "Loaned It Forward" and that your buying the second season.
I have to admit that I'm proud of our campaign because we have dedicated people from all over the world helping out.
I wish we had the money and resources so we could have a bigger impact but we are managing with what we have and do our best to keep moving forward.
Thank you for taking the time to watch those few episodes and helping us to spread the word.

Balabanto on 7/23/08, 9:48 PM said...

Hi, I'm Balabanto from Neptune Rising. Currently, one of our many projects is a Veronica Mars novel, written by me. We're hoping that Rob will sit up and take notice of our work.

Is it good? Well, the proofreading team thinks it's great. Are we serious about this? Well, yes we are. We're serious about everything. This ensures that if nothing happens on TV, Veronica can have a long and happy life in detective fiction. Fans of the series can get an ending. And maybe, if I'm really lucky, I can get an Edgar Award. (Fat Chance)

Somehow, though, these folks believe. When I undertook this project, I honestly sat down and said "My chances of success are zero. There's less than a three percent chance that even though I've met Rob, Enrico Colantoni and Kristen, that they will even remember me, let alone who I am and how crazy a step this is."

But really, we want Rob and Kristen to read it before anyone else does. It's not right to throw something out there like this on the internet and either A) Force Rob to change the solution to the mystery if I'm right or B) Dash the hopes of thousands of people if I'm wrong and/or unsuccessful.

Do I have publication credits? Yeah, but they're all in the game design field. This is new for me.

So that's one of the many things we have on our plate. Come join us at Neptune Rising.

They believe in me, and that's pretty tough, because even though I'm cruising towards page 221 of this endeavor, I have low hopes, and their hopes are higher than mine.

annster459 on 7/24/08, 4:51 AM said...

Hey Rich!

Thank you for your kind words and support. It makes everything worth fighting for when people like you are still spreading the word about our campaign. We hope one day that "Veronica Mars" will get onto the silverscreen. No. We know that a great show like "Veronica Mars" will get onto the silverscreen because of the fans and people like you that are still spreading the word. Thank you for all you've done!

From Neptune Rising,

Annie

Rachel on 7/24/08, 8:58 AM said...

Rich,
Thanks for the wonderful support. It is much appreciated! We have a petition that is addressed to Rob Thomas and Joel Silver in hopes of at least getting a direct to dvd.

www.petitiononline.com/vmdvd/petition.html

Thanks again for your support.
Rachel

Sandra said...

Awww Rich... You Rock!!!!! I am super excited you and your family enjoyed the first season. The anticipation must be killin ya for the 2nd season? hehe.. We all appreciate your support and are grateful for everything you have done.

Bumblebee said...

Rich...you're a ROCKSTAR!!! I am so glad that you have stuck with VM and have taken the time to understand our love and dedication!
It is really people like you that help keep my love and strength going!
Thanks so much :)

epiclove said...

Hey Rich!

Thanks for all the support! I can't even begin to describe how much it means to us. I'm so glad that you and your family enjoyed season one and that you are particapting in "loan it forward!" You're awesome man!

Amanda
Neptune Rising

whoknew92 said...

Rich, thank you SO MUCH!!! We're all so grateful for your continuing support and this has definitely made my day. I'm confident we'll achieve our ultimate goal and your support helps make it all worthwhile.

Thanks again,
CC

Scarlet on 7/26/08, 3:37 PM said...

Thanks so much for this lovely topic. I can't wait for a Veronica Mars movie. I loved the show.

Rich on 7/28/08, 3:24 PM said...

Thank you all for the comments. I'm glad I could continue to shed some like on your efforts and how fans can best be effective in keeping their favorite shows alive for each other.

It's also a well-earned post in that I'm very honored to had been able to participate in the "Loan It Forward" program. I do think it would make a great movie.

There is something to be said for hoping for the best and expecting nothing. It seems to me that your worst case scenario is that you met a lot of people who share the same passion for Veronica Mars and have done some amazing things together.

Hmmm ... that sounds like a "win-win" to me! :)

Best,
Rich

RadioSophie on 6/23/09, 3:36 PM said...

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SOPHIE @ 103.7 - ROB THOMAS LIVE!

listen THURSDAY 6/25/2009 6:30am and 8:30am!

http://bit.ly/6I2kN
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