Michael Brockhoff has sent a clarification update to all of the backers on Kickstarter regarding the shutdown of production of bonus material after rampant piracy of the film. In essence- people who pledged enough to receive the extended interviews will be getting those as soon as those assets are sent to the disk printers, and, according to Michael, he "want[ed] to make it clear that we did not call all Bronies pirates."
He also speaks on the topic of the final Kickstarter budget, and the funds associated with all the materials produced.
The full text is after the break.
As you are probably aware, there was a lot of reaction to yesterday's update. I wanted to clarify a few things.
The announcement had nothing to do with discs which backers are already set to receive. If your pledge level included the bonus disc with extended interviews from Lauren, John and Tara, you will still get that disc. The main disc even includes two bonus segments, one on Galacon and one on B.U.C.K. We've even gone the extra mile to create not just the promised Blu-Ray discs, but Blu-Ray / DVD combo packs. As stated before, those masters are being sent to the replicator next week and will be ready to ship in about three weeks.
Budget / Production
I want to make it clear that we understand that perhaps we were naive in using pre-sales funds to increase the quality and scope of the film and deferring some of the traditional salaries to be paid by post-release sales to those who had not contributed already. We did so with the best of intentions. No, we did not enjoy a giant payday as some have suggested. For those who think so, I would like to point out that a very similar documentary, and some say not as good, "Comic-Con" had a 1.5 million budget. Also, consider the tremendous cost of providing backer rewards (t-shirts, art prints, shipping, meet & greet party, DVD's, etc).
We have not lost sight of the fact that this project would not have even been possible without the backers. At all times our goal was to give the people who pledged the most value for their support and we feel that is something we did achieve.
Obviously we touched a nerve and many of you have very strong feelings on the subject. I want to make it clear that we did not call all Bronies pirates. We always anticipated some piracy, but did not know it woul d be as rampant. Yes, in hindsight we should have picked a different release strategy. We stand by our opinion that those who feel justified in downloading the film for free because "others already paid on their behalf" are just plain wrong. We appreciate some understanding that this is not a hobby for us. It's how we pay our bills and feed ourselves. If on its own there is no demand for the film, then so be it. But this is not a theoretical position, we are hurt by piracy and we are not in the same boat as a company like Hasbro who has multiple revenue streams like toy sales.
To those suggesting another Kickstarter campaign for the release of additional material. We appreciate your support and this is something we will consider. As previously stated, right now we need to put our time, energy and money into the mainstream release.
Mike & The Bronies Team