In a time when every single studio seems to be trying to find a franchise to cling onto, it is refreshing to see the producer's and the fans of one particular franchise come together to try to keep it alive. That franchise would be the Vampire Academy which came out in February to a very lukewarm reception, negative reviews and as of this post, has only made half of its budget back. So the question really is, are the fans and producers of this film having false hope that this franchise can be revived? In one word, no.
It's interesting to see the producers behind the film are trying to gather fans together to try to show support for a new film. According to their official twitter page https://twitter.com/OfficialVAMovie it seems like they are going ahead and starting to work on a second film which is unprecedented considering it has yet to be green lit but it is also refreshing to see people get behind a franchise that can work. I have lent my own support to the producers and hope that they do succeed. It will be interesting to see what they can do to continue this franchise, I don't believe that this is the type of situation where a Kickstarter campaign can do any good. The reason I say this, is because a Kickstart campaign will only open the film in very select markets and it's not a smart idea to try to "kickstart" a franchise with a considerably small budget and small amount of theaters being able to show the film.
What makes Vampire Academy different then the other supernatural young adult films out there, is that this film has two strong female leads. Yep you read that right, this isn't a "oh my god, does that sparkly vampire love me?" film, this is a film were the lead character of Rose (played beautifully by the talented Zoey Deutch) actually gets herself dirty and is a fighter! How can women not get behind a story/film where the females are written with actual personalities and don't cater to the men. The other female lead, Lissa (brought to life by the talented Lucy Fry) is vulnerable but fights to find out how she can control herself and her powers. It's a story of friendship and the things you would do for the people that you love, yeah it has supernatural elements (vampires, which do not sparkle) and while the first film/book wasn't very action packed, I can tell you that as the story progresses it gets much more action packed!
I do not think that people are tired of supernatural stories, I think that people are wanting more complex stories with more action and if people just give Vampire Academy a chance you will get exactly that. I can tell you with complete certainty that the next book (and hopefully next film) Frostbite will be action packed and definitely make you emotional. I can only hope that if the producers are successful and that they are able to convince a studio to make the second film that they will do things a little differently.
The marketing on this film was terrible! I will be completely honest and tell you that I did not go and see this film in theaters because the trailer for it was terrible. It didn't grab me like other films had and I relegated it to renting it from the Redbox (which in fact I did). I feel as though they didn't know how to market this film when in fact they have a large group of people that they can market the film to. Like I said, this is a story with two extremely strong female characters played by two very talented individuals, make it clear in your marketing that these are young women that other young women can get behind. Put your cast out there, saturate the market for Vampire Academy, yeah that seems a little over board but you have to get people to talk about the film and guess what, people will go and see the film.
The other thing that needs to be done is that the studio has to stand behind this film with complete and utter support. I can tell when a company is unsure of the product that they are trying to sell and I felt like the company was not behind this film. If you want to create an amazing franchise, the company has to be behind their finished product and truly believe in it.
I wish the fans (myself included) and the producers luck in kickstarting the franchise. This really is a great series and I would much rather see strong characters on the screen then the same love story that we get from various young adult novels that we see. I find myself falling in love with the actors that brought the characters to life and would love to see the rest of the series come to life.
If you want to join the campaign to revive the franchise, then go to the following twitter page:
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