This move by the studio illustrates yet again how America has gone from capitalism to corporatalism. Seemingly gone are the days of supporting new ideas, encouraging entrepreneurship, and people building their own business. An established corporation such as Warner Brothers with ties to marketing/pr/distribution, investors, and finances need not reach into the pocket of starving artists with a dream. In an already crowded market where a good publicist and investment in a VoteBot company can skyrocket a project to the top of a search, it makes it virtually impossible for an earnestly good idea that needs a 'kick-start' be seen. This has already been seen with studios thrusting fully-funded films into prestigious indie festivals, and record labels hiring companies with auto-bots to get their artist to the top of I-Tunes, TRL, and other charts.
With no risk and no investors to pay out, it seems Warner Brothers could use it as a tax/regulation/risk dodge essentially. Warner Brothers has requested fans of the show pay for making the film, and pay again to see it. This leaves the studio, cast, and producers to rake in all the profit. This precedent not only sets a trend that corporate America is injecting itself into an arena designed for the indie filmmaker, but it also runs the risk of changing how distributors consider taking a film. As Dorothy Pomerantz of Forbes points out "...distributors might start to expect filmmakers to be able to raise money on their own" and that is extremely challenging.
Studios killed the indie star?!. Unless you want to be bombarded to fund every superhero sequel, comic book remake, and failed tv show, you must think about what flames your fan dollars are fueling. Within hours of the success of the Mars experiment tweets came from producers of other network shows, “I said to my agent immediately, ‘Can we do this with Pushing Daisies?’ says creator Byran Fuller, and similar sentiments from creator Shawn Ryan of FX show Terriers I was in. I'm all for reviving projects, but not at the expense of silencing unique voices and new ideas. Help artists create new content and force studios to actually work for your attention and your money. That is the way to demand quality and innovation instead of cheesy duplication.