How can you explain 4.620 people giving $320.637 in only 5 days to fund the release of a DVD and the future productions from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries creators? Maybe I should start trying to answer that question by explain why I gave a lot of my money to this Kickstarter project (especially considering that each dollar I gave is worth 2 reais, the currency in Brazil where I live).
For me it much more than getting the DVD, button packs, journal signed by Hank Green and Bernie Su, LBD edition of Pride and Prejudice and a copy of the script of the first 8 episodes of LBD signed by cast members. For me this is about saying: “You people did a great work and you deserve all the praise for this and this money is just a small way to say thank you and, at the same time, help you make more wonderful things for us.” For me, being a backer of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries DVD… and More! is all about believing in the power of art.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is an absolute phenomenon of the internet (check it on YouTube now if you haven’t yet), and this is because, using the contemporary William Darcy’s words, the story “resonates with people”. Frank McConnel wrote in Storytelling and Mythmaking: Images from Film and Literature, that “stories matter, and matter deeply, because they are the best way to save our lives.” (3) There is no questioning the value of Jane Austen’s most beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice. This story is not alive after 200 years of being first published by chance. Pride and Prejudice has reached a new height in popularity after so many years because people feel connected to it. It is not just the story of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet falling in love, this is about the human nature, how we are inclined to judge and to be misled in our opinions when we feel offended or that we are better than other people.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries brought it all up to our days, to the crazy life of technology and fast communication and lack of privacy. No wonder it has been such a huge success. How could we not feel empathy for these characters? It is impossible because they have so much of who we are, just like they had in Austen’s books, but now they have been updated to fit into our world.
I think this explains why so many people are willingly giving their money to guarantee that the DVD will be released and that new productions will be made. Storytelling is an art that has been present in human lives for a very long time and its power only increases. For that reason, when such a great story as Pride and Prejudice is told in such a brilliant way as The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, people will give their money to see it happen, because art is so much more than money will ever be.
Oh, by the way, if you are not a The Lizzie Bennet Diaries DVD… and More! backer yet, there is still time to become one here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pemberleydigital/the-lizzie-bennet-diaries-dvdand-more