Jason Dohring remembers exactly where he was last March when he found out the "Veronica Mars" movie Kickstarter campaign had raked in $200,000 shortly after its launch.
The 31-year-old "Veronica Mars" actor was in the backyard of his Glendale, Calif., home doing yard work; he was putting together an orchid to give his mom for Mother's Day when he received the initial text.
From that moment on, Dohring got periodic updates (about every hour or so) from his mother-in-law, who had been sitting at her computer at home watching the Kickstarter donations pour in.
Soon Dohring realized that it was real: This thing was "going viral."
"I was like, 'OK, this is amazing,'" Dohring told CBS News. "We had made our $2 million in 24 hours and it had never been done before. People kept donating until we hit $5.7 million, which we wound up with. And then we were able to shoot in LA. We had a much higher production value than what was originally thought."
It also meant the "Veronica Mars" cast members signed roughly 5,500 posters for their dedicated backers -- a lot more than they had originally planned, too. But Dohring isn't complaining. "We're 100 percent here doing this because of our fan base and nothing else," he said.
"Veronica Mars had been a long time coming. The TV series, which launched on The CW in 2004, saw its final episode air in 2007, much to the disappointment of its avid viewers. But Dohring says series creator Rob Thomas has been wanting to do a film ever since the show was canceled.
"I think he was trying to make it through a bunch of different avenues," Dohring said. "Kickstarter was sort of a last sort of possibility of making it."
In the end, the Kickstarter campaign was probably the best thing that ever happened to the "Veronica Mars" movie, which also stars Kristen Bell, Krysten Ritter, Ryan Hansen, Francis Capra, Percy Daggs III, Percy Daggs III, Tina Majorino, Enrico Colantoni, Sam Huntington, Ken Marino, Max Greenfield and Jerry O'Connell.
"I was so nervous getting to the set the first day," Dohring recalled. "You have all these big white trucks around. You're like, 'It's really happening.' I had my first scene with Kristen. It was a low-key scene. Rob was right there. Having him at the helm was very settling -- he knew what he wanted because when he writes he can see the movie."
Everyone was "awesome" during filming, Dohring said, adding, "It was sort of like getting the band back together...We have that tight family. We grew up together in San Diego just being on the show for three years right out of high school. We were with each other, shooting this tiny little show that we thought nobody was watching but, yet we were giving it our all to make it something very special."
Apparently people were watching.
On Friday, when the film hits select theaters and becomes available on iTunes, fans will find out the fate of Bell's titular character, who had been a high school student and skilled private detective when the show aired. Fast forward several years, and that's where the movie picks up.
"Veronica hasn't taken a case in seven years. She's gone to law school -- kind of gotten on the straight and narrow," said Dohring. "She gets a call out of the blue from my character, whose pop-star girlfriend is murdered and he's the No. 1 suspect. And he needs her help to clear his name. She's not in that business anymore, she doesn't want to be back in that business. But it's an old friend and an old flame...she just needs to help him. And that's where we start out story."
As for his Logan Echolls character, he's been trying to pick up the pieces. "My character lost both his parents at different times. People break up with him. He's devastated constantly throughout the series, but it's balanced with good points. And he's in an emotional place...But he's putting himself back together. There are those little comments that people like so much," he said.
When asked about the on-screen chemistry between Logan and Veronica, Dohring revealed, "You'll see more of that as it were...All the relationships that people love are all in the movie."
"The movie is so good. I just saw it two weeks ago," Dohring added about the film, which premiered last week at SXSW. "It's about an 8.95 [out of 10]. I'm serious, it's that good."
Dohring admits there's some added pressure now that the hype is building for the film. But he promises fans will be happy. Several of them already received a glimpse of what to expect as some Kickstarter contributors visited the set last year.
"It's their movie...It was done somewhat outside the studio for the people," he said. "It wouldn't have gotten made without them."
Check out the trailer: