It has come to my attention that another rich, famous celebrity has taken to crowdsourcing site Kickstarter to beg for money. This time, indie auteur Zach Braff is asking for $2 million to fund a companion film to Garden State, a totally underground, little-known art house project (that grossed $35 million). The underground underdog of cinema isn’t interested in financial backers who would interfere with his creative vision for Wish I Was Here — Braff, who once played a pizza guy on primetime television’s Cougartown, is no sell out! He doesn’t want the same corporate suits who write his checks telling him what to do! In fact, in a very expensive looking video attached to the fundraiser, Braff basically admits he turned down millions of dollars to fund his project so that he could preserve his artistic integrity.
Kickstarter is a great way for people without overflowing resources to finance their projects and pursue their dreams. But celebrities do have the right resources and connections to produce their projects; someone like Zach Braff asking his fans for money comes across as a phony PR ploy to seem indie.
The problem is that there are actual independent, broke-as-fuck filmmakers using Kickstarter. They don’t have the luxury of avoiding Hollywood big bucks in order to preserve their visions…their visions are all they have. Unlike Braff, they usually don’t raise $300 grand right off the bat because no one has heard of them, they haven’t been on primetime television, they haven’t already made million dollar pictures and they don’t have a million twitter followers. They offer what they can as incentives to potential donors, but they can’t offer the sorts of rewards that stars like Braff can afford. Theirs are usually a pamphlet or a role in a film that may not get made, which of course won’t have the cache of a Zach Braff joint. But for a mere $10,000, you can have a role in Wish I Was Here! Honestly, whoever wants their dollars and face in this ridiculous project deserves it.