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Here's the New Most Galling Thing About Zach Braff's Kickstarter

By Dustin Rowles | Think Pieces | April 25, 2013 | Comments ()


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Yesterday, as many of you already know, Zach Braff launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $2 million to finance a movie he plans to direct, based on a script he and his brother wrote. While conceding that I would love to see a tonal sequel to Garden State, I also expressed some reservations about a multimillionaire raising money on the Internet for his pet project, especially where he'd most likely make a substantial profit on it. This was a theme around the Internet throughout the day, and Braff himself -- on Buzzfeed, on Reddit, and other places -- did a decent job of explaining the situation.

He says that he does plan to provide some of his own money, or at least raise the rest of the money needed through foreign distribution rights. He also said that he could get the movie financed through the traditional indie movie process, but he argues that he would lose some control over the picture, and he'd perhaps be forced to cast people in it that he'd prefer not to cast because such-and-such person is more likely to appeal to the international audience that movies crave these days (what? Is Braff xenophobic? He's got something against European actors?)

Anyway, it still didn't sit with me that well, but whatever: As of this writing he's raised over $1.4 million, and he's well on his way to meeting -- and exceeding -- his goal. Good for him, I guess. But this is what I found so galling: The celebrities who took to Twitter to not only support Braff, but encourage people to donate.

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On the one hand, cool! Zach Braff has celebrity friends who are all about supporting "art." But on the other hand, if you look at it from a certain perspective, it sure does look like a whole lot of multimillionaires asking people on the Internet to give their lunch money to Zach Braff to make a movie while they sit back on their iPads in their ginormous Hollywood houses and eat lunches their personal chefs are making. I mean, did you SEE the size of Braff's kitchen in his Kickstarter video? Downgrade a few of those appliances, brother, and finance your own damn film. How much do you think that boat he and Faison are riding around in above is worth? Sell it on EBay. You see the view from Braff's house in this ridiculously awesome video he and Faison made?

And he wants me to give him money. Twice. Once to fund the movie, and a second time to see it? Jump up my ass, sir.

I don't mean to make it a 99 percent versus 1 percent thing, but IT'S A 99 PERCENT VERSUS ONE PERCENT thing. If all of those celebrities above -- who probably all have similar boats, refrigerators, and views -- have so much faith in Zach Braff and his movie, why don't THEY throw in $10,000. Or $20,000, or whatever huge sum they have in their wallet. If Ben Affleck can live on $1.50 a day for charity, why don't these guys live on $1.50 a day for a week and the rest of their daily budget to Zach Braff for his "art," if Braff's "art" is really so goddamn important.

Listen, Braff: Don't recruit your celebrity goons for your panhandling efforts. When you look at all of those celebrity tweets above next to each other, well, it looks really tacky, man. If they weren't familiar celebrities with whom we have some affection, but instead people in other professions with the same amount of income asking US to donate to THEIR friends' effort to make a movie, there'd be a lot of really irritated people. Or if, say, the Boston Red Sox really wanted to keep Big Papi on their team, but he needed $10 million a year to stay, and the management was only offering $8 million, if Big Papi and the rest of the Red Sox took to Kickstarter to raise the difference, well, there would be mayhem. This situation is not that different.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • bainst

    The more I think about it, I just get sad. I have, annually, put AT LEAST 10% of my annual income into my attempts to produce art (with full creative control). That Zach Braff has reached his level of success, but still can't believe in himself enough to do the same is...sad. Believe in yourself, Zach!

  • Less Lee Moore

    Dustin, I am disappointed in this article. Others have explained why far more eloquently in previous comments, so I won't rehash them, but yeah, get over it.

  • tracey

    This seems like a huge over reaction to me. I say, good for him for doing it. Why should he have to self fund the project? This doesn't bother me at all.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    What's a movie?

  • dmaddock1

    This author is a whining, condescending ass. People contributing to these Kickstarter projects know what they are spending their money on and have done so voluntarily. Who is this hurting? Other Kickstarter projects? Hardly. Most of his backers wouldn't have contributed to random amateur projects anyway.

    Spare me the 1% bullshit. The 99% have brains and are capable of not backing Braff if they don't want to. If Dustin respects the 99%, then he'd recognize that they know a good or bad deal when they see one and act accordingly--and 25,000+ of those folks think it's a project worth a few of their dollars.

    Finally, Dustin's main whine is false. A $30 pledge (roughly what I spend on a movie trip or DVD...) *does* let you see the movie in an online premiere.

  • Buck Forty

    At first I thought this was some sort of meta gag by Dustin but when I got to the bit about the 1% I realised he was serious. But he can't be serious if he thinks Braff represents the 1%.
    I get it Dustin, your pissed, it's not fair, but... don't take it out on Braff. The guy wrote a movie and now he wants to get it made, his way, without compromise, and he thinks $2m will help him achieve that.
    If people want to support him they will, if not they won't. It's not like he's taking dollars out of your pocket, or even from other more deserving film makers.

  • You guys are all right.

  • Frannie

    Anyone who buys into this is a complete moron. Why ask the taxed out, working class for money to make a movie that he has already admitted he could get financed? He obviously has RICH friends who really really want to see him succeed. Gee, I am not a wizard but...I can spot a magic act.

  • googergieger

    You need two million bucks to make a sequel for a movie where nothing literally happened? Well not literally. That actually might have been more interesting.

  • Robert

    So you don't like Kickstarter. Fine. Make sure you follow up with how Kristen Bell had all her friends Tweet out the link to the Veronica Mars Kickstarter since it's the same exact scenario.

    You don't want to donate? Don't donate. But don't be an indignant ass about it.

    Kickstarter tells you to ask your friends to promote your project. So now it's Braff's fault that Kickstarter has tips and tricks published on its site to reach your goal. Fuck. I have a decent size Twitter following and have helped smaller projects from people with fewer fans reach their goal on Twitter. I guess I'm a fucking asshole for helping my friends go after their dream projects.

  • Animator606432

    Here the thing though, who's to say these films are going to make any profits? If all the people who WANT the film are donating money (once you donate enough you get to see the film) so unless your a hardcore fan your not going to pay to see it again. Plus, unlike the Veronica Mars project which has a goddamn major studio backing it, this is a indie release that I doubt will make it pass the screens at sun dance.

  • dannyexplosion

    This is what I like to call a Dick Kick

  • Pheagan

    Isn't kickstarter for poor artists trying to get their stuff out there? I mean, if it becomes just another social networking promotional tool for the rich, no one is going to bother looking at the poor people stuff, since it will obvs be overshadowed by people with a track record and the money to broadcast that track record. I guess they'll be wanting to hang out at Occupy (only when it's fashionable; they jump ship when it could actually use the star power) and tell us how much money to give to foreign countries while ignoring Skid Row all up in their backyards. Well, we had one nice thing for a second and the bullies took it away. Time to get creative and start Schmickstarter, the organization for the poors that doesn't allow anyone about the 1% line in.

  • bleujayone

    Short Answer: Branff isn't doing anything illegal. The people donating to his project are doing so of their own free will and will do so again when they buy a ticket to see the finished product. Again their choice. So while it may not be the most ethical means of fundraising considering the person in question has other available avenues that don't present themselves to other people on Kickstarter, while it's annoying it's also not a crime.

    THAT SAID HOWEVER......

    Branff (and by extension the Veronica Mars folks) missed the point about Kickstarter. It was intended as a means to help those who could not otherwise find funding for their work. From what I gather from Branff's video clip, money is not the issue; money with no strings attached is. He wants to make a movie in exactly the way he wants without having to answer to the people holding the purse-strings. There are in fact directors out there that do negotiate for final cut, but most of them have a longer track record of results. Negotiation and compromising with producers are both a given in the filmmaking industry and it seems unrealistic if not immature for somebody to circumvent the process. A studio, for bad or for good demands a certain level of control on a movie project and as well they should. They are the ones putting up the money and therefore take the risk that it doesn't return upon distribution. That's life in the business.

    But I think another part that bothers me is that it seems to be so much about him having all the power to do what he wants and not even putting up the risk. It's not even a matter of him not having his own money available or
    colleagues and associates who also have disposable capital to invest in
    his pet project. But again if his fellow showbiz associates put up the money, he would still have someone to answer to- especially if it bombs. Through Kickstarter, he's found a way to do whatever he likes and not have anyone to explain his actions to. People who donate money to this cannot even call themselves producers because they get nothing in return. They have no say, don't get a copy of the movie, a crew T-shirt or even a free movie ticket. At best, they are donating to a "charity". This wouldn't annoy me at all if this were a struggling artist who wouldn't otherwise get the time of day to get their project off the ground. But this isn't the case. Branff has sources. He could in fact get his movie funded in ways that most if not all of us have little access to. He just doesn't want to play ball. Some might argue he just artistic integrity while others would say he's being a big friggin' baby about it and he's willing to muscle in on smaller peoples' sources to make a point. It has been proven that sometimes director do in fact need someone bigger than them to reel them in, stay focused or even reevaluate their approach. To find people to willing give you money without structure is not only finding fools to part with their money, but can deprive other artists with lesser opportunity of financial attention they might deserve.

    I'd almost rather Branff and other bigger projects would just use Kickstarter to prove there is a viable market out there willing to consume their product- without taking money. "See? These people would be willing to see our project, there IS a market for it!" Unfortunately it looks like its also a way that productions who otherwise have means available are looking for a way to make a profit without fronting any risk. And that's troubling. For me, Kickstarter was intended for the recent college grad, or small timer, or amateur looking for a way to cobble together their voice in the dark, much like how film festivals were once looked at as giving a showcase to filmmakers who otherwise had no place to exhibit their efforts before studios started bulling their way into that too.

    To Branff and other people like him, while I wish them success at making their projects, I find their current means of funding irksome. Either pony up your own money and take your chances, or take it from bigger sources and learn the arts of argument and persuasion. I'm sorry you don't like the lifeguards on duty, it still doesn't mean you're small enough for the kiddie pool.

  • James

    Anyone who gives to any Kickstarter project should at the very least own equity in the property in proportion to the total funding without any input or decision powers.

    This is the only fair way to do it no matter how big or small you are.

  • anikitty

    Who is Branff?

  • Donna SHerman

    I was having trouble putting my feelings of "ick" into words, but the baseball metaphor was right on the money.

  • Tinkerville

    Dude. Seriously? Were you this worked up about Kickstarter when David Fincher started one? No? Then let it go. No one's forcing anyone to donate to this. Wasn't Pajiba the one shouting about the fact that Kickstarter is not a charity and people donate to projects that they're interested in and want to see made when the Veronica Mars kickstarter happened? If someone wants to contribute to this then it's their decision. Braff can do whatever he damn well pleases.

    Rich people have been getting others to finance their projects since the dawn of capitalism. If Braff can convince others to donate to him without putting lots of his own money on the line, then honestly that just makes him smart. Just take some deep breaths and let your blood pressure go back to normal.

  • SpyKi

    Who says they didn't put down money for the project? I just laugh at anyone bothered by this at all. If you don't want to give money to help get it made then you don't have to. So why is it a problem?

  • Offy

    Waaaaaaaaaaah! What's wrong, not enough Kardashian news to make fun of this week?

  • You know why I'm not backing this? For the exact same reason I also won't be throwing my hard earned dollars at tickets to see it in theaters: because the last time Braff had seemingly free reign to do whatever coming off the good graces of Garden State, he gave us the raging turdsicle that was The Last Kiss. I hated almost every character in that movie and the proposed plot of this Kickstarter movie seems like more of the same kind of thing. He continually plays the same character, entrenched in the same rut, with the same ill-developed female surrounding characters, and it was only cute the one time. Once you give that character responsibilities, obligations, and ten more years to get his act together, and he's still the same unreliable just-finding-himself douche, I'm out. Simple as that, pet project or no pet project.

  • ,

    I feel about this kind of the same way I feel about wealthy politicians (check your average Senator's net worth) telling ME I have to pay more in taxes to support THEIR pet projects. At least with Zach, I have a choice to tell him to go fuck himself. That doesn't work so well with the IRS ...

    Or so I've heard.

  • Yossarian

    Why are you people assuming that the fabulous celebrity friends DIDN'T contribute as well? If I share a Kickstarter or charity link it's always in conjunction with sending some of my own funds that way. Why would I ask friends & followers to support something I don't support?

    Crowd funding & micro lending are still in their infancy. This phenomenon needs some time to grow and mature and get the kinks out. Successfully financing multi-million dollar films that people are passionate about is a step that is eventually going to help get us there. I'm happy to see these projects succeed. I share some of your reservations, but not to the extant that I would question how other people spend their own money.

    People buy all kinds of dumb shit. If you give $25 to Braff instead of going to see that Evil Dead remake who am I to judge?

  • Steph

    How do we know those people didn't contribute?

  • Sbrown

    What am I missing? If you give $30 you get to see an online screening. So, that seems like I can invite over all my 3 friends to watch the movie in my house. Where I can make my own nachos and don't have to wear pants. Way cheaper than if I want to go to the theater to see a movie...especially if I don't want to wear pants.

    So, it's like I'm prepaying for a movie that I will likely enjoy. I don't know why I'd be angry about that. Or, do I have that all wrong?

  • TheReinaG

    You are missing your self-righteous indignation obviously!

  • Slash

    Eh, whatever. He's still not as douchey as Trump. He'd have to ask for donations to pay for coke to snort off strippers' asses to be even half as douchey as Trump. I get what you're saying, but this barely registers on my give-a-fuck-ometer.

  • lowercase_ryan

    There are two things going on here that I don't like:

    1) Not sure if any of the celebs above gave any money to the project or just retweeted it to look cool. Put your money where your mouth is and disclose your donation.

    2) I don't like the idea of having to pay up front and again on the back to see the movie. You donate, you should get into the movie free.

  • Animator606432

    The article doesn't mention that after a certain amount you donate, (only like 20 bucks) you do get to see the movie.

  • lowercase_ryan

    ok see, that matters. Thanks.

  • Captain D

    Years ago my mother explained the McDonald's hot coffee spilled in the lap lawsuit's huge monetary award to the plaintiff by saying that in America, we're all hoping we're the next to hit that windfall. The celebrities are likely hoping to see a windfall from the kickstarter campaigns being successful. There are two possibilities: a project they are heading or contributing towards gets completed due to kickstarter money, or the threat of crowd sourced projects gives them more bargaining power with the traditional studios / producers / financers.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Stop being all butthurt because one of your dude crushes did something that you found distasteful. The mere fact that he's doing it to retain complete creative control can only be for our benefit.

    Now, go watch the Turk Dance and stop pouting afore I put you over my knee.

  • I didn't really need any more reasons to dislike Braff, but damned if he doesn't seem determined to give them to me anyways.

  • Utopian

    Wow. For a website I respect as much as Pajiba, this is sooo far below what I would expect from you, Dustin. This is some bottom-of-the-barrel, trolling-for-page hits shit right here. Bringing xenophobia and THE 99 PERCENT into a "debate" over whether or not someone should be allowed (by your divine right) to start a harmless Kickstarter campaign that is COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY to contribute to?

    How do know for a fact that Braff is personally "recruiting celebrity goons for his panhandling efforts?" And for that matter, how do you know that his celebrity friends haven't contributed? He's raised 1.4 mil so far, so I'd say there's a good chance that they have. Then again, I'm speaking like a logical person here, not like some angsty, jealous teenager.

    Unless Braff is somehow forcing you (or anyone else) to contribute to this, then what is the issue? For shame, Dustin.

    And I don't even like Scrubs.

  • Some Guy

    I fully expect his celebrity friends to have donated a hefty chunk of the proceeds so far, because it seems unlikely that Braff has enough fans to donate 1.4 million in 40 dollar increments.

    That's like, 35,000 people. No way 35,000 regular folk care that much about a "sequel" to Garden State.

  • BWeaves

    So, he's doing this so he doesn't have to cast people he'd prefer not to cast, but he's willing to cast some non-actor who gives him some money, WTF?

  • Christy

    As an independent musician, who has helped fund fellow independent musician's Kickstarters and may use Kickstarter in the future for my own projects, this whole thing pisses me off. When I use the term "independent", I mean INDEPENDENT. I mean, people using Kickstarter to fund projects that otherwise would not happen. When I've funded my own recording projects in the past, the money came from what I earn waiting tables, teaching music lessons and performing. It's money that I chose to spend on making art instead of buying a fancy appliance or paying off a credit card. I didn't look for investors, because I knew their wouldn't be a financial return. That's why Kickstarter was created. I'd always liked Zach Braff, but this is BS.

  • Slim

    Yes, this. This is what Kickstarter was meant for, bringing unknown art to life.

  • Dumily

    A few of my artist friends have had similar reactions, and I have to admit, I don't get it. 1.) Zach Braff isn't taking any money away from you. It's not like all of your fans are thinking "Oh, I'd love to help fund Christy's next projec . . . Zach Braff is making a movie?! Sorry about it, Christy." 2.) If anything "Veronica Mars" and Zach Braff are bringing more attention to crowd sourcers like Kickstarter, and they're proving that this model can be successful. That's good for everyone. 3.) We've finally got an artist that is desperately trying not to sell out, and we're giving him hell for it. He doesn't want the studio involved even if the studio is willing to pay. He wants to make a movie that he believes in, and he's asking the people that would like to see that movie to help pay for it. Why is everybody so pissed about that?

  • $2786243

    Because celebrity projects are always going to attract more attention and funding purely because they're celebrity projects, whereas poor Christy has to compete for attention based solely on the merits of her project. Look at Twitter. There are celebrities who tweet dumb crap and have thousands of followers just because people are interested in famous people, compared with lots of people who might post really insightful things, but because they're just some John Doe, nobody bothers to check them out. (In case you were wondering, I'm not referring to myself here-- my Twitter feed is stupid.) Somebody might have $5, which they'll throw at Braff's movie, and then they might stumble upon Christy's project later, and like it, but Oops I Already Spent My Money. So, yeah, people aren't required to fund it, but last time I checked, most of us didn't have unlimited money for crowdfunding projects, so when you send money to Braff, you're taking yourself out of the pool for more obscure but possibly better projects, and Kickstarter is the ONLY WAY those projects will get made because the makers are total outsiders.

    I feel about this the way I feel about singers with record deals competing in 'amateur competitions.' You got your bite at the apple. There are thousands (who may be better than you) who can't even get in the orchard.

  • Dumily

    But you seem to be assuming that most people have a "donate money to fund the arts" section of their monthly budget. The money that most people spent funding the Zach Braff movie (or, closer to home, the money I spent funding the Veronica Mars movie) isn't money they would have donated to another project. It's money they would have spent on other forms of entertainment. You're thinking of the money donated to Kickstarter as set amount with the whole operation being a zero sum game. I'm thinking of Kickstarter as a way of tearing down the studio system. Zack Braff successfully using Kickstarter means more people donating to Kickstarter for all sorts of projects.

  • $2786243

    I see what you're saying, and if that's money you wouldn't have spent elsewhere, there's no loss. However, I just see this as insiders increasingly co-opting something that was originally designed for people on the outside, and it feels...unfair? Like, get Courteney Cox to write you a check, Zach.

  • +1

  • ellcoolj

    Shhh.... don't give major sports teams any ideas or they will start kickstarting their aging star players who fans love. I mean is it worth $20 for you to keep Payton Manning playing another season?

  • Sara_Tonin00

    that would be amazing, and you should write a script based on that. I would chip in some $$.

  • Yes it is. I'd also throw some money towards having an AED standing by for when Jim Harbaugh inevitably strokes out from rage on the sidelines.

  • BWeaves

    If I'm going to give you money to finance your movie, I better be getting a percentage of the profits in return. Isn't that how a producer works? Shit, this Kickstarter thing is worse than The Producers. At least in The Producers the old ladies got screwed.

  • Arran

    Apparently equity-based crowdfunding is actually illegal at this stage. I'm not entirely sure why (because private investors put money in films all the time), but there you go.

  • Three_nineteen

    Now THAT'S how the rich stay rich.

  • Dumily

    I get that it's annoying whenever a rich person asks other people for money, but you might be thinking about this in the wrong way. The democratization of entertainment has only increased the quality of the work in almost every art form that's been diffused. Music got better and more diverse after Napster and iTunes, tv got better after AMC and FX started making original programming. This isn't about one rich guy asking for money for a pet project. It's about revolutionizing the way films are made. The studios still want to make Transformers movies. Dane Cook might want to do a self- funded vanity project. But this way, if the Duplass brothers want to do a well funded follow up to "Safety Not Guaranteed" I can pay for it. Think of it this way: Robert De Niro freely admitted that he made "Limitless" so that he could work with Bradley Cooper on future films. "Silver Linings Playbook" might not have been worth an Oscar nod, but it was still a good damn film. Wouldn't it be better if we didn't have to suffer through "Limitless" first?

  • Uncle Mikey

    "Music got better and more diverse after Napster and iTunes"

    Did it really?

  • Tinkerville

    I think a better description would be to say that access to better and more diverse music significantly improved after iTunes, which is absolutely true.

  • Xtacle Steve

    Yes, which is why I'm completely for this and hope this is a sign of things to come. I would much rather throw out an extra $10 on a project that sounded interesting to me than to just sit there while the studios insist on pumping out a series of movies based on Mega Man starring Shia Lebouf.

  • Dumily

    Please, for the love of everything holy, tell me that they aren't really making a Mega Man series with Douche Face.

  • Xtacle Steve

    It seems pretty simple. If you don't like it, then don't give Braff any money. This isn't like some billionaire forcing the public to fund his giant stadium through taxpayer dollars (Bitter Minnesotan here) None of the people that have given $1.4 billion to Braff were forced to do so. Also, I'm curious as to how you know that none of the actors/actresses listed above didn't donate any money.

  • Miss Laaw-yuhr

    I'm with you DR. My sister is currently putting together a kick starter campaign (she is a shoe designer who wants to start her own company that would ultimately revitalize an old clothing mill town) and I feel like campaigns like Braff's really squelch the reach of smaller campaigns that don't have his resources. Most people wouldn't need kickstarter if they had his connections.

  • Green Lantern

    Exactly how I feel. "Kickstarter" should be for people who don't have any other access to funds, not a way to gin up publicity for a Hollywood project.

    Yes, Veronica Mars movie, I mean you too.

  • Green Lantern

    One of my friends was recently selected to be part of the Google Glass project, and he's been hustling like a motherfucker to scrounge up the $1500.00 needed for the device, plus the whatever money to fly out to New York and have them fitted. While I'm proud of my friend, who's ALWAYS been a hustler (in a good way), I haven't contributed to his fund nor am I terribly excited about him making it there.

    For one thing, you guys may not know I'm medically disabled...so I live on disability and food stamps. Not only that but we've had various and sundry stepchildren and grandbabies wind in and out of our home over the last year-and-a-half since we moved up North. So until Mrs. Lantern finishes school and gets her career jumpstarted, charity begins - and stays - at home.

    Second, there's no REAL reason my friend needs Google Glasses except that he wants them. I can't begrudge that, but if you don't have the money to buy something you don't REALLY need, isn't it kinda galling to ask other people to help you buy them?

    Maybe it's just me...

  • Wicked

    I think that the author of this article is peeved because Braff is rich and is asking for money. I mean, sure its for art... but there are a lot of other ways to get money. These people donating should do it for a better cause, not a movie... then again, I gave some money to Zane Lamprey for his new show CHUG, where he goes around the world and gets drunk for the sake of learning about other customs. AWESOME.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    he’d prefer not to cast because such-and-such person is more likely to appeal to the international audience that movies crave these days (what? Is Braff xenophobic? He’s got something against European actors?)

    C'mon, don't be so disingenuous. Actors that appeal to foreign markets is not the same thing as foreign actors. (Are you xenophobic to assume it's European actors and not Asian ones?)

    This irks me, but not more or less than any other already rich/established/famous person requesting funding for any other for-profit project. But for the most part, I also don't shell out for $35 t-shirts of Broadway shows I love, or sports memorabilia or otherwise pay money to advertise things that profit from those advertisements. But I think people who do, do so knowingly, and have the right to.

  • nrvs

    The thought of someone making tonal equivalent to Garden State fills me with much anger. But not as much as this fucking story did. Get over this, Pajiba there's nothing here. Nothing.

  • BobbFrapples

    Meh. This is less about raising money, and probably more about proving to other investors that there is fan support for the film. I'll donate to a Joss Wheadon project if that's ever an option.

  • Wicked

    But Joss Whedon is NO Zack Braff, c'mon. No comparison there, its fucking Joss Whedon. I would be like.. "TAKE ALL THE MONIES".

  • Buck Forty

    But Joss is 10x richer than Zack. I don't think Dustin wants us to give money to the .01%

  • Wicked

    Well... NOW he is, but he didnt used to be.

  • Bert_McGurt

    "If all of those celebrities above — who probably all have similar boats, refrigerators, and views — have so much faith in Zach Braff and his movie, why don’t THEY throw in $10,000. Or $20,000, or whatever huge sum they have in their wallet."

    I don't really have a horse in this race (I may see the thing when it's done, probably whenever it comes up on Movie Central at home but I'm sure not going to make this my first foray into Kickstarter) - but how do we know these friends of his haven't already donated? Or that they don't plan to?

    I mean, yesterday you were asking why Braff wasn't putting up some of his own money - and apparently he plans to after all. I'd certainly find it more attractive a proposition if a donation secured a percentage of the profits, like Zmaster mentions, but if this is reason enough for someone to spend $40 on a t-shirt they can go ahead.

  • ,

    How do we know? Because if they had all given him $20,000 each he wouldn't need to ask for money.

  • Bert_McGurt

    13 x $20,000 = $260,000

    $2,000,000 - $260,000 = $1,740,000

    Still quite a ways to go.

  • ,

    I knew somebody would take it literally and count the number of tweets and then run the math. I just knew it. Cause there's always one ...

  • jollies

    I promise never to take you literally ever again.

  • Tinkerville

    Exactly. Plus 2 million is the kickstarter goal, but it's likely that he'll be spending much more than that for insurance costs and what have you. If his celebrity friends donated they probably did so behind the scenes and we aren't aware of it.

  • OK maybe I'm just a little bit slow this morning from lack of sleep and not enough coffee, but can someone explain to me how this is at all different from that Veronica Mars fundraiser you were all going crazy about last month?

    Because it feels like the same kind of bullshit: Rich people asking for money to fund their pet projects.

    And the answer can't be "Because we like Veronica Mars".

  • Uncle Mikey

    Because baby sloths

  • Slim

    You are right. It is the same thing. (See the Joss Whedon argument above where he makes movies at his house) I get that crowdsourcing is about community involvement and feeling like you are part of something. I just liked it a lot better when it was a bunch of people trying to raise money for a community garden in the inner city or a kids' ballet project.

  • dizzylucy

    My feeling is that Veronica Mars wasn't going to happen any other way, they'd been turned down by all other avenues. Braff is saying he can finance his the traditional way, but doesn't want to.
    Also, the VM movie is something the fans have wanted since the day it ended, whereas this is something Braff wants himself. Maybe I'm just being naive about it because I'm a VM fan, but to me it feels like that movie is being done FOR the fans, and in part by the fans, which does seem different than a celebrity's pet project.

    Whatever people choose to give their money to is up to them, but personally I have little interest in supporting something that has plenty of other options.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Is the VM movie so much for the fans that it will be released free to them, since it has had its production budget donated? No, it's a commercial property. And my hunch would be that the Rob Thomas had not exhausted *all* possible funding avenues for the film, just basic mainstream ones.

  • McSquish

    Actually, it is. If you donate a certain amount, you get a digital copy of the film. I donated $35 and I qualify for the digital copy and a t-shirt, which seems like a pretty good deal to me.

  • dizzylucy

    Oh definitely still a commercial property and they could end up making a profit on it (doubtful but possible). I'm just saying it's something the fans have been asking for ever since the show ended, and I feel like they're doing it not out of their own creative drive, but because the fan base has stuck with them all these years. It's possible Zach has a fan base wanting him to do this, I'm just not aware of it like I am the one for VM. If Figgy is asking how it's different, that was the main thing that struck me.

    My understanding is that WB owns the rights to VM, so Rob's options were very limited in comparison to Zach, who owns the intellectual property himself.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    That might make it even worse - it's like WB holding artistic property for ransom from fans.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Thank you, you are correct. I think there's a difference in feeling - this seems like an individual plea (Braff) vs a property please (Veronica Mars). But it is the same thing.

    (for that matter, how ridiculous of Warner Bros to run ads congratulating Veronica Mars on self-funding instead of keeping that ad budget and using it towards that actual project?)

  • Boston Red

    What makes you think that Braff will make a "substantial profit" off this film? Aren't indy-type films pretty much breakeven at best? He'll make money, because he'll be paid to work on the film, but not as much as he might doing something else (though he has lost a lot of marketability lately).

  • SOMEONE MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN ME IS DOING SOMETHING SMART IN AN EFFORT TO PRESERVE HIS VISION AND I AM ENRAGED~!

  • Also - ever tried to get insurance for a major motion picture? I mean, I know Zach Braff is currently swimming around in his Scrooge McDuck money pool stoking a fire of thousand dollar bills with hundreds, but I don't think the costs associated here are quite as cut and dry as people seem to think, even if the guy has a seven figure net worth.

  • Wōđanaz Óðinn

    Rowles, have you tried not giving him any money?
    I'm not giving him any money right now and it feels great.
    As a bonus, I'll do it again when his inappropriately casted film gets released and won't have to see it!

  • toblerone

    Well done sir.

  • ZombieNurse

    People don't stay wealthy by giving away their money. That's probably why those guys on Twitter are asking other people to give. Sure, they have the funds, but if they can keep their cash by asking someone else to give, that's probably what they're going to do. Isn't that how being rich works?

  • Ideally the celebrity buddies should *invest* $10K and leave Braff with full creative control but get a taste of the upside if they're so confident in the project. Then everyone's happy:

    Celebrities see the "art" they "love" get made AND get some returns
    Braff gets full creative control
    The hoi polloi pay for tickets if they want to see the movie when it's done, rather than risking their scarce $$ with no upside.

  • Ruthie O

    This doesn't make me like Zach Braff any less; it just makes me love Joss Whedon that much more for self-financing his own creative side projects.

  • Buck Forty

    But Joss is 10x richer than Zack. I don't think Dustin wants us to give money to the .01%

  • Tom

    True. Fortunately for Joss, his project was a Shakespeare play set in his house. He basically just staged and filmed the Shakespeare readings he has been doing with his friends for a decade or so. And he is also God.

  • Kitty2000

    In Joss we Trust

  • Ruthie O

    Agreed! And you're right, Joss really knows how to stretch a buck. He did Dr. Horrible for $200,000. Then, he released it online to the masses. All profits made from Dr. Horrible were given to the cast and crew.

    Joss really is a man who just loves his craft.

  • Wicked

    I agree sir, I agree.

  • Tom

    I'm pretty conflicted on this. On the one hand I don't plan on ever giving money to one of these projects. It is silly for studios and directors to get money from average people to make a movie when they could easily pay for it themselves. I don't want to see a world where this process reaches its logical conclusion where studios don't ever have to pay for projects with a significant cult following because they can count on the fans to pay for it themselves.

    However, this can be positive because it can still allow things to get made that wouldn't get made at all otherwise or at least allow things to get made in a way that they wouldn't otherwise get made. Studios are in the business of making money, not necessarily making quality entertainment. Just because a studio should have made a 4th season of Veronica Mars or a movie doesn't mean they would. In fact, they didn't. Even if making more Veronica Mars in the traditional format would have made them money, it is a lot riskier than numerous other projects so the studios chose those. That was probably a better business decision and I can't argue with that.

    This can be positive if it allows borderline profitable or potentially unprofitable projects to get made. I agree with most criticisms of these kickstarters but I'm willing to accept this only because this is probably the best way to get studios who are driven by profit to make risky projects en masse.

  • I agree with his reasoning on why to do it and I'm skeptical as to whether he asked his friends or they did it on their own. If it's possible to do it and not have 20 producers' hands in the stew, I think it's a plus.

  • Zmaster

    The main problem and most annoying part I find is the promise of a T-Shirt or signed poster or walk on part for $x . How about I give you $x and you give me a .0% of profits made from the film. Anyway Zach I'll be sure to torrent it when it turns up ;)

  • Matt

    That's not legal yet.

  • cmatthews11

    Of all the things to be bitter about, geez, let this one go. People want to be part of a movie? Good for them... I'd look at it as I'm buying a $40 t-shirt, or a $60 art print, or a $150 autograph.

    Can't belive this warranted 2 write-ups.

  • James

    Agreed. The donators aren't getting swindled American Greed style. At least I hope not. I hope this isn't funding an extension to Braff's Hollywood Hills mansion. They are Braff fans, and they want to help him make a movie they want to see. Good for them. I personally wouldn't because I expect equity from my investment.

  • fribbley

    This times 20.

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