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.
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.