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Kevin Smith Takes an Implicit Dig at Zach Braff's Kickstarter Campaign

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | May 16, 2013 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | May 16, 2013 |

Let’s stir the sh*t some more, shall we? We’ve talked at length about Zach Braff’s Kickstarter campaign, which has crossed the $2.6 million mark, and how does he reward us? BY CASTING JOSH GAD IN HIS MOVIE.


Anyway, I’d actually started to come around to Braff’s side of the equation a little bit, if only because he was spending so much time defending his Kickstarter that I thought he probably earned a $20 donation or so in man hours defending himself, even if the more he spoke, the douchier he often sounded (there’s a part of me that really likes Zach Braff, until he starts talking about how awesome and groundbreaking he is).

Anyway, it also turns out that the $2.6 million wasn’t enough, and Zach Braff has also secured gap financing (in the form of a loan) for foreign distribution rights, which is fine. He disclosed upfront that he would be seeking additional funding.

The turning point for me, however, was when Kickstarter got involved, and noted just how many more projects that Zach Braff’s project, and the Veronica Mars movie got funded. It brought more attention to Kickstarter, and as a result, the people who donated to those movies also began donating to other projects, and not in small numbers.

The Veronica Mars and Zach Braff projects have brought tens of thousands of new people to Kickstarter. 63% of those people had never backed a project before. Thousands of them have since gone on to back other projects, with more than $400,000 pledged to 2,200 projects so far. Nearly 40% of that has gone to other film projects.

And with that, I was on board, not necessarily for Braff, but because there was an unexpected benefit to others. Hooray!

And then Kevin Smith came out and talked about why he wouldn’t be using Kickstarter to fund Clerks 3, the script of which he finished earlier this week.

“We nearly Kickstarted the budget back in November,” explained Smith. “But now I’m feeling like that’s not fair to real indie filmmakers who need the help. Unlike back when I made CLERKS in ‘91, I’ve GOT access to money now - so I should use that money and not suck any loot out of the crowd-funding marketplace that might otherwise go to some first-timer who can really use it.”

And now, ironically, I feel like Smith is not necessarily in the wrong, but is failing to mention the unintended benefits. I’m not saying that Smith should do a Kickstarter to fund Clerks 3, but I am saying that he and his nerd legion could bring a lot of cash to a lot of worthy projects, if they only had the impetus to join Kickstarter.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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