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New Rule: If You Have $10 Million in the Bank, You Cannot Ask Me to Fund Your Movie, Zach Braff

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | April 24, 2013 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | April 24, 2013 |

I don’t know how much Zach Braff is worth, but according to some website that calculates such things, he’s worth $22 million. That sounds about right based on the syndication money he sees from “Scrubs,” which has been one of the more successul syndicated series in recent years. Now, if you’ve got $22 million sitting around in the bank, it feels a little … weird to ask fans to raise $2 million — no strings attached — to finance your movie.

Now, I know this was a quibble some had with the Veronica Mars movie, but that to me was different: It was cult show tapping a rabid fan base for something they desperately wanted, and I doubt that Rob Thomas has $22 million in the bank, “Veronica Mars” and “Party Down” royalties notwithstanding.

What Braff wants to do is, again, raise $2 million, but here he wants to finance a movie he wrote and directed, which is a sequel “in tone” to Garden State. It will also star Jim Parson, and Donald Faison will have a cameo, and Chris Hardwick will pimp it at Comic-Con. That actually sounds like a movie I’d very much like to see, and I hope that Zach Braff makes it. Furthermore, Zach Braff presents a lot of good arguments for raising money on Kickstarter instead of seeking outside financing.

But, if Zach Braff has that much faith in his film, why doesn’t he finance it himself? Why won’t he accept the risk? It’s not a huge risk: A Zach Braff movie that shares Garden State’s tone, which stars Jim Parsons, and features a Donald Faison cameo? How many “Scrubs” and Garden State fans will see that? ALL OF THEM. How does that movie not make it’s budget back? Isn’t this what “f**k you” money is for, Mr. Braff?

What he’s asking for is FREE MONEY, and while I think that’s savvy from a business stand-point (you mean, all I have to do is make this video and people will give me money?!) and that it will almost certainly work, it also feels a little dishonest to accept all the rewards and face none of the risk. That said, it sure is a winsome, charming plea, complete with Braff, Faison, Parsons, and Hardwick being very funny. In fact, I nearly pulled out my credit card and donated, but then I remembered that a a lot of good people are trying to raise money for a fellow movie critic recently diagnosed with cancer, who is trying to pay for his hospital bills because he is uninsured because America’s health care system is broken. I think I’d rather contribute to him, but I will most certainly pay $10 to see Braff’s new movie.

And I really did enjoy this video, Mr. Braff. So, thanks for that.

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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