A little while ago people started talking about the possibility of crowd funding website Kickstarter as being a potential game changing platform for funding medium budget Hollywood movies. When Veronica Mars fans rallied around Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas’s kickstarter to raise the $2m to resurrect the popular franchise by way of a movie, it appeared they might be on to something.
Zach Braff has taken it a step further though by raising the $2m goal he set to make his Garden State (2004) follow up, Wish I Was Here, in just 3 days. Why is this more impressive you ask? Because, unlike Veronica Mars, Braff had no existing fan base to tap into other than Braff or Garden State fans. While there are undoubtedly fans of both out there that would fund anything he did, to raise $2m by way of 30,000 backers in little over a few days is a huge statement.
Other established film makers who have little projects they struggled to fund, may now see this as the legitimate funding source for independent movies. With no one financier or studio film makers wont have to compromise as much with their material. That in itself is a huge bonus. In fact Braff himself admitted that he was inspired to seek funding for the project this way for that very reason. After all, I doubt he would have had trouble securing a backer given the success of Garden State.
Wish I Was Here sounds like Garden State all grown up. Written by his brother it follows a struggling actor and father in his mid-thirties who is trying to find his purpose. Not exactly ground breaking territory for Braff, but a subject that he should bring a lot of heart and humour to.
With 26 or so days left to still pledge there is a good chance the production will fund to the point of being entirely self sufficient. Not ones to be left behind Shoving Buddies will be making a pledge once I work out how much I can spend without my wife finding out and punching me in the nuts. I would urge you to risk a nut shot (or for the ladies, a boob slap. We are equal opportunity offenders here) and go back it as well.
The question is what will your pledges buy you?
The full list and details of the production can be found at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1869987317/wish-i-was-here-1?ref=category but for most small pledges between $10 and $175 will get you a number of things from access to a special online screening, signed artwork and early soundtrack releases. At the upper end of the scale you can pledge multiple thousand dollar sums for walk on parts and one person already pledged $10000 for a speaking part.
I did enquire with Zach via Twitter how much I would have to pledge to secure my part in a tastfully shot, full frontal, nude sandwich making scene. I am yet to receive a response but I will let you know if and when I do.
Keep it locked here for more updates as we get them