Zach Braff raises over $2 million in Kickstarter funds in four days for Wish I Was Here

Zach Braff

For better or worse, I think using Kickstarter as a way to fund movies is here to stay.  It publicly started with Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas turning to the fundraising site for a ‘Veronica Mars’ movie and now Zach Braff is using the site to fund his indie film WISH I WAS HERE (click the link to visit the Kickstarter page).  The ‘Veronica Mars’ success wasn’t such a surprise given every TV show has its fans and people would gladly pay money upfront to see a movie version of their favorite show.  In fact, the only surprise is that more dead TV shows haven’t tried this same approach.

But what makes Zach Braff’s success surprising is that he’s one guy promising to make a movie.  And it’s actually a movie that doesn’t sound like it will have mass appeal.  The story involves a struggling couple that decide to home-school their kids when they lose their private school funds.  Zach Braff has his fans, but I would hardly put him on the list of loved celebrities, so the fact he got $2 million in four days is incredible.  And I looked through the list of “gifts” he’s giving away to contributors and I didn’t see much there to get excited about.  Essentially, fans are paying for the privilege of seeing Zach Braff’s next movie.

I guess the point to the rambling is that if Zach Braff can get over $2 million via Kickstarter, I think filmmakers are going to start coming out of the woodwork to solicit money for independent films.  There are good arguments for and against this practice, but I kind of like the idea of the fans choosing what gets made in Hollywood rather than a greedy exec that just wants to make that bottom line look better.  Of course, it’s only a matter of time before someone takes advantage of Kickstarter and just adds the funds into the studio’s pocket rather than using it to make a truly independent film.

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