Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Zach Braff is Ruining Film

Zach Braff has this Kickstarter for this movie he wants to direct called "Wish I Was Here". It's already exceeded its crowd-fundraising goal of $2 million and has 17 days to earn more. If you pay $3000, you get to be an extra in the movie! If you pay $7500, you get to be a "featured extra" wherein you "probably won't have a line, but you will be prominently featured in the scene"! For $10,000... Zach will write a line for you perform in a scene!

For some reason, some people have cried bullshit. His rebuttals:

Zach Braff doesn't have Oprah money.

Zach Braff: Crowd-funding is the "next best thing" to actual investing.

His debut movie was a bit of treacle called GARDEN STATE that a lot of people love because a lot of people are easily swayed by music and bullshit. It's a soundtrack movie. It relies on its curated soundtrack to take you to emotional places it hasn't earned through narrative means. It received a mixed reception from audiences when it debuted at Sundance in 2004 because it was clearly not a real indie movie: it was the writing/directing debut of a popular sitcom actor who roped in a bunch of his industry friends. It got snapped up by Fox Searchlight while a lot of *true* indie films were struggling to get seen. There are filmmakers who scraped together the funds for their movies through begging, borrowing and stealing, maxing out plastic... and then there was this NBC sitcom actor who wanted to make his vanity indie movie.

The Kickstarter is questionable on more levels. On one hand, it's voluntary. No one's holding a gun to anyone's head to contribute money to his movie. People love that one movie he made — it may be manipulative treacle but he made a movie that connected with a lot of people. I find it more troubling that people can PAY to perform in this movie. People can pay a production company to do a job that would normally require the production company to pay a struggling actor. I hear if you pledge $15,000 Zach Braff will let you suck his cock, too.

My greater concern is that this creates a new paradigm for risk-averse film studios. You can essentially pre-sell film tickets as a means to fund movies. Hell, instead of greenlighting movies, they can just let certain movies get made through Kickstarter and decide what they want to pick up and distribute instead of laying out any money upfront.

And now, from someone who actually likes Zach Braff: "I Won't Give Zach Braff One Dime"


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