Scrubs star Zach Braff has been slammed over funding his latest film Wish You Were Here on the crowd funding site Kickstarter.
It only took 48 hours for Braff to meet his goal, no doubt because of his celebrity status. A month later, $3.1 million had been pledged by 46,000 backers for rewards such as a production diary (for a $10 contribution), a soundtrack and playlists ($20 contribution), a credit on the film ($9,000) and a line in a scene with star treatment ($10.,000)
Critics said he was exploiting Kickstarter, or just pulling a publicity stunt. One newspaper said: “Where every penny in the tiniest budget is hard won, it seems somewhat askew that an actor/director who has the means to either fund his movie himself, or sign a typical financing deal, is asking you for cash.”
Another asked: “Is this a fun way to get common people involved in the movie industry or another way for the 1-percenters to make the expenses ‘public’ while keeping the profits ‘private’?”
However, Braff said that they could only get financing from one company. Producer Stacey Sher explains the strict conditions they would have been subjected to had they gone down that road: “We had to cast mega stars in every role (whether they were right for the part or not); shoot in Vancouver for the rebate, where they suggested we ‘roll around a few palm trees’ for a movie that really is a love letter to L.A. And if we could make all of that work, Zach had to forfeit cutting rights and artistic controls that he had on Garden State. It was creatively untenable and no guarantee that we would satisfy the financing requirements.”
Do you think Zach should have reached into his own pocket?