Zach Braff is following the Veronica Mars model:
Alyssa worries about this trend:
My concern is that we’ll hit a point where studios and creators with even larger fanbases turn to those fans to get financing for films that could have been funded for conventional means solely as a way to boost their own profit margins.
I totally understand that people are excited to pony up for projects that they’re tremendously excited to see go from fantasies to reality. But I hope that as much as fan bases are advocates for creators and series that they’re invested in, that fans remember to advocate for themselves in this process too. Just because you’re willing to give someone a ton of money, or even a little money, to make their movie doesn’t mean that what you get in return is actually a fair trade. It’s terrific to win creative freedom for talented people, but if fans want to upset the corporate business model that drives the film industry, they should recognize that this is still a business, and someone is still making money off of their investments. And if fans goal is to buy that creative freedom for their favorite artists over and over again, it’ll be much more sustainable for them to do that if they’re getting some return on their crowdfunding investments.
Gabe Delahaye is most unpleased:
OH COOL STRAW MAN ARGUMENTS, ZACH BRAFF.
Jim Parsons is an Emmy winning star of the most successful show on television. I don’t think the “money people” would be upset that Zach Braff wanted him to play his “friend.” No one is making Zach Braff rewrite his movie to star Justin Bieber, and Comi-Con has been a prominent feature of multiple movies and TV shows, so please do not try and appeal to the “nerds” as if they are underserved in our culture. If anything, nerds need to take a step back because seriously enough with the nerds already. But, like, DO NOT LIE TO EVERYONE, ZACH BRAFF! And especially don’t lie to everyone UNDER THE GUISE OF BEING THE MOST HONEST. Whatever the complications and restrictions involved in signing financing deals by traditional methods may be, the worst case scenario would by some slight fine-tuning of your project to broaden its commercial appeal, not a wholesale Mad Magazine parody of what people in the 1980s thought Hollywood was about.
In an interview, Braff says that he “would love, more than anything, to have it be you get an equity stake”:
You have 10 bucks, you make your 10 bucks back with the percentage of profit, like a stock. But that’s not legal yet. I think it’s an exciting idea, that you can go, “Oh, I like x, y, and z, I want to buy a piece of that potential film project.” I think that that’s coming. But we’re not there yet legally.
So what do you do in the meantime? You offer them any and every incentive you can think of. But at the very least, if you pay 10 bucks, you’re joining what I like to think of as this club. You see how active I am on social media. I drive my family, friends, and girlfriend crazy. I get a lot of joy out of it. So turning that into an online behind-the-scenes filmmaking magazine, where there will be videos and content and people who are interested in the behind-the-scenes of the making of a movie will go on this ride alongside me — I think that’s cool for 10 bucks.
The Dish’s coverage of the Veronica Mars experiment here.