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September 21, 2014 | by  | in Arts Film |
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The Movie That Zach Built

Zach Braff managed to raise $2.4 million for his latest film Wish I Was Here through crowdfunding in the space of 48 hours. The internet is up in arms. How dare the infamous and filthy-rich Scrubs actor ($US350,000-per-episode-for-nine-seasons filthy-rich, to be exact) request money from innocent fans for a film they desperately want to see. The opportunistic publicity stunt is just unbelievable. After having to talk about it about “400 times” already, the man himself is also a little infuriated (plus would probably like said critics to imagine themselves in his shoes and assess whether self-restraint with that kind of money is even possible). It’s gotten to the point where he’s telling interviewers to google other interviews.

Googling ‘crowdfunding’ immerses you in an overwhelming number of ‘How to’ guides. Learn from the example of Minecraft: The Story of Mojang by 2 Player Productions, for example. With the help of 10,000 backers, the creative licence is unlimited. Through crowdfunding, Zach Braff claims to strive for maintaining control over the casting and final cuts for independent films in defiance of the profit-desperate ‘money-people’ who think sexy pool scenes are more popular than Comic-Con. He didn’t want to just make a sequel to Garden State or a rom com. Fair enough? Following the inspiring story of the crowdsourced Veronica Mars movie, Braff has spent over a decade trying to get the film to take full flight. It was through an enthusiastic engagement with his fans that the project, with a highly impressive soundtrack ft. The Shins, gained momentum. In return, Braff pledged to reward the dedicated fans, depending on the size of the donation. For $10, you could get a copy of the script, or for $10,000, the chance of sitting next to him at the premiere, possibly including his hand on your knee. It doesn’t seem like a filthy rich Hollywood star thieving money off poor innocent fans?

A little less self-righteous cynicism could be healthy for everyone. So what if some hardcore Garden State enthusiasts put their own hard-earned money into a follow-up of one of their favourite films ever, by the star of their favourite-ever TV show? Maybe the fans who contributed a couple of dollars simply wanted to feel like they personally helped the creative process, fuelling their profound love for Zach and his comic genius. Just maybe, it is also an inspiration to other independent filmmakers in need of a kick-start. Or maybe that’s all just far too boringly idealistic.

In other film news:

A woman has married a cardboard cut-out of Robert Pattinson. The deep love she formed for the book character Edward Cullen in the Twilight novels was transposed onto the actor the moment she saw him embodied as the lusty “quiet and mysterious, superhuman and invincible” vampire. The lack of loving reciprocation simply forced said woman to think a little more creatively, getting married to a cut-out in Las Vegas. The honeymoon was in Los Angeles, which was apparently perfect apart from the fact that she had to carry him up to the Hollywood sign; but as she so poignantly muses, “everyone makes sacrifices for the man they love, right?” The obsession with Pattinson aside, I just want an answer to the question of how someone can legally marry a really thick piece of paper.

Be warned: it has been confirmed there will in fact be a 23 Jump Street. Coming soon.

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