Crowdfunding Celebrities

So I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Zach Braff is currently crowdfunding via Kickstarter for a new film he wants to make. The film will be the follow up to the Scrubs star’s first feature Garden State, a film I thoroughly enjoyed. It sounds like a great project, his crowdfunding campaign is brilliant and demonstrates how to make a great campaign video that will hold people’s interest and hopefully keep it long enough for them to fund you. He has 27 days left to raise the $2000000 goal and he’s already raised $1847718 with 26360 backers.

Yep, all of those figures are correct…Clearly he has a great campaign and we could all take crowdfunding tips from this celebrity’s video but I don’t think a great campaign is really what’s doing it for him. Let’s face it, the reason Zach Braff has raised all of this money is because he’s Zach Braff. I even admit that I’d be more likely to fund a project by him than I would a young filmmaker who I’d never heard of. Which doesn’t say much about the cultural climate inhabited by us in England and America.

Now, the fact that Zach Braff is needing to go through crowdfunding at all of course also says a lot about the current cultural climate – in particular the film industry in America. He mentions in the video that the reason he’s choosing to raise the funds this way rather than go through the financial backers that he does have interest from is to be able to maintain creative control and to make the film he really wants to make. Clearly the creative industries are suffering from issues of trust of the artist all across the board – your everyday crowdfunder probably won’t trust an unknown/emerging artist with no credentials and your studio backer/corporate money won’t trust the artist with the work they want to make.

Whilst I think it’s fantastic that Zach Braff is clearly going to raise the budget to make the film sticking to his ideal vision for it, and that by him running this campaign the process of making such a film is opened up to a wider audience, I don’t think this is a perfect example of the glory of crowdfunding. That would have to come from your complete unknown pitching a similar project and being as successful as quickly…the question remains: how do you get the money together without a name for yourself?

 

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