Oh boy, here we go again! So, according to Zach Braff, he has written a new movie that is not a sequel to Garden State, but one that will appeal to fans of Garden State. Sure! Great! Fans of Garden State deserve movies in the tone of Garden State that they will enjoy, too! Even better: Zach already has/had financing all lined up, and he was all ready to put his director’s hat back on and make a movie. OK! It’s been awhile! But here is where things get messy because then he saw what happened with the Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign, and that inspired him to tear up his contract, Goonies style, throw the pieces into the air, and make a disingenuous plea to his fans to pay for his movie. OH GOD DAMN IT. What is it with these guys?! Correct me if I am wrong, but the foundational concept of Kickstarter was a way to fund creative endeavors for people who could not secure funding by traditional means, not as a way for people who were already both personally and institutionally successful beyond most people’s wildest dreams. Or am I all mixed up? Was Kickstarter founded on the idea that people in Hollywood should simply bleed consumers during a stubbornly dysfunctional economy by holding out trinket prizes like getting to read a blog about how fun it is making the movie? Was that the original idea?

In order to really make his pitch to the people, Zach enlisted a professional camera crew for a carefully edited video featuring numerous celebrity cameos. You know, for art:

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. (Not to mention the fact that I am hard pressed to agree that Zach Braff is an artist whose work cannot be muddied by the Hollywood system when you don’t see TERRENCE MALICK or MARTIN SCORCESE or WOODY ALLEN or WES ANDERSON or DAVID LYNCH or INSERT GREAT DIRECTOR HERE trying to use Kickstarter to fund their movies. Gimme a buh-reak. If you want final cut how about you EARN IT like everyone else.) That being said, if you don’t want to make a project that way then don’t make a project that way! But please do not pull everyone’s chain with this stuff. It’s rude. I think it’s very rude. The star of SCRUBS (now in syndication) does not get to scream the rallying cry against “the man.”

Again: this is the same complaint I will raise every time this happens. Zach Braff is no different from the Charlies Kauffman and the Kristens Bell of the world. It just bristles my feathers every time someone with incredible access to the movie making machinery portrays themself as some starving artist hot-gluing 8mm together in a grotto somewhere. YOU ARE BELOVED MOVIE AND TELEVISION STARS AND PREYING ON YOUR AUDIENCE’S APPRECIATION OF YOUR WORK IN ORDER TO MAKE SOMETHING FOR PROFIT IN SHOWBUSINESS (EMPHASIS ON THE BUSINESS) UNDER THE GUISE OF DOING IT FOR ART IS NOT NICE. DON’T YOU LIKE US? DON’T YOU CARE ABOUT US AT ALL EVEN?

Comments (81)
  1. I would hate for those uncool, belieber financiers to get the final cut of my movie… or the profits.

  2. Considering throwing Zach a few bucks in the hopes that it spurs a WMOAT revival.

  3. I’m fine with him having a kickstarter. He can’t do it all on his own. He’s no Superman.

  4. And yet my kickstarter to make Zach Braff shut up languishes in obscurity.

  5. The thing is, I think if Zach Braff really needed 2 million dollars without strings attached, he could just go to an ATM and get 2 million dollars out of his account from all the direct deposits he got from his hundreds of seasons of huge paychecks. Like, forget financing it through normal, evil Hollywood means or through Kickstarter. If it was really important to have full control of your art, stop buying expensive tshirts and cars and truckloads of champagne, sell your fancy house and stop eating fancy bread, and use those profits to make a movie where only you have the control.

    • Right? These are just the sacrifices you make when your one true calling is to make a movie about some idiot discovering himself in his mid-30′s while homeschooling his kids in a quirky way.

    • He wouldn’t even need to make those sacrifices though! He’s worth over 20 millions dollars! He’s the VO guy for like 3 different national brands right now! Scrubs will be in syndication for years and years and years!

      HE’S GOOD ON MONEY

    • From the mouth/keyboard of John Flansburg of They Might Be Giants:

      “As for kickstarter campaigns—it would be interesting to do something but I am not sure of the most dignified way to do it. ”

      Keyword: DIGNIFIED

    • Ya and the other thing is he is Jewish and that should pretty much explain this whole beggars banquet

  6. So, essentially… this.

  7. You guys, it seems to me like Zach Braff is really just seeking our approval. The thing that’s being Kickstarted here is his self-esteem.

  8. More like Zach Barf!

  9. I like that the plot is basically Mr. Mom meets Greenberg.

  10. y’all. so apparently rahm emmanuel and a bunch of chicago businessmen launched seed chicago via kickstarter, which is supposedly a way to facilitate small place-based business development in poor neighborhoods in the city. i feel really, really weird about it. i’ve been thinking about it for days and i can’t quite put my finger on why, except for maybe that it strikes me as people with legit power and money (the mayor and world business chicago) trying to push the responsibility of supporting neighborhoods that were basically destroyed by shitty local, state, and federal decision making that determined how economic development played out over the past 50 years in those communities onto everyone else. thoughts? help me through this one, guys.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/pages/seedchicago

    • I’m having a really similar issue with this idiotic campaign in which celebrities are asking people to instgram food that they’re eating with a daily cap of $1.50 so they can learn that being poor sucks. Uh… what? And then I ended up getting into a fight with Debi Mazar and her fans after mentioning that making your own pasta (having the space, knowledge and equipment) is itself a massive privilege and trying something that is awful knowing you can return to your normal way of life is basically poverty tourism with no real takeaway (other than rickets). Man, I secretly hope all the idiots who are blindly following Ben Affleck and other celebs in this “challenge” get rickets. Such a misguided feel good about feeling bad campaign with no solid takeaway or activism to fight institutionalized malnutrition. Nope, just instagrammed photos of pasta.

    • ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  11. Oh, good. He’s already raised over $700,000

  12. I mean, for the most part, yes, Zach Braff is no different than Charlie Kaufman, but also, he kind of is? Like, not much, but kind of!

    Like, Charlie Kaufman has some pretty wacky ideas that I can see studios not exactly wanting to get behind. But Zach Braff’s stuff is all cheeky, indie, saccharine, inoffensive bullshit that is pretty much already market-tested for success?

    But, yeah, no, they both are assholes for asking for money.

    Then again, if David Lynch asked for my money for Inland Empire part 2 or WHATEVER I’d hand over a benji in a second cause I’m just that kind of asshole.

    • yeah, plus I actually really like Charlie Kaufman.

    • Inland empire sucked. I want my money back. david lynch should pay us $100 for thinking up that movie

    • I love Scrubs and Zach Braff, but my eyes are still rolling from this. Like, one of his points is that he might want to have Donald Faison do a cameo but a studio would insist on Denzel Washington? That was the best example you could come up with of why I should give you some of my $12.00/hour to make your movie? That you are going to make like a million dollars off of?

  13. If Paul Thomas Anderson’s talents and dreamboat good looks can make that one heiress want to pay for like half of The Master I’m sure there are four or five girls with poor taste in men and moderate trust funds who would give Zach Braff his wank off money.

  14. So let me get this straight. Some rich man who made me switch channels ten years ago is begging online?

    $10 to access a blog…
    Another $10 for a STREAM (not a download) and list of songs they are listening to with your money…
    Yet another $10 for a ticket to actually see the film you paid for (so $30 for a blog, stream and ticket)…
    Another $10 for a t-shirt…
    $20 on top of all that for a photocopy of whatever doodles or photos they’ve got lying around the office (or “art print” as they describe it – “framable” not framed) …
    Another $40 and you can travel and talk to him (pay your own way because if you can throw $100 at this nonsense you can probably afford to travel to see him)…
    $25 on top of that and someone will scribble on your photocopy…
    $25 more (that’s $150 if you can’t keep count) and you get a graffitied dvd of some crappy old film…
    $250 dollars gets you the blog access, stream, ticket, t-shirt, photocopy and…. i’m struggling to type this it’s so hilarious… a 15 second mp3….
    Double that and the 15 second mp3 becomes a video…

    The list goes on and on…

    Why is it that nobody investing sees this as a giant con? Seriously, he’ll make money without investing anything.

  15. What’s funny, is after raising 2 million dollars the movie is never going to get made, because the screen play is really just a title page with the words “Wish I Was Here” printed on it, and then the rest is just a stack of blank pages that Zach stares at all day while sweating and chewing pencils struggling to find even one moment of unique inspired thought but all he can come up with are the words “Wish I Was Here” and he asked his brother Adam for help, but his brother is too busy with his lawn care business and won’t answer his phone, but Zach just needs something, anything, a character idea, or a setting or some kindof plot element, maybe a song to play during a key scene, but the music the kids listen to these days is garbage and he just wants to go back to listening to The Shins, but he can’t just do that again, it has to be something fresh and new, and why won’t Adam answer his damn phone, and he’ll just have to take a break for the afternoon and get his old fashion typewriter out of the yard since he threw it out the window yesterday in frustration.

  16. Ugh, I hate this. I went to his page and in the time it took me to read over the whole (lame) summary and prizes and stuff he had gained like 500 supporters and $50,000 (and I read pretty quickly). I would love to be able to raise even that much (50k, not 2M) to film a project I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I’ve never been on tv. I realize this is mostly a selfish complaint, but every time I see these people with NOTHING BUT access to options for financing their creative projects begging for money- and then GETTING it- well, it just annoys me.

    • the kickstarter type deals help to validate their idea of “grass roots” and “authenticity” and a sense of connection with the hordes that they, the famous, crave from beyond their bubble fame domain

  17. I have shared with yall previously my animus toward this Zack Braff person vis a vis his decision to cast himself in films where he gets to make out with my future bride, one Natalie Portman, and my other future bride, one Rachel Bilson. This guy is an asshole. I hate him. Stop him. Put him on a boat with that family guy dude, who is allegedly hooking up with my other future bride, that hot chick from the game of throne show (Emily Clark?). And then sink said boat. Don’t care for these types.

  18. At $250, Zach will record “15 seconds of me saying whatever you want”. Once this gets kicked (to prevent accidentally helping ensure this gets made), can we collectively pitch in $250 to force Zach Braff to apologize to us?

  19. I’d like to remind everyone of this gem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IfXkEjVkVTA

    That’s just good work!

  20. Why do the people with all the money ruin the nice things? Do they know that people who don’t have money use this to make things that otherwise would never get made, and they also give away more in the end? I have a buddy who is wicked into tabletop games, and he reguarly gives 40 or 50 bucks (generally the price of a game) to kickstarter games that wouldn’t exist otherwise, then if it raises enough, he gets the actual game! I mean, that’s wicked cool, and he has probably convinced me to give to one. But this crap? I mean, I don’t even necessarily, maybe, mind people with actual money using it to make something huge like a movie, but can I at least not have to pay again to see it?

  21. remember that time those weirdos started a kickstarter to travel across the country and build forts? remember how it became a laughingstock and was taken down?

    why can’t that happen to this?

  22. What is hilarious to me is that Zach Braff and Melissa Joan Hart’s Kickstarters make it a point to name drop the Veronica Mars Kickstarter, but neither of them even backed it.

    You would think they would have at least supported the fundraiser that they would use as a model for their own.

  23. I 100% defend Rob Thomas starting the Veronica Mars Kickstarter. Warner Bros. would not allow them the rights to make it on their own without trying this experiment. Zach Braff has “money men” but just doesn’t want to use them to protect his artistic vision? Blech.

  24. I would have no problem with rich people using Kickstarter if, as bankrollers & producers, backers got a cut of the profit proportional to how much they chipped in.

  25. Zach Braff is a poser and a beggar. People should start a kickstarter to film a movie based on that premise. This feels like the equivalent of someone dressing up like a destitute person, asking people for money on the street all day, and then going home to their mansion to throw their earnings in the wishing well that they built by their pool.

  26. I feel like it is irresponsible of us to have not yet discussed the fact that he has a giant subway sized poster of Garden State in his Kitchen, apparently. because, obviously where else would it go?
    ….. side note: i would bankrupt myself to fund a Scrubs reunion movie – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPJBTWYBwik

  27. Faux outrage! RARRRRRR. So mad!!!

    “Preying” on his fans. lol. Give me a fucking break. It’s a completely voluntary thing. People are adults. If they want do it, cool. Just because you clearly don’t like the guy and the fact he is successful doesn’t make this double standard any less ridiculous.

    For the record: I don’t love the guy either, or his movies, but who gives a shit. I just won’t donate or go see them.

    • I suppose that is the beauty of Kickstarter being used this way. If the people want a Zach Braff movie, then the people will get a Zach Braff movie.

    • It can be seen as a cultural problem when this RICH GUY is getting this much free money in this short amount of time to make a movie that could have easily been made in the studio system. It especially irks when yesterday another popular viral video was an interview with a destitute man begging on the street who appeared to have more character and integrity than half the world. Also, the thing you’re doing, it’s kind of the same. More Internet outrage, just in reactionary form.

      • Nope. I couldn’t give a fraction of a shit. I just find internet outrage, especially about showbiz and celebrities, grade A hilarity. You’re mistaking amusement with outrage.

        Last time I checked being rich and successful isn’t some societal and cultural red flag that prohibits you from living in the same world everyone else does, despite what your caps lock key might suggest. Don’t like what the rich guy is doing? Then don’t give him money for his project. Other people want to though, because they like what he does. What on Earth is wrong with this? If anything it’s removing any middlemen and allowing consumers to directly influence what gets produced.

        The studio system is bullshit. This isn’t news. Of all mediums, film and television are a couple of the worst when it pertains to preserving an “artist’s” vision, whether you consider Mr. Braff an artist or not. You’re essentially telling someone how to do their job, and also telling fans how to spend their money.

        I don’t know about this other viral video nor do I see what it possibly has to do with this.

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