Hard to believe, but after the success of 2004's indie hit Garden State, Zach Braff still has to make sacrifices in order to make the movies he wants.
Which is why, following the path recently trodden by Kristen Bell and the makers of Veronica Mars, who crowdfunded a big-screen version of their defunct TV show to the tune of nearly $6 million, the former Scrubs star is launching a Kickstarter campaign asking fans to fork over $2 million to finance his next directorial effort, Wish I Was Here.
All so he can maintain his creative and financial independence.
"I am often asked by my fans or by the press when I am promoting films in which I've acted, 'Why haven't you directed another film since Garden State?' The truth is, it's very hard to get small, personal films made without sacrificing some aspect of your artistic integrity (final-cut, casting, minuscule budgets)," explained Braff in a release announcing the initiative.
He continued: "Crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter could be a game-changer for independent films. Already 10% of the films at the most recent Sundance Film Festival had some Kickstarter money and that's growing exponentially. Social media has begun to give content creators a chance to appeal directly to their fan base and say, 'I wanna make something for you, but I'm gonna need your help.' The supporters of mine across the globe who back this film project will not only get to see something that wouldn't have been made otherwise, but they'll get to do so knowing they made it happen."
Per his Kickstarter page, the story of Wish I Was Here revolves around struggling actor, father and husband Aidan Bloom (Braff) who's "trying to find his identity" and "purpose in life." Barely able to support his wife and children, Aidan passes the time fantasizing about being "the great futuristic Space-Knight" he'd always dreamed he'd be as a little kid. When his own ailing dad can no longer pay for private school for his kids and the nearby public school is close to failing, Aidan reluctantly tries home-schooling them himself and "funny chaos" ensues.
The Oz Great and Powerful star cowrote the script with his brother Adam.
So what do Braff fans get in return for investing in his cinematic dream?
For $10, backers will get access to an exclusive production diary. $20 will buy them a sneak peek of the soundtrack and exclusive playlists created by the 38-year-old thesp. While $60 will get them framed concept art and over $100 an advanced screening and Q&A. Other goodies include a personal video greeting, a day on set as an extra and tickets to the premiere party on up to being credited as a cast member for pledging $10,000 or more.