Zach Braff knows a thing or two about crowdfunding now—and he's got Veronica Mars to thank for it.
The ex-Scrubs star dishes to E! News exclusively about his mega-successful Kickstarter campaign, which in a matter of three days hit its goal and raised over $2 million to help finance Wish I Was Here, the follow-up film to 2004's hit Garden State that he plans once again to direct and star in.
But Braff acknowledges his fundraiser would never have happened had it not been for the astounding $5.7 million star Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell amassed on Kickstarter to make a movie based on their long-defunct TV series.
"I had been involved in this Kickstarter website myself funding other projects. I'd never thought it would work for a movie on this scale," Zach tells us. "Then the Veronica Mars movie broke and it was a huge success and everyone in Hollywood was talking about it, like, 'Wow, crowdsourcing does work for projects at that scale.' And we had to stop and take a look at it."
Braff, 38, also said the aim of his grassroots initiative is to enable him to protect his artistic integrity. But before he set out to ask fans to pony up their hard-earned cash, he turned to the Veronica Mars gang for a little advice.
"We were stuck at a deal point, but the most critical one was final cut. That was to say, I had had a pretty big success, but with this movie I want to have final cut," notes the thesp. "I reached out to Rob Thomas, who is [Veronica Mars'] showrunner, the guy who's been working on that project for years to try to get his film made. It was most important that I speak to a fellow filmmaker to talk to him about it."
Since announcing his campaign, Braff has taken some heat from critics who argue he could easily afford the cash himself from the royalties he gets from Scrubs.
But in a previous interview with the Los Angeles Times, Zach defended his efforts, saying that he's "not sitting on $22 million" and that fans get perks in return for their donations—like invitations to screenings and afterparties and, in at least one case, a role in the film, among other goodies.
—Reporting by Catt Sadler
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