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?