Actor and writer Zach Braff has raised an eye-popping $1.5 million for his 2-day-old Kickstarter campaign, which asks for crowdsource-backed funding for a creative project.
His goal to reach $2 million in 30 days seems easily attainable. But the Hollywood star's success has kicked off a debate on the Internet: Is rich and famous Zack Braff ruining the Kickstarter party?
The "Scrubs" star states on his Kickstarter webpage that he has backed other Kickstarter projects, and that he was inspired by the success of the "Veronica Mars" campaign to use the crowdsourcing site to fund a sequel to his movie "Garden State."
"I was about to sign a typical financing deal in order to get the money to make 'Wish I Was Here,' my follow up to 'Garden State.' It would have involved making a lot of sacrifices I think would have ultimately hurt the film."
He adds, "After I saw the incredible way 'Veronica Mars' fans rallied around Kristen Bell and her show's creator Rob Thomas, I couldn't help but think (like I'm sure so many other independent filmmakers did) maybe there is a new way to finance smaller, personal films that didn't involve signing away all your artistic control."
But the Web was not as impressed, failing to see the Hollywood star as the little guy. On Twitter, J. Chlebus @J_Chlebus asked, "In all seriousness, doesn't Zach Braff have enough Garden State residual checks to pay for its sequel?"
Thomas @tommykaboom added, "That's what I don't like about Kickstarter. Zach Braff could pay for his movie himself and still have $20 million left over."
The blog Celebuzz was also unimpressed, writing, "There is something particularly awful about professionals who have already risen to the near top of their field asking for handouts as if they can't get work any other way."
In fact, some have pointed out that although fans made the "Veronica Mars" funding happen, the movie will be made by the corporation Warner Bros., so it's hardly an indie project. And Braff is not exactly an underdog. Backers of his project will get a reward for their support but won't share in the profits, evoking even more ire.
Still, it's not a cakewalk to have movies made in Hollywood, and the Web funding site points out that roughly 10 percent of the films accepted by the 2012 Sundance, Tribeca, and South by Southwest film festivals were funded on Kickstarter. Six Kickstarter-funded films have been nominated for Oscars, with one, Inocente, even winning an Academy Award in 2013.