Tuesday, April 30, 2013

That's Why They Call It "Show Business"

“People seem to think I have Oprah Winfrey money. I’ve done well in my career, but I am not sitting on twenty-two million dollars." These were the words Zach Braff used to defend his entree into the virtual arena known as Kickstarter. It's a place on Al Gore's Internet where, their web site assures us, "creativity comes to life." So it makes sense that Mister Braff would go there when he decided he wanted to make a sequel to his indie film, "Garden State." The budget for that little bit of romantic dramedy was two and a half million dollars. That's why Zach is trying to raise another two million on Kickstarter. He wants to make another movie without studio interference. "I’m doing this so that one negative audience comment in a test screening won’t force me to change the end of my movie,” he said.
That hasn't stopped the negative comments from pouring in, however. Plenty of people wonder why he needs to invite his fans to pay for a movie to be made just so that they can pay to see it later. Zach, who stands to make money with this new venture, is willing to invite folks into the process, going so far as to say that a lucky donor of ten thousand dollars may receive a speaking part in the finished film. Don't expect to get any points on the back end, however. You'll have to be content to feed Braff's muse. And maybe get some nice swag.  Finally, you'll be in the motion picture business!
Okay. I confess. I'm feeling a little burned by this whole deal. This could be, in part, because once upon a time before I had my own blog, I used to read Zach Braff's blog when he was an up and coming sit-com star. He seemed like he was going places. As it turns out, I was right. He had a flurry of success back then, about ten years ago, and then his charms seemed to wane. It felt a little like hubris, to me.
And that's what this feels like to me. "Hey guys, let's put on a show! You buy the costumes and sets and pay for the catering and I'll start to work my magic!" With more than three weeks left on the  plead-a-thon, Zach has raised more than enough for his project. For a sequel? I thought the whole idea behind sequels was that they were supposed to be made from the spoils of the previous film. Maybe that's no longer the model.
I know: I will start my own web site, where I will accept donations to keep sequels and remakes with bad intent from being made. I only wish I could have thought of this before they made a followup to "Donnie Darko." With your help, Dreamcrusher.com can stop the next Transformer film in its tracks. We can do this, people! But you're going to have to pay.

No comments: