Kate Hudson has been cast as Zach Braff‘s wife in Wish I Was Here, the indie film Braff will direct that landed funding via Kickstarter in a campaign that surpassed its $2M fundraising goal in three days. Braff wrote the script with his brother Adam. It centers on Aidan Bloom (Zach Braff), a struggling actor, father and husband who at 35 is still trying to find his identity and a purpose for his life. He and his wife (Hudson) are barely getting by financially and Aidan passes his time by fantasizing about being the great futuristic Space-Knight he’d always dreamed he’d be as a little kid. Mandy Patinkin and Josh Gad have already joined the cast. Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg are producing the pic through their Double Feature Films. READ MORE »
2ND UPDATE, FRIDAY AM: The prognosticators who’ve been telling me that Kickstarter is a game-changing enterprise for movies, are proving to be so Kreskin-like, I will next challenge them to bend spoons with their brains (dated reference). Just a couple days into his attempt to raise $2 million to finance his film Wish I Was Here, Braff is already up to $1,766,130 and counting, from 25,245 people who’ve committed cash for a variety of tchotchkes. The game plan was to use Kickstarter funding, and foreign sales, to raise the $5 million needed to make the movie. Braff, producers Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg planned to work practically free, upfront. At this rate, Braff will reach his funding goal by the weekend. And with 28 days to go, they’ll likely wind up with enough dough to fund the whole movie without making pre-sales, and maybe enough to pay participants a little bit. This is startling, that so many people are betting on a filmmaker, and not donating because they just want to see a movie version of a favorite TV show like Veronica Mars.
Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell’s history-making Kickstarter campaign notched its $2M initial goal within 10 hours of launching last month. While that meteoric rate didn’t hold up, the Kickstarter did …
2ND UPDATE, 5:55 PM: It took just 10 hours for Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell‘s Veronica Mars movie to zoom past its Kickstarter goal of $2 million, with a full 30 days to go to raise additional cash on the crowdfunding site. That’s testament to the power of a cult fandom to rally behind a property, even if some are wary of the precedent it sets for studios entering (and profiting from) the crowdfunding space. It will be interesting to see how Warner Bros. pitches in as Thomas eyes a summer start. I’m told the extent of WB’s involvement at present is in aiding with distribution, marketing, publicity and legal via Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, which will help with a limited theatrical release followed by On Demand via cable and satellite providers as well as digital retailers.
PREVIOUS, 12:30 PM: Only four and a half hours into its fundraising campaign, the Veronica Mars movie became the fastest to hit $1 million in Kickstarter history. Tweeted the crowdfunding platform: @kickstarter: Wow. Veronica Mars (@RobThomas @IMKristenBell) reached $1m in 4 hours 24 minutes, a new Kickstarter record. Looks like the cult series could reach its goal even faster than anticipated. $2 million by suppertime?
David Bloom is a Deadline contributor.
Crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo so far have been only moderately useful for most independent filmmakers trying to finance their next movie, but that could change significantly under the federal JOBS Act passed earlier this year, said members of a panel at the Digital Hollywood conference, which wraps today in Marina del Rey.
Under previous rules, crowdsourcing sites couldn’t offer equity stakes to contributors. Instead they receive modest tokens of appreciation such as T-shirts or tickets to screenings — in other words, they get nothing more than the satisfaction of helping a movie get started. The new law will allow intermediaries such as crowdsourcing sites to sell members modest equity stakes in films, up to $10,000 or 10% of each user’s income. The project must set a fundraising goal and if it doesn’t raise at least 60% of that, no money would change hands. “There are many more opportunities to come and we’re just seeing the start of this,” said Keri Putnam, executive director of the Sundance Institute, which has raised $3 million on behalf of 85 films through Kickstarter. The SEC is currently establishing regulations under the new law.
Here is one way to get a passion project financed. David Fincher and Blur Studios want to make an animated feature out of the the Eric Powell comic book series The Goon, and they have launched the “Let’s Kickstart This Fuckin’ Film” fundraising campaign. This seems like the kind of thing a studio would be all over, but they haven’t gotten that far since introducing the concept at 2010 Comic-Con and this is in intriguing way to get started, as they describe the plan to raise $400,000 over the next 29 days to generate a story reel that will make the film possible.
Powell wrote the script. Highlander’s Clancy Brown voices The Goon and Paul Giamatti voices his sidekick Franky in a comic that is described as containing “mobsters, zombies, killer robots, giant fish-men, and every outrageous thing in between.” Donors from $25 to up to $10,000 are enticed with everything from T-shirts to limited-edition signed art to private screenings.
Charlie Kaufman and his producing partners — former Community showrunner Dan Harmon and Dino Stamatopoulos — do not want to deal with Hollywood, and now at least for one project they don’t have to. A stop-motion animation adaptation of the Kaufman-written play Anomalisa raised $406,237 for the film’s production in 60 days via the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. “We want to make Anomalisa without the interference of the typical big-studio process,” according to a pitch video that Harmon and Stamatopoulos’ Starburns Industries put up on the project page. The film raised more than double the money the producers were asking from 5,770 Kickstarter backers.