Website gives movie makers a kick start

By David Roman | Staff Writer

What if you were presented with the opportunity to buy a role in a new film being produced by one of your favorite Hollywood personalities?

Well if you’re a big “Scrubs” or “Veronica Mars” fan your dream is completely possible. Following a new trend in Hollywood, Zach Braff (“Scrubs”, “Garden State”)
has taken to the web to raise money for his new film project.

The fundraising website Kickstarter, where anyone can go to set up a fund for any cause, from charitable organizations to people wanting to self-publish graphic
novels.

Kickstarter has opened the doors for many young projects needing a jumping off point. But it’s the possibilities this website is opening up in the film industry that is really making waves.

The trend first started when producers and the star of “Veronica Mars”, Katie Bell, wanted to try to give their fans what they’ve been asking for since the show’s
untimely end; a “Veronica Mars” movie.

However it seemed that film producers within the industry felt that a “Veronica Mars” movie wouldn’t be a smart investment.

So Bell, Rob Thomas and the other supporters of the film started a Kickstarter campaign to raise a significant portion of the film’s funding as an upfront deposit for the film, a show of good faith to get actual producers on board. When the campaign first started back on March 13 a goal of $2,000,000 was set.

In an unprecedented display of online support, the “Veronica Mars” fans reached the goal in ten hours, completely shattering expectations and records alike.

By the time the campaign closed a month later the film had raised well over five million dollars.

Seeing the new possibilities presented through this fundraising website Braff took to it to raise support for his new indie flick “Wish I was Here.”

Explaining on the project’s Kickstarter page, Braff says that his new film will be in the same vain as his very popular “Garden State,” and while it won’t be a
sequel, it will be a continuation of tone.

Braff explains that while he may be able to garner support for the film through traditional methods, he doesn’t want his film to altered by producers who would want final say on casting and other important elements of the film. Setting a similar goal of $2,000,000 Braff’s plea for donations spread all throughout the internet and within four days he meet his goal.

Although both projects played to the loyal fans of Bell and Braff, it was the super cool incentives they offered that brought in most of the donations.

Speaking roles for both films were offered to any one person willing to pay the steep price of $10,000. And before you scoff, yes the roles for both movies have
found buyers.

Other prizes include bundles of merchandise autographed for and geared towards fans, extra spots for anyone wishing to appear on film for a split second, a producer credit and many more.

And while the prospect that fans are now in a position to rally together and get specific projects they are interested in produced is comforting to some, no one
can deny the possibilities this presents for a revolution within indie film making.

Although Braff may have been motivated by a desire to keep his movie as close to his own vision as possible, there will no doubt be others who view Kickstarter
as the only way they can get their films made.

Take for example eleven year old Trinity Andersson, who along with her father started a Kickstarter campaign to make her dream of filming a stop motion animated
film a reality.

Trinity states on her Kickstarter page that she’s been interested in stop-motion filming since she was five years old and liked to play around with her father’s
camcorder.

Her father, Barry Andersson, a director in his own right, supported Trinity’s interest in filming.

When she decided she wanted to make a shot stop-motion film he was the one who encouraged her to set up a Kickstarter page to raise money for the necessary filming software, and music editing programs to make the movie.

Setting a goal of $2,750 Trinity offered exclusive content and even the actual sheep she used in her film as incentives for people to donate.

And in just a matter of weeks she reached and exceeded her goal.

The Anderssons are simply one example of the possibilities Kickstarter presents.

In a world where filmmakers are free from the constraints of producer-funding, there will undoubtly be a boom in not only in the amount of films being produced in general, but in the artistic freedoms taken within indie film making.

To think of the possibilities that could have been presented had the ambitious artists of the French New Wave received the funding necessary to bypass their infamous filming improvisations is fascinating to anyone who appreciates film making.

Artists being allowed to create films without boundaries, to simply plead their cases online and should their ideas be popular enough receive the funding they
need could very well lead to a new movement.

One that in time may come to rival that of the New Wave.