Regardless of how you feel about the idea of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo being exploited by celebrities, there's no denying they work in a huge way. At least, for now, particularly if you already have a built-in fanbase for your project and an ability to bring in some famous friends for your Kickstarter video.
Braff was more than thankful to the fans who chipped in, recently giving them a shout-out on Twitter:
Dear Fans, I cannot believe your unbelievable support for WIWH. I wish I could hug each and every one of you. kickstarter.com/projects/18699…— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) April 26, 2013
The story, if you haven't already heard, revolves around Aidan Bloom (Braff, naturally), a 35-year-old struggling actor who is still struggling to find meaning and purpose to his life and is barely making enough for he and his family to get by. When his ailing father can no longer pay for private school for his two kids, and the public school falling apart, Bloom decides to homeschool his kids. Eschewing traditional curricula, he teaches them in his own off-beat and quirky way, and in doing so, gradually rediscovers himself.
Here's the thing, though. Braff got exactly what he asked for, but it will come at a price. This is his project, his vision, unfiltered through anyone else and undiluted as it would be if he had to rely on financial backing from a studio. It will fail or fly solely because of his decisions, from casting to editing to direction. But we have seen virtually this exact same premise before. Basically, this is Garden State for grown-ups. Will it be another awards circuit darling? Or will critics and audiences alike view it and say, "But we've already seen this story told"?
It will be interesting to see what he does with this. Braff's comedic timing is spot-on, and this has the feel of a project where he might be able to call in a few favors (full props to the cameos in the above video, by the way). And I also give Braff credit for having the guts to kick studios to the curb and go a different route.
So where does he go from here? That's what intrigues me. [[follow]] this project along with us, and we'll find out what happens together.