Zach Braff thinks Kickstarter is the "coolest," and he doesn't care if you feel differently. He doesn't, it seems, have similar feelings for Morgan Freeman.
The Emmy-nominated "Scrubs" actor was the latest subject on "Kickstarted," a YouTube series that follows the progress of major players looking to crowdfund their entertainment projects as well as up-and-comers as they embark on seeing their work brought to fruition. Braff addressed the controversies surrounding his upcoming movie, which was largely funded via a hefty Kickstarter campaign and has therefore received flak for being thrown in among burgeoning artists pining for audiences.
"I think some of the headscratching and the people being vitriolic who are detractors or people going nuts about it is a lot of the fact of how quickly it happened, and that it sort of caught some people off-gaurd that it happened," he said in the video. "But those of us involved in social media, I think, and who are very web-savvy, had to see that this was coming."
The fact that Braff is a big-name actor with a bult-in fan base should not preclude him from using this approach, he noted. Braff called the effort a "passion project" and justified the crowdfunding method by emphasizing how much the effort is his and not that of a studio or executive. Discussing social media usage, Braff contrasted his endeavor to Morgan Freeman's recent AMA on Reddit, which also received flak after many speculated it wasn't actually Freeman responding to fans' questions. One Reddit user claims Freeman started "a civil war" on the site after his Q&A.
"There was huge backlash because it was so clearly a film publicist answering for him," Braff said.
This, he said, is not what's happening with "Wish I Was Here," which will serve as a follow-up (but not a sequel, he emphasizes) to "Garden State."
"This isn't a money-making endeavor," he said. "If I wanted to make a lot of money, I would return to a television show with ['Scrubs' creator] Bill Lawrence. ... That's the logical way for me to go make a lot of money. Making a tiny, personal art film is not where people go to make a lot of money. This is a passion project. This is not about trying to scam anybody."
Braff's Kickstarter goal was $2 million -- a figure he successfully met in just three days. Still, he says it's only a fraction of the $5 to $6 million budget, an "ass-ton" of which will come from his own pocket.
Braff also touted himself as someone who engages with his fans on Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, saying he actually reads comments and feedback given to him through social media. Applauding Rob Thomas on his successful "Veronica Mars" Kickstarter project, Braff says he's been a part of the Internet's evolving advent within the entertainment industry since his first movie, when he had to ask a webmaster how to post a simple blog for "Garden State."
The video may not be the only move Braff has made to speak out against his Kickstarter detractors. He recently posted the following remark to Twitter, which very well may be referring to his latest critics.
Haters gonna hate. The angry will only get angrier. I choose love.
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) May 7, 2013