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Will Movie Star James Franco Face Blowback for Seeking $500,000 in Crowdfunding to Adapt His Short Stories to Film?

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood June 18, 2013 at 12:33PM

James Franco, ever the multi-tasker willing to try something new, has latched on to the crowdfunding trend. He's seeking $500,000 from backers on Indiegogo to adapt his own book of short stories, titled "Palo Alto," into a trilogy of films. It's important to note that Indiegogo allows for "flexible funding" -- i.e. a project receives whatever is raised by its deadline, regardless of whether it meets its fundraising goal.
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James Franco
James Franco

James Franco, ever the multi-tasker willing to try something new, has latched on to the crowdfunding trend. He's seeking $500,000 from backers on Indiegogo to adapt his own book of short stories, entitled "Palo Alto," into a trilogy of films. It's important to note that Indiegogo allows for "flexible funding" -- i.e. a project receives whatever is raised by its deadline, regardless of whether it meets its fundraising goal.

Franco has enlisted several emerging filmmakers (including Nina Ljeti, Vladimir Bourdeau, Bruce Thierry Cheung and Gabriel Demestree) to turn the book of short stories into a series of films. No word on whether Franco will direct.

So the question is: Will Franco receive the same negative reaction as fellow famous crowdfunder Zach Braff? The argument can be made--Emily Best of Seed and Spark made it Monday night at the Los Angeles Film Festival's Indiewire Influencers reception-- that it's not the fans who give money to these projects who are angry, but the critics who don't give money. But when a millionaire asks for his or her fans to contribute to a dream project, does it matter?

This article is related to: News, James Franco, Crowdfunding, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.