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Zach Braff Responds to Kickstarter Campaign Vitriol: 'It's Not Like I Lobbied Congress'

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! May 8, 2013 at 12:56PM

Though he hasn't directed a feature since 2004's "Garden State," Zach Braff has been the talk of the town in recent weeks. With over 35,000 backers and nearly $2.5 million in funds with two weeks to go, his Kickstarter campaign has critics puzzled. Braff sat down with the LA Times in response.
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Zach Braff
Zach Braff

Though he hasn't directed a feature since 2004's "Garden State," Zach Braff has been the talk of the town in recent weeks. With over 35,000 backers and nearly $2.5 million in funds with two weeks to go, his Kickstarter campaign for a new film fell under siege for perpetuating the notion that millionaires are just using the crowdsourcing platform to fund their vanity projects (our TOH! story is here). 

Recently, Braff sat down with the LA Times to respond to critics of the campaign for "Wish You Were Here," his sophomore effort that more or less sounds like "Garden State" redux. Excerpts from the interview below.

ZB: There's been some deliciously yummy vitriol. I guess I was a little naive about this coming in. I didn't think that people would care that much about a little movie, which I was wrong about. But I can’t say I totally get it. It's not like I've taken over Kickstarter. It's not like when you go to the home page there's a big picture of me smiling at you; you have to click through past a lot of other worthy projects to find it. It's not like I lobbied Congress to pass a tax to finance my movie. It's just sitting there in a corner of the site.

ZB: I have something every detractor doesn't have: the analytics. Most of the backers of my film aren't people on Kickstarter who had $10 and were deciding where to give it, and then gave it to me instead of someone else. They came to Kickstarter because of me, because of this project. They wouldn't have been there otherwise. 

Braff is sticking to his guns. In a podcast, he also spoke with Kim Masters of KCRW to discuss the controversy. It's worth a listen to hear why Braff, like so many directors, wants to flee the Hollywood system in favor of crowd-funding and independent projects.


This article is related to: Zach Braff, Independents, Kickstarter , Wish You Were Here


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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.