Zach Braff Kickstarter: Kevin Smith Calls Celebrity Kickstarters Unfair to Indie Filmmakers
Filmmaker Kevin Smith took to Reddit to do a Q&A or "AMA," with the web’s largest peanut gallery. Questions ranged from a local New Jersey flavored inquiry to a potential monster-themed Jay and Silent Bob film.
One Redditor asked him about the budget for his upcoming third entry to his first and only franchise to date, Clerks. About the film’s funding, he had this to say: "We nearly Kickstarted the budget back in November. But now I'm feeling like that's not fair to real indie filmmakers who need the help. Unlike back when I made CLERKS in '91, I've GOT access to money now— so I should use that money and not suck any loot out of the crowd-funding marketplace that might otherwise go to some first-timer who can really use it."
Kickstarter is the crowd-sourcing art and project funding website, used primarily by independent artists everywhere. For those current with the goings on of Kickstarter, the quote above may be seen as a latent dig at Zach Braff, who is using the web site to fund at least $2 million for his next film Wish I Was Here.
Whether or not Silent Bob had J.D. from Scrubs in mind when he broke his silence is unclear, but what is apparent is the perceived questionability of the latter’s bid for cash from the unwashed masses of Kickstarter.
The original, general consensus was that Braff should just pay for it himself. With Scrubs still in syndication doesn’t he still have doctor money, so to speak? Braff denied having “Oprah Money” in an LA Times interview, adding, "I've done well in my career, but I am not sitting on $22 million.”
Notwithstanding these denials of wealth, other, more cash hungry like the New York City-based comedy troupe Dinner for One still took umbrage for sharing the fund raising method with a solvent celebrity. At the end of the biting spoof below, they voice their ample frustrations.
Braff only compounded disdain from the indie world when sources confirmed that Braff was also getting finances the traditional way, by selling foreign rights to a distributor for front end cash. In Braff’s defense, he announced this sale would happened early on in his campaign. Moreover, he says he will put his own money into the project as well, all for the purpose of keeping control of his film.
Still however, it seems the only appropriate thing to do, in the opinion of more needy filmmakers, is to finance it internally and exclusively. That’s what Kevin Smith is doing.