Zach Braff made headlines back in the spring when he launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a sort-of-follow-up to his 2004 indie hit Garden State. The campaign worked, and he was able to make Wish I Was Here, a film about a 35-year-old dad who is lost but starts to find his way as he home-schools his kids. The film premiered at Sundance in January, and audiences will get to see the film in theaters beginning with a July 18 release date in New York and Los Angeles, according to Variety. The movie, starring Braff himself and Kate Hudson, will begin showing in other cities on July 25.
Tag: Kickstarter (1-10 of 17)
When Veronica Mars opens on March 14, the fans that gave $5.7 million to fund the Kickstarter-financed big screen revival of the cult TV fave starring Kristen Bell will see every dollar on screen. They’ll also see a few pennies donated by the studio that owns the property and will be releasing the movie, too.
Last October, following a test screening, Warner Bros. (which is releasing Veronica Mars via its digital distribution division) agreed to pay for an additional day of shooting. Some people at the screening were confused by a subplot involving Veronica’s private investigator father Keith Mars (Enrico Calantoni) and its connection to the film’s central mystery, which concerns the murder of a pop star.
In December, Thomas shot two scenes with Bell and Calantoni to clarify the plot. These new moments allowed Thomas to fulfill a couple other desires, too, like depicting Veronica’s hometown of Neptune as a place marked by social injustice, stark class division, and corruption, which were key themes of the series. One of the new scenes involves Veronica and Keith witnessing Neptune cops executing a dubious stop-and-frisk. “For a town that didn’t have much of a middle class in the TV series, there was a lot of middle class in the movie, and I wanted to correct that,” says Thomas. “I wanted people to understand there was a dark side of Neptune, and I felt like we never saw any of that.” READ FULL STORY
Two Sundance favorites are heading back to the winter festival. Zach Braff and Kevin Smith will be in Park City this January, the former to premiere his Kickstarted-funded movie, Wish I Was Here, and the latter to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Clerks.
Braff made a big splash at Sundance 10 years ago, when he premiered Garden State at the festival. Last April, he announced a Kickstarter campaign to raise $2 million for his directorial follow-up. Fans responded and Braff reached the goal in just three days. Braff wrote the screenplay with his brother, Adam, and he also stars as a struggling actor and stay-at-home dad who decides to home-school his 5- and 12-year-old kids. “It’s about a family struggling to get by and barely surviving financially and the dad’s a bit of a f— up,” Braff told EW in April. “Basically it’s a story about a man learning to become a great husband and father and person.”
Wish I Were Here won’t play in competition but instead will debut as part of Sundance’s Premieres category. READ FULL STORY
On March 13, 2013, Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas asked fans of the acclaimed, gone-too-soon teen detective drama starring Kristen Bell to Kickstart a big screen revival. Fitting, then, that Marshmallow Nation will get to see what their $5.7 million paid for on the one year anniversary of the groundbreaking fundraising campaign: In an exclusive interview, Thomas tells EW that Warner Bros. will release the movie — simply titled Veronica Mars — on March 14, 2014. “Warner Bros. had this date circled for quite some time and hoped it would stay open,” Thomas tells EW. “Luckily, no other teen detective movie decided to open in the middle of March.”
The original distribution plan called for Veronica Mars to get a limited engagement run in just a few cities before becoming more widely available via video on demand and other digital platforms. But Thomas reports that Warner Bros. will now give the film a wider, nationwide release (number of screens still TBD) and let the marketplace decide how long it should stay in theaters. “We’re not going to dribble it out there,” says Thomas, who shot the movie in 23 days this past summer. He is currently finishing the special effects and putting together a soundtrack. Thomas also reports that a recent test audience screening went very well. “There are smart ways to do a movie of this size — and we chose none of them,” he says with a laugh. “We are a low budget movie with big set pieces and 60 speaking roles. A murder mystery in a house would have been more cost effective. But I think we have managed to pull it off.”
In the movie, Veronica returns to her hometown of Neptune, California, after 10 years away to aid former flame Logan (Jason Dohring), who has been accused of killing his pop star girlfriend. The original cast is back, including Enrico Colantoni as Veronica’s father and Tina Majorino and Percy Daggs III as Veronica’s best friends Mac and Wallace. Fans will see many other of their favorite characters, too, because after all: “10 years away” = 10 year high school reunion. See a sneak peek of the big event — movie and reunion — below:
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Alice Guy-Blaché isn’t a name that many members of Hollywood recognize, and that is exactly what co-directors Pamela Green and Jarik van Sluijs are trying to change.
Green and van Sluijs, along with executive producer Robert Redford, recently reached their Kickstarter goal of $200,000 to make a documentary, titled Be Natural, about Guy-Blaché, the 23 year old who became the first female director in 1896. READ FULL STORY
Spike Lee on crowd-funding criticism: 'We were doing Kickstarter before there was Kickstarter' -- VIDEO
When Spike Lee put his latest film up on Kickstarter, there were a lot of recent success stories (the Veronica Mars movie, Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here), but there were also examples of a growing backlash against established artists crowd-funding their projects (sorry, Melissa Joan Hart).
Lee knew going in that he would get flak, but the only difference he sees between hustling for financing for She’s Gotta Have It back in 1985 and asking fans for cash in 2013 is the advent of social media. “We were doing Kickstarter before there was Kickstarter,” the director said in an interview with filmmaking blog Film Courage. “We just didn’t have the technology.”
See the interview below:
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The latest big name to get in the game: Spike Lee, whose remake of Park Chan-wook’s 2003 thriller Oldboy comes to theaters this October. Lee is currently seeking $1.25 million to fund his next joint, a yet-unnamed movie about “human beings who are addicted to blood.” (And no, he adds parenthetically, “it’s not Blacula.”)
Why does an established, Oscar-nominated director need to crowdsource in order to make a movie? Because the independent film world’s climate has changed, according to Lee: “The only way to ensure as an independent filmmaker that your vision is on the screen is when you bring the money to the table,” he says in this explanatory video, helpfully set to the strains of “Fight the Power.”
“My first feature film was She’s Gotta Have It,” he continues. “We shot it in the summer of 1985, 12 days, two six-day weeks, for $175,000. But now, that can’t work.”
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Another Kickstarter project with some big names attached has found success on the crowd-funding site. Blood Kiss, a feature-length noir film starring prolific fantasy writer Neil Gaiman and Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Amber Benson, surpassed its funding goal on Kickstarter at the end of May and is now nearing its final day of funding.
Blood Kiss will star Gaiman in his feature live-action acting debut as a 1940s movie director who shoots his films only at night. (Blood Kiss being a vampire movie, I wonder why that would be…)
“Part of the joy of playing a vampire is you’re automatically on the dark side,” Gaiman said in a video for the Kickstarter campaign, “and the joy of playing a director, obviously, is that you’re way on the dark side. All directors are creatures of the dark side.”
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