“I can’t do this all on my own” are the familiar musical lyrics that introduced each episode of “Scrubs” during it’s nine season run.  Though “Scrubs turned actor Zach Braff into a television and indie star, his new film project certainly shows how Braff cannot achieve his artistic goals “on [his] own.”

“Wish I Was Here” is a film written, directed and starring Zach Braff, picking up on the themes he first explored in his well-received debut film “Garden State” back in 2004.  The film follows a thirty-something actor, played by Braff, searching for a purpose in life and struggling to make ends meet for his two young children.

Other actors featured in the film include Kate Hudson, Anna Kendrick, Jim Parsons and “Scrubs” co-star Donald Faison. The film premiered to a standing ovation at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

What makes “Wish I Was Here” unique, however, is the fact that fans independently financed the film.  Braff, moreover, launched a Kickstarter campaign with a stated goal of $2 million since, according to the film’s Kickstarter page, Braff rejected traditional funding methods to avoid “signing away all artistic control.”

Braff also saw an opportunity for his fans to have a direct impact on the filmmaking process.

Incentives for donating to the film range from a production diary at $10 and a meet and greet with Braff for $600 to being cast in the film as a featured extra for $7,500.  These incentives, matched with the originality of the fundraiser, led to a final total of $3,105,473 donated by 46,520 individuals.

Though a $10 donation to Zach Braff’s film garners a production diary, 80% of the world’s population live off of less than $10 a day, with 660 million living on less than $2 a day.

What could you buy for the fight against global poverty with a $10 donation?

With $3, you could buy a bed net to protect one of the 18,000 children who die daily from mosquitos carrying deadly diseases while for $8.50, you could feed an entire family in a developing nation.  Though Braff’s film is no doubt an artistic achievement, it is easy to wonder what kind of impact his 46,520 backers could have made for global development.

Taylor Diamond

Sources: Kickstarter, UNICEF, Global Issues
Photo: Bustle