“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