This week we finally got the first trailer for Wish I Was Here, Zach Braff’s follow-up to 2004’s Garden State.
What was the reason for the decade span between films? According to Braff, it was a matter of creative control and financing. After the success of the Veronica Mars film kickstarter, Braff turned to his fans and kickstarter to gather the financing needed to make Wish I Was Here.
Through the kickstarter campaign Braff was able to raise over $3 million in funding for his film. Time will tell whether this becomes a viable paradigm for independent filmmakers. One reward not available to backers of Wish I Was Here was a digital download of the film. Braff may have dodged a bullet. In March, backers of the Veronica Mars movie were outraged that they were limited to obtaining their digital copy through the Ultraviolet digital locker system and Flickster. Details of the digital download debacle are here.
These backers kicked in $35 that contributed to the creation, production and theatrical release of a project they had been waiting for several years for. Not only were they able to see this project completed, released in theaters, but they received their own digital copy of the film on opening weekend. Complaining about how they received that download seems a bit, well . . . I think this is an appropriate metaphor:
When Wish I Was Here hits screens later this summer, I will be watching to see if this film encounters any bumps as it tries to elbow its way into a weekend with Hercules, Sex Tape, and Step Up: All In. I enjoyed Garden State and was not a backer of Wish I Was Here, but I am looking forward to see whether Braff has matured as a filmmaker. But even more, I will be watching for others to follow this route, and see whether KickStarter becomes a viable arena for film development.