Now, we ALL know how I feel about celebs using crowdfunding sites to fund their passion projects and yet, here we are again.
If you’ll remember, back in 2011, Oscar-nominated actor James Franco inexplicably turned to Kickstarter to help raise $5000 for some crazy thing called The Museum Of Non-Visible Art (above) and in the end, they managed to squeeze $16,197 from charitable hipsters for non-existent art pieces.
Now Franco is back and THIS time he’s using Indiegogo to ask for (wait for it) $500,000 in order to fund a film trilogy based on his book of short stories, “Palo Alto.”
Inspired by his experiences in high school, Franco – who has directed six films in the last three years – is turning to four NYU students (three grad students and one graduate) to bring his stories to life. Memoria will be directed by Nina Ljeti and Vladimir de Fontenay, while Killing Animals will be directed by Bruce Thierry Craig and Yosemite directed by Gabrielle Demeestere.
Unlike the weirdo perks that were offered in the last crowdfunding project Franco was involved in, the rewards are actually TANGIBLE this time around and include an audio recording from Franco himself ($20), a role in the film with a line, cast credit, and hair/makeup/wardrobe, etc ($5000), an original Franco painting ($7000), associate producer credit on one ($1000) or all three films ($2000) and an executive producer credit plus VIP dinner with Franco and his production team ($10,000).
When I first heard about this, I rolled my eyes HARD. But after doing a little more reading and realizing that Franco will NOT star in any of the said trilogy and is merely using his name to help get these funded, it’s a bit of a different animal…and unlike Kickstarter, whatever they raise through Indiegogo they get to keep and use toward the films and Franco has said that he will donate the profits of the films to The Art Of Elysium (a non-profit organization that encourages actors, artists, and musicians to dedicate their time and talent to children battling serious medical conditions).
But…while I dig what Franco’s trying to do by giving these first-time directors a shot in the big leagues, why can’t he pony up all of the dough himself (he says he’s putting in some money, but how much)?
And according to IMDb, there’s already a Palo Alto film directed/co-written by Gia Coppola and Franco that stars himself, Emma Roberts (Scream 4) and Val Kilmer (Real Genius) in post-production, so what up with THAT?
I’ve loved James Franco since “Freaks and Geeks” so I’m gonna give him SOME leeway…I just hope he’s actually gonna match whatever they raise on Indiegogo.
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