Cue the backlash. Following the example of Zach Braff, actor James Franco is turning to crowd-funding site IndieGogo to bankroll a new project.
Franco is asking fans to donate a total of $500,000 to fund a trilogy of movies based on his 2011 short story collection, “Palo Alto,” about going to high school in the Northern California city.
“Although it’s a book of fiction, it was inspired by experiences I had growing up here, things that people I knew went through,” he said in a three-minute video on his project’s Web page.
The book will be adapted by directors at New York University.
The trilogy will not rely completely on fans’ generosity. Franco says he is paying for some of it himself.
“I’m just asking you for a little bit more help,” he said. “I’m putting money into these projects because I believe in them. I believe in these filmmakers."
The campaign runs through July 17. Fans can contribute as little as $10 in exchange for a PDF copy of the screenplay when the movie is released. A $10,000 donation gets you an executive producer credit for one of the films and a dinner with Franco.
Franco’s project is using a “flexible funding” campaign, which means Franco will get the money even if the $500,000 goal is not met.
He’s not the first celebrity to ask fans for cash.
Zach Braff raised $2 million in three days through competing crowd-funding site Kickstarter for a new film, but not without criticism from those who wondered why the “Garden State” star couldn’t fund the project himself.
Not everyone succeeds. “Girls” actress Zosia Mamet recently tried and failed to raise $32,000 through Kickstarter to fund a music video.
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