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Zach Braff harnesses the power of social media for new film

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Zach Braff harnesses the power of social media for new film


Are you familiar with crowd funding? ‘Scrubs’ star Zach Braff is getting very cosy with the idea, having already found almost 20,000 backers pledging financial support for his new film “Wish I Was Here”.

Mr Braff is using the website Kickstarter to launch his independent venture. The site allows users to create a video about their project, accept financial donations and define a target amount. If pledges reach that amount in the one-month period, the project is funded and money is taken from the backers’ bank accounts. Depending on how much money you put in, there often some kind of creative reward.

In Braff’s case, the person who pays $10,000 – only one backer can pay this amount – becomes a cast member and gets the “star treatment”: hair, makeup, wardrobe, and a line specifically written for them. For $2,500 you can be an extra on the set for a day. A $10 contribution will guarantee you the production diary and a weekly circular, including a video message from Mr. Braff himself.

On his Kickstarter page, Mr . Braff writes: “Financing an independent film the traditional way often means having to give away your right to “the final cut,” casting choices, location choices and cutting down your script to make it shoot-able on the cheapest budget possible.”

The target of Mr. Braff’s fundraising is set at $2 million. Before the end of the first day, he has already received pledges amounting to $1.5 million.

His smart use of social media is probably the secret of his success; he makes his posts funny and personal and has more than a million followers on Twitter. Some criticize Braff for being goofy, others may disapprove of his ungrammatical film title, but one thing he must surely be congratulated for is his clever use of social media to harness the support of his fans across the world.

Follow Ali May on Twitter and on Facebook

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