Zach Braff’s Kickstarter campaign has been scrutinized from nearly every angle by now, with people seeming to be evenly divided between those who think he’s a rich scumbag exploiting his fans into paying for a whimsical new project and those who think he’s found a game-changing way to help finance movies without having to cater to cumbersome studio demands, with the added bonus of making a group of fans feel even more involved in a movie’s production.
Of course, there’s plenty of hypocrisy to go around, following the generally positive response to a similar campaign by Rob Thomas and the Veronica Mars people. I don’t doubt that much of it is personal animus towards Braff himself, which would be totally fair if more people would just be up front about it.
Personally, I have no beef with Braff. I have publicly stated my affection for Garden State, which I found to be personally satisfying and enriching, but at the very least utterly harmless. It matches Zach Braff’s personality fairly well, it would seem. So the animosity is a little baffling. This takes an even more incomprehensible turn when I hear people characterizing the pitch for his screenplay as sounding incredibly stupid. I skimmed a couple lines of his summary, but I think judging a project based on a weird and abstract pitch makes little sense.
Sure, it sounds stupid, but there are too many examples of concept that sound bizarre and uninteresting and absurd (hello, Downton Abbey) but end up working once they’re made concrete by a capable director. Yes, direction matters a hell of a lot more than coming up with an idea.
Here are 6 movies from just the past year whose pitches probably would have sounded really lame before they got made. You never can tell for sure how these things are going to turn out.