After the runaway success of Rob Thomas’s Kickstarter campaign to fund a Veronica Mars feature film, Zach Braff decided to get into act, successfully employing Kickstarter to finance a feature film follow up to his 2004 directorial debut “Garden State.”
That began a backlash against the trend of using the Kickstarter platform to finance projects by wealthy, connected Hollywood insiders who presumably have the resources and clout to get these movies made without in effect begging their much less wealthy and powerful fan base for money.
Melissa Joan Hart seems to be the first wealthy celebrity to run afoul of the public’s new, more jaded attitude towards this new type of Kickstarter campaign. Following the example of Braff and Thomas she turned to Kickstarter to finance a feature film. However, instead of being a film connected in any way to Clarissa Explains it All or Sabrina the Teenage Witch, either one of which might have actually attracted some backers, inexplicably Hart was asking fans to kick in for something called “Darci’s Walk of Shame,” which in synopsis sounds like nothing more than a completely undistinguished, typical Hollywood romantic comedy.
If audiences will never get to see Hart as Darci taking that walk of shame, she certainly had to do the Kickstarter equivalent of a walk of shame on Monday, shutting down the Kickstarter after raising a mere $50,000 out of a $2 million goal. Does this signal a real change in the public’s attitude towards using Kickstarter this way or was it merely that this particular project just didn’t seem that promising or deserving? It’s tough to tell.
Veronica Mars had the benefit of being tied to the existing “brand” of a TV show with a rabid, cult fan base. “Wish I was Here” on the other hand was an independent feature film not explicitly tied to any pre-existing property, much like “Darci’s Walk of Shame,” yet in the video accompanying the Kickstarter Braff makes it clear that he means for the film to be a sequel of sorts (“not in story but in tone”) to “Garden State,” a surprisingly popular film which a large part of a certain generation feels some nostalgia for. Perhaps Hart’s mistake was explicitly saying that the point of the project was to get away from her image in Clarissa and Sabrina as opposed to evoking nostalgia for those shows.