James Franco, ever the multi-tasker willing to try something new, has latched on to the crowdfunding trend. He’s seeking $500,000 from backers on Indiegogo to adapt his own book of short stories, entitled “Palo Alto,” into a trilogy of films. It’s important to note that Indiegogo allows for “flexible funding” — i.e. a project receives whatever is raised by its deadline, regardless of whether it meets its fundraising goal.
Franco has enlisted several emerging filmmakers (including Nina Ljeti, Vladimir Bourdeau, Bruce Thierry Cheung and Gabriel Demestree) to turn the book of short stories into a series of films. No word on whether Franco will direct.
So the question is: Will Franco receive the same negative reaction as fellow famous crowdfunder Zach Braff? The argument can be made–Emily Best of Seed and Spark made it Monday night at the Los Angeles Film Festival’s Indiewire Influencers reception– that it’s not the fans who give money to these projects who are angry, but the critics who don’t give money. But when a millionaire asks for his or her fans to contribute to a dream project, does it matter?