Whatever you think of Zach Braff and celebrity Kickstarter campaigns, you have to admit his conversation with Kim Masters late last week was pretty fascinating. Braff paints a pretty dismal picture of the American cinema landscape and part of his self “defense” for going to Kickstater is a just a modicum of control to get a project made. He cites the Hollywood algorithm that cross-references bankability, Q-factor and other such elements abroad and in foreign markets and then spits out a number that suggests whether a project is worth making or not. More often than not, the answer is no, and if it’s yes, it comes with an infinitesimally small budget, no final cut, no guarantee of creative control and massive suggestions for casting that are indexed from a small list of stars. The upside in dealing with a studio if you want to tell a small, personal story can be pretty low.
But maybe there’s an international funding game to be played that filmmakers need to take note of. Wim Wenders made a 3D dance documentary in 2011 called “Pina,” and it made $30 frickin’ million worldwide and scored itself an Oscar doc nom to boot. Now no studio in the world would touch it with a 50 mile pole, but Wenders has a new project he’s mounting and it’s a family drama in 3D, starring James Franco. Huh? More importantly, the film, “Every Thing Will Be Fine” has got funding too. We’d say take that Hollywood, but the project probably barely registers in Tinseltown other than with Franco’s agent, most-likely one of the most completely frustrated and perplexed men in Hollywood, who would love nothing more than the actor take another “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” franchise.
Franco plays a writer who accidentally causes the death of a child. “Every Thing Will Be Fine” centers on the next 12 years of the writer’s life as he examines the effects of the accident on his life and the boy’s mother. In a press release, Wenders called the film a “story of guilt and forgiveness, and of accepting things you cannot change anymore. [Norwegian writer Bjorn-Olaf Johannessen] wrote it with 3D in mind, and I’m convinced that the medium lends itself really well to an intimate story.”
You might recall that the movie was initially aiming to shoot last year, and premiere at Berlin this past February, with Sarah Polley among the cast. That didn’t get off the ground, and in our recent interview with Polley, she basically said she wans’t going to be doing much acting, and will focus on directing instead, so she can be a present parent for her child. Bummer, but we’ll see how this iteration turns out.