Zach Braff is going on the internet hat in hand with the hopes of raising $2 million to fund his follow-up to "Garden State."
The "Scrubs" star said he was inspired to solicit donations on the crowd funding site Kickstarter by "Veronica Mars." Last month, the team behind the cult TV show raised a record-breaking $2 million in less than a day by enlisting fans with the promise of a feature film.
After that campaign, Braff said he thought, "maybe this could be a new paradigm for filmmakers who want to make smaller, personal films without having to sign away any of their artistic freedom."
Braff said that he's been able to attract backers for his film, "Wish I Was Here," but they want final cut and casting approval in returning for putting up the money.
He's pairing his fundraising effort with a humorous video, featuring cameos from the likes of "The Big Bang Theory"s' Jim Parsons and standup comic Chris Hardwick.
"The most common question I get asked when I meet my fans across the globe or when I talk with you on Twitter, Facebook and Reddit is can I mount you and yell eagle?" Braff says in the video appeal. "The second most asked question is why haven't you written and directed another film since 'Garden State'?"
The answer he arrived at is financing. He can't get the money he needs, Braff joked, unless he agrees to create a sexy pool boy part for Justin Bieber.
It certainly is true that based on the plot description, "Wish I Was Here" has the kind of quirky premise that could be a tough sell with investors. It focuses on a struggling actor, father and husband (played by Braff) who at 35, is still trying to find his identity. To escape his financial and existential struggles, he fantasizes about being his childhood hero, the futuristic Space-Knight.
Braff wrote the screenplay with his brother Adam.
He promised that the film would have a lot in common with "Garden State," the 2004 film that was a hit with critics and grossed $35.8 million worldwide.
"It's not a sequel in story, but it's a continuation of the tone," Braff promised.
As of this writing, "Wish I Was Here" has raised $189,361 from 2,751 backers since the appeal went live Wednesday.
For the record: An earlier version of this article misspelled Zach Braff's name as Zack.