The concept of Kickstarter is very cool. It is a website where anyone can get a project funded - be it of artistic pursuits, or raising money to keep a local potato farm afloat. This seems like an awesome idea, right? It's a way for people to get involved in small causes that they care about. However, the thing is anyone can get a project funded... anyone including celebrities.
Generally, celebrities are, by definition, wealthy... like much, much more wealthy than normal folk. Does the idea of celebrities, the rich and famous, asking hardworking people to fork over some of their hard earned cash leave anyone else with a bad taste in their mouth? It’s weird, right?
Sure, the increments that some of these Kickstarters are asking for are minuscule. You might think not think twice about forking over ten bucks to a celebrity who you just love so they can make their dream movie but what gives? The fact that we live in a culture where the wealthy ask the common people for handouts is just bizarre.
Most people would love to ask Zach Braff for some help financial help to pay their student loans, or ask Whoopi Goldberg for a down payment on their house, or how about asking David Fincher to help with your kid's tuition? It is definitely odd that these people, who are so well off, are crowd sourcing money for their projects but, hey, that didn’t stop them from asking.
Some of their campaigns were successful and earned all the money requested, while others were a flop. Here are ten celebrities you should ask to pay off you credit card debt because they asked you to give them your money, so...
11 Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone, most widely known for Rocky, turned to Kickstarter to raise money for his indie film, Reach Me.
When one of the financial backers backed off the project, they needed to raise the $250,000 said backer had pledged to the project. Stallone, along with the project’s director and producers, set up a Kickstarter campaign for the $250,000.
Though they surpassed the $250,000 needed, they cancelled the campaign and moved it to Indiegogo. Apparently they were more receptive to Indiegogo's flexible guidelines, which allows international pledges and pledges over $10,000.
Oh, and Stallone is worth a reported $400 million... So, yeah.
10 Melissa Joan Hart
Melissa Joan Hart didn’t see as much success as Sylvester Stallone on Kickstarter. The actress, who saw early success in the 90s with hits such as Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, was the face of a Kickstarter campaign for a project entitled Darci’s Walk of Shame.
The campaign had some lofty goals, hoping to raise $2 million. Unfortunately, it was not all that successful, having only raised $51,000 before shutting down early. Hart has stated that she would do the campaign differently a second time around, as they didn’t give too much information about the actual project and tried to mainly rely on Hart’s star power to raise the money.
Apparently, fans didn’t want to see their favorite teen witch take a walk of shame.
8 Charlie Kaufman And Dan Harmon
In 2012, Charlie Kaufman, Oscar-winning screenwriter of the bittersweet but very trippy Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, turned to Kickstarter to fund Anomalisa. If that title sounds familiar, it’s because the film was released to rave reviews in 2015.
Kaufman and Dan Harmon, creator of Community, asked for $200,000 to help make their stop-motion film a reality. Kaufman and Harmon raised double what they had asked for and rewarded backers with very cool gifts like original pieces of artwork.
Kaufman and Harmon had proved that you may not need to be a famous actor or actress to raise some real capital on Kickstarter.
7 David Fincher
David Fincher is one of Hollywood’s greatest living directors, with such hits as Fight Club, Seven, The Social Network and most recently Gone Girl.
Fincher took to Kickstarter to raise funds needed for The Goon, an animated feature. At the time, Fincher was asking for the largest amount for any animated project on Kickstarter ever. The project has since exceeded its goal, raising $441,900.
The fact that Fincher has a huge fan base of people, who worship his camerawork, made it easy for this money to be raised. Let us all ignore the fact that Fincher is worth a cool $65 million and could have possibly cut a check for this amount himself.
6 Lake Bell
Lake Bell, actress and screenwriter, was one of the first celebrities to take to Kickstarter in order to raise money for a campaign. Bell was asking for a measly $8,000, which, by today’s Kickstarter standards, is absolutely nothing. She was raising funds for a short comedy film.
After this, Bell went on to write, direct and co-produce In A World, a feature length film about a voice-coach trying to break into the boys’ club of voice-over work on trailers. In a World was well received, currently boasting a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and earning nearly $3 million in its limited box office release.
5 Zach Braff
Zach Braff, known for Scrubs, is one of the celebrities most associated with Kickstarter. He took to Kickstarter to fund Wish I was Here, the follow-up to his 2004 film, Garden State. Braff asked his fans for $2 million on Kickstarter. People are apparently all about Braff and donated a cool $2.6 million.
After backlash, he claimed that he was not sitting on “Oprah money” and could not have funded this film himself. He also further explained that he asked for this money so he could go about an untraditional way of getting a movie made because he did not want to deal with changing his film for executives.
It’s interesting that such attention was paid to Wish I Was Here pre-production because not too many people bothered to see it when it actually hit theaters.
4 James Franco
James Franco has always seemed to march to the beat of his own drum in Hollywood. I mean, we’re talking about a guy who starred on General Hospital, a daytime soap opera, after he was nominated for an Oscar. It's usually the other way around, but, like I said, Franco marches to his own drum.
Franco took to Indiegogo, which is more or less the same thing as Kickstarter, to raise funding for three films based off of his book Palo Alto. His goal was $500,000 but he only managed to raise $325,000, proving that even if you’re a handsome, rich, Oscar-nominated dude, you might not get everything you want in life.
3 Zosia Mamet
So, this may be the most embarrassing story about celebrities on Kickstarter.
Zosia Mamet, most known for her role on Girls, took to Kickstarter with her sister, Clara Mamet, to raise money for a music video. Apparently, the sisters started a band and were excited to film a music video for which they supposedly needed $32,000. No, seriously, the two were asking for $32,000 so they could make a music video. The cherry on top is perhaps that Zosia stated that they started the band as an excuse to spend more time together. Um, excuse me? So, you’re asking people for $32,000 to spend time with your sister.
The campaign raised a whooping $2,000 before shutting down.
2 Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg took to Kickstarter to raise funds for her documentary film about Moms Mabley, a legendary female comedian. She asked for $65,000, which isn’t an excessive amount when it comes to the Kickstarter game.
Her campaign was successful and raised over $73,000 for the documentary. When asked why she didn’t just fund the film herself, she said that she was funding the film but needed a bit more. The documentary went on to be nominated for two Emmy Awards, so I guess all is well that ends well.
1 Rob Thomas & Kristen Bell
We had to save the best for last because, apparently, when Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell were like, ‘hey, can we have your money?’ everyone just handed over all their cash.
The duo took to Kickstarter to raise $2 million for a Veronica Mars movie, which came out in 2014. $2 million was nothing compared to the $5.7 million they raised. Yes, $5.7 million!
This just goes to show that a cult-like following does wonders when crowd funding. Veronica Mars amassed a huge following while on TV show so it wasn’t necessarily difficult for Thomas and Bell to convince the diehards to fork over their well-earned cash.