Celebrities Turn to Crowdfunding for Personal Projects

By: Rich DeMuro
Jul. 15, 2013

From starting businesses to raising money for medical expenses, crowdfunding has become one of the most popular ways to fund a big project. Now celebrities are taking advantage of it to change the way movies are made.

Actress Kristen Bell kick started a Hollywood frenzy when she approached fans to raise $5 million to produce a movie version of her popular TV show Veronica Mars. Instead of the going the traditional method of working with a production company, more and more actors are looking for ways to fund projects with the support of their fan base.

“I have a new screenplay I’ve written with my brother Adam called Wish I Was Here, but I have a problem,” Actor Zach Braff said in his pitch to raise $2 million for his next project.

Braff reached his goal, but not before the internet had a field day, questioning whether he really needed the money.

Actor and comedian Adam Carolla is having better luck with his fans, garnering support for his next movie Road Hard, a comedy loosely based on his unglamorous life on the road as a standup comic. Carolla raised nearly $400,000 in a week on a crowdfunding site called FundAnything backed by The Apprentice friend Donald Trump.

“I don’t have the money it would take to do this movie,” Carolla added, describing the necessity crowd support to get to his $1 million goal. “[T]he last movie, I did put a lot of my own money into the movie, and I lost all of that money.”

Carolla has already named the cast for Road Hard, which includes comedy heavyweights like David Alan Grier (In Living Color, DAG) and Larry Miller (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Nutty Professor)  along with Illeana Douglas (Six Feet Under, Entourage) and Diane Farr (Private Practice, Numb3rs).

Carolla has embraced technology to further his brand early in his career–his podcast is among the most downloaded on iTunes. And with his new move, he is again taking an alternative approach.

“We call it money for your dreams,” said FundAnything Co-Founder, Bill Zanker. “And anybody can do this by using Facebook, by using Twitter accounts, by telling their friends.”

Ultimately, it’s about creating a winning situation for both the fans, who vote on what movies they want to see with cash, and the artists that create them.

“I did a movie where I had to rattle the can and beg and it literally took five years to get it made,” said Carolla. “And I just didn’t want to take five years. I want to take 45 days.”

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1 Comment

  • Shazbot2013

    No one brought up the biggest benefit in crowd fundi.n.g – Perks!
    For a relatively small donation, I get the DVD and my name in the credits.
    For a little more money, you can join the cast for a private screeni.n.g.