I realize he probably can't sell advance tickets (beyond special cases like opening night) but how about, say, the DVD/Bluray/iTunes/Amazon version when it becomes available. I'm not a huge Zach Braff fan, but I liked Scrubs a lot, and I enjoyed Garden State. I would totally pay $20 to get the production diary + digital version when it becomes available.
Personally, I think the "pay me to make this movie/tv series and if I get the money I will deliver it to you" model is the future for a lot of entertainment (especially for known quantities like -- say -- the people who produced Stargate SG-1). The inefficiency of paying a network to speculatively create and back TV shows based on guesstimated potential advertising revenue and a tiny chance of a massive payoff if the show is a hit is horrendous.
I wish I could give you all everything you want. Unfortunately, giving away the movie could scare off the good distributors for movies like this, because the theater chains insist on having the “first run” of movies before they are available on DVD or digitally. I want all my fans to be able to see this movie in their hometown theaters on the big screen if they want to. I hope you like the rewards I am offering, and if there’s something you don’t see on the page, please comment and let me know."
It is pretty simple--why would someone buy the rights to his DVD to only find out that the top 20k fans of his who would be buying that DVD/Download already have it.
It is actually brilliant, now he can go to the distributors and say "these thousands of people were so excited about this project that they paid to make it... so of course they will pay us to see it!"
This is a Kickstarter project, not an Amazon pre-order.
I think the guy might consider just taking a loan or whatever, to fund for-profit ventures in the future.
It sounds like this is his pet project, with him starring, and him getting most of the profits, but he wants his fans to take all the risk? Seems off to me. Granted, he may not want to personally take on the risk, which is understandable, but its a personal vanity project no one is demanding. Just bankroll it, Zach.
Kickstarter being used by well funded celebrities who just want to minimize their risk to zero seems wrong to me. It should be for startups and good ideas that can't get funding elsewhere.
He could certainly borrow it (with interest), but why? Fans aren't taking risk-- they are buying something that they want.
Rich/influential people can dodge most risk. Example: the top 7% of the US had their net worths soar 28% from 2009-2011. The rest of us lost 4%. (source: http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-economy-wealt... )
Backers get refunded if a project doesn't meet the stated funding goal . Once the goal is met and the money has been collected it's between the backers and the creators. 
"It's the project creator's responsibility to complete their project. Kickstarter is not involved in the development of the projects themselves."
1: Seems to me that lowballing the base goal while piling on a bunch of stretch goals would be a questionable way of gaming this as a creator.
Source: an online acquaintance who ran a Kickstarter campaign for a video game, and had to revise his initial funding goal upwards by several multiples at Kickstarter's insistence.
I think "gaming" a system implies a reasonably intelligent exploitation.
Something like creating a Kickstarter "for" a sequel to a well-regarded game and setting the actual delivery of that sequel as a top-end stretch goal. The immediate funding goal could only deliver an expansion to the original game. The intermediate goals might be something like a new engine for the not necessarily delivered sequel. Such a project could collect its goal several times over before being asked to deliver what it purports to.
This has been done. It's essentially advertising one thing (the Kickstarter title) and delivering something else in the fine print (the goal structure).
A simple rule restricting the Kickstarter title and promotional blurb to be representative of the immediate funding goal only would go a long way toward addressing this. Restricting the dollar ratio of the initial goal to the top end stretch goal would probably help as well.
I'm sure the review process addresses some things, but how effective can it really be? The breadth of projects types and sizes is too wide and too many will fail (won't provide any return on the cost of a review).
If you're a creator, and collect a lot of money to make something (with some level of risk), there's a chance you'll spend the money trying but still fail -- this is a very real prospect especially if you're trying something technical that hasn't been done before.
Then what? They can't give the money back; they don't have it anymore. Forcing them into bankruptcy would basically kill Kickstarter.
So their only option is pretty much what they did -- with the course-correction added about a year ago that now they emphasize the fact that projects may fail.
After all, Kickstarter's business is taking 5% rake on those donations so it's not in their interest to make it apparent.
Shouldn't the users of Kickstarter determine whether a project is worthy?
You have personal reasons for not funding this project but seem to suggest that other people shouldn't be allowed to fund it either.
If Kickstarter users think they're getting value for their money, let them fund the project.
Now, I understand the argument that the Zach Braffs and Rob Thomases of the world pose a danger to the future of truly independent artists and filmmakers. As I see it, there are two potential dangers here: 1) that they raise the creative and marketing bars beyond the level of the average Kickstarter artisan's ability to compete; 2) that they attract big companies, who will start subverting the Kickstarter spirit by using it to market, pre-sell, and finance Hollywood productions.
Of these two dangers, #1 hasn't seemed to materialize just yet (though the jury's still out). If anything, the presence of big names on Kickstarter seems to be shining more of a spotlight on the site -- and the rising tide may lift all boats. Danger #2, however, remains distant but possible. One can only hope that the market is smart enough to reward the deserving and punish/withhold from the undeserving. But we'll see.
In the meantime, I see no reason to limit Kickstarter to projects and people "who can't get funding elsewhere." Kickstarter should be a free marketplace for ideas. The quality of the ideas should drive the level of funding the ideas receive. If established filmmakers and stars want to trade off of their brands to get a leg up, so be it -- it seems to provide real value to their fans. Remember that there are real people in the "crowd" behind crowdfunding. If thousands of real people want to pay real money to see X product brought to life, why should we stop them?
If anything, Kickstarter may provide a real alternative to Hollywood financing for creatives who don't want to play the Hollywood game if they can help it. Aren't we supposedly rooting for that?
I'm not sure about that. It seems about 10,000 people are demanding it, as of noon Pacific time.
> Kickstarter being used by well funded celebrities who just want to minimize their risk to zero seems wrong to me. It should be for startups and good ideas that can't get funding elsewhere.
Ah, but these are not exclusive! Celebrities bringing their mass appeal to make more people aware of Kickstarter is exactly what will make it so that smaller players have a higher future chance of being funded through the platform.
Why not? This movie is a product, and the funders are the consumers of said product. If the product project meets its goal, the consumer gets its product, and Zach gets rich(?). If the project doesn't meet its goal, then we can assume there isn't enough demand for said project.
Sounds like a typical business. Kickstarter isn't an investment hive.
I don't know much about Zach or his work, but the project is already almost at $1m (50%) funding with 29 days left. Pretty impressive demand, so far.
According to Braff, the $2 million he’s asking on Kickstarter won’t be enough to cover the entire production. On Twitter:
@zachbraff: 2 things for pple who are very upset about this Kickstarter campaign: I'm putting TONS of my own money into it.
And then there’s this Buzzfeed article:
How much of your own money are you investing?
“I don't know. It will depend on how much we raise, and who I do end up casting. Let's say we raise our goal, which is $2 million. If we only raise that, that's not enough to make the movie. There will be some element of selling some foreign [distribution rights] to meet the difference, and where that falls is where I will be splitting the difference. I'm going to make this movie in August come hell or high water. Wherever we fall short, I or some element of foreign sales will split the difference.”
[...] “There's always going to be detractors. The people who would say, "Fuck him, he should pay for it himself," I don't expect those people to be the supporters of this project. I get it. But if you scroll down [on the Kickstarter page], you'll see the person who's like, "Garden State meant a lot to me, I'm dying to see what this guy's up to next, I'm in." Those are the people I'm making the movie for. It's not a scam. If I wanted to make dough, I'd go back and be on another TV show.”
Not sure how I feel about this.
Kickstarter does seem to cultivate a wonderful image of taking backers who support projects "to help them come to life, not to profit financially" and connecting them with creatives to enable "their dream to create something that they want to see exist in the world". 
It's all very "feel good" and I can understand the feeling that established people or projects are taking advantage of the platform, masquerading in a way. However, it's a bit of a "So what?".
People want to put their money into this and feel a part of it. That's not necessarily helping or hurting anyone else who wants to use the platform.
I'd be really interested in seeing what the trends among backers are. How many small versus large projects the average person funds, whether there's an trickle down exposure to more needy projects from the large overfunded ones, stuff like that.
Kickstarter's reputation could be hurt if it just becomes a way for the well off to connect with investor rubes who are being ripped off and don't realize it.
This is why I've generally only backed things I believe are genuinely novel and in need of support. I recognize backing as a donation, not an investment.
I'm all for the creation of a true "crowd" investment platform, but I imagine the administrative and regulatory aspects of a such a service pose a big challenge.
>It exists under the guise of this "help us kick this project to life" but for Zach this is just a "get money, and dont give investors who made it happen anything back other than tchotchkes."
While I have no clue about the costs involved in making movie and I don't know who this guy is, I've certainly seen projects which fit that bill and yes, it's absurd.
As far as I can tell, Kickstarter has done very little to prevent misleading projects other than added guidelines for hardware projects last May.
For instance, there doesn't seem to be anything stopping people from creating projects that only deliver the titular product as a stretch goal - blatantly misleading.
>Kickstarter's reputation could be hurt if it just becomes a way for the well off to connect with investor rubes who are being ripped off and don't realize it.
I don't know, as long the people get their tchotchkes eventually they're likely going to be happy.
I think the imminent danger to Kickstarter's reputation is having a large notable project go completely sideways. Suddenly, thousands of people who thought they "pre-ordered" something are going to realize that they actually just gave their money away and Kickstarter doesn't guarantee anything.
Just because the reward system is not proportional to the profits the project makes doesn't make it any less of a reward system.
One more note - I really don't think this is a "get money and don't give investors...anything back". With all the rewards he's offering, particularly all those voice and video recordings, he's going to be working hard to make good on all these "tchotchkes".
If that were remotely true, you'd have a point.
10,928 people have spent an average of $73.88, proving there's a demand.
Kickstarter will have to solve this problem themselves.
If Barack Obama (or any other well-known, progressive politician) decided to start some sort of campaign drive there it would probably raise millions and millions. But he already has millions and can campaign elsewhere.
I fear that Kickstarter and other crowd funding sites are headed for this type of take over by people who already have funding and funding sources unless they specifically make rules against it.
My issue is that fans aren't being asked to take a risk, or even buy the product on spec -- they're being asked to DONATE.
Isn't that the intent, that it's a funding platform and not a retail purchase system? I remember Kickstarter making a very big deal about this a while ago.
I would like to see their reasoning, for this exclusion, beyond the distribution rights argument.
Plus, the early numbers are showing he got it right...
> Why aren’t you offering a Digital Download or DVD reward?
> I wish I could give you all everything you want. Unfortunately, giving away the movie could scare off the good distributors for movies like this, because the theater chains insist on having the “first run” of movies before they are available on DVD or digitally. I want all my fans to be able to see this movie in their hometown theaters on the big screen if they want to. I hope you like the rewards I am offering, and if there’s something you don’t see on the page, please comment and let me know.
The movie is the point of the whole enterprise; it seems like a natural reward.
The rewards are all things no one can buy except by backing the kickstarter.
I want to fund the movie - not to get a t shirt, or picture. I want to fund it so I can watch it.
Then don't fund the kickstarter.
If you want to do crowd funding you can do that but you need to set up the expectations differently, to make sure that people know that they are donating to a project and maybe receiving a reward. Also, when purchasing things like plane or concert tickets it's important to note that you're not pre-ordering anything you're buying a reservation, you're purchasing a place on a list which will be used to allow entrance to that event or trip.
You really think Amazon Payments would have let Kickstarter go this long if they weren't kosher?
It's the fact that it's a donation, not the pre-purchase of a physical good, that makes it so.
If you're selling a physical good, you're supposed to deliver or ship it at the time of the transaction.
> where'd you hear that whopper?
Originally from our banker at Chase that handled our merchant account set up, but it's easy enough to confirm if you look:
> You really think Amazon Payments would have let Kickstarter go this long if they weren't kosher?
It's worth noting that even though Kickstarter is kosher, the area is gray enough that Amazon is not taking on any more Kickstarter-type sites until further notice precisely because of their legal concerns.
Also... smackfu? Like formerly st marks place brooklyn smackfu?
I can understand a reluctance to offer a reward that will disincentivize those same people from paying to see the movie on opening weekend.
He should list this in his discussion of risks, in that he never quite explains why its bad to put the financiers in editorial control of his movie, although they clearly do a good job of narrowcasting typical formulaic movies (to the small fraction of the population who likes that kinda stuff and therefore might not like his stuff). Also as per the narrowcasting comment his movies now sound interesting to me although I got bored with movies and stopped watching a long time ago (like most people, looking at percentages). So his risks section also needs a better plan to reach outside the usual movie going public than a kickstarter and maybe the Sundance festival.
He may get more money from the general public if he writes to a general public audience who has no idea who he is, rather than what appears to be indie movie fans. I'm not asking for a major editorial content change, just add another 10% length explaining why would the average dude off the street who doesn't do the movie thing since he was a kid, care, much less send him some dough?
Note that I've personally sent/kickstarted Jason Scott the nonfiction documentary producer enough to buy a plane ticket or two over the years, this isn't a new idea.
Now this is assuming what I got out of imdb and kickstarter has any relation to reality. Maybe Garden State is just another boring romantic comedy or teen fart joke formula movie. Can anyone who's actually seen his movies, comment?
At first blush, this new script looks remarkably original. That being said, everything's relative: there's the old cliche that every possible story has already been told, and I think the trick is less to put forward something new and more to put forward something great.
In terms of the strategy behind the campaign: it seems very much in the vein of the Veronica Mars kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/559914737/the-veronica-m...), in the sense that its appealing more to the fans of the original work (I'd imagine the cult of Veronica Mars fans and the cult of Garden State fans has some significant overlap.)
It's probably worth adding that Zach Braff is exceedingly well known amongst my peers. I'd be very surprised if someone I met at a party hadn't heard of him.
Garden State was a good quirky indie romantic comedy, it wasnt particularly formulaic in execution but if you can dislike entire genres for being the same there are probably plenty of things to find in it to not like.
Yeah that's exactly what I mean by narrowcasting. Wikipedia claims $26.7 million north American box office, if you estimate $10 per ticket that big hit equals 2.67 million north americans watched it. Google's quick guess of population of north america in 2008 five years ago was 528 million. That means movies are so incredibly narrowcasted that if 99.5% of the population can't be bothered to watch, its a big hit.
If you try to appeal to only a tiny 5% fraction of the general population, you get 10 times as many paying viewers than if you get a pretty big hit solely within the tiny moviegoing crowd. Thats the power of broadcasting or mass media vs narrowcasting.
Many people have commented that its a cool movie, I'll add "Garden State" to my list.
This is the same reason Kevin Smith gets to keep making movies: he doesn't spend a lot and makes the studio a bunch of profit on DVD and foreign sales, even if his NA box office tanks.
There's a chunk of your "population that can't be bothered to watch" that were too young, or who were in nursing homes, prisons, hospitals, etc. and can't reasonably watch any movie in the theater.
Backed. Hope there's more like it.
“You can’t really raise enough money on Kickstarter yet. There are some new sites starting that will eventually allow anyone and everyone to own a piece of a movie; invest in it like a stock. But you can imagine the amount of legal issues this raises. So look for it sometime around 3012.”
What a difference a month (and a $5.7 million Veronica Mars Kickstarter) makes!
Braff clarifies in this Buzzfeed article:
“I would love, more than anything, to have it be you get an equity stake. You have 10 bucks, you make your 10 bucks back with the percentage of profit, like a stock. But that's not legal yet. I think it's an exciting idea, that you can go, "Oh, I like x, y, and z, I want to buy a piece of that potential film project." I think that that's coming. But we're not there yet legally.
So what do you do in the meantime? You offer them any and every incentive you can think of. But at the very least, if you pay 10 bucks, you're joining what I like to think of as this club. You see how active I am on social media. I drive my family, friends, and girlfriend crazy. I get a lot of joy out of it. So turning that into an online behind-the-scenes filmmaking magazine, where there will be videos and content and people who are interested in the behind-the-scenes of the making of a movie will go on this ride alongside me — I think that's cool for 10 bucks.”
Buzzfeed: You're right — last year Congress passed the JOBS Act, which does allow for equity-based crowdfunding, but it can't happen until the SEC issues rules on how to do it. Which they haven't done yet.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein
An irritating quote. I keep doing the same thing over and over again because I keep getting different results - at least where people are involved.
The quote makes much more sense within the context of scientific experimentation. Applying it to a typical, mundane set of experiences, to me, is pretty crass.
A lot of movide / documentary Kickstarters make the mistake of having a lot of physical rewards, on different timetables that need to be shipped separately, and end up not getting much money for the movie.
Pledge $35 x 22997 backers - digital download
Pledge $50 x 23227 backers - dvd
Braff's project isn't offering these pledge rewards, a decision he seems to be OK with for distribution but would probably generate TONS of backers.
But I think the soundtrack was seen by Braff as a Big Deal, which is probably why it shows up at a lower price point ($20) than the tee.
A lot of people make the mistake of setting the reward levels at store pricing levels rather than rewards. Printed t-shirts are fairly expensive, especially when you add in shipping, so it's easy to end up with very little margin on a reward level that includes a t-shirt, especially if it's near the $15 dollar level (which is pretty much cost). It's smarter to use intangible rewards (like digital goods) that have near zero incremental cost or to make sure that you have at least 100% margin on anything else. Assuming that you're running your kickstarter for financing and not as a pre-order store.
I remember ordering once (this was 7 years ago) at $5-$7 a tee and USPS charged around 2.75 at the time, for a grand total closer to $10
"blah blah blah Zach Braff blah blah"
"Who's Zach Braff?"
"The guy from Scrubs, he also did some movies."
"Oh yeah, Garden State right? That had a great sound track."
> "You will provide your own travel and accommodation."
I found it sort of funny that if you pledge the $10,000+ you still have to provide your own travel. Kind of cheap, don't you think, Zach? Haha
EDIT: Yes, I understand the logistics of people making their own travel plans, I just thought it was funny (in general).
$10k from someone the other side of the world = $6k for the campaign
you see the problem here with deducting travel costs from the backing cost, right?
I sincerely hope this is the start of a very positive trend.
(For what it's worth, I'd drop $500 right now for Cameron/Schwarzenegger to make Terminator 5&6)
First, you lose the legacy financing model to make an independent (sub-$10M) movie. So you not only get to make your feature, but you get to keep all worldwide distribution rights. You're already winning.
Second, you make the status quo a part of the movie-making process. Something that has always been very "private" for filmmakers and "exclusive." Or at least that's what Hollywood has had the world believing for the past century. Even today when you visit a set (from experience in developing software for these guys) the entire on-set dynamic is a very closed system. People just don't want outsiders there. So Braff is changing this by allowing people to visit set, interact with the picture, be extras, get credits, even offering a role in the movie.
Three, this and Veronica Mars are changing shifting the paradigm for getting a movie funded. Sure - there's a lot of risk. These guys might not even make it, but if they plan right, budget accordingly, and have professionals involved (which I will assume they do) - they will make the movie. So I foresee a lof of indies going this route.
I agree with others that NOT having a digital copy / DVD for an $X dollar donation is a bad thing. But it makes sense why he doesn't want to do it. (He can, he's just not doing it because he wants to make more money on domestic and international traditional distribution deals).
BUT eventually, this model will shit away from the traditional way films are sold/distributed. If an owner of a project can raise MORE money to individual buyers (funders) vs. a 5-year distribution deal - than he/she will give up the rights and traditional distributors will be put out of business (no more movies for them, all online).
So again, I think this is the start of many more indies funding this way. It's pretty brilliant, they are already at $1.25M and will exceed the target 100%.
I think I would say "were" in this situation myself, though.
Zach Braff has more indie cred, but lacks the cult following Veronica Mars had. If Braff stalls at around $1MM and MJH's maxes out at $50K, I wonder if that will be the last we see of celebrities for a while? It must be a pretty huge blow to the ego seeing that your celebrity isn't quite as bankable as you hoped.
Obviously being well-known is important, but it's about reputation more than anything. Zach has a reputation for have a strong creative hand in film and tv projects which have had a very strong connection with fans, as his work on Garden State has demonstrated. The same goes with the Veronica Mars team. Had Rob Thomas or Kristen Bell tried to use Kickstarter for some non-Veronica Mars related project they may not have received as much enthusiasm, because Veronica Mars as a project and as an entity on its own definitely has fans and definitely engenders a significant amount of trust that they'll deliver a product that is worth the investment.
Also, I don't think you have any concept of Zach Braff's reputation or following, and I suspect this project will probably exceed its goal faster than the Veronica Mars project did.
Someone at my work jumped out of her seat when I mentioned the Veronica Mars project to her. Zach Braff might not have the cult following, but at least he has the Reddit community and Scrubs/Garden State fans to at least get him to reach his goal. Many of the perks for the Veronica Mars project were filled quickly, which slowed down the funding after the big spike, so we'll see what happens with Zach Braff's movie.
Why on Earth was this upvoted? The quality of articles on the front page has been truly disappointing recently.
This is not tech news.
Let's play "which of these completely changes the movie and which is an inconsequential and minor modification".
It'd be super interesting to have some more specifics on what kinds of compromises these would be, just to get a better idea of what kinds of strings such deals come with.
Zach Braff is a very successful TV/movie star, does he seriously not have $2m of his own to make this movie just the way he likes it? Like others, is this crowd-funding exercise also mostly for 'social proof'?
Thanks to all who reply.
Quite simply, there is no profit-sharing or anything like that for Kickstarters. You pay money, get your reward (maybe - like you said, it's a risky investment). And that's the end of the transaction.
Kickstarter is like a bake sale, where you pay more than the fair market value for things as a form of charity to support some activity. But projects like this remind me more of a bake sale to support your local major league baseball team (e.g. profits are used for the enrichment of a corporation/person(s)).
I would be much more likely to contribute to this project if, in the situation where the movie makes money, $2M (less the true cost of the rewards) were donated to something other than the bottom line of the real investors.
Besides the things he's offering in each tier you get a movie that is the vision of the creator and not altered by other backers. I thought the idea behind most Kickstarter projects is that you see something you like which can't get made without help. You want it enough that you are willing to give the creator money to make it happen and they might give you something in return - although that doesn't matter. Your real 'prize' is that the thing you wanted created is now a reality.
I donated to one years ago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Swarm_of_Angels) and that went nowhere...
This is a far cry from 2 mil but they did get it made. I do believe they had one backer, before kickstarter, that was in for 500k and match whatever Kickstarter brought in. I donated 100 bucks after kickstart, so they got more funding not shown on kickstarter, and got a t-shirt and my name in the credits (along with several thousand others).
The movie wasn't great but the book that it is extremely loosely based on is good. Donald Miller wrote A Million Miles in a Thousand Years while writing the movie version of Blue Like Jazz. That book is even better.
But...back in 2006 there was no Netflix to bid against Showtime. I've never been able to discover what Showtime was offering other than that Hurwitz seemed a bit insulted by the offer ("half the money for twice the work" is the quote that stands out in my mind, but I can't find a citation). If there'd been other competition for the show from a Kickstarterish platform perhaps the Showtime offer would have been more reasonable. Maybe. Who the hell knows. :)
At least those shows do stand a chance with fan-backing. Something like 'Rubicon' would, I think, totally fail at kickstarter even though it was good.
 A great show. I'm not sure how well it would have lasted with the traditional US "spin out a series for as long as possible" format. But, with careful plotting, it would have been an amazing 3 season (12 episodes per season) show.
EDIT: Fox hates the Firefly fanbase. (http://io9.com/fox-bans-the-sale-of-unlicensed-jayne-hats-fr...) Really, this is just open contempt for people who are willingly promoting your content.
 I really wanted to like this. I did like the first series. I really wanted an OQO (the tiny handheld computer that one of the characters has). But the second series was daft. This could have been a pretty good show and it's a shame it's gone.
 Caprica was good, I thought. Had some interesting concepts.
I think Joss Whedon has shown himself to be capable of maintaining quality in long running shows with Buffy and Angel. There are a few dips in both, but on the whole they pretty much just get better and better.
I perfectly understand his unwillingness to give up creative control. That's respectable. But Zach Braff has GOT to have 2 million dollars. He could totally fund this himself.
The celebrity thing has gotta be like crack cocaine to Kickstarter. It gets them so much attention and so much money, but ultimately I think it is eroding their brand and building resentment.
How do you know this?
> The actor has cut a one-year deal with "Scrubs" producer ABC TV Studio that will pay him about $350,000 per episode for the 2007-08 season of "Scrubs," sources said. Each season consists of about two dozen episodes.
Not to mention residuals from syndication. Come on, man.
Not to mention that Garden State was basically an hour and a half of me rolling my eyes from how obsessively hard Braff tries to be 'original'. I'll pass.
It's not as if Kickstarter is this magical service to give celebrities more money: for example, Melissa Joan Hart's Kickstarter is doing pretty poorly (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/318676760/darcis-walk-of...).
 - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/318676760/darcis-walk-of...
Meanwhile, I think your read on the rewards is wrong—-they are meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek. There are less personal rewards he could have offered, with less work involved. I think it would be more off-putting for him to not interact with his fans and supporters.
In the end, that's the power of Kickstarter. Neither you nor I are in charge of greenlighting this film.
It also means he has some of his own money available as a safety net if he needs it.
None of the reward tiers mention "being allowed to watch the movie" - I wonder how much piracy there will be of this?
If I'd paid $20 I'd feel okay about downloading it.
But then again he would potentially lose final cut, character choice, location choice etc.