Kerfuffle Follow-Up: Zach Braff Corrects ‘wrong’ Hollywood Reporter story

This Zach Braff story is still in the news today, and I’m going to keep using this screencap to accompany it as long as it is. So yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter reported exclusively that Braff had found “financing” for his Kickstarted movie, Wish I Was Here, at Cannes. A lot of people were angry, thinking Braff had been misleading in asking fans to fund his movie to keep from having to take industry money with creative strings attached, and then seeming to turn around and take industry money anyway. It would’ve been easy, and more lucrative, for me to try to stoke outrage in that regard when I reported on it, but I didn’t, because it didn’t seem to me that Braff had specifically broken any promises, and because I’m terrible at making money.

Today Braff tried to clarify what kind of funding he’s getting from Worldview Entertainment. Basically, it all goes back to something called Gap Financing, which I imagine your mom knows all about. (*looks over at joke writers, gives confused shrug*)

— The story out there about the movie being fully funded by some financier is wrong. 

I have said on here and in every interview I’ve done on this project that the film would be fully financed from 3 sources:

  • My Kickstarter Backers
  • My own money
  • Pre-Selling foreign theatrical distribution.

Those three amounts will bring us to a budget of around 5 to 6 million dollars.

— Nothing about the making of this movie has changed. This movie is happening because backers funded it. 

This film would not be happening without my backers. The traditional way is to have a financier put up the money and then sell the foreign rights. What I did, was to say to my fans, “If you and I provide the capital, we don’t need some rich dude dictating how we make the movie; we can then go sell foreign distibution [sic] and we’ll be all the way to our goal. Are you interested in that? So far 38,455 people have said yes.

— What happened today is that a financial company agreed to fill in the gap between what Kickstarter backers have funded and what I have put in, and what the movie will actually cost. Shooting could not happen without this. 

When you pre-sell foreign distribution, you don’t get that money for some time. So you need to go to a company to provide something called “Gap Financing”. They are essentially a bank. Loaning us the “gap” between what we’ve raised together and what we need to actually make the movie. I have no idea where a 10 million dollar number came from but it is wrong and a lie.

— This loan is secured against proceeds generated by selling the foreign rights to the movie. That’s been the plan all along. 

This loan, helps us start! We’re opening an office and casting and we’re fully under way. We couldn’t be doing that without “Gap Financing” to cover our… (wait for it) gap. As these foreign sales are occurring as we speak at the Cannes Film Festival, you will likely be hearing more and more about them. It is good for us! More eyes on our movie.

If I’m interpreting this correctly, it means the money he got from Worldview Entertainment was gap financing, essentially, a loan. I don’t want to sound conspiracy-minded, but it does seem strange that he never mentions the company by name. But then he also spelled “distribution” wrong, so perhaps that was just another function of poor editing. But if he’s telling the truth, it would be slightly misleading to say he’s “taking money” from “the industry,” if all he’s doing is getting a loan to cover what he’s eventually going to make selling the rights. God, I’m bored already.

In any case, for as much as we’ve talked about the financing for this film, we better end up seeing that money on screen, and I don’t mean in the form of Josh Gad (whose presence seems to scream “we couldn’t afford Jonah Hill”). I’m talking Truckasaurus, and dancing hookers. Granted, I have no idea what $5 to $6 million buys you, but when I think “wealth” I picture hookers and Truckasaurus.