The day after This Is the End became the biggest comedy of the weekend, James Franco appealed to his fans to help secure financing for the latest of his more personal artistic endeavors. The renaissance man launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $500,000 so he can adapt 10 short stories from his 2010 collection, Palo Alto, into three feature films. The stories are fictionalized tales that echo Franco’s own “coming of age” experiences growing up in the Bay Area, and he’s selected a quartet of promising NYU-educated filmmakers to bring them to the big screen. “I’m putting money into these projects because I believe in them, I believe in these filmmakers,” Franco says in the video appeal (which can be viewed below). “We just need a little bit more help.”
Half a million dollars isn’t much to make one film, much less three, but it’s currently unclear how much Franco himself is investing in the movies. (A representative for Franco did not immediately respond to EW’s request for clarification.)
One perk, though, of using Indiegogo’s Flexible Funding campaign, rather than an option like Kickstarter, is that Franco’s team will keep whatever monies are raised, even if they don’t reach their goal in 30 days. If there are ultimately any profits from the films’ sales, Franco intends to give 100 percent of them to Art of Elysium, a nonprofit he works with that unites actors, artists and musicians with sick children.
But it might not just be Franco-philes or dedicated patrons of indie cinema who ultimately make these films a reality; for just $5,000, you can be one of 15 backers who land a speaking role in one of the movies. So far, Franco has raised $25,720 — and gained one cast member — with 30 days remaining.
Watch Franco’s video below: