In 2004, Braff branched into directing with his debut film Garden State. While he has continued to act in various film and TV projects over the years, he yearned to direct again. The biggest challenge he faced was obtaining the funding for his second picture.
Enter Kickstarter. A new way to finance creative projects, Kickstarter is a form of crowd-sourcing in which money is donated online by the public to fund everything from films, games and music to art, design and technology. A campaign for the second feature film Braff wanted to make, Wish I Was Here, garnered more than $3 million dollars in fan contributions, surpassing his goal.
The first trailer for the film is online now, co-starring Josh Gad, Kate Hudson and Mandy Patinkin, among its many recognizable stars. Fans of the Big Bang Theory will also be treated to Jim Parsons on the big screen.
The film centres on Braff's character, Aiden Bloom, a 35-year-old struggling actor, father and husband. Bloom wrestles with holding on to his dream career while trying to take care of his family and homeschool his two kids after pulling them out of expensive private school when his conservative Jewish father's wealth is needed for medical bills.
Gad recently spoke of his fascination with the power of the Kickstarter-type vehicles to make the dreams of independent artists possible. "It really does feel like you're making a movie for the people."
Wish I Was Here is scheduled for wide release July 25.