James Franco Seeks $500,000 in Crowdfunding for Movie Trilogy

James Franco Every Thing Will Be
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

'Palo Alto Stories' based on thesp's short stories

James Franco is looking for $500,000 worth of backers via crowdfunding site Indiegogo to fund “Palo Alto Stories,” three feature films based on pieces from his short story collection about his hometown. The actor, director, artist and film professor has recruited four young helmers — Nina Ljeti, Vladimir de Fontenay, Bruce Thierry Cheung, and Gabrielle Demeestere — to adapt and direct “Memoria,” “Killing Animals” and “Yosemite,” fictional stories that are nonetheless based on Franco’s high school experiences in the wealthy Northern California town.

SEE ALSO: James Franco Boards “Everything Will Be Fine”

“It touches on universal things about being a teenager and coming-of-age and learning about the bigger world,” says Franco of the book in the teaser video. All proceeds from the film will go to the Art of Elysium, which enlists actors, artists and musicians to give their time to children battling serious medical conditions.

While projects such as the “Veronica Mars” movie and Zach Braff’s feature project have raised millions on Kickstarter thanks to rabid fan appeal, crowdfunding isn’t a sure thing even for thesps with established fanbases. With no guaranteed appearances by Franco in the movies (he’s awfully busy appearing in films like “This Is the End” and “Oz the Great and Powerful”), will Franco’s fans be willing to contribute $450 for a cell phone voicemail from him? Franco-philes will find out when the campaign closes on July 17.

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  1. Crowdfunding tries to mimic DPO’s which already have existed for decades and actually provide a profit ROI to real investors. Not gullible enamored PBS pledge donators. Actors/film producers trying to skirt the process of proving skin in game and trying to meet funding approval criteria to real investors just goes to show how desperate and lazy they have become. No wonder indies fail to even break even 85% of the time. “It’s not my money, wink, wink”.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’d rather donate directly to the charity if that will stop this set of movies from being made. Franco’s need to congratulate himself and stroke his….ego is just too much to stomach.

  3. If these neophyte filmmakers require an avatar who wishes to serve his autobiography, God bless them and good luck. Crowdfunding is for everyone, which is to say, “anyone” who can raise the cash.

  4. The value of a fan base, eager to watch new films by new Filmmakers, willing to give their dollars in advance to be a part of the film in their own way, should not be overlooked. Though he may have his own fortunes, to know that a public is on board makes the work of the Filmmakers themselves, all unknowns, more supported, more confident, bolder than just a check from the writer. Keep it up James.

  5. JJ says:

    This guy’s ego is beyond.

  6. Ethan Gentzsch says:

    He’s rich enough that I’m sure he could come up with the $500,000 and fund it himself.

  7. Catherine says:

    I don’t support crowd funding to make a movie, as I believe if someone has extra cash it should go to a children’s charity , to people and children that really need the money. This one does. BRAVO, James.

  8. Lalalady says:

    500,000 for three films isn’t bad at all. Shut up

  9. kenmandu says:

    Your OWN money, Cheapskate.

  10. Frank Cromer says:

    We’re always told in the movie business to never use your own money so Mr. Franco might as will go after his fans money. Smooth movie star move!

    • The adage is well-advised…to not use your own money. This leaves raising the funds from friends, family and just about anyone else willing to risk venture capital on an unproven or unknown filmmaker. How likely is this, if said people are not willing to take that leap of faith? This means what? Never making the film, online crowd-funding, or breaking the piggy bank. Logic here is driven by common sense; and when bitten by that vampire — desire to make movies — she’s your mistress for life. And you will obey. Otherwise you are not a filmmaker. becomes your

      • The adage is naive. Reality in the finance industry is as quoted well by Venture Capitalist Daymond John (one of the judge’s on the TV show ‘Shark Tank’) “make all the mistakes with your own money”

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