Oscar-winning "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Being John Malkovich" screenwriter Charlie Kaufman has had his share of Hollywood success.
But the bankable 53-year-old writer is trying something new for his next film.
Instead of dealing with Hollywood studios to back him, Kaufman and his producing partners (former "Community" showrunner Dan Harmon and Dino Stamatopoulos) put a short video on crowdfunding website Kickstarter asking for pledges for the stop motion adaptation of Kaufman's 2005 play "Anomalisa."
Pledge levels started at $50, which gave people a DVD of the film, and went up to $10,000, which five people gave in return for an executive producer credit, as well as other rewards.
After launching on July 11, the project now has 5,770 backers total and has raised a record $406,237 in 60 days.
The funds will go to the production of a 50-minute film based on Kaufman’s 2005 play about "a man crippled by the mandanity of his life," according to the Kickstarter page.
Kaufman's public plea for pledges on Kickstarter beat the second most funded film project the site has seen next to zombie sequel "The Gamers: Hands of Fate."
As for why the Hollywood filmmaker chose to take the film internet route instead of going through the studio system, an animated narrator in an explanatory video on the Kickstarter page says:
“We want to make 'Anomalisa' without the interference of the typical big studio process. The entertainment industry is filled with incredible scripts written by incredible talent that have not or will never get made--or worse, they'll be changed into something that is nowhere close to what the original creator envisioned. Starburns Industries dows not want to compromise the original vision of Charlie Kaufman or any other artist. The only thing we want to change is the way artists are treated and that's why we need your help."
Watch the Kickstarter video in its entirety below:
Now watch how the above animation video was made:
But Kaufman isn't the first Hollywood-ite to take to Kickstarter in hopes of funding a budding project.
Whoopi Goldberg raised $73,765 for her documentary directorial debut while Russell Crowe donated $5,000 to an ebook project out of his home country, New Zealand.
But that doesn't mean that all of Hollywood is sold on the idea of internet fundraising ... yet.
“Right now there’s a little bit of hesitancy from people in the industry of using crowdfunding. Because I know some people don’t like being seen asking for money in public,” "Anomalisa" director Duke Johnson tells Deadline. “But as it gains momentum, and people see what it’s worth, and that they can do it on their own, that hesitancy is going to disappear.”
According to today's New York Times article "Success of Crowdfunding Puts Pressure on Entrepreneurs," "Nearly three million people have helped a total of 30,000 projects meet their fund-raising goals on Kickstarter, the largest such site, to the tune of $300 million in pledges."