Look, James Franco, I’ve been willing to cut you some slack since I saw This is the End this weekend and thought you were one of the funniest parts. I was almost willing to forgive you for cheating on Anne Hathaway with your cell phone that time you hosted the Oscars together, and I was this close to excusing that horrifying mural you recently painted where you made Jonah Hill look like a drunk ghost. But this is just too much. You’ve ruined this for yourself, James Franco. My college crush on you was almost back, but thankfully this latest news has slapped me back to reality.
James Franco, whose name I’m pretty sure is Latin for “never-ending bucket list,” has jumped on the crowdfunding band wagon and started an Indiegogo campaign (I guess Kickstarter was too mainstream for him) seeking $500,000 to pay for three films based on short stories from his collection Palo Alto. But get this — he’s not even directing the movies. Four up-and-coming filmmakers would make the films. It’s nice that he’s giving these young directors a start, but of course this is all about Franco. The stories are based on his high school experiences, and a lot of the perks have something to do with James. Like if you pay $30, you get an art video narrated by James himself. And for $75, you get James Franco’s yearbook photo (I kid you not), plus a few other Franco-y things. Oh, and if you want James Franco to record your voicemail greeting, that’ll be $450, thank you very much.
Okay, I’m already incredibly annoyed by all the celebrities and generally rich people asking for money for their projects, but I know James Franco does not need this campaign. How many jobs does he have? How many movies does he star in? Not only am I pretty sure he could fund this himself, even though he denies that on the campaign page (he’s still funding part of it but that’s not enough), but do we really need another James Franco-related project? Is it really necessary that these movies get made right now? And do we really need three of them?
The good news is that all of the proceeds from the film will go to Art of Elysium, a non-profit organization that encourages artists to volunteer with hospitalized children. That’s great, I love that, but couldn’t James Franco just cut out the middle man and donate directly to the charity, or encourage other people to donate directly to the charity? Why do we need three movies about James Franco’s life before the money gets donated?
In the campaign video, James says, “This is the best way to make movies, because…” and then he pauses, and I expected him to say, “because this way I don’t have to pay as much.” But he does not. He does, however, wear a Ron Howard-style baseball cap to show that he’s totally a filmmaker.
(Photo: Dave Bedrosian/Future Image/WENN.com)