Adam Carolla is making a new movie, and he doesn't want to make it without the help of the people.
That's why, like many other filmmakers recently, the often controversial Carolla is turning to crowdfunding to raise the money for his new film.
"If you come through for me, I promise less than 20 percent of the budget will go up my nose. That is my solemn vow. And as you know, a Carolla’s word is his bond. That word is usually 'nap' but it’s a promise my family has always kept," says Carolla.
That's what he has to say on FundAnything, a new crowdfunding site that just launched this May.
FundAnything works just like other, more established, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. The site doesn't really put any sort of restrictions on what type of projects users can launch (except for "offensive and objectionable" content) and they don't put any limit on how much money you can raise. Also, unlike Kickstarter let's say, project starters get to keep any money that they raise - even if they don't reach their stated campaign goal.
FundAnything was launched by The Learning Annex's Bill Zanker and has the backing of Donald Trump. Trump didn't put his name on the site, but he did invest in it. He's also contributing to projects on the site, picking one that he likes every so often and becoming a backer.
But Back to Carolla, who's the first major celebrity to use the platform for a substantial project. His project is a film called Road Hard, which tracks the story of a down-and-out stand-up comedian:
Stand-up comedian Bruce Madsen is Prometheus, chained to a rock, having his liver pecked out by eagles. Only in his case the rock is the depressing circuit of comedy clubs he can’t escape and his tormentors are the endless carnival of nickel-and-dime club owners, horrible emcees and retarded TSA agents that populate the torture chamber comics call “the road.” Bruce has one simple question: What the hell happened? It seemed like just yesterday his TV show was a hit, he had a hot young bride and his phone wouldn’t stop ringing.
Like his mythological Greek forebear, Bruce was bringing fire from the Gods to the masses then taking it to a whole new level by using that fire to light his farts on national television. Showbiz, baby. But the never-ending money train veered off course somewhere in the switching yard and Bruce ended up in an Econo Lodge in Addison, Texas, headlining a half-empty club, trying to cobble together his alimony payments and a college fund for his daughter. Maybe it’s just the box of wine and Nicorette talking, but Bruce is hearing a voice loud and clear. He must get off the road. Road Hard is the story of that journey.
Road Hard has already raised nearly $740,000 of its million-dollar goal, and it has 24 days left in its campaign. It's slated to start filming in 2013 and Carolla has already announced a cast which includes Illeana Douglas, Diane Farr, David Alan Grier and Larry Miller. Carolla will star.
Get it on, we just hit 700k.
— Adam Carolla (@adamcarolla) July 23, 2013
Bryan Cranston has already said no, unfortunately:
There's definitely a "f*ck you, Hollywood" aspect to Carolla taking to a newly-minted crowdfunding platform to fund his new film. I mean, literally. One of the rewards he offers to his project backers is a "signed, limited edition Adam Carolla F*ck You Hollywood Collectible."
"If you trust me and support this project, you’ll be sending an important message to all the Hollywood Fat Cats that normally decide what type of movies you get to see. You’ll be joining a fast growing movement that is fed up with the formulaic fare that is typically targeted to the lowest common denominator. In recognition of your independent spirit, I’ve created and signed an archive quality, parchment Award that is embossed in gold and features your name in fine calligraphy."
You can have that for an $85 donation.
For some of the more generous donors, Carolla is offering some more exclusive rewards - a customized voicemail recording, VIP trips to the premiere & set, and even a chance to be an extra in the movie.
And for $25,000...a private party:
"I’ll deliver a spectacular 45 minute performance. I’ll even add some offensive bits that are personalized for your guests or celebration. After the performance, we can all hang out together. At no extra charge, I’ll drink your liquor, devour your food and hit on your women," says Carolla.
Recently, we've seen established personalities opt for crowdfunding to support their next ventures - from Zach Braff to Spike Lee. Is this the beginning of a trend? Although some may argue that crowdfunding platforms are for the little guys - not the guys who already have a foot (or in some cases their whole body) in the door, it's clear that there are enough people out there who feel perfectly fine with donating their money to help people make movies. Remember the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter? It hit its 2 million dollar goal in about 10 hours. And Adam Carolla's movie is well on its way to hitting its goal.
"Most of those guys are idiots and they're pompous and they make crap, said Carolla, speaking of Hollywood producers. "I got tired of dealing with these idiots. Instead of begging these idiots…I thought, let's just take it to the people."