Tom Hanks is a big enough name that anything he touches nowadays turns to gold. It shouldn't be tough to fund a movie that has Hanks already signed on. Captain Phillips just made over $217 million and got six Academy Award nominations.
Hanks himself has had 5 Best Actor nominations, and won for 2 of them (Philadelphia and Forrest Gump), as well as 4 Golden Globes and 7 People's Choice awards.
So why is a project that Hanks is signed on to going the crowdsourcing route?
According to The Guardian, Hanks is on board for a film to be called A Hologram for the King, based on a 2012 novel written by Dave Eggers. Also on board are Tom Skerritt -- of Top Gun and Steel Magnolias fame -- and Sarita Choudhury. who plays the wife of Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) on Homeland.
The film started shooting in early March of this year and should be wrapped in June.
The crowdsourcing angle on this is not your usual Kickstarter story. Instead it is about a company called Junction Investments. Go ahead and click on the link for Junction. You'll see what looks like a typical login page with the headline:
Passion meets profit. Invest in major motion pictures.
You'll notice a button that says "Apply for Membership". That will lead you to a page informing you that: Junction is currently only open to select investors. To be considered for membership, please complete a membership application.
And here is the rub. Membership in Junction Investments is only available to those persons with net worth of $1 million or more, or an annual income of $200,000.
This is your daddy's Kickstarter … if your daddy is a millionaire. As the website FAQ says:
For now, Junction is focused on opportunities to invest in studio-quality films. Through our relationships with several of the top Hollywood agencies and producers, we are able to present our members with exclusive opportunities to invest alongside professional film financiers in major motion pictures.
According to Deadline, Junction Investments is not about getting a movie green-lighted. The projects here are already "a done deal." It is about giving "smaller" investors a piece of the action. Unlike Kickstarter, your investment in a film like the one Hanks is in does not just get you a credit and some schwag. You get a cash return.
Junction allows investors to track the progress of a project that they are invested in, or are interested in investing in. They do warn that it could be years before you see a return, or you may see none at all. It is a caveat emptor situation, as is all speculative investments. But crowdsourcing just got a ticket to the big time.
Image via Wikimedia Commons