Unsuccessful crowd-funders forced to do the Kickstarter walk of shame

Trying to raise funds from the public can be as difficult as making it big in Hollywood

Los Angeles

When Zach Braff and the Veronica Mars movie both generated multi-million-dollar budgets on Kickstarter, it seemed the crowd-funding site might be a foolproof way for cult stars to finance their future film projects. But not everyone who turns to their fans for funds has met with such success.

Melissa Joan Hart, the star of the 1990s tween sitcoms Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Clarissa Explains it All, this week cancelled her month-old Kickstarter campaign to raise $2m (£1.3M) for her proposed movie Darci’s Walk of Shame. She was $1.95m short of her target.

Kickstarter allows members of the public to pledge small or medium-sized donations to creative projects in return for non-financial rewards such as signed memorabilia or cameo film roles. If a project’s target budget is not reached, the pledged donations are never collected.

The long-mooted film version of Veronica Mars, a TV series about a schoolgirl detective that ran for three seasons in the 2000s, raised a record-breaking $5.7m from more than 91,000 backers after its Kickstarter campaign to raise $2m began in March. Last month, the Scrubs actor Zach Braff took just three days to hit the $2m target for a follow-up to his 2004 film Garden State. Braff has gone on to raise at least $2.6m via crowd-funding; this week it was announced that he had secured further funding from a traditional film financier, taking his budget to $10m.

But Hart, who currently stars in the sitcom Melissa & Joey alongside fellow ’90s TV favourite Joey Lawrence, failed to entice fans with her planned star vehicle. Darci’s Walk of Shame is described on its Kickstarter page as the story of a thirtysomething unemployed schoolteacher who has her first one-night stand at her sister’s wedding, and then must endure “a very long, confusing walk of shame in a ridiculously bright coloured taffeta bridesmaid’s gown”. The film would be shot “somewhere like Thailand or the Caribbean”.

Braff described his hoped-for film, Wish I Was Here, as a passion project over which he wanted full creative control as writer, director and star. Hart, meanwhile, seemed keen simply to win her first leading film role since 1999’s Drive Me Crazy. In a promotional video, the 37-year-old actress told fans: “I need your help to prove to people that I’m more than just Clarissa or Sabrina.”

The film’s page offered incentives including, for backers who pledged $100, a promise that “two of our main cast members (not Melissa Joan Hart) will follow you on Twitter for a full year”. A month into the campaign, Darci’s Walk of Shame had secured just $51,605 in pledges from 315 backers.

Kickstarted: The success stories


The ‘smartwatch’ became the most successful crowd-funded project in Kickstarter’s history. The company behind the device asked for $100,000 (£65,000), but raised a whopping $10,266,845 (£6.7m) in the space of a few weeks.

Elevation Dock

This wireless dock to connect an iPhone to another device was described by WIRED magazine as “the dock Apple should have made in the first place.” It raised $1,464,706 after seeking $75,000.

Ouya Console

Ouya’s Kickstarter campaign first launched July 10 with a funding goal of $950,000, promising an “elegant and affordable” games console for the Android platform. It raised $8,596,475 from 63,416 backers.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own