James Franco becomes the latest star to turn to crowdsourcing

James Franco becomes the latest star to turn to crowdsourcing
James Franco arrives at the U.S. premiere of "Spring Breakers" at the SXSW Film Festival, on Sunday, March 10, 2013, in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP Images)

Fundraising sites like Kickstarter are popular with regular folks looking to scrounge up a little cash to make a dream a reality, but celebrities are increasingly launching their own campaigns -- in spite of the fact that they could probably bankroll the projects themselves. For example, James Franco is looking to raise $500,000 to turn his book into a series of films. Franco is estimated to be worth over $20 million. 

The campaign, which Franco has launched via IndieGoGo, is looking to turn Franco's first book, "Palo Alto," into a trio of feature films for the low, low price of half a million dollars. Rather than opting for an old guard cast (or doing it all himself), Franco has selected a crew of up-and-coming filmmakers to work on the project. From the IndieGoGo site:

Over the past 3 years I have directed and produced 6 feature films. I’ve also begun dedicating much of my time to teaching. Giving new filmmakers the opportunity to direct and produce films has become one of my greatest passions.

I strongly believe in this project and these visionary filmmakers. In order to cover all of the production expenses required to make these films a reality, we need to raise $500,000.  

To his credit, Franco has said that the profits of the films will be donated to The Art of Elysium, a non-profit organization that connects working actors and other creatives with children who are living with chronic or serious illness. Of course, the organization also accepts direct donations.