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Sylvester Stallone and director John Herzfeld turn to Kickstarter to finish 'Reach Me'

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Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone

Established filmmakers have been embracing Kickstarter with open arms this year, and now writer-director John Herzfeld is trying crowdfunding with a slight wrinkle on the formula: he's looking for $250,000 to finish a movie he's largely already shot. Reach Me is a film about 12 characters that are affected in various ways by an inspirational book written by a reclusive football coach. Actors like Sylvester Stallone, Danny Aiello, Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), and Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead) litter the cast, but according to the Kickstarter campaign one of the film's main investors dropped out during principal photography. Herzfeld and producer Rebekah Chaney put their own money into the movie to keep things going, but the production still requires additional funds to finish post-production and shoot an additional scene with actor Thomas Jane (The Mist).

Unlike most film-related Kickstarter campaigns, Reach Me already has some form of distribution in place, with Herzfeld stating that he needs to deliver the finished film no later than mid-November. It's not clear just what will happen to the film if the goal isn't met, but for those inclined to back the project there are a variety of options, ranging from a single dollar all the way up to $10,000. Depending on what level people participate in, they can receive everything from a PDF of the movie script, to tickets to an advanced screening, all the way up to having a song they've written included in the movie.

Spike Lee recently raised $1.25 million on Kickstarter to fund his newest project, but the funding came at a much slower pace than recent success stories like the Veronica Mars movie and Zach Braff's campaign for Wish I Was Here. Herzfeld is certainly asking for a much smaller sum than any of those projects, but the director of 15 Minutes and 2 Days in the Valley isn't as recognizable as some of those other individuals, either. How the project ends up doing could be a good barometer of whether Kickstarter users are tiring of film projects from established names, or hungry for more.