The “Veronica Mars” movie Kickstarter has ended, and now its first big budget copycat has been announced. Zach Braff unveiled a Kickstarter to fund his follow-up to “Garden State” on April 24, and at press time it was already more than a quarter of the way to its $2 million goal.

The new movie, called “Wish I Was Here,” tells the story of a “struggling actor, father and husband” named Aidan Bloom (played by Braff) who attempts to home-school his ailing father’s two young children when he can’t get help elsewhere. “The result is some funny chaos, until Aidan decides to scrap the traditional academic curriculum and come up with his own. Through teaching them about life his way, Aidan gradually discovers some of the parts of himself he couldn’t find,” Braff writes. “It was written by my brother, Adam, and me last summer.”

In case it needs to be made clearer, this isn’t a sequel to “Garden State,” but rather a thematic follow-up. It will be the first feature film Braff directed since his 2004 cult favorite, though he has directed episodes of “Scrubs” and a TV movie in the meantime. Braff claims he was about to unhappily sign a “typical financial deal” for “Wish I Was Here” when he saw the success Rob Thomas had with “Veronica Mars” he realized that “maybe there is a new way to finance smaller, personal films that didn’t involve signing away all your artistic control.”

Braff promises an awesome soundtrack like “Garden State’s” and frequent updates about the status of the movie. He also has uploaded concept art and behind-the-scenes photos to the Kickstarter. “Wish I Was Here” will reunite him with “Garden State’s” cinematographer Larry Sher and production designer Judy Becker.

“I look at it like this: Come join this little club. Join for whatever you can. And then, together, this lil club’s gonna make a really cool movie, and you’ll have made it happen. If you’ve liked the stuff I’ve made so far, I know you’re going to love this,” Braff writes. “Whether you end up with a rad t-shirt (soft as a kitten’s t**nt) or an invite to a special preview screening, you’ll know that without you, this movie never would have gotten made. (*Yes, there will be a secret handshake and code word for the club.) (No, it’s won’t be ‘Eagle’ or ‘C-bear’.)”

After being up for less than a day, “Wish I Was Here” already has over 7,100 backers and $530,000 pledged. The Kickstarter ends on May 24.

Posted by:Terri Schwartz