USA TODAY - It's time for another installment of "where in the entertainment industry is James Franco?"
The multi-talented thespian, who is currently in theaters in the Seth Rogen-directed summer comedy, This Is the End, is raising money for a series three movies based on 10 stories from his 2011 debut short story collection, Palo Alto.
Franco's book chronicles his coming-of-age experiences in high school in his hometown of Palo Alto, Calif. He's asking $500,000 through the crowdfunding website Indiegogo to produce the films, which are titled Memoria, Killing Animals and Yosemite.
"Although it's a book of fiction, it was inspired by experiences I had growing up here, things that people I knew went through, and gerneally I see it as a book that's supposed to touch on universal things about being a teenager, coming of age, and learning about the bigger world," Franco says in a video on the funding site.
Franco will not direct the movies; instead, he's pitching that they be adapted and directed by "talented up and coming filmmakers" Nina Ljeti, Vladimir Bourdeau, Bruce Thierry Cheung, and Gabrielle Demeestere.
In less than four hours, the project raised $25,000, and as of this writing, it has raised $30,000. Supporters have incentive to whip out their digital checkbooks -- a donation of $20 gets an audio version of the stories narrated by Franco, while other donation stages get things like an associate producer credit and a set visit. For a $5,000 donation, fans can be in the movie, for $7,000 they get an original painting by Franco and for $10,000 they get an executive producer credit and VIP dinner.
Franco is far from the first celebrity to appeal to fans to help fund projects. Recent successes include the campaign for a Veronica Mars movie and a Zach Braff-headed sequel to his popular indie flick Garden State. Both raised money on Kickstarter, a similar crowdfunding platform.
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