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Actor-director Zach Braff talks “Wish I Was Here”

Director and actor Zach Braff made waves in 2004 with his directorial debut and soon-to-be-cult-classic, “Garden State.” Now, Braff is back with his Kickstarter-funded “Wish I Was Here.” The film follows struggling actor Aidan Bloom (Braff) and his efforts to navigate his rocky relationship with his wife Sarah (Kate Hudson); support his children, Grace (Joey King) and Tucker (Pierce Gagnon); care for his cancer-stricken father, Saul (Mandy Patinkin); and come to terms with his own spirituality. We talked with Braff during a roundtable about the subjunctive mood, Kickstarter and the purpose of film.

Kick-starting to success: Online platform funds creative projects

When Thomas Pauly ’12 and Rebecca Hecht ’12 needed funding for their senior project, a theatrical production titled “The Ones Left Behind,” they took an unconventional approach to raising the funds. After receiving a generous but insufficient Angel Grant — a $3,000 grant provided by Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR) to assist students in producing public creative works — the pair created a project on Kickstarter, a popular “crowd-funding” platform that allows individuals to seek funding for creative projects.

Stanford grad’s hot wheels

A brainchild of Kent Frankovich M.S. ’10, Revolights are LED lighting systems that connect to the bike’s wheels, producing a white light on the front half of the bike and a red light on the back, which allow bikers to see more clearly and increase their visibility. The idea for the lighting system struck Frankovich while he was completing his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Stanford, when he noticed the shortcomings of his traditional, handlebar-mounted light, which pointed ahead but did not offer the rider much visibility from the side.