Actor James Franco is following in the footsteps of Zach Braff and turning to alternative methods of sourcing money to create films, hoping to raise $500,000 (£319,900) to fund the transformation of his short story collection, Palo Alto, into films.

Speaking in the video posted on his Indiegogo page, Franco is shown touring around his home town in California and explaining his vision for the movies: "Although it's a book of fiction it's inspired by experiences I had growing up here, the things that people I knew went through", adding it was a book about being a teenager, coming of age, and learning about the world.

Franco is inviting his fans to "join this adventure" by donating a sum of money to his cause, with extra incentives thrown in for higher donations.

The 'contributor perks' range from PDF scripts and behind the scenes sneak previews for those who donate $10, but those feeling particularly generous and able to donate $10,000 will receive an 'Executive Producer' credit for the film of their choice, an exclusive dinner with James Franco and the rest of the production team, and a tote bag.

Pre-empting the criticism faced by Hollywood actors who turn to crowdsourcing websites to make 'passion projects', Franco explains the attraction of seeking funds from sources other than big Hollywood production studios: "This is the best way to make movies the movies we want to make, get made in the ways we want to make them."

However, all of the profits made from the films - there's three planned - will go to Art of Elysium: a non-profit organization that encourages actors, artists and musicians to volunteer with children who are fighting serious medical conditions.

At the time of writing, the Palo Alto Stories project has earned $25,720 (£16,456) and continues to climb towards its goal with 76 funders and one of the six $10,000 perks taken.

james francozach braff
James Franco [L] Is Looking To Fund HIs Movie With Donations Like Zach Braff [R] Did Recently.