Kevin Smith can’t seem to get a break. Sure, things were great back when Clerks blew up and his deal with Mirimax helped him form a career. But between his issues with Dogma and the church, getting an audience for Clerks 2, the problems with getting Zack and Miri Make A Porno and the trouble with Cop Out, the guy can’t seem to get a break lately in Hollywood.
Yesterday, Smith brought his newest project, the horror film Red State, to Sundance and had planned on a public auction for the film’s distribution immediately after the screening. He later decided that he was going to distribute the film itself to prove that the indie film world still held strong.
So, for a whopping $20, Smith bought the film from himself, and is now planning on taking the flick on the road with a very grassroots plan to get awareness and make back the film’s $4 million budget. From THR:
The film will go out via Smith’s SModcast with no marketing spend, though he said that he will talk to “any smart exhibitor” about potentially showing the movie.
“We are going to make our money back by going out on the road and going city by city,” said Smith. The tour will begin March 5 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and make a stop at Midland Theater in Kansas City one week later.
In his more than 20-minute speech, Smith lambasted movie studios for a system he said is unfair and outdated and too focused on advertising. Smith said that he had never intended to get into the business of the movie industry — noting that he’s simply a “fat, masturbating stoner” — but the state of the industry essentially forced his hand.
Needless to say, this is expected to be Smith’s big stand against big studios, which is definitely going to leave him open for PR attacks from the Westboro Baptist Church, who are already going after Smith for the film’s look at religious cultists.
The protests started early, at about 3 p.m., three hours before Red State would have its world premiere. On one side: foot soldiers from Westboro Baptist Church, declaring for the umpteenth time that “GOD HATES FAGS.” On the other? A ragtag collection of moviegoers — many Park City-area high school students — singing Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” at full volume.
It looks like things are only starting to get interesting for Smith and his newest film, and we should be hearing more as he starts to promote his road tour.