As a Kevin Smith fan, I’ve been with the rest of the folks clamoring for him to get Red State off the ground since he opened his wordhole and gave birth to the idea. Which was burgeoning something around three fucking movies back. For those who don’t know, Red State is Kevin Smith’s idea for an indie horror film which involves a world turned conservative. Dogma was a daring prospect that kind of became … well, a Kevin Smith pot-comedy dick-and-fart joke version of an awesome idea. I’m not saying that it wasn’t quality, I’m saying that he had investors, and well, it’s a business and people want to make money.
Kevin Smith’s entire career has been comprised of battles with studios and censors over what he wants to put on the screen and what will actually make money. Mallrats was what happens when he gets six million to make Clerks but has to cut pussy-eating jokes and cast more marketable actors to get that money back. Chasing Amy is what happens when he writes a $5 million dollar movie but sticks to his guns to get the cast of relatively unknowns that he wants and gets only a fraction of the cash. Which is why it’s one of his best. And when he sells out? We get Cop Out.
Anyway, a fan suggested to Smith that he start up a website to raise money. To let his fans raise the money — say, I don’t know, twenty dollars a piece — because they love the guy and respect his work and they want to see more of it on the screen. And the idea was that the fans will be financing Red State — the uncensored studio-free truly independent grass roots version — with their own money. It wouldn’t be an investment in the film, it would literally be giving Smith money to make a movie.
Well, the other movie blogs — mostly Bloody Disgusting — fucking LOST IT. How dare he ask us to foot the bill for his crap, what a greedy piece of shit, fat bastard expects me to pay twice for his nonsense that’s not even good the first time, grumble grumble poop. Smith tried to defend it with some sort of half-assed explanation about not taking a salary, and that he was actually turning it into a Project Redbanklight kind of deal where filmmakers can submit scripts and people would communally get movies made and blah blah, shut the fuck up.
Now, I’d be a fucking hypocrite if I said he’s got a lot of nerve. I’m basically doing the same fucking thing with my acting career. I’m poor, and so I’m asking for a handout without promising anything. I can’t guarantee that I’m gonna be famous, but then again, I need about $4,000. To finance a film, it takes a shitload more twenties than what I’m asking for. Plus, even if he matches funds or skips out on salaries, he’s still gotta pay everyone else. Especially little actors like me.
This would have made a hell of a lot more sense about ten years and ten films ago. Still, I want the movie made. What Smith’s asking is that we pay twice for a final product. Which is funny, because we’re essentially the only ones paying for it the first time. And sure, we can take pride in saying “Hey, I got that fucking movie made!” If we really want the movies we want, we’re supposed to vote with our dollar.
I mean, I can’t understand why the other sites are getting so outraged over Smith pulling this stunt. If it pisses you off, then don’t fucking pay. It’s not like he’s pulling a Ponzi scheme where he’s twirling his fucking mustache and grabbing a big sack of money and running off on a train, laughing like Snidely fucking Whiplash. Does it make him look like a half-assed director? Sure. Does it seem a little low-rent? Of course. But so what? If it takes me giving twenty bucks to get this fucking movie made, then why the hell not? Smith’s always doing crazy shit for his fans, from holding open calls for crowd scenes to going around the country hosting awesome nights of speechifying. And if we get a chance to give back? I say good. Give him your fucking money.
But first. Give me your fucking money. Mostly, because I need it worse. And because Ted Boynton, the Boozehound, promised with an incredible spout of generosity to match all funds donated to The Prisco Relief Fund up to $1,500. Just to prove that his heart is almost as big and well-worn as his liver. What’s wrong with panhandling for your art? Not a damn thing, I say.