Kevin Smith’s Red State Inspires Indie Filmmakers

November 12, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Kevin Smith's Red State Looks Awesome

I have gigantic amounts of respect for Kevin Smith’s work.

Before I go further, let me say that I’m not necessarily a die hard fan of his films but I still find them to be entertaining.

I’m a huge fan of Kevin Smith the person.  I first became a fan after a friend of mine showed me the first Evening With Kevin Smith DVD.  I now own all three in addition to his hilarious books.  What I find fascinating is how easy it is to relate to him as he rants about his adventures in Hollywood.

He’s just up there talking about how much he loves making movies.  His movies.

It’s admirable because he does things his way and is successful because he answers directly to his fans.  Naturally, he wants to attract new fans as well but he’s always mindful of the people who have followed him along the way.

Kevin Smith is easily one of the most accessible filmmakers in the world.  Whether it’s through his DVD’s, books, blogs, smodcasts or tweets, he always seems to be reachable.

That is why I’m a fan.

Following Kevin Smith is a glimpse into the world of filmmaking by someone who did it by himself.  He took a huge risk and found an audience with Clerks and hasn’t looked back since.

Yet there are still people out there who criticize his films.  Most notable, the recent ‘Hollywood-ish’ buddy cop comedy Cop Out.

I think he returned to his ‘do it yourself and see what happens’ roots as a result.

That’s why I’m hoping Red State is his best film to date.

The film was made for a reasonably low cost and he is handling most of the work himself.  Case in point, he edited the film each night and had a rough cut ready for the wrap party.

That’s unheard of yet not surprising given Smith is so passionate about his films.

When he launched the first poster Red State shot up my most anticipated films list.

Kevin Smith's Red State Inspires Indie Filmmakers

Here is what Mr. Smith had to say about the poster on his blog:

“Moody, weird, and pitch-perfect for the tone of the film. If I went out to an ad agency here in town, I’d be billed close to 20 grand for a campaign that’d maybe… maybe… include this poster. But this piece of artwork (I call it “The Holy Ghost”) didn’t come from a top-tier ad agency: Jon Gordon is my RED STATE producer, and this poster was created by his assistant, Melissa Bloom. So we’ve got a marketing image that was put together by someone who was on set every day, integral to the process that produced the film which inspired this image. This isn’t the work of some gun for hire who’s doing six other campaigns; we’re not just one of many. The marketer is actually family, RED from pre-production all the way through wrap, so she’s got an insight into the flick that no ad agency could ever boast (not even one-time Glo-Coat golden boy Don Draper over at SCDP). I’ll take passion over pedigree any day.”

I think that statement alone is inspiring to independent filmmakers out there.

Come up with a film believe in and make it happen.

Recently, he debuted the teaser trailer before a small group of fans in a feature he calls Red State of the Union.

You can actually listen to the event and subsequent Q&A here.

“Your audience is coming so lets reach for the audience that’s not coming…  I hate that.”

He’s doing all the right things.  Promoting the movie himself through a community he’s built around the fans that love his work.

He’s planning on doing more Q&A’s leading up to the film’s release and I for one will be tuning in for all of them.

I’m looking forward to seeing some footage from this film. It’s completely different than anything he’s ever done.  I think it’s a perfect film for him to make.  Why not change things up and step away from comedy and do something completely different?

My favorite Kevin Smith film is Jersey Girl.  That’s probably an unpopular opinion but I think Mr. Smith would agree that’s it’s not about popular opinion.  It’s about the movies you connect with.

It’s too soon to tell if Red State will be a hit with fans or critics alike.

However, how can you not be curious about a film he cares so deeply about?

PS: I’m curious as to how people will take the religious tone of the film especially after the amount of protesters against Dogma.