Kevin Smith to Stop Slacking, Form Own Distribution System

1/26/2011 Posted by Admin

Kevin Smith to Stop Slacking, Form Own Distribution System

Movie News

By our guest blogger, Nick Hanover

While most of the news out of Sundance was thoroughly boring and involved an inordinate amount of coverage on a non-twin Olsen sister, the hubbub surrounding Kevin Smith and his "Red State" premier was at times hilarious, informative and hysterical/downright vengeful.

The gist of the incident is that Smith began his Sundance day by joining the Westboro Baptist protesters who came out in pitiful numbers to picket "Red State," with Smith holding up signs of his own that read things like "God Hates Fat (So Does Southwest Airlines)." From there Smith appeared at his premier, where he commanded the stage like a carnival barker and went on about how much he believes in pet project "Red State." After the film was over, Smith held another conference wherein he conducted a "fake" auction for the distribution rights of the film, which he himself bought for $20.

This led to a rant by Smith about the ailing studio system and the exorbitant cost of marketing a film, which he believes is mostly a waste of money, especially if you're as publicly visible a creator as Smith is. Smith then unveiled his new plan of distribution for "Red State," which is similar to the roadshow style of release that used to be pretty widespread in Hollywood before "Jaws" came along and ruined everything.

Basically, Smith is going to take his film(s) on tour around the country, letting "Red State" play in select art houses and theaters for a ticket price far above the norm. To make that added cost desirable, Smith will be throwing in a Q&A with himself and others as well as unspecified "treats." After that tour is done, "Red State" will go to wide release in October, on the 17th Anniversary of "Clerks"' release. Smith's hope is that he can do away with the bulk of marketing altogether and then use this system to promote independent films that he and his partners enjoy, essentially lending unknowns his name and brand.

While some sources, like Deadline and Hitfix, claimed Smith's monologues didn't go so well with crowds, there's now video footage available that proves, outside of some very minor boos (perhaps from Deadline's crew itself?), the bulk of the crowd appears to have cheered Smith on all the way. Love him or hate him, it's undeniable that Smith knows his audience and has a very real understanding of the potency of crowd control. While his new distribution model isn't truly new, it is a different outlook from the norm and the grassroots aspects of his campaign will likely have a tremendous appeal to his following and like-minded newcomers.

Smith has already responded to his haters in an epic twitter rant that the AV Club has helpfully summarized and quoted. At this point it should be clear that the "angry bloggers" Smith rails against on Twitter, which would include Deadline and Hitfix apparently, are only feeding into Smith's marketing of himself as a rebel misunderstood by the masses, a David to their Goliaths. Sure, Smith hasn't exactly made much in the way of great filmmaking lately, but there's no denying he's got this image angle down pat.

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes