Divisive writer-director Kevin Smith recently sat down for an interview with KCRW’s Kim Masters for this week’s episode of The Business, and, as is his style, spoke in great detail about film and, more specifically, his (supposedly) final movie, Clerks III. Even more specifically, Smith noted that he will not go the crowdfunding route, despite recent successes with the Veronica Mars$5.7 million Kickstarter campaign and Zach Braff’s coattail-riding $3.1 million fundraiser.
Smith, whose first film, Clerks, was financed by family, friends, and credit cards, said that he’d love to jump on the Kickstarter bandwagon, but that ” I think I’ve missed the window based on the fact that I do have access to materials, I do have access to money… I feel like I should leave that for the cats that really need it at this point.”
“It feels like me trying to have a second bite at the apple by going, ‘All right man, now I’m going indie again with this Kickstarter thing.’ Like, the truth of it is, after all this time, 20 years later, I have access to money… If I don’t use my own money, I can always hit up some of my famous friends.”
Smith being Smith, however, meant that the interview wouldn’t be complete without a little hubris, as the director mentioned that if he simply released a video with “me just walking out in front of a blackboard and writing Clerks and then III after it, without much more than that, we probably would have easily cleared $5 million to $7 million bucks,” hastening to add that “not because people like me, but they love Clerks, man.”
And of course, the obligatory penis reference:
“So, if I jump out there, and I unleash this big fat ‘Clerks III’ little wiener that I’ve got, and that soaks up $5-7 million in indie financing from the Kickstarter, Indigogo campaign, that’s a bunch of potential money that all these amateur Medici’s are not gonna throw toward somebody who really needs it.”
Smith seems at least keenly aware of the Braff backlash that stemmed from his seemingly unnecessary request for crowdsourcing for his Garden State follow-up, and the fact that he himself would likely go Red State on him if he asked for money he could generate on his own.
Speaking of Red State, the director revealed that he had considered utilizing crowdfunding when making Red State, but that he was insulted by a blogger who insinuated Smith was a beggar:
“The moment I saw that I froze. That high school part of me, the last vestiges of high school that said, ‘O, I care what other people think about me,’ seized me… And, I can’t even remember the name of the website or the person that wrote it, but I do remember that it was the last moment of my life where I let some outsider shape my point of view – like, I was on to a good idea, but I chickened out.”
What do you think of Smith’s statements—should he abandon crowdfunding for Clerks III? Should there even be a Clerks III?