A touch over 17 years ago, Kevin Smith was sitting in an almost-empty theater on the verge of tears because he was staring a massive load of credit card debt in the face with nothing more than a black and white indie film and a handful of friends enjoying the most expensive viewing party ever. It would turn out that the one man he didn’t recognize as obligated by friendship to be there would end up pulling the strings to get Clerks purchased. The rest is history that tries not to suck too many dicks on its way to the parking lot.
Almost two decades later, Smith has announced that he plans on launching long-awaited zealot horror film Red State at Sundance 2011 and wants to hop up on stage afterward with a gavel in hand to start the public bidding. Yes, friends. Kevin Smith wants to auction off distribution for Red State to the highest bidder right there and then.
“Here’s something that’s not so much news as my stated intentions for RED STATE: if it gets into Sundance, my plan is to pick the RED STATE distributor right there ‐ IN THE ROOM ‐ auction style. Might even bring up a professional auctioneer to make it fun and unintelligible. And if you’re a multi-millionaire who can’t make it to the first screening of RED STATE, fear not: maybe we’ll set up an eBay page for the post-screening bid-calling as well.” [emphasis not mine]
Hiring an auctioneer? Setting up an eBay site? That’s the old school bluster and fireworks that this world needs like a shot of Old Granddad’s Whiskey to the arm.
There’s a chance that it could royally backfire, but that’s the chance you take with, you know, chances. Those things long forgotten by people sleeping tight within the comfortable walls of a studio. This, to me, feels like vintage indie Smith. He’s making his own movies and slinging them out into the world how he wants.
So there you have it. Grab a few friends, pool some cash together, and head to Sundance. The snow promises to thaw just a little that day.
Now if we could only see that video he shot for Prince.
What do you think?