Rather Than Go After Fan For Making Podcast Better, Kevin Smith Asks Him To Help Out

from the that's-how-it's-done dept

These days, we hear way too many stories of content creators absolutely flipping out about fans enhancing their work in some way. Most recently, we were quite disappointed to see the "Real Calvin and Hobbes" -- a fan site that superimposed the comic strip images on real photographs that matched the original scenes -- get shut down due to aggressive lawyering. So, we're always happy to see artists, who really seem to "get it," recognize that when fans build on the things you've done, it's because they're fans and want to do more with the experience, and to share it with others. That's why it was quite interesting, in listening to the latest episode of the always awesome Hollywood Babble-On podcast with Ralph Garman and Kevin Smith, that they had a revealing discussion after a fan emailed in about a plan to release "enhanced" versions of the podcasts on YouTube.

If you're not a fan of the podcast, it involves the two hosts, in front of a live audience, discussing show business, hilariously. One part of the show is that it includes images and videos that they comment on. Many of these are from the week's news, but there are other amusing segments, such as "shit that should not be" in which they highlight a clip from a film each week where someone screwed up and allowed something into the film that shouldn't have been there (e.g., you can see the camera crew, or someone in the background is doing something stupid). When listening to the podcast, it can sometimes be a bit strange, since you can't see the images and videos that they use. To deal with that, they also put up all the images and videos on the site when the podcast goes live. I'll usually try to check it out sometime the following week.

So, in this latest episode, a fan emailed to say that he was going to put together "enhanced" versions of the podcast on YouTube, in which he'd insert the images and videos at the appropriate points so that if you listened to it via YouTube, you could take a look when the visual stuff comes up. Not that useful if you're listening while driving or something but if you're just, say, listening at your desk, it might make for a nice alternative. It's somewhat amusing to hear the reactions of Garman and Smith as they walk through this, and I actually think that Smith's reaction is the kind of thought process in action that many creative folks go through when they realize that people are doing something with their stuff: the first thought is -- instinctually -- to be concerned about someone else doing something with their stuff, but then the quick realization that, wait, this is a good thing, and if it's a good thing, maybe they should team up. So, within a few seconds, it goes from Smith somewhat jokingly suggesting that this is "stealing" to him saying that he now wants to give the guy money each week to do the same thing:
Garman: Doug did a very cool thing. He says I'm going to post uncut episodes of Hollywood Babble-On on YouTube. But I'm going to stick whatever pictures and videos are included in the show throughout the course of it.... What he's done is he's run the audio underneath and then laid all the stuff on top of it so you can watch it on YouTube in one sitting.

Smith: It would be better if he did it on our channel, rather than stealing our content and putting it on his channel. And just because he's putting our fucking pictures under it as well, that seems like theft to me, no? Especially since he's putting it on his YouTube channel, if you get enough hits and stuff, they'll give you some fucking money and shit. I mean, I'm not one of those cats who's like 'don't bootleg' because I used to get bootlegs back in the day... but I'm still alive, bitch. This is all I got is this fucking Babble-On show. Don't take this away from me and Ralph.

Garman: Doug, you'll be hearing from our lawyers, was what I meant to say.

Smith: Yeah, just do it for our channel. Do it for our channel and will throw him a couple bucks every week. I love that shit, man. Just do it for us.

Garman: Alright.

Smith: I'll give him shit in advance. I'll give him the podcast in advance so that by the time the podcast drops, the YouTube episode can drop as well.... There's no point in fighting it. I mean, you can't fight the creative urge. This dude loves our art so much...

Garman: Well, he likes to watch it on his Xbox which has a YouTube app, so he can sit there...

Smith: Bingo. He's loves our shit. It makes him want to make his own shit. And you don't want to stifle that and be like "fucking don't do that or we'll sue you." What you want to do is fucking recruit him and be like "help us do it" and fucking work together and shit....
And... boom, this week's episode (the one where they discuss this very idea) comes complete with an enhanced YouTube version that is posted on Smith's own Seesmod YouTube channel. If you want to hear the actual discussion transcribed above, it's at about 28:12 in the video below:
Of course, this is hardly the first time Smith has done something like this. We've discussed a number of cool things he's done to connect with fans in the past. In fact, the latest movie that Smith has had (something) of a hand in, Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie! was actually directed by Steve Stark, a guy that Smith met via Twitter, after Stark animated some of another Smith podcast, the Smodcast. That led to a collaboration in which Stark was hired to produce more animations, and eventually to direct that movie.

To many of us, of course, this kind of thing makes quite a lot of sense. If your fans are doing awesome stuff with your stuff, see if there are ways to work together to make it better for everyone. And, yet, it still seems like too many people instead stick with the instinctual reaction of "that's against the law!" and immediately call the lawyers. How much more interesting a world would it be if more people looked for the upside when fans embrace the artwork they love?

Update: Kevin Smith stopped by to provide some more detail, including explaining that, coincidentally, people working with him were already working on something like this, which is why they put up this clip, and it's not actually by the guy who had emailed him, but he's still reaching out. Um, and he also says that Techdirt is mentioned in Clerks III.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 8:11pm

    Anomaly Alert!

    Okay, against the odds, it's a GOOD one: "wants to give the guy money each week"!!!

    Now, if only Mike would take the cue and PAY minions, he might get some worthwhile pieces! Heck, even I'd write here -- provocatively, not my usual dull -- if paid. But I think paying people for doing work goes against Mike's "principles".

     

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    •  
      identicon
      RD, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 8:20pm

      Re: Anomaly Alert! - fuck you

      Dear Blue,

      Fuck you. No one wants to hear any of your shit, and no one for fucking sure want to see you paid for the shilltroll bullshit "up with copyright, down with the users!" MCP garbage you spew every day here.

      Signed,

      Everyone who's ever had to read your "first post! pay attention to me, I'm a failed creator who chooses to spend his time attacking his betters instead of doing anything constructive with my life!" bile.

      PS - If we pay you, will you shut the fuck up and never post again? I think you'll get more takers for that.

       

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        The Groove Tiger (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 4:09pm

        Re: Re: Anomaly Alert! - fuck you

        "PS - If we pay you, will you shut the fuck up and never post again? I think you'll get more takers for that."

        Now THAT is a Reason to Buy.

         

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    •  
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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 8:25pm

      Re: Anomaly Alert!

      How much would I have to pay you to never write anything anywhere ever again?

       

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        DCX2, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 4:34am

        Re: Re: Anomaly Alert!

        All you have to do is stop responding.

        Just report the post. Do not reply. Do this long enough and they will go away.

        Either that, or for God's sake, make comment threads collapsible so I can easily ignore all the fools who fell for troll bait.

         

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    •  
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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 25th, 2013 @ 8:36pm

      Re: Anomaly Alert!

      meh some dude offered me money here for hurting my feelings and Mike never mentioned if the check arrived.

      and I am curious as well how much to shut you up?

       

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      apauld (profile), Jun 25th, 2013 @ 9:56pm

      Re: Anomaly Alert!

      The real anomaly is that you think you can write provocatively.

       

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        out_of_the_blue, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 6:06am

        Re: Re: Anomaly Alert!

        @ "apauld (profile), Jun 25th, 2013 @ 9:56pm

        Re: Anomaly Alert!
        The real anomaly is that you think you can write provocatively."


        Well, a) your usage of "anomaly" is simply daffy; here I was referring to a fan actually getting paid for help, and my wry wit noting frequent use of "anomaly" escaped you, and b) obviously YOU were provoked to respond, reliable as ankle-biter yapping its head off at a cat, and just as UN-self-aware that its buttons were pushed.

         

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      PaulT (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 12:19am

      Re: Anomaly Alert!

      Is there anything that's not an anomaly by your standards, or are you just stupid enough to think that "person who pays full price for everything they consume at all times" and "artist making millions under a corporate contract" are the norm?

      "Now, if only Mike would take the cue and PAY minions"

      You mean, just like both Mike and some of his writers confirmed that he did, despite the lies spewed out by your idiot friends? Why does every argument of your have to be based on complete fiction?

      "But I think"

      No you don't.

       

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        out_of_the_blue, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 6:18am

        Re: Re: Anomaly Alert!

        @ "PaulT": Now, if only Mike would take the cue and PAY minions"

        You mean, just like both Mike and some of his writers confirmed that he did, despite the lies spewed out by your idiot friends? Why does every argument of your have to be based on complete fiction?


        That was my belief right up to this morning, based on what Mike wrote some time back, DESPITE not believing that minions would continue to write for free. I've questioned it numerous times and never saw any contradiction. -- So thanks for the news!

        Because then shows that Mike's notions on user-generated content are wrong, you actually have to PAY for values used in business. It's a key point that undermines much of his hoopla on web funding -- or as I believe is his hoopla, since he doesn't write much on it these days, let alone have it neatly listed in bullet points for ready reference. -- So answer to your last question is: because Mike doesn't actually state much clearly, readers are just left to imagine that he agrees with them.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 6:39am

          Re: Re: Re: Anomaly Alert!

          "That was my belief right up to this morning"

          Perhaps if you bothered to read the articles (which you have previous admitting to not doing) and participated in actual conversation rather than launching impotent attacks, you'd understand that this was not the case. It's been mentioned before, but there was a major thread conversation where it should have been put to rest - for those who bother to read the site before they try criticising, of course.

          "Because then shows that Mike's notions on user-generated content are wrong"

          How so? Let me guess, you're unable to grasp a basic point yet again, and so have to attack a fiction? (hint: there's a major difference between user generated content - the comments here - and the articles, written by paid employees). There's no contradiction between believing that people should be paid for works for hire and believing that free user generated content can also be monetised.


          "So answer to your last question is: because Mike doesn't actually state much clearly"

          Everything he writes is perfectly clear to me. I may not always agree, but it's perfectly clear. It doesn't match the fever dream fantasy world you operate from, but that's not Mike's problem.

           

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 25th, 2013 @ 8:38pm

    I think this is an awesome thing, not only for the outcome, but for the steps you see him go through in his head.
    Not sure how much is tongue in cheek, my net speed makes video problematic, but you can see how the thoughts happen... and what happens if you stop short of caring more about keeping iron fisted control than offering the best possible thing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 10:39pm

    No need to shut ootb up, just report button him every time he opens with his worthless babble. It's fairly easy to spot him when he comes in as anonymous too. His writing style isn't very varied.

    Kudos to this two doing podcasts who actually see value in fan work. What makes your show better can't be bad.

     

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    horse with no name, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 11:07pm

    It why you guys are hard to follow:

    And, yet, it still seems like too many people instead stick with the instinctual reaction of "that's against the law!" and immediately call the lawyers

    Honestly, where do you get that? The guy contacted Kevin Smith head, ASKED PERMISSION, and now they are working together. There is a huge difference between asking permission and begging forgiveness. Kevin is a cool guy who is more than willing to try things, so asking is the way to go.

    This story should be pinned for all Techdirt people to read - it's about getting onside before your end up offside. Nobody is calling the lawyers on things that they have approved.

    (oh and thanks for continuing to censor my posts... it continued to prove that Techdirt is "do as I say, not do as I do" - low class, even for you guys).

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 11:20am

      Re: It why you guys are hard to follow:

      First, posts aren't 'censored', they are reported and hidden by people for being 'abusive, spam, trollish, or otherwise inappropriate'. Were they censored, they wouldn't be viewable at all, instead of the 'click the mouse button once to show hidden post'.

      Second, if you don't want your comments hidden, might want to cut down on the personal attacks, like say, your last sentence in that post.

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 1:31pm

        Re: Re: It why you guys are hard to follow:

        if you don't want your comments hidden, might want to cut down on the personal attacks, like say, your last sentence in that post.


        That's not going to happen. It's too useful of a technique:

        "TD is nothing but a pirate-advocating, scum-sucking, google-financed home to a bunch of childish, artist-hating thieves! . Mike sucks!"

        Then the comment gets hidden because it's trollish and abusive, the troll claims that it was hidden because everyone wants to suppress the valid point.

        They need the comment to be hidden so they can complain about being "censored".

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 1:32pm

          Re: Re: Re: It why you guys are hard to follow:

          Argh, I forgot to avoid angle brackets. My sample troll comment was:

          "TD is nothing but a pirate-advocating, scum-sucking, google-financed home to a bunch of childish, artist-hating thieves! . [Insert valid point here] Mike sucks!"

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 7:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: It why you guys are hard to follow:

          John, please pay attention. I am not complaining here about people pushing the report button to block stuff. That isn't my beef here.

          What is happening is when I post anything, it gets "HELD FOR MODERATION". Every post. 100% of the time. I don't get to post and have it reported into oblivion, my post never makes it - or if it does (in this case) it's added 24 to 48 hours later, making it essentially meaningless in the flow of dicussion.

          It isn't an issue of reporting, it's an issue of never allowing it on the website to start with.

          I would also say based on this ""TD is nothing but a pirate-advocating, scum-sucking, google-financed home to a bunch of childish, artist-hating thieves! . Mike sucks!"" you (and probably the Techdirt staff) are confusing me with the guy posting absolutely anonymously and slagging Techdirt. If I am going to call Mike a liar (or using truthiness to make his points) I will do it directly.

          So Techdirt is using censorship (not reporting by users, but actual censorship) to keep most of my messages off the site. You never get to vote on them, because you never get to see them. That is censorship plain and simple. I wonder if I should get a lawyer?

           

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            John Fenderson (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 8:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It why you guys are hard to follow:

            you (and probably the Techdirt staff) are confusing me with the guy posting absolutely anonymously and slagging Techdirt.


            Yes, I should have been more clear. I was really talking generally about the pure and consistent trolls, which I don't really think you are. My apologies.

            That said, your comments do sometimes stray from rational debate and slip into the ad-hom and personal attack territory. Given the problem TD has with this sort of thing, I think lots of people, including myself, have a heightened sensitivity to that.

            Although I'm skeptical of the notion that you are being intentionally censored -- not because I doubt your word, but because the symptoms don't really add up to me -- I'm going to grant this is happening for the sake of argument.

            That is censorship plain and simple. I wonder if I should get a lawyer?


            Sure, if you want to waste money. You are well aware that you (and I or anyone else who isn't Mike) have no legal right to post comments here. There is no constitutional issue. To compare being censored here with governmental censorship is disingenuous.

            I don't remember TD making a big issue out of private entities doing this sort of thing. Where TD makes a big issue is when the government does it or forces others to do it. I don't see any serious hypocrisy here.

             

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            identicon
            RD, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It why you guys are hard to follow:

            "So Techdirt is using censorship (not reporting by users, but actual censorship) to keep most of my messages off the site. You never get to vote on them, because you never get to see them. That is censorship plain and simple. I wonder if I should get a lawyer?"

            Why would you get a lawyer? Techdirt isnt the government, you have no 1st amendment rights here. You can't sue someone for not allowing you to speak (or write) on their private property. If you walk into a restaurant and start screaming about how awful the place is, the food sucks, etc and calling the management and patrons names, would you not expect to get kicked out? You have no speech rights in such a situation, so why does it apply here? Is it because the answer to every such scenario to you and your luddite friends is its "on the internet?"

             

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      PaulT (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 1:03am

      Re: It why you guys are hard to follow:

      This is why I consider you one of the idiot trolls, even though you're relatively new here. Even when making a point that can be considered valid, you're unable to do so without name-calling, whining and other behaviour that ensures your point will not be taken. It's possible to make your point without making your last 2 paragraphs into stupid flailing attempts at an attack.

      Have you tried making points without name calling, and perhaps get it through your thick skull that there's individuals here with individual opinions, especially commenters (so attacks on "Techdirt" may be attacking people for holding opinions they don't hold)? In other words, stop being an obnoxious ass, and maybe you'll find the actual things being said here aren't what you're so offended by.

       

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    rasz, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 11:13pm

    Haha this is great. He went from 'what a cunt' Metallica to 'what a great creative person' Amanda Palmer inside 5 minute window :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 11:23pm

    Goddamn, he says fuck more than me.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 1:29am

    He he. The usual suspect talking about anomalies again. How many anomalies does it take before these anomalies stop being anomalies to him?

    Does anyone else like the way 'anomalies' sounds as they say it or am I an anomalous nerd?

     

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    naka, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 2:43am

    I'm a big fan of HBO, and Smith's other various podcasts. Great to see this mentioned on Techdirt...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 3:02am

    While it's a teensy bit better than the standard industry reaction it's still that jerk might make shedloads of money by adding something my to podcast and I wouldn't get anything extra myself so unless it's on my channel where I will be the one getting the oodles of money and I will chuck him a few dollars.
    When it doesn't bring in extra money he won't want to give the guy money. The idea is still that someone might use something of mine and make money and dammit that would represent a loss to me in some magic way, albeit with a rational rather than irrational follow up predicated on the false premise.

     

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      Niall (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 5:08am

      Re:

      Yes, but by getting the ahead lowdown on the podcast and it being simultaneously available on Smith's YoutTube channel, he's effectively become the 'official' guy for this, which is, aside from getting any dollars for what he was already doing, fantastic recognition.

      So what if it is set up in a way that helps monetise Smith? If more artists/organisations made use of fans and customers like this, they would do so much better.

      You might as well argue that FPS game makers 'profit' off people who generate maps for free that encourage people to buy their games. Added value comes in many flavours - some people want money, some recognition, and some both. And I'm sure there's other things too, like 'earning' experience.

       

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    Ninja (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 4:24am

    EPIC win. Work with fans and you'll build love and a better service. Sounds a good deal unless you are in the MAFIAA.

     

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    bigPirate, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 5:14am

    kevin smith

    you don't know me either but mister smith is smart, articulate and NOT GREEDY and i mean that....im one of the largest pirates out there and hes got in touch and asked me to do some podcast stuff for him and had a friend help me afford and acquire all the software to make animation and such....

    THIS is what an artist should do help not hinder....and the way he went about it is just too cool.

    IT might even get him spared the coming pitchforks .....

     

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    Kevin, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:34am

    FULL DISCLOSURE!

    Hi - it's Kevin Smith. That Kevin Smith - the one mentioned above.

    The clip that went up on our YouTube channel was not made by the dude who emailed us on this week's episode of Babble. Turns out Jordan Monsanto (who runs SModCo for us; also Mrs. Mewes) had been working with our IT maven (and fellow podcaster) Will Wilkins on this and YouTube version of our FAT MAN ON BATMAN podcast. It was a happy coincidence that the first Babble clip ran this week.

    But the good news is we're all lazy fat-asses at SModCo, and we'd never bother doing something for ourselves we can pay someone else to do for us. So we still reached out to the dude who wrote the email, offering him the gig.

    Thanks for the continued shout-outs. Only person sweeter to me than you guys is my sainted Mother. As a thanks, I wrote TechDirt into CLERKS III. It's the joke both Jeff (Randal) Anderson and Trevor (Elias) Fehrman have highlighted as one of their favorites in the script.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

      Re: FULL DISCLOSURE!

      Hi - it's Kevin Smith. That Kevin Smith - the one mentioned above.


      Hey Kev, thanks for stopping by!

      The clip that went up on our YouTube channel was not made by the dude who emailed us on this week's episode of Babble. Turns out Jordan Monsanto (who runs SModCo for us; also Mrs. Mewes) had been working with our IT maven (and fellow podcaster) Will Wilkins on this and YouTube version of our FAT MAN ON BATMAN podcast. It was a happy coincidence that the first Babble clip ran this week.

      Aha! Updated the story, thanks for the clarification.

      But the good news is we're all lazy fat-asses at SModCo, and we'd never bother doing something for ourselves we can pay someone else to do for us. So we still reached out to the dude who wrote the email, offering him the gig.

      Very cool.

      Thanks for the continued shout-outs. Only person sweeter to me than you guys is my sainted Mother. As a thanks, I wrote TechDirt into CLERKS III. It's the joke both Jeff (Randal) Anderson and Trevor (Elias) Fehrman have highlighted as one of their favorites in the script.

      Now that's just all kinds of awesome. Now I have a year or so to keep my fingers crossed that we don't end up on the cutting room floor. :)

       

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 1:48pm

      Re: FULL DISCLOSURE!

      "Thanks for the continued shout-outs. Only person sweeter to me than you guys is my sainted Mother. As a thanks, I wrote TechDirt into CLERKS III. It's the joke both Jeff (Randal) Anderson and Trevor (Elias) Fehrman have highlighted as one of their favorites in the script."

      That's fucking sweet, Mr. Smith! FYI, my last name is spelled Geigner, just so you get it right in the credits :)

       

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    TRGB, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:36am

    It's not Garminů

    Garmin is a manufacturer of GPS devices. GarmAn is the man in this podcast.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 4:26pm

    I closed the video when some idiot said "stealing our content".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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