Kevin Smith On Why You Don't Have To Be Kevin Smith To Try Innovative New Things

from the and-anyone-who-tells-you-otherwise-should-be-ignored dept

It’s become a bit of a running joke that whenever a creator finds success with an innovative new business model, detractors insist that it’s the exception rather than the rule—that it only worked because the artist was big, or small, or medium-sized, or whatever. A commenter once dubbed this Masnick’s Law (which has since turned up on Urban Dictionary). This most often comes up in relation to music, but it’s just as true of other creative industries, and especially film—with one example being Kevin Smith’s unique DIY distribution plan for his movie Red State, which critics claimed would only work for him and no-one else.

Joshua Jones points us to video of a Google+ Hangout organized by MyFoxLA, in which Kevin Smith answers questions from fans (full video embedded below). At the nine minute mark, one participant asks him about these criticisms of his Red State business model, and Smith’s response is (as usual) pure gold:

Anyone that tells you “oh he could do it because he’s Kevin Smith”—tell ’em horseshit, man. That’s somebody who’s trying to tell you “don’t try, you can’t try, he did it, he can do it, you can’t do it.” Don’t listen to that shit man. Think of life and progress as a game—I always think of it in terms of a game of hockey. When you’re skating with the puck towards the net there’s always a motherfucker trying to hook you from behind, just to slow you up enough, ’cause nobody wants to see anybody succeed. So don’t listen to that. When you hear somebody go “well of course he could do it, he’s Kevin Smith”—those same assholes, before I did it, were like “it’s never gonna work, it’s dumb, he crazy”. And then when it worked, they didn’t go like “you know what? we were wrong”—instead they say “well only he could do it because he’s Kevin Smith” and I say horseshit. Kevin Smith wasn’t always Kevin Smith, nor was Kevin Smith the little kid that pulled the fucking sword from the stone.

Smith goes on to note that the opposite is also true—just because the Red State approach has potential for others doesn’t mean it’s good for everyone. His success isn’t rooted in the specifics of what he did, but rather in the underlying philosophy of connecting with fans and offering them something more than just another movie:

Now am I going to say like, this is the only way it should ever be done forever? No but you’re always looking for alternatives, because the old method doesn’t so much work anymore. You can’t just put a commercial on TV and expect a bunch of people to show up and see it at the movie theatres. They have too many choices. They can just stay home and surf porn on the internet. Why would you want to go see The Avengers when you can watch like three people having sex from the privacy of your own home? You’re competing for attention, and in a world where you’re competing for attention, you have to figure out ways to make it more interesting for the audience to come out. It’s no longer enough to be like “here’s the movie, come see it”.

This is a point we’ve made many times—there is no magic bullet solution that will work for every content creator—but Smith, in his signature style, really hammers it home. Fans are eager to spend money on artists who connect with them and give them a reason to buy, but every fan-base is unique, so those connections and those reasons are never going to be identical.


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Comments on “Kevin Smith On Why You Don't Have To Be Kevin Smith To Try Innovative New Things”

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63 Comments
A Dan (profile) says:

Amazing illustrations

Possibly the best thing about Kevin Smith is his ability to come up with his own, extremely funny and apt, comparisons. I don’t think we’d ever have Mike, for example, saying that the real problem for major movie studios is that they have to compete with watching threesomes at home. It’s true that he’s not the only person who could pull off alternative funding, but he is a rather unique individual.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Amazing illustrations

but he is a rather unique individual.

Indeed he is!

You know what else? So are you, and so am I, and so is everyone else.

At the heart of it, this is the primary shift that the internet is causing in markets of all sorts. It is making it possible to capitalize on your own individuality.

In the old days, you had to conform to the existing structures. You had to alter your product to make it suitable for the distribution channels and gatekeepers or you wouldn’t get anywhere. There was no alternative.

Now, you can bypass a great deal of that. You can market the ultimate scarcity: your own unique individuality. You can get more out of smaller markets, so you don’t have to have an audience of millions in order to make an equivalent income. You don’t have to sell your soul anymore.

I think at the bottom line, this is what the legacy players are fighting against. They’ve said so outright, so this isn’t even a guess.

In any case, you’re no Kevin Smith and shouldn’t copy his methods, because his methods are designed to best leverage his own unique attributes. You are, however, yourself and can do the same as Kevin Smith in this way: develop methods that leverage your own unique attributes.

You are a unique snowflake, just like everybody else.

Anonymous Coward says:

This reminds me of...

As a designer I used to get into discussions where I’d rant about how clients (especially small ones) that don’t understand design concepts would often try to ruin perfectly good attempts to develop their corporate identity through design especially by over-complicating things and ask questions like “Can you make it spin?” or “Can you make it bigger?” They just don’t get why “less is more”. One of the examples prime examples I would use is Nike’s logo and how they have used it in effective advertising techniques.

First, it’s the perfect example of what a logo should be. A simple visual that (often abstractly) represents what the company is about. The logo has been called the “crown jewel” of graphic design as it is the ultimate symbol, a succinct summation if you will, of a company’s corporate identity.

If we look at the swoosh logo, the trailing tail naturally conveys motion an attribute that directly relates to their primary product – athletic shoes. Further more the basic shape abstractly resembles the raise foot of a runner just after it is lifted from the ground – again a perfect tie to their product.

Then I would remind people of the commercials you would often see that often showed athletic activity a series of short clips of athletic activity accompanied by a score of music designed to captivate the viewer, where you would however never see a focus on the actual product leaving people to wonder what the commercial was actually designed to advertise. (Ladies and gentlemen, this is known as a “hook” designed purposely to grab and hold your attention long enough so that they can make a brand recognition connection.) The commercial would simply end with a black screen and with the SMALL logo placed directly in the center. The logo is small because it’s placement as the only thing on the screen emphasizes it’s importance by suggesting that even though it is small in size it requires a lot more space. No where in the commercial did you ever see the product or even the name of the company. Just some ethereal relate imagery and the logo to tie it together.

And you can’t argue that these design techniques don’t work. Look at Nike’s success. Invariably someone would always say “But they can do stuff like that because they are Nike and everyone already knows who they are.” My reply was always “No. It’s the opposite. They are as successful as they are and everyone knows who they are partially because they understand how to use these techniques to create effective advertising, not the other way around.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

getting the opportunity to innovate in the first place

This reminds me of one of the handful of life lessons my many years have gained me: we are surrounded by opportunities of all sorts, constantly. We don’t even see the vast majority of them (mostly because they aren’t of any interest to us).

The trick isn’t getting the opportunities — they’re already there for the taking, no luck is required. The trick is recognizing the opportunity. “Luck favors the prepared mind” is an expression of just this idea.

Successful people are most often successful not because they’re smarter, or work harder, or do more important things. They’re more successful because they’ve trained themselves to recognize opportunities.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Being persuasive is a great advantage, true, but not mandatory. Even then, there are many kinds of being persuasive. Being a good talker is one kind, actually demonstrating that you have a good solution to a need is another.

I’ve seen enough people with zero social skills and little financing seize opportunities that I didn’t even see to know this happens, and isn’t even very rare. Sometimes, they had a service or solution that was so compelling that people were willing to tolerate their social shortcomings. Sometimes, they partnered with someone else who was socially skilled to be their front man.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I think the main difference is that persuasive people can make a bad plan succeed. People with poor social skills can make a good plan fail. Sometimes a good plan can work despite one’s social skills, and sometimes a bad plan can fail even when the smoothest character on the block tries to sell it. However, it’s unlikely that a good plan will fail when a skilled individual pitches it. It is also unlikely that a bad plan will succeed when an unskilled individual pitches it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“getting the opportunity”

Are you familiar with how Kevin Smith filmed Clerks? He wasn’t given an opportunity, he financed it on credit cards and made it happen with friends and borrowed time (and I believe equipment). Anyone can do that. The thing many people are lacking is the talent to make something good in those circumstances and the balls/confidence in their own talent to run up a ton of CC debt to do so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yet, Kevin Smith proved his own point when he played the same movie in the same movie house for a bunch of nights WITH Kevin Smith appearing, and one or two nights with only the movie. On the movie only nights, even at a great discount, they didn’t sell out. The other nights had lineups and scalpers making cash.

He doesn’t like it, but it is because he is Kevin Smith. All that he has done, all the promotion he has done, all the marketing he has done in his career all come to that moment. It’s not just “boom”. It’s 20+ years of working it.

Understanding that it takes a long time to build your personal brand is key. Marcus, one day you will understand that basic concept. Until then, you won’t have the patience to really make it.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

He doesn’t like it, but it is because he is Kevin Smith. All that he has done, all the promotion he has done, all the marketing he has done in his career all come to that moment. It’s not just “boom”. It’s 20+ years of working it.

I believe this was Kevin Smith’s very point.

Before he was Kevin Smith, he was just some schlub no different than any other schlub. He became Kevin Smith not because he was endowed with some magic pixie dust, but because he worked to achieve it.

That he can do the things he can do shows that anybody can do it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Exactly – but you cannot be Kevin Smith on day one, which is the point. It’s like Marcus’s amazing music career, he went from nothing to less than nothing, because he forgot the very basic rules that he tries to preach here.

Kevin Smith can do Red State because he is Kevin Smith. He couldn’t do what he did for Red State 20 years ago with Clerks. Nobody would line up to pay extra to here some dufe talk about his movie shot on end roll film when the corner store was closed at night.

It’s a process. He has built a brand over a very long period of time, no different from Michael Bay or Quinton Tarantino, and gets a certain respect because of it. It’s not because he’s Kevin Smith, it’s because of the work he has done.

You cannot take Kevin Smith today, duplicate it as a business model, and do it again. It’s just not there – because it isn’t some instant thing.

What Marcus misses is that fans will always be fans. Bing Crosby had fans, and they would line up to pay to see his movies. There is nothing magical here. However, in an era where the “fans” can choose to not pay (and enjoy the pirated version) many are talking the latter route, which in the end hurts the very artist they want to support.

Social pressure says “pirate”. It’s hard to get away from it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

As the man said: “Horseshit.”

Let me quote the relevant bit here, maybe you didn’t read it:

“Anyone that tells you “oh he could do it because he’s Kevin Smith”?tell ’em horseshit, man. That’s somebody who’s trying to tell you “don’t try, you can’t try, he did it, he can do it, you can’t do it.” Don’t listen to that shit man. Think of life and progress as a game?I always think of it in terms of a game of hockey. When you’re skating with the puck towards the net there’s always a motherfucker trying to hook you from behind, just to slow you up enough, ’cause nobody wants to see anybody succeed. So don’t listen to that. When you hear somebody go “well of course he could do it, he’s Kevin Smith”?those same assholes, before I did it, were like “it’s never gonna work, it’s dumb, he crazy”. And then when it worked, they didn’t go like “you know what? we were wrong”?instead they say “well only he could do it because he’s Kevin Smith” and I say horseshit. Kevin Smith wasn’t always Kevin Smith, nor was Kevin Smith the little kid that pulled the fucking sword from the stone.”

Apparently you did not even read the article.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I read it just fine. The man says horseshit, yet then goes on to explain why it cannot be done directly.

” Kevin Smith wasn’t always Kevin Smith, nor was Kevin Smith the little kid that pulled the fucking sword from the stone”

Until Kevin Smith became KEVIN SMITH FAMOUS MOVIE GUY he could do what he has done today. Simply, few people will pay to see a nobody stand up and try to explain his movie for 2 hours. That’s Kevin Smith, not anyone else.

He didn’t go from zero to KEVIN SMITH in 1 minute either. He has had to build a brand up, to be able to get to the point to do these sorts of things and be meaningful in doing them.

Anyone can go back and try to be kevin smith and try to grow into being a KEVIN SMITH, but it takes time and effort, baby steps as it were.

Nobody is saying “don’t try, you can’t try, he did it, he can do it, you can’t do it.”, I am only saying “walk before you sky dive”. If you don’t try you fail, but if you try when you are not ready, you fail as well.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Are you serious? I mean – really?

I read it just fine.

No, you didn’t. You acknowledged each individual word, but you are unable to put them together to understand what he means.

The man says horseshit, yet then goes on to explain why it cannot be done directly.

No. You only think that because you don’t know who he is. You think “oh, he’s that famous guy, that’s why it worked”, thus demonstrating that you have absolutely no clue who he is, or how he got to be who you perceive him to be.

” Kevin Smith wasn’t always Kevin Smith, nor was Kevin Smith the little kid that pulled the fucking sword from the stone”

Until Kevin Smith became KEVIN SMITH FAMOUS MOVIE GUY he could do what he has done today.

And because he’s “famous movie guy” now, that means he was always “famous movie guy”, and was never “piss-poor wannabe filmmaker with an idea”, right?

Do yourself a favour – go read up on who Kevin Smith is, and how he got to where he is now. Because by demonstrating your complete ignorance of this, you are making yourself look like a complete idiot.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

The point only is that if you want to be KEVIN SMITH, you don’t start there. You start at kevin smith. The point is KEVIN SMITH (current version) can do Red State and do his live appearance thing because of who he is now, not who he was 20 years ago.

The guys who want to be him nee to understand that you start somewhere. They way Marcus wrote the piece makes it sound like Kevin Smith thinks you can be him today, now, without any dues paid or effort made. Even Kevin would likely admit “BULLSHIT” on that idea.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Exactly – but you cannot be Kevin Smith on day one, which is the point. “

Neither was Kevin Smith, so what?

“It’s like Marcus’s amazing music career”

You mean the hobby he’s told you is meant to be nothing more than make a few tunes on the side with no intention to profit from them? That career?

“He couldn’t do what he did for Red State 20 years ago with Clerks.”

Yeah, because the internet didn’t exist back then, the medium through which he produces, promotes and distributes most of his content. Oh, you want to just cherry pick one factor and pretend that’s all there is to it? Typical.

Clerks was distributed the way it was because it was the early 90s and that was how it needed to be done then. To pretend otherwise is misdirection at best.

“You cannot take Kevin Smith today, duplicate it as a business model, and do it again.”

Why not? For starters, it’s easier to make film much cheaper than he did and still tour around independent cinemas with the director and cast in session for Q&As to promote it. Maybe not on the same scale at first, but most real film fans would attend such screenings regardless of the fame of the director, and happily give free promotion to a good film.

“Social pressure says “pirate”. It’s hard to get away from it.”

Around here, social pressure is telling you stop being such an idiot and find something to do with your time other than trolling comments with outdated and self-contradictory attacks on actual creators. Why won’t you bow to this pressure?

[citation needed or GTFO] says:

Re: Re:

Marcus, one day you will understand that basic concept. Until then, you won’t have the patience to really make it.

Who says he wants to?

I’d like to clear this up once and for all: my opinions on music, creativity and the industry have nothing to do with my own music hobby.

Yes, I occasionally make some music for fun. I have zero intention or hope of it making me money or gaining me a bunch of recognition. That’s not what I do it for (and I’m well aware that the music I make has extremely limited appeal, and is pretty amateurish in a lot of ways). It’s a hobby, and it’s fun. That’s all.

I don’t identify myself as “a rapper” or as “a musician” or even as “an amateur musician”. I’m a writer/designer/developer/marketer by trade, who just happens to record a tune here and there for my own satisfaction and that of the few who give a shit.

If you’re evaluating my opinions based on me as a musician, you’re doing it wrong. My opinions come from being a lifelong consumer of music, and someone who has been paying close attention to the development of music and related business models in the digital age.

bob (profile) says:

Paywall!

While Kevin Smith might be an innovative story teller, there’s nothing innovative about putting up a paywall and asking people to pay a fair share of the development costs. Studios have been doing it for years. It’s not even new for artists to run off and start their own independent production units. Heck, United Artists was formed in 1919.

The reason I harp on this is to remind people that a few months ago, the word “paywall” was a dirty word around these parts. Now that Kevin Smith, the NY Times and others are finding success with it, this blog is coming to its senses.

It’s also important to remember that there’s a big difference between theory and practice. In theory, anyone can make a movie, rent out a hall and try their luck, but in practice it really, really helps to have a track record.

Kevin Smith would almost certainly not be Kevin Smith without Miramax. Yes, he made the movie himself after selling his comic book collection, but Miramax did the marketing and that’s something that can get really expensive. As Jay Leno joked, “‘The Blair Witch Project’ proved you don’t need $100m to make a movie and $100m to market it. You can a great movie for $30,000 — if you have $100m to market it.”

This marketing muscle is what artists need from the studio. It takes money and connections to cut through the noise. Studios take the success from one film and reinvest it in others. While the creator haters like to portray the studios and record companies are leeches, they serve a role and provide cross-fertilization.

I’m predicting that in a few months, we’ll hear great things about some success web artist who’s reinvesting in other web artists. Suddenly, the newest generation will rediscovery the studio system. But as long as they don’t use the words “paywall”, “DRM”, or “studio”, they’ll be greeted by accolades by this blog.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Paywall!

But as long as they don’t use the words “paywall”, “DRM”, or “studio”, they’ll be greeted by accolades by this blog.

And why shouldn’t they be? Most commenters on this blog praise, and have always praised, entities who do this thing right (Steam, etc.) You’re saying this like it is an insult of some sort.

I think you misunderstand things a little. The objections raised about these things are not outrage that they exist, but outrage that they are implemented in such a horrible way that it harms citizens and consumers. It would be entirely consist to praise those who do these things in a way that does no harm, or even maybe helps consumers.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Paywall!

Most commenters on this blog praise …

I don’t know what you’ve been reading, but I’ve rarely heard anyone say anything kind about big content companies. It doesn’t qualify for “most” in anyone’s book.

The fact is that most of the looney, pro-privacy stances taken by people floating around here are hostile acts that harm citizens by hurting their ability to control their work. We’re told again and again that enforcing your copyright is bad. If you do it, you’re a “troll.”

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Paywall!

“I’m predicting that in a few months, we’ll hear great things about some success web artist who’s reinvesting in other web artists. Suddenly, the newest generation will rediscovery the studio system. But as long as they don’t use the words “paywall”, “DRM”, or “studio”, they’ll be greeted by accolades by this blog.”

So you’re predicting that we’re stupid enough that as long as those words aren’t mentioned, we’ll be fooled somehow?
Wrong.

Example. EA has recently announced the newest SimCity game for PC. In their press release, they never once use the term DRM or words to that effect. Instead, they attribute its always-on-Internet-access as being required for the social aspect – something along the lines that what happens in other player’s cities will affect your own. Yet, despite the fact they didn’t use the words DRM, I wasn’t fooled.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Paywall!

No one has ever said that the gatekeepers do not server a purpose or even that gatekeepers are even bad. Marketing is an important part of distribution. If the gatekeepers were being fair to the public and the artists there wouldn’t be an issue. However selling your soul to the devil is something more and more people are choosing not to do since it no longer requires to be connected to the massive machine that is the legacy industry for artists to reach the public. That is why they are so afraid and their attitude and propensity for abuse is merely hastening their eventual demise.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Paywall!

While Kevin Smith might be an innovative story teller, there’s nothing innovative about putting up a paywall and asking people to pay a fair share of the development costs.

It’s amazing how much you miss in such a simple sentence.

First, it’s true that he didn’t do anything that *new* — which is the whole point that Kevin (and this post) are making.

I’d argue you’re totally wrong about whether or not he was *innovative*, because he presented it in a different way that clearly captured the public’s imagination.

Separately, you have this weird obnoxiously misleading obsession with the word “paywall.” You ridiculously seem to think that any time someone gets you to pay that’s a “paywall.” This has been explained to you numerous times and I can only assume that you’re now willfully deciding not to get it. We want artists to get paid and we celebrate when artists get paid — but what we talk about is how to get them paid *effectively* and that’s by creating solutions where fans *want* to pay, not where they feel *obligated* to pay.

You don’t seem to ever want to admit that there’s a difference.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Paywall!

What tip jar? He’s using video on demand and renting out a theater. Are you saying there was a tip jar at the theater? I think he was charging a premium for watching in the same room with the director.

http://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20110629/04123714907/kevin-smith-continues-to-innovate-offering-vod-before-theatrical-release-also-offering-incentives-to-go-to-theater.shtml

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Paywall!

You don’t seem to ever want to admit that there’s a difference.

If Kevin Smith really just wanted to follow your model of only collecting money when “fans *want* to pay”, he would release his movie on YouTube and put up a tip jar. But he’s chosen Video on Demand and a theatrical release. In both cases, no one is ever asked whether they “*want*” to pay. If you don’t pay,you don’t see the film. The viewer’s feelings don’t matter a whit. That’s a paywall and that’s what he’s using.

You’re frantically looking for any way to rationalize your past demonization of paywalls with the fact that hardly anyone is putting money in the tip jars. So you’re somehow going to claim that Kevin Smith’s fans “*want*” to put money in the big Video-On-Demand mechanism, but the readers of the WSJ don’t.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Paywall!

“This marketing muscle is what artists need from the studio. It takes money and connections to cut through the noise. Studios take the success from one film and reinvest it in others. While the creator haters like to portray the studios and record companies are leeches, they serve a role and provide cross-fertilization.”

I know in your head, this actually makes sense. Lets try reality here:

-Cut through the noise…..who is making all the noise that needs to be cut through? The studios. Because if you don’t have millions, you’re not affording to advertise in the same areas they are, which means they’re only competing with each other. So you’re saying that you need studios to cut through the noise of studios. Nice scam you have there.

-Reinvesting…..if the vast majority of money was reinvested in projects anyone with half a brain gave a rats ass about, we’d be all for this. But when the vast majority of money is either going into middle-men’s pockets or into making awful remakes or unnecessary sequels, then we don’t feel like our money is being used in a way we want, we would rather invest in other ways. Like giving money directly to the people who make things we like (since we expect more things we’d like). Make sense? Probably not to you, unfortunately.

-Cross-fertilization…..interesting term to use. Bees cross-fertilize, they take all they can (and then some) from a flower, then go to another flower, and take more, and in the process, they have so much, that some falls off from the first flower to the second one, but they have so much, that they don’t notice, and move onto the next flower to take even more. So they only cross-fertilize by accident and because they’re taking SO much more than they’re giving back, they don’t even notice. So, apt term to use.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Paywall!

I like your cross-fertilization analysis except that the bees go there to take nectar not pollen and carry the pollen from flower to flower by accident. However the bee analogy still fits as they are actually making no attempt to cross-fertilize. They don’t even care if it happens or not. All they care about is getting the nectar.

Nigel (profile) says:

“No one who is as appallingly lousy a performer as you are would want their real name out there. And judging by some of the sloppy shit you’ve written here, I can only infer that that Leigh Beadon is a nom de plume.”

so anonymous assclown, what exactly do you do other than hide behind your keyboard and spout off at people?

Nothing I gather.

Folks, just stop responding to this tard. We are dealing with a lowlife piece of shit like this guy…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_9693000/9693594.stm

DonLewis (profile) says:

re; Kevin Smith DIY

Hey everyone-
my name’s Don Lewis, I’m a filmmaker and I came across this blog because of the Kevin Smith story. I just wanted to say I was COMPLETELY inspired by what Smith did with RED STATE and agree with him that you absolutely don’t have to be Kevin Smith to do this stuff yourself. I made a documentary about the world’s ugliest dog contest called WORST IN SHOW. We followed 4 contestants bidding to win the contest and the end product was alot like BEST IN SHOW, but ours is a doc. The people were just THAT odd. Anyway…

I’ve spent the last 12 years attending film fests as a writer for Film Threat and a filmmaker of doc shorts and we thought our film would make the fest rounds, no problem. We were nearly shut out of EVERY fest and barely scraped into some regional ones. It was really upsetting. But…I happened to be at Sundance when Smith did his “nefarious” (if you ask film bloggers) announcement about self-distribution and it really opened my eyes.

Long story short- we ended up taking WORST IN SHOW on an 8 city tour ourselves. The impetus was definitely bitterness at not getting into fests but Smith wholly inspired me and made me think differently. Basically– if you play a film fest, you give that fest about $50 to submit and then THEY make money off YOUR screening. You never see a dime. Name me another artistic endeavor like that? It’s crazy.

So we took our film out ourselves. We teamed up with area animal shelters who got a % of the proceeds and helped us get the word out. We sold ads for local vets, pet stores, pet food companies, pubs, etc that rolled before the movie and that covered our travel costs. We sold DVD’s and t-shirts. We managed to get a TON of press including TV and radio. In the end, we finished slightly ahead BUT because of the buzz created by the tour, we got a distribution deal and the film is out now on iTunes and DVD.

I’m pretty much a nobody but Kevin Smith got me thinking and I tinkered with his ideas and couldn’t have been happier with the results. There’s nothing better than flipping off the man and taking the reins and doing something yourself. I honestly believe that with a little outside the box thinking anyone can do this type of thing.

also- please buy our movie! πŸ™‚

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: re; Kevin Smith DIY

Heh, I love it…

AC morons: “this only worked because he’s Kevin Smith (painful in itself to admit because we spent the last year trashing Smith’s idea), nobody else has a chance without our beloved corporate structure so why bother? Just bow down to the status quo and make our masters money.”

Actual independent filmmaker: “Oh hi, here’s my movie and I tried Smith’s model and it’s worked for me, please support me with cash.”

Average Techdirt reader: “OK, take my money! You get the cash instead of the pointless sequels, 2 remakes of Snow White and movies based on board games coming out this year”

AC morons: “We’re losing money because of PIRACY! More laws!”

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