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Director Kevin Smith Announces New Passions

April 14, 2011
By Liz Kelly

Director Kevin Smith rocked the house today at the NAB 2011 (National Association of Broadcasters) convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, with filmmaker insights about his Sundance 2011 hit, Red State, his new radio show passions, and many laughs in a packed room of digital media content providers and entertainers. Kevin’s made 10 films, including Clerks and Mall Rats, and plans to make one more, Hit Somebody (2012). His advice to the audience and his daughter who just started writing, “You have to surround yourself with Why Not people - the only enemy of the writer is self-doubt. There are too many Why people. Writing is way more fun than watching.” While Kevin loves making movies, he shared why he is only making one more film in this HD VIDEO: NAB 2011 - Director Kevin Smith Ignites Laughs and Red State Reflections.

As an artist, Kevin shared some of the challenges and wins of making the movie, Red State. It took 3-4 years to get funding, and the audience ripped into laughter when Kevin did funny impressions of Harvey and Bob Weinstein of The Weinstein Company turning down Red State. He felt fortunate to work with Melissa Leo, John Goodman, and asked the cast and crew often for feedback on the best ways to film the story. When Rob Gold from Film Festival Today asked Kevin not to give up filmmaking during today's Q and A, Kevin surprised the crowd by remembering Rob was in the front row at Red State’s premiere at Sundance 2011. Kevin responded, “I’m the world’s biggest Kevin Smith Fan…, but you just want to change it up for yourself.”

Kevin’s never been comfortable with the film process where success is based on the three days of the opening weekend, and explained their strategy for getting Red State on the Top 10 single screen grosser list. The team did the math, and decided to do an opening at Radio City Music Hall with over 2800 people showing up. As a result of this event, Red State is now the #10 highest per screen single-day grosser of all time. Kevin expanded, “We looked at the list, and it’s like Lion King, Finding Nemo, Disney, Disney, Disney, Red State.” They charged $60 to see the movie, and Kevin added with a grin, “I was actually there in the 3rd dimension.”

As an artist, Kevin reflected on his decision to give up filmmaking, “At a certain point, this became my job, not my passion. I did that for a while as a job, and I don’t like it. I don’t like doing film as a job….If I’m passionate about the job, that will allow you do it. You don’t have to be good at anything in this life if you’ve got passion for it, my career has proven that….”

Where is Kevin shifting his passion towards? He’s actually launching a 24-hour live Internet radio stream called Smodcast Internet Radio on May 9, 2011, with Sticher Radio and Community Director Matty Staudt. There will be a morning radio show with his wife called Smorning with Kev and Jen. He’s also doing daily podcasts, and a second show with Jason Mewes called Jay and Silent Bob Give Jobs.

Kevin stressed that it’s important to find a way to self-express your creativity. He reflected on his new direction by sharing, “That’s what I want to do for the next 2 years, 10 years or something. That’s where I’m heading. The comics thing I’ve enjoyed doing, but right now I’m kinda into this more than anything. That’s the beautiful thing about the field we work in, you can spin a bunch of different plates and it’s art as far as you want to take it….”

At the end of the session, Kevin told a very funny story about encouraging his daughter to write. His advice to her and the audience, “You want to gravitate towards the people who say, wow, that's awesome.” In a press huddle after the presentation, Marla Schulman, MVP and Life After Kids TV asked Kevin about his new movie, and he shared, “There is the most beautiful love story I’ve ever written in Hit Somebody.” We can all look forward to seeing Hit Somebody in 2012, and many more laughs and creative moments from Kevin Smith.

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