I realize that the internet has been inundated with a plethora of blogs either blasting or praising Kevin Smith for his decision to distribute his movie Red State.
For those of you who have had your head stuck in the sand for the last few weeks (or if you’re my mom and think the Internet Explorer icon ALWAYS takes you to your facebook page), here’s the breakdown.
Red State was shown at Sundance. After the movie, Kevin made the revelation that he was going to option his own movie and release it in October after touring America with it. For some reason, there was an enormous outcry.
Since this is my blog, I will share with you my first thought after finding this out.
Finally. (Followed very closely with “That’s fucking cool.”)
Kevin has since been speaking on his various podcasts about the decision to revamp his definition of Independent films. He talked about how much money the movie took to make, how much he could have hoped to have sold it for, how much the distributor would have spent on advertising, and as he crunched the numbers he realized that in this day and age, HE COULD DO THIS.
As a consumer of all things entertainment, web or otherwise, my biggest regret is that I do not live in an area that fully embraces the spirit of Indie films. Films that aren’t backed by a multimillion dollar advertising campaign are often overlooked by the theaters near me.
I remember catching wind a few years ago that John Waters movie A Dirty Shame was coming to a theater that was an hour and a half from where I lived. I WENT TO SEE IT. TWICE.
As I look out of the window of the coffee shop that I had to come to (lest sloth overwhelm me at home), I see an empty theater. A building that was created to showcase one of the things I enjoy the most is now a husk. A faded memory of what was.
With the introduction of the Internet streaming video and the ease of locating a pirated copy of… fuck… anything? All of this opportunity to keep connected and have instant gratification with whatever it is we want to see, movie theaters prices are continuously increasing. There has not been a movie within the last three years that I have attended that was packed.
Any hope of any real profit comes from the sales following the often short lived theater stay. Remember when a movie was so high in demand it seemed to stay in theaters for months? The home movie release was held up for months in what I am now calling “tantric entertainment”. Now, if you happen to see a movie in the theaters, within two months you can download a digital copy to whatever electronic device you want.
I have to give Mr. Smith mega props for saying that he WANTS the movie to be in theaters. He could just as easily push it onto on demand and clean house quickly. But, he wants to tour to promote. He wants to reach out to his 1.7 Million twitter followers and go “I’m going to be here, here, and here. If you can’t make it, please mark your calendar for October.”
If I had the money, I would be at the NYC Premiere in a heartbeat. Or Boston. If someone wants to fund the venture I will totally go.
I have a tendency of hearing about things and thinking about things and there comes this insane moment of clarity where I can tell something is going to be big. Whether or not the movie is my cup of tea, I want to be one of the people that can say “I was there.”
Unfortunately, I will be waiting until October with the general public to watch this movie.
Oh, and since I haven’t really talked about the movie I will admit to you that the premise scares the shit out of me. Here’s a brief synopsis, and if I can embed it I will include the trailer.
Red State is about a gay-hating minister (Michael Parks) who goes on a blood-drenched rampage against an equally murderous squad of federal agents, with some sex-crazed teens stuck in the middle.
Kevin Smith said one of the most inspiring things that I have heard in quite some time during his speech. “Indie film isn’t dead, it’s just grown up.”
Punk. Fucking. Rock.
The Internet proves that we have evolved, and the original way to advertise is not-so-slowly fading into obscurity. We are the future.