Kevin Smith got his start as a writer and director by funding his first film Clerks by selling his beloved comic book collection and for what may be his final film he may be self-financing again.
Speaking with USA Today, Smith offered an update on the status of Clerks 3 and reiterated how, if he can’t get the money from his usual patron Harvey Weinstein he will gladly pay for the film himself rather than turn to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter.
What’s the latest on Clerks 3?
Last week I finished the third draft, 120 pages. We’ve put together three different budgets for places to shoot, and we submit our cast list, our shooting schedule, the budgets and the script to Bob Weinstein tomorrow. I like Bob, but if he doesn’t like it and passes, then I get to go someplace else and try to finance it myself. Put my house up or something … not Kickstarter.
Oh, really? Why not?
I understand why Zach Braff and Rob Thomas wanted to do it, but I think I missed the boat on that. I had my moment. I went through the traditional route of old, where Miramax picked up my flick and introduced me to another world. That’s my story. I can’t, like, have this second story where I’m like, “And then, years later I started asking other people for money!”
I’m all for it and understand crowd-sourced financing very well. The audience that’s going to buy this stuff anyway is just there at the origin point. But that being said, when I need the audience’s money is when (the movie) comes out in theaters. If you’re making a movie where it’s like, “Thor’s going to punch The Hulk!” people will line up to throw money at you. But if your movie’s like, “This guy’s gonna talk to this guy about Thor punching the Hulk!” you’re not going to get as many people lining up.
There’s a bunch of cats like me looking to make their first film. You jump in there and soak up all that money as the big fish in that small pond, that’s money that’s not going to go to somebody who really needs it.
When I started, that would’ve been the time (to use Kickstarter). But now I know people with money, I’ve got access to money. And worst-case scenario, I can just put up my house.
While I think that some of Smith’s creative stumbles over the last several years could possibly be attributed to his waning interest in filmmaking, his enthusiasm for Clerks 3, and its implied return to his roots, bodes well for the film. And if he does put up the money for it himself, there may be a return of the first Clerks film’s rough-around-the-edges look and charm. However, I don’t think that it will come to that. Weinstein has always done what he can for Smith and outside of some of the controversy surrounding Dogma has always had the filmmaker’s back. I really don’t see him not wanting to fund Clerks 3 for Smith.