No I didn’t. No I haven’t. Not yet, anyway.
Look, I know it’s the internet, and it’s pretty easy to write any news story with factoids borrowed from someone else’s news story. But let’s be honest: I’m a pretty easy guy to track down, and even more transparent when it comes to what’s on my mind. Anybody could’ve easily fact-checked these “Smith goes a-beggin’” stories with more effort than simply incorrectly pulling selective quotes from a blog piece that, itself, ran only selective quotes. Certainly not slamming the original piece at all (which I enjoyed), but from that piece, on a slow news day, some hapless fucks started screeching about the sky falling because I asked for money to fund RED STATE from the fan-base.
But I didn’t. Not yet, anyway.
Well, not ever, really. The idea to fan-finance RED STATE wasn’t mine; it was suggested by someone following me on Twitter (more ambitious souls than I can wade through the morass of ass-eating bon mots smeared across my Twitterscape to find the exact moment the “Let’s put on a show”-ification of RED STATE happened). It went something like this…
- Someone asked for RED STATE funding status.
- I say there’s no new update: the lead we thought we had dried-up.
- Someone suggests fans financing the flick.
- Someone else suggests setting up a PayPal donation site.
- Touched, moved, intrigued, and wondering if this is where the puck’s going, I start looking into the feasibility. This takes many man hours from professionals who don’t exactly share our communistic approach to the subject (i.e, legal costs involved in seeing if this is even possible have already set me back close to ten grand).
- Months later, in a round table at the Toronto press day for COP OUT, I briefly talk about the above – adding this new information, that we’ve been looking into whether something like this is even possible, in terms of the legalities of accepting donations. I also talk a little about matching any funds raised, as well as the upcoming View Askew Garage Sale, in which we’re auctioning off all our props and putting whatever we raise into RED. In essence, selling the past to shoot the future.
- Some knee-jerk retards with poor reading comprehension and zero interest in investigating further than the few sentences in the piece that they did read (or were told about in email) extrapolate KEVIN SMITH BEGS FOR MONEY ON THE INTERNET.
- Here we are.
This fan-financed-film (aka, “begging”) hasn’t happened yet, nor might it ever happen. While it all sounds perfectly Amish, it’s fraught with crazy pitfalls and tax problems that have required hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in legal fees to investigate even the possibility of the fan-financed idea’s merit. I’m in a round table, I briefly talk about this idea we’re looking into, some guy writes it up a bit, and suddenly, all the Rush Limbaughs of the movie blogosphere start getting insanely Republican about the whole affair; y’know – the one that doesn’t involve them in the first place? *sigh*
If (and I mean IF with a huge fucking i & f) this fan-financed idea were to move forward? I’m not making a dime. If I were, as suggested, to turn to the fan-base to fund the movie, do you honestly think I’d even take a salary? I was just tickled and touched a bunch of people wanted to see it so badly, they were like “Here’s my twenty, if it’ll help.” All without having read a script. I wouldn’t want or take one dime from something as pure as that gesture. I’m not a money-guy; if I was I’d charge for SModcast (at 300k-plus dl’s per ep at .99cents apiece, even if only half started paying, that’d be a cool $150k per week – and I leave that on the table weekly). This isn’t about making money, you negative pricks: it’s about making movies. And what’s sickening about it? Motherfuckers screaming foul WRITE FOR MOVIE WEBSITES. You’d imagine they’d support the making of a movie.
If we did fan-finance and actually make the film, let’s say it sold: what then? There will be profits? Would people get their money back? Where would that money go? Our plan is to put anything we make into a fund that would, in turn, finance other (cost-sensible) flicks fans want to see. And from that? Build a People’s Studio. Simply have any interested/frustrated/desperate party put their script on our website, open for all to read, during a “pilot season” of sorts. Script that gets the most votes, gets the loot. That flick gets made and sold, all the loot goes back into fund for next round. If there’s enough loot from RED STATE sale to do so, idea would be to fund two low budget flicks a year. Ultimate dream: Indie Movement, v.3. Because with the shuttering and impending sale of Miramax comes the sober realization that the specialty business has just died completely. The 90′s are long over and Indie Movement v.2 has come to a sad close. Until that market is vibrant and thriving again, maybe this is a small way to keep the home-fires burning. I know we’re supposed to let all things run its course, but can’t help it: I don’t wanna see the indie film world I knew go away forever. I’m an idealist and a silly-heart, and I’ve got a dream.
But that’s all it is right now: a dream. Sure it sounds Utopian… but Utopia was written by a lawyer – and the law is what we’re looking through now, seeing who’d be responsible for taxes up front, what happens if the fund collapses, what if a total of $12.36 is raised, etc. LOTS to go through before (and IF) this might take shape.
Anyway, just some facts re: the whole “begging for money” thing. I haven’t begged yet, and might not ever actually get the chance to. Ironically, though? It wasn’t going to be begging in the first place; it was simply me doing what I’ve always done: I listen to my audience and try to give them what they want while giving myself what I want in the process. Happily, our goals are almost always the same. But this isn’t a story yet; it could be, if we can figure it out, but until then, it’s a non-story. And if you wanna write a non-story, write this one: some fucktards on the internet with little imagination and too much free time display their inability to read beyond one article and piss all over a really sweet idea that could become something cool for other people as well.
AKA – Monday on the web.