Kevin Smith’s Epic Twitter Monologue About How and Why Movies Get Made
We get it: Saying things on Twitter doesn’t make them instantly newsworthy, ‘techy,’ or interesting. However, it does allow famous or otherwise inaccessible people to communicate directly with their fans in interesting ways, and this is something that cult filmmaker Kevin Smith is very good at. This afternoon, he posted an epic monologue on Twitter that revealed the dark truth that studios fund projects because they make money, explained how filmmakers and other creative people could find fulfillment and success anyway, and, as a bonus, presented a theory of artistry that divides people into the categories of Hal Jordan, Superman, and Batman.
Smith, responding to a fan’s question about a rumor about a “Miramax/Weinstein call about Clerks 3?”
When you read a story about this deal happening or this film being announced, the wheels of whatever it is tend to turn v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. And that’s fair: we are talking about millions of dollars being spent on some dopey, make-pretend bullshit. Point is, when you read the story about it online, that’s our information-currency culture feeding on theoretical news. The ink’s not dry on that deal yet. It’s all ideas at this point – the absolute BEST state of being in the movie biz.
Ideas cost NOTHING & require ZERO risk. And yet, oddly, the LEAST amount of time’s usually spent in the idea stage before a small fortune is dumped on a whimsy that’s still half-baked.
Case in point: Cop Out.
When I was brought in, there was talk of spending $70mil on a Will Ferrell/MarkyMark version of A COUPLE OF DICKS (the pre-COP title). Then WB didn’t wanna pay the actors’ full quotes, so off go they go to do the over-$70mil+ OTHER GUYS. WB then made WAY less expensive deals with Bruce & Tracy, I cut my salary by over 80%, and we were off to the races with what became a $32mil flick (which is why, hate on it all you must, but – as per two high-level studio sources & one of our producers – Cop Out turned a profit already; it did what it was designed to do). All of that came from Jeff Robinov’s idea stage. The idea that the movie could go on without Will & Mark resulted in Cop Out. And while some may harp about whether the flick was their cup of tea or not, the people who paid to have it made were content we all hadn’t wasted money.
Only guy I ever heard of who got an amazing life literally handed to him was Hal Jordan. Don’t wait for a dying alien to give you a magic ring: just do it yourself, Slappy. We can’t all be Superman, but we sure as shit can train hard, and with loads of practice, we can elevate our simple, non-Kryptonian selves to be the Batman. And who the fuck doesn’t wanna be Batman? Batman has an impeccable moral compass. He’s clever & mysterious. And when fucktards get sassy, he punches them in the face. Plus, that car.
Ideas cost nothing yet have the potential to yield inexplicably long careers & happy lives. So go ahead: dream a l’il dream. #SMonologueOff
Full monologue at Smith’s blog if you’d rather not go through hordes of Tweets. (37, to be precise.) Fascinating stuff, though maybe Smith should look into TwitLonger for next time.