Crowdsourcing is all the rage right now, even for filmmaker who might have a good bit of their own. Folks like Zach Braff, Charlie Kaufman and even James Franco have taken to sites like Kickstarter in an effort to fund projects that … well, really just to fund projects. But Kevin Smith, one of the first directors to consider crowdsourcing, had decided that he will not be doing it for Clerks 3.
Smith recently did an interview with Kim Masters on KCRW, and mentioned how he had considered crowdsourcing as early as 2009 for his horror film Red State. Internet backlash against the idea – including, in the words of one blogger, the idea that crowdsourcing was ‘begging’ – made him reconsider. He made Red State, bought it from himself at Sundance and took it across the country. Then last fall the idea for Clerks 3 came up, along with the possibility of crowdsourcing that one too. Unfortunately though, The Weinstein Company have the right of first refusal if Smith wants to make the film, so once again: no crowdsourcing for Smith.
It doesn’t end there for Clerks 3, though. The plan right now is for the film to be made this coming fall for Sundance 2014, but at the moment there’s been no movement to greenlight from The Weinstein Company. There were disagreements between the studio and Jeff Anderson, who plays lead character Randal, over payment for Clerks 2. So there’s no telling when or if we’ll get to see Clerks 3.
In terms of crowdsourcing, I’m pleased that Kevin Smith is not going to jump on the bandwagon. While Kickstarter and other similar sites are useful for getting projects off the ground, seeing wealthy or successful filmmakers and actors using it to fund what appear to be vanity projects is disheartening. I thought the point was to help artists get a foot in the door via fans and friends – not the stroking of Zach Braff’s ego.
As for Clerks 3 … we’ll see it when we see it. I wasn’t aware that anyone was clamoring for a trilogy in the first place.
You can listen to all of Kevin Smith’s comments by checking out the full KCRW interview.