Kevin Smith speaking at the 2019 San Diego Comic Con International, for “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot”, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore
Oh, Kevin Smith. He’s a filmmaker that many of us grew up with. He’s a big part of why many of us became movie nerds in the first place. And yet, in the past 15 years or so, I’d be lying if I didn’t say his films haven’t disappointed me. But still, in spite of this, I find myself enjoying most of his movies on some level. And I know I’m not alone. Many others also give his movies a pass in spite of the quality of his movies.
Personally, his most recent film, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot was jam-packed full of way too many in-jokes to be its own strong movie. And yet I enjoyed it. It made me smile throughout in spite of its juvenile nature and ham-fisted message. I’ve seen many people online lambast Smith for the “pass” he gets from some critics. One, in particular, took to Twitter to say that Smith gets a pass because “he is a cis white male who speaks nerd.”
First of all…woof to that criticism. Yes, I do think his genuine nerdiness is part of what makes him appealing to many fans, but I couldn’t speak to the rest. But that’s not even what I’m here to talk about today. Smith himself quoted this tweet and responded with some mad knowledge about why he’s actually still around these days.
“Gets a pass for mediocrity?” Smith wrote on Twitter. “Christ, I wish. I paid: I was flayed alive online & in print for years for those flicks. But good or bad reviews isn’t a factor in “Hollywood”. The key to a long, mediocre career is keeping your budgets LOW. If you can work cheap, you can always work”
Gets a pass for mediocrity? Christ, I wish. I paid: I was flayed alive online & in print for years for those flicks. But good or bad reviews isn’t a factor in “Hollywood”. The key to a long, mediocre career is keeping your budgets LOW. If you can work cheap, you can always work. https://t.co/WmlDtmxpks
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) April 15, 2020
Let’s all stand up and give the man a round of applause. And no, I’m not kidding. In spite of the d**k and fart jokes present of his films, the swear words, and Smith’s overall stoner nature, the man is an astute businessperson. Seriously, if you’ve ever heard him talk about the business side of Hollywood on his podcasts, it’s clear there’s a lot of thought that goes into how he makes and distributes his movies.
No, they may not be movies that receive high praise, but Smith realized something even stronger. He’d created a strong brand with his movies. In linking his personality to them, he’s created a fan base that genuinely loves how personal each of his movies are. Whether or not they’re horror films based on a podcast, an extension of the View Askewniverse, or a vehicle for his acting daughter, each movie very much has a piece of Smith in it.
Smith realized that his movies may not hit four quadrants, but if he keeps them personal, he knows he has enough people out there to cover his limited costs. As Smith said in the tweet, he keeps his costs low. He does this, caters to his fan base, and is able to keep on working. It’s brilliant. It’s creating content to market in the best way possible, and while it may not result in classic movies by traditional standards, they certainly mean a lot to his fans.
How do you feel about Smith’s overall strategy? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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SOURCE: Kevin Smith