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For the release of his next movie, the horror film Red State, director Kevin Smith is officially going old school by returning to the site of his first big break: the Sundance Film Festival. And an appearance at the famed film marketplace isn’t his only push to bring the independently financed thriller to life, as he’s inviting viewers behind the scenes via iTunes.
Smith announced this week on “Plus One,” a new podcast he hosts with wife Jennifer Schwalbach, that his long-gestating yet quickly shot horror flick will debut at the same place he once sold his breakout movie Clerks. “This is Dec. 1 [when] the podcast hits. I think Dec. 2 is when they announce – they could take it away from me, but at least for right now… we’re going to screen at Sundance,” Smith said.
Last week, the director also spoke with Spinoff before the confirmation of the debut, saying, “Sundance Film Festival is in January, and that’s where we started. We made this independently, so we’ll be looking for distribution … That’ll make it easier. It’s a pretty cool flick.”
Smith explained that the movie was almost complete just hours after it finished its October production run, making a last-minute entry into the festival possible. “On Red State we’re wrapped and cut. I cut while I shoot. I’m more of an editor than a director. I just kind of sit there on stage while we’re shooting, look for the moments I’m going to cut and then the next day put it all together. So when we wrapped, two days after we had a wrap party, and I was able to show the entire cast and crew what we’d put together – not some rough assembly bullshit, but like a fine cut. It’s was essentially about a minute and a half off from what our final was.”
In addition to his plans for selling the film, the director noted he’s combining his new love of podcasting — Smith’s Smodcast network hosts a number of weekly programs in iTunes and records in a dedicated theater in Los Angeles — with the film for a “Red State of the Union” guerilla marketing technique. “We have one podcast that’s about Red State. We’re doing it as a kind of mini film school of sorts. … The first episode we recorded at this theater we have called the Smodcastle. It’s a podcasting theater, so we showed the teaser for the movie I’d done to about 20 or 30 people in the theater and recorded it and then a Q&A with the group afterward. And people loved it. They got into it. We went to #1 in TV/Film in the iTunes podcast store and then to #2 overall. So I knew there was a fervency and an interest.
“Now we’re doing it every week, and you can hear scenes from the movie in it. We’re starting with all the behind the scenes people, and then we’re going to start bringing the cast in: Michael Parks, Kyle Gallner, Michael Angarano, Melissa Leo and John Goodman. It’s not for everybody. Some people are just like, ‘Look, I just want to see the movie. I don’t need to live the fucking experience months in advance.’ But for people who are movie geeks, it’s a nice way to slip into the warm tub of what the movie will eventually be – hearing little bits of it every week and little bits about the process.”
For more on the podcast, check out http://smodcast.com/redstate/