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Kevin Smith Talks Taking Red State Out To The Public

Michael Parks in "Red State"

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.”

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  • Edward Felt

    Wow, am I sick of filmmakers screaming about us about how we are supposed to live our lives. The most eventful thing this guy has done in the last few years is being kicked off a plane because he was too overweight.

    I’m sure they are glad the Iraq War happened. Then, they could stop pretending they cared about what happened on 9/11. Because they didn’t. They would never scream at a guy burrying a woman alive in Turkey because she looked at another guy like they do us. If this was World War 2 happenind right now they would be chastizing the government to going to war with Germany becuase we were attacked by Japan and those Nazi gusy aren’t to bad anyway. What did they do to anyone? Well, they wouldn’t of cared.

    I think the advertising for this film should be the filmamkers honest opinion ‘if you don’t like this film, you’re a racist.’ That’s why there are most white people all over Hollywood films.

  • Eddie C

    What the hell does any of this have to do with the post or the movie? You say you’re sick of how filmmakers scream at people about how to live their lives, but here you are on an internet forum bitching and moaning about something you obviously have little to no knowledge of. Iraq war? 9/11? Really? Mr. Smith is putting his “political statement” (if that’s what it is) on view for all to see, why you whine about your issues on some forum board. Brave, indeed! You’ve obviously put on display exactly the type of ignorance and stupidity this film is aimed at. I just wish more people like you would speak up to a broader audience, so everyone can see what idiots you all are Mr. Felt.

  • Jeff Frost

    Not only does Edward Felt display a total lack of comprehension in regard to Kevin Smith or his film, but he also shows a lack of grammatical skill all too common amongst those who share his dimly lit POV. Thanks for playing, Ed.

  • Linus

    So what is the movie about? That would help create interest.

  • Saber Tooth Tiger Mike

    “Wow, am I sick of filmmakers screaming about us about how we are supposed to live our lives. ”
    What the heck are you smoking? Where did Kevin Smith get on his soap box in this article?

  • Shawn Ewert

    If you are tired of filmmakers telling you how they see thing, and offering up their opinions, stop watching film altogether. Why do you think we do it?

  • Shawn Ewert

    I had an even better idea..

    How about you drop down off of that high horse you have saddled, and make your own film? Maybe you could tell us how we should be living our lives since we have obviously missed the mark on our own.

  • Rentawitch

    Best thing to do Linus is tune into the Red State of the Union podcasts. They’re free and you can subscribe via itunes or go straight to

    Kevin is keeping the story pretty well under wraps but teasing us with little bits and actually doing some good in-depth interviews with the actors and other technicians and artists working on the film with him.

    It IS about some quite unpleasant fundamentalists. None of whom is Fred Phelps but who might have an element of Phelpishness. That’s what I understand.