Thursday, September 07, 2017

Kevin Smith, low budgets and specific audiences


I came to Kevin Smith’s Celebrity Reboot by Abraham Riesman through one of those abbreviated reprint "stories", in this case from The A.V. Club, with the clickbait headline "Kevin Smith knows his new movies suck, too".

As a fan from way back, I knew that Kevin Smith can be self-deprecating to a fault. Back in the day, he used to throw Mallrats under a bus until he discovered, I think, how much some people loved it or how many of them there were, then moved on to Jersey Girl, which I personally didn't care for, but felt there had to be contingency of fans who would feel the same about that as fans in the day did about Mallrats.

I was pleased frankly that the actual article mostly covered the more interesting aspects of his recent work and career in general, which was great, because while I haven't been enjoying them that much myself, I am fucking ecstatic that he's making them. I think we're in an age in which smaller, better targeted media is what people should be aiming at. I had, for a whole variety of reasons, good and bad, fallen out of the circle of people following his work enthusiastically, so I absolutely should not be the target of his more streamlined efforts.

The fact that he's making them, they're nuts, he's happy, and he has a fanbase for them is something I think is only a wonderful thing for the world. I've said this a number of times, but I've recently been particularly on a kick of of low budget, DIY art and how I think that's where I think the world should be headed generally. Mind you, I think that's the way it is heading, but I'm excited to see the folks who are leading the way.

So, I posted the following on my Facebook page with a link to that article, "The frustrating part for me is that I think smaller, cheaper art that better serves a smaller group of people is exactly what we should be seeing a lot more of now. I just wish I was in that group that likes Kevin Smith's recent work. They are exactly the kind of things I'd like to be watching and enjoying." I also put as good a version as I could up on Twitter, out of my continuing delusion that posting on Twitter is ever going to turn out well for me.

I had a good conversation with Kevin and my mutual friend Vincent Pereira, whose Kevin Smith-produced, low budget movie A Better Place hold a special place on my shelf and is another important part of my thinking regarding low budget moviemaking, on Facebook about the shitty clickbait headline, as well as my general joy at Kevin's reported joy and success, as well as his self-deprecation. I went to bed feeling good about all of this.

Then I checked the Twitter. Pretty late, frankly, because it's Twitter and not a priority in my life. There was, of course, a number of fans who have either understood the nuance and are providing advice on how to proceed, as well as a number with no comprehension of nuance at all trying to tear me down for my admission. It was an interesting reminder of some of the reasons, good and bad, I slipped out of that world.

This reply is my favorite by far.


















I have, and I will.

The important thing, in my mind, is that I will be celebrating him for helping to blaze this trail whether I find a new love of them or not.

I want to love them because I want to love every part of it.

But the best part of people making smaller art for their particular audience is that they don't have to worry about what people outside that audience wants, so they can do a better job serving them.

We live in a world where it's easier, cheaper and more efficient to deliver stuff to those specific audiences, whether that's Nazi sausages or, I dunno, maybe a movie where people sit in an attic and play jacks.

As I tweeted -

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