Smith offers token $20 to buy Red State


Hollywood favors safe commercial ventures. Risky, innovative works from directors with distinctive perspectives cannot buy a green light from big-time distributors. That is why noted independent movie-director Kevin Smith of “Clerks” and “Dogma” fame is bucking the system and distributing his next movie himself, claims the Hollywood Reporter. The fictional thriller “Red State” is based upon the exploits of controversial Pastor Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. In order to stay away from Hollywood hemming and hawing over how to market such a movie, Smith paid himself $20 in a mock auction for the movie's distribution legal rights. At that price he did not even have to take out a cash loan.

The ‘Red State’ travels strategies

The protests from the Westboro Baptist Church is the primary concern that Smith has when it comes to allowing “Red State” to get in the hands of an advertising machine. That is why he instead has decided to journey the U.S. in all of 2011 in order to show his film to “any wise exhibitor” who's willing to let the movie show there starting March 5. Rather than having pre-releases of the movie, Smith is hoping he can instead just do the on road exhibition of “Red State” in order to make back a little bit of the film’s $4 million budget before the Oct 19 theatrical release, reports the Associated Press.

"What we need to prove is that anyone can release a movie," Smith told the debut audience at the Eccles Theater in Logan, Utah. “Indie film isn't dead, it just grew up. We sell our movies ourselves.”

Conquering the Hollywood machine

Apparently Smith thinks of himself as a “fat…stoner” who wants his stories told. The business of Hollywood never held allure for the “Red State” director, hence the desire to eliminate the commercial machine that would seek to control his movie. Smith believes that commercialism may bring in cash but hurts creativity quite a bit. This is what the Eccles audience heard him say.

’Red State’ getting protested

There is an extreme anti-gay movement that Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church have been showing. Still, the way that “Red State” portrayed Pastor Abin Cooper and his fundamentalist church offended this church and Fred Phelps. Smith has admitted that Phelps was indeed his “muse” when he wrote Cooper's character, although the actions of Cooper's church - carrying out the murders of homosexual people, rather than simply protesting with offensive signs - is more extreme than what the Westboro Baptist Church has done.


Green Field Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

'Red State' teaser trailer