– . – Director – Kevin Smith
Director – Kevin Smith
Having spent 15 years building his maverick reputation, Kevin Smith has made his first studio movie, Cop Out. But that hasn’t stopped the director being as outspoken as ever about his new-found love for Blu-ray, his passion for Twitter and what he really thinks about 3D.
Maverick filmmaker Kevin Smith needs no introduction. He’s spent the past 15 years establishing his reputation as a fearlessly independent writer/ director, making films like Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jersey Girl, Clerks II, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and most recently, Cop Out, starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. For someone whose first film was shot on a shoestring budget of $27,000, and who admits he never wanted to work at a studio, Smith has come a long way. And, by his own admission, he was not a fan of Blu-ray until he was won over by the high-definition treatment of his latest movie.
Smith is excited about Warner Home Video’s Blu-ray release of Cop Out, which features the immersive ‘Maximum Comedy Mode’: a hilarious interactive viewing experience that allows Smith and one of the film’s stars, Seann William Scott, to show fans the comical stunts, improv. and hijinks that went into creating the buddy cop comedy. Initially Smith was apprehensive. “I’m an old man, I’m going to be 40 [soon], so I was terrified by the notion of something new,” he laughs. “I was like, ‘Your commentary tracks are here and your deleted scenes are over here. Never the twain shall meet’. But these dudes were so kind about trying to break the process down and explain it to me, which I thought was really funny because I’m the director. I’m supposed to have vision!”
The Cop Out Blu-ray sees the commentary track, deleted scenes and a Q&A being integrated with the movie. Smith explains, “It was like integrating something I do fairly well, which is stand up and talk to people, with something that I don’t do well at all, which is make movies!” When he watched the results, he was delighted. “We make fun of the movie in the movie and we explain how things happened or what went wrong or what got changed. It’s so warts and all, honest, I like that about it. The integration terrified me at first and then I was so into it that I thought, ‘Why can’t I do this with every movie I make?’”
Despite his initial reluctance to get on board with the Blu-ray format, one thing Smith has fully embraced is the use of social networking; he was one of the first filmmakers to have an active Twitter presence and use it to stay in direct contact with his fans. “What Twitter is wonderful for is talking to the fan base and the audience and anybody who has half a fuckin’ interest in you or what you do,” he says. But it’s nothing new to him; he’s been using the Internet to interact with his public since 1995, when he kicked open the doors of his website with a message board.
“By the time Twitter happened, I was well polished. I had 10,000 hours of practice or more on how to be pithy and respond and interact with people and make it seem like you’re having a real conversation with people that you’re not even seeing. Twitter just enabled me to do what I did normally but on a much larger basis.”