Director Kevin Smith quietly wrapped shooting his latest film Red State last week, and in what has to be a near-unprecedented move, he screened the entire film for the cast and crew at the wrap party. It’s no secret that Smith is the editor on all of his films, and usually edits while the film is still shooting. But with Red State it appears he was able to cut the entire flick by the end of the wrap, credits and all.
Late this morning, Smith cryptically asked via his Twitter account “trick or treat?” Minutes later, after apparently garnering an overwhelming number of “treats”, Smith posted a link to his blog where he unveiled the fantastic teaser poster for Red State as well as a statement regarding the flick. Smith’s just coming off the premiere of his EpixHD comedy special Too Fat for 40, about which we had the opportunity to sit down with the man himself to discuss. For more from Smith, the teaser poster, and info on Red State, hit the jump.
“This puppy is fine-cut,” Smith said on his blog, “complete with credits and some pre-mixing: 92 mins without credits, 98 mins with [an] end credit sequence that’s not to be believed.” The film was independently financed for $4 million, with the cast and crew taking significant pay cuts according to Smith. The flick was made out of passion for the project, as Smith explains in his statement:
“You do a movie like RED STATE because you love it; everyone’s there because they wanna be there; there’s not a one of those disgusting, soul-fucking paycheck players in the mix. Passion calls us all together, love of what we’re doing/saying bonds us, and the film is the result; the movie’s a love child.”
Not a great deal is known about the project, but Smith explained the film as such:
“There’s some gallows humor, some dark fucking laughs. And Michael Park’s performance is not to be believed… to me, it plays like an exploitation film. When I was growing up, my favorite kind of movies were devil worshipping movies. This is an angel worship movie. You’ll see what I mean.”
The flick is said to be centered on a Fred Phelps-like family, with Michael Parks (Kill Bill) playing the lead role. Joining him in a stellar cast is John Goodman, Melissa Leo (Frozen River), Kevin Pollak (A Few Good Men) Stephen Root (No Country for Old Men), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Kyle Gallner (Breaking Bad), and Smith’s “Hollywood Babble-On” podcast co-host Ralph Garman.
Smith plans to screen Red State in January at the Sundance Film Festival in order to find a distributor. As mentioned before, the flick was independently financed outside of the Hollywood studio system. In the statement on his blog, Smith says that his producer Jon Gordon and he have decided to call the Red State production company The Harvey Boys, in a nod to their mentor Harvey Weinstein (previous head/founder of Miramax Films). Smith says it’s a “shout-out to an Indie Icon who once said ‘Fuck this traditional bullshit, I’ll do it my way.’ ”
In fact, Smith’s hit quite an entrepreneurial “my way” stride recently. His network of podcasts has expanded into seven separate shows, and he created the world’s first podcasting theater, “Smodcastle.” It’s in keeping with this independent spirit that the teaser poster for Red State was created. Rather than commissioning an advertising company to create a poster to tie into a marketing campaign, this teaser poster was created by Melissa Bloom, assistant to Red State producer Jon Gordon. As Smith explains:
“We’ve got a marketing image that was put together by someone who was on set every day, integral to the process that produced the film which inspired this image. This isn’t the work of some gun for hire who’s doing six other campaigns; we’re not just one of many.”
Personally, I think the poster is fantastic. Even though I know next to nothing about the film, it gives off this creepy, moody vibe that makes me eager to see it as soon as possible. Not to mention the spectacular cast that Smith put together. This is shaping up to be one hell of a flick. After Red State, Smith looks to follow it up with the hockey film Hit Somebody, which he describes as the “Forrest Gump of sports movies“. Check out the stellar teaser poster for Red State below (click to enlarge).