Why I Will Be Forever Grateful to Kevin Smith

A day late post turned into many months late. Oh dear.

In this entry, I’ll be kissing a fair bit of arse to a director who changed my fucking life.

…For those ‘real artists’ out there, sorry to say but it’s not Ingmar Bergman, or David Lynch or *shudder* Lars Von Trier. Instead it’s this guy:

While other directors such as Sam Raimi and Edgar Wright gave me the idea that “hey, this whole filmmaking thing looks like fun!”, Kevin Smith gave me a not-so-gentle shove into thinking that filmmaking was this tangible, realistic goal. Eventually I woke up and thought “holy shit, I could make a movie!” and the rest -as they say, is history (made much more easily accessible now that my Facebook has been timeline’d against my will).

It all started with the film “Dogma”, I guess. That was the first of Smith’s movie I watched and hey, it was good enough that I wanted more. So I ended up getting “Clerks 2” from my workplace, the 10th Anniversary Edition of “Clerks” lovingly imported from my mother when she went overseas and followed that up (finally), with renting (and eventually buying) “Chasing Amy” along with a few other LGBT*-themed movies with my girlfriend at the time.

Suffice to say, I was well-engrossed into the View Askewniverse by this point and -hell I’ll just say it: There hasn’t been a Kevin Smith movie I’ve downright hated. Nope, not even Jersey Girl. Shit, I even sat through Catch and Release because he was part of the supporting cast.

So how does this relate to my stuff? My entire body of work thus far has been more or less inspired by Smith’s movies and other stuff he’s done. While I don’t have two stoners called “Chay and Violent Rob”, nor have they had the opportunity to strike back, a lot of my films are dialogue-driven and have recurring themes or characters. When I started my studies at IFSS, my initial goal at the end of it all was “to be like Kevin Smith”.

Despite finding my own voice and trying a whole bunch of different stuff, I’ve kept mostly true to this mindset. Smith -for about two decades has made the flicks he wanted to make and -more recently with Red State, distributed them himself. Along with having a massive rapport with his fans via Q&A’s and Twitter/his message board/other places. He’s also cast his friends and other people he knows personally into his movies/other projects, something which -even before discovering him, was an idea I totally got into. So much so that I damn-near pointed at my TV and said “that’s what I want to do”.

I want to make the movies I want to make.

I want the amusingly-titled production company

I want people to be able to say “hey I watched [x] and dude, it spoke to me”.

While I have no aspirations to sell out the Sydney Opera House with a Q&A or anything like that. I’d love to be given the opportunity to do that. Sadly, these things don’t just happen on their own. Looks like I have a fair chunk of work ahead of me.

Brown-nosing aside, it also comes down to the fact that Smith and his movies have kept me fucking sane. Well, sane and motivated enough to complete film school and hopefully continue on my journey to cult filmmaker-dom. It really comes down to his films being relateable. I’ve been Dante from Clerks, Holden from Chasing Amy and er… Silent Bob? I guess? The Askewiverse spoke to me in a way no other film really has since He Died With a Felafel in His Hand.

This is what it really comes down to: Relateability. Smith himself says he’s not a dyed in the wool filmmaker. Moreover,  a lot of people say “Hey! He’s one of us!”.

Which he truly is.

So, I guess with all the brown-nosing and the history lesson, I guess I can sum all this up with the following:

Thanks Kevin Smith. For enabling a tubby boy from a small town to choose a career,

for making my life less shitty,

for everything.

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