I've been intrigued for a while at the innovative distribution model cult movie director Kevin Smith has been using to promote his latest film, horror flick "Red State."
He kicked things off by forgoing an initial theatrical release, taking the film on tour and charging 50 bucks to see the film and get a Q&A with Smith. Smith's well known as a raconteur, doing sold out Q&A's for years. He went on to launch an online podcast network, then an online radio network with daily shows he personally hosts.
Now he's trying something else with "Red State" – skipping theaters altogether. It's a fascinating move for someone with nine theatrical releases to his name, eight which he wrote himself. His previous releases all made millions, with his last movie earning the most at $45 million.
He's offering "Red State" via video-on-demand beginning Labor Day weekend for 10 bucks. He's following that up with a one-night-only screening in theaters with a live stream of a Q&A and a podcast taping to the theaters that show it.
Smith admits that he doesn't think his film would make as much money with traditional distribution. According to Smith, after touring the film, the production is officially in the black.
You can read the full (long) statement by Smith at TheRedStatements.com. Smith lashes out at critics while employing his trademark filthy sense of humor.
Smith says he's leaving film after his next movie, a hockey film called "Hit Somebody," to tackle his career as an online broadcaster full time. It should be interesting to watch that venture and see the next way Smith attempts to innovate.
The trailer for Red State:
Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images