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Monday, January 24, 2011

Briefly... on the Red State situation

Film Flam Flummox

As with many, my initial reaction to Kevin Smith's decision to self-distribute his long-gestating horror film Red State was surprise--but not in the same way most (rather exaggeratedly outraged) observers have expressed. No, my surprise comes in that just about no one ever had the faintest suspicion Smith would follow such a route, especially within the context of his long history of challenging, breaking, and/or redefining traditional boundaries--whether embracing filmmaker/fan interaction long before the advent of social networking over at his official site; or running his own film and entertainment news outlet for a few years; or building a public speaking side career so successful so as to spawn a DVD franchise and, in recent years, a veritable network of podcasts that has grown to invite live audiences. Taking all that into consideration, theatrical self-distribution--piggybacked on his established drawing power as a live speaker--seems not so much insanity than an organic brand extension, albeit his boldest and riskiest. Whatever the outcome, undoubtedly it'll certainly be fascinating and instructive (from all angles, positively and negatively) to watch the situation play out in the coming months.

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