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Kevin Smith Wisely Won't Use Kickstarter to Fund 'Clerks III': "I Have Access to Money" (KCRW Interview)

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio | Thompson on Hollywood July 1, 2013 at 2:57PM

Hear the KCRW podcast in which filmmaker Kevin Smith opens up about why he won't be using Kickstarter after all to finance "Clerks III."
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith

Filmmaker Kevin Smith opens up to Kim Masters on KCRW about why he won't be using Kickstarter after all to finance "Clerks III," though he had previously optioned the idea and came close to crowdfunding his 2011 film "Red State." 

Smith was one of the first celebrities to figure out that he could build a powerful online fanbase, who can be counted on to show up for his low-budget comedies. So it wouldn't be a stretch for them to help finance his movies too. 

But crowdfunding campaigns have become a controversial trend among celebrities, from Zach Braff to James Franco, who both caught flack for soliciting the resources of their fans even though they undoubtedly have money of their own. This financing method can be very successful, as we know from the "Veronica Mars" campaign, which snagged $5.7 million in fan money. Braff more than met his $2 million goal in fan contributions.

"I love the idea and I want to do it so desperately, but I think I've missed the window based on the fact that I do have access to money," Smith tells Masters in the interview, which you can hear below. "So, if I jump out there, and I unleash this big fat 'Clerks III' little wiener that I've got, and that soaks up $5-7 million in indie financing from the Kickstarter, Indigogo campaign, that's a bunch of potential money that all these amateur Medici’s are not gonna throw toward somebody who really needs it."

Smith, who insists he's not criticizing those celebrities who do use Kickstarter and similar platforms to finance vanity projects, added, "If I don't use my own money, I can always hit up some of my famous friends."

This article is related to: Kevin Smith

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.