And the highest bidder at Kevin Smith’s “Red State” auction was … Kevin Smith? That’s right. After Smith’s buzzed-about claims he would auction the distribution rights to his indie horror film “Red State” immediately following its Sundance debut, he revealed the auction was merely a hoax and declared he would distribute the movie on his own.
Smith is a decidedly un-Hollywood director. He does the movies he wants on his own terms, so I can’t say I’m surprised at his distribution decision here. Especially given the touchy subject matter (it’s a satirical look at Christian fundamentalism and extreme conservatism), I doubt he would want any studio to have a say in how the film is marketed. Smith is known for being an independent filmmaker, and producing and distributing the film himself is about as independent as you can get.
At the start of the auction, Smith bid $20 for the rights to the $4 million movie, and Producer John Gordon immediately replied, “Sold!” Smith will kick off his self-distribution strategy by taking the film on tour, starting with a screening March 5 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The “Red State USA Tour” screenings will conclude with a Q&A session with Smith and lead actor Michael Parks.
He said he won’t do any interviews or advertising for the film, but will instead rely on his fans’ word of mouth. Smith also said he would offer theaters a better deal than studios would, and he hopes “Red State” will screen in theaters nationwide starting Oct. 19, the same date his cult classic “Clerks” premiered.
Smith’s “Red State” distribution plan is certainly an interesting one, but will it be effective? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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