The big buzz late Sunday night was Kevin Smith’s surprise announcement at the Sundance Film Festival. After screening his latest film Red State, Smith was supposed to hold an auction for potential distributors. However, Smith instead chose a very unique distribution method. Get the details after the break.
When the movie, Smith’s first action horror, ended, the geek-favorite director told the audience (among other things) how he was unhappy with the current studio/distribution system for films. He explained that he didn’t want to spend $20 million marketing a film that only cost $4 million to make. So, Smith decided to buy the rights himself for only twenty bucks in a rather theatrical manner.
The film will be self-released under his own Smodcast Pictures on October 19th, 2011 to mark the 17th anniversary of the release of his first film Clerks. He also won’t spend any money on “conventional” advertising, which is obviously extremely rare for a relatively high profile film. One of the things he will do to promote the film will be a roadshow called “The Red State USA Tour”, which will take place mostly in March. Smith expects to make about half of the film’s production cost from that alone. Hopefully the buzz from that and Sundance will be enough to make the theatrical release successful enough to make up the other half and more.
Here are the dates of the tour:
March 5th – Radio City Music Hall
March 6th – Wilbur Theater in Boston
March 8th – Harris Theater in Chicago
March 9th – State Theater in Minneapolis
March 10th – Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor
March 11th – Indianapolis, IN
March 12th – Midland Theater, Kansas City
March 14th – Springfield, OH
March 22nd – Paramount Theater, Denver
March 26th – McCalister theater, New Orleans
March 28th – Paramount Theater, Austin
March 29th – Cobb Energy Center, Atlanta
April 4th – McCaw Hall in Seattle
Get all the details of the tour here, where you can even request a screening in your home town. What do you think of Smith’s distribution and marketing plans? Fortunately for us, viral marketing isn’t conventional, so we may see more from this film.
UPDATE: Below is a video of the post-screening announcement.