The big event at the Sundance Film Festival last night was the premiere of director Kevin Smith's horror project Red State. Kevin Smith previously announced that he was holding an auction for distribution rights directly after the screening, although it turned out he is distributing the movie himself, purchasing the rights for a mere $20.
The director laid out a self-distribution plan that includes a touring roadshow, where Kevin Smith and star Michael Parks will bring Red State to 13 cities across the country starting on March 5 before Red State hits theaters on October 19. Tickets go on sale on January 28 for all shows and proceeds from these screenings will go directly to the print-making budget. You can CLICK HERE to learn more about these screenings and buy merchandise from Red State as well.
Kevin Smith and producer Jonathan Gordon a.k.a. "The Harvey Boys," also issued a statement about their self-distribution method:
"The Harvey Boys have witnessed first hand the vagaries of "studio math" - the byzantine numbers game that sees an uneducated media and public celebrating "huge" openings at the box office while ignoring the obscene marketing costs attached to reach those figures. We believe it's a pyrrhic victory to simply "buy" an opening weekend by pouring millions of dollars into TV spots, billboards and print ads. As storytellers, why not instead use our creative abilities that resulted in a film in the first place to also creatively SELL that film directly to our public?
We believe the state of film marketing has become ridiculously expensive and exclusionary to the average filmmaker longing simply to tell their story. When the costs of marketing and releasing a movie are four times that film's budget, it's apparent the traditional distribution mechanism is woefully out of touch with not only the current global economy, but also the age of social media.
Therefore, The Harvey Boys will not spend a dime on old world media buys (such as TV/Print/Outdoor) as we self-distribute our film, Red State, in an admittedly unconventional, yet extremely cost effective, word of mouth/viral campaign.
Knowledge is power, and we believe in empowering the filmmaker - so the Harvey Boys vow to make the financials of Red State open and transparent from which anybody hoping to follow suit can learn. We will do what no studio has dared: open up our books for the world to see so anyone interested in pursuing a similar independent release strategy has a better understanding of the BUSINESS of Red State.
And if we're successful - or even merely effective - at producing a film distribution apparatus that can stand apart from the cost-prohibitive studio model currently viewed as the only way to get a movie into a theater? It is our intent to use the groundwork we lay with Red State to aid other filmmakers in releasing THEIR films, via our newly launched SModcast Pictures.
Don't hate the studio; BECOME the studio. Anybody can make a movie; what we aim to prove is anyone can release a movie as well
The Harvey Boys
Jon Gordon & Kevin Smith"
A brand new video has also surfaced from the Red State screening at Sundance, which features Kevin Smith countering the "protest" by the Westboro Baptist Church, the fictional church from Red State, before the screening started. We reported last week that Kevin Smith was planning to show up at the WBC's rally at Sundance. Take a look at this intriguing protest below: