Kevin Smith Did Not Get Paid Very Much for 'Cop Out'

Another day, another series of tweets by Kevin Smith that are barely comprehensible in Twitter stream form. Let's aggregate them, shall we? The following are an amalgamation of messages sent from Smith's Twitter account on January 1st and January 2nd, 2011:

All this RedState chatter is just me getting my work done ahead of time, so I can go play hockey. Because as much as I love RedState (and it's supplanted CLERKS II as my favorite), that HIT SOMEBODY script is what I like to think of as my thesis paper. It's me putting everything I've learned to work & trying to make a film that sums up the last 20 years of my life - which far exceeded not only my expectations, but my wildest dreams as well. HIT SOMEBODY is graduation day for me, and in my head, I'm just starting the fall semester of my senior year, so to speak (or Grade 12 for you Canadians). RedState is just beginning for you but that adventure is winding down for me. You're just now getting to see what we've spent three years putting together. So while some cats may wanna talk about it, I'm already onto the next conversation entirely. I've finally gotten my filmmaking to the pace I've always wanted to make 'em: finish one, start the next. The Clint Eastwood way. Y'know how much press Clint Eastwood does? Not much. Y'know why? He figured out what I'm only just know learning, nearly 20 years into my career: he'd rather make new movies than do press for movies he's done making. Clint Eastwood has the work ethic of a hockey player, man. I admire the shit out of that: he finishes one, starts the next. He doesn't dine out on one flick for a year or two; he makes flicks with all the frequency with which a teen girl texts. Loves 'em & leaves 'em. I'm 40 yrs old; I've been a professional filmmaker for nearly two decades. And after years of being told to stop fetishizing my work - "Enough with the Jay & Bob bullshit already..." - I've taken their advice: I'm not dwelling on the flicks I make. Now that I've got 20 years of experience on the job under my belt, I'm giving my movies the Little Red Corvette treatment: love 'em & leave 'em fast. #TrojansSomeOfEmUsed This is not a novel approach in the least. Spielberg doesn't do shit tons of public speaking, let alone press. Robert Altman also swung from flick to flick like Tarzan, without doing much press, letting his massive cast take the lead. That's all I'm doing here. And I'm not saying I'm as good as the aforementioned filmmakers; they are legends. But, again: I've got two decades experience under my belt, one more flick to make, and less years in front of me than there are behind me now. I've spent all that time making flicks the way I wanted to, not the way I was supposed to, and thus far, it's served me well. I've gotta play my game - especially if this is my last season, so the speak.

Please enjoy the fuck out of RedState. I'll be right there with you, all the way up to theatrical release. After that, my head's in a different - Via @Terefkal "You're no Clint Eastwood." My point exactly. So if Clint moves from film-to-film without doing much press, then what kinda arrogant sonovabitch must I be to do so much press? Clint makes movie after movie & he's an Academy Award winner. If I'm gonna try to better myself at my profession, I might as well choose a beyond-reach role model, right? So I'm'a try to work like Clint Eastwood from now on: make better movies, and make 'em one right after the other. And do minimal takes. And not listen to anybody. Clint Eastwood said recently that even at his age, with all the awards/box office/epic win, people still try to caution him against doing this or that, or advise him. He said the way to do the job is to not listen to anybody else & just do what he feels. I wanna be more like Clint. Might even get a monkey...

Via @sorryimlate "Clint Eastwood is the Wayne Gretzky of filmmaking" No - Clint's the Gordie Howe of Filmmaking, playing in 5 decades.

Via @Eddy32191 "David Fincher does almost zero press for his films" See? And he's a master. So I'll never be Fincher good, but I can try to be. And he's a guy who's like "Fuck all this talking about the job, I wanna DO the job." Maybe less I'm doing press, more I'm making flicks, the better I'd be at my job. Like Fincher. A little more I learn my lenses, a little less I learn what an asshole I am from bloggers & such.

Via @doubleplusgeoff "you'd do a lot for your credibility if you'd just come right out & say that CopOut was a 'gettin paid' movie" I wish I could. But I actually took an 84% pay cut to make #CopOut - because I wanted to work with BruceWillis. Lots of us did. Tracy got paid more than me, but not much. I also gave BACK half my already-way-less salary to get the film green-lit: there was a budget crunch to get to the $35million the studio wanted, so Marc Platt & I each gave up half our salaries IN ADDITION to the big dip in our quotes we'd agreed to. When all was said & done, we came in way under budget. Final cost: $32mil - $3mil less than we were allotted. Contractually, WB didn't have to give me the money I gave up until they were in the black, but since we came in under budget, they cut me a check for the re-investment I'd made BEFORE the flick hit theaters. And even then, I still made 80% less than I did on my previous flick. I made MORE as the director of DOGMA in 1998 than I did as the director of COP OUT in 2009/2010. So please: enough with the "you musta got PAID" bullshit. I didn't. Both my agent & my lawyer were like "Don't do this. You can get paid more making a Kevin Smith movie." But I knew if I wanted to make RedState, I had to make CopOut. There were things I needed to learn, and I learned them - while making a financially responsible buddy cop homage for a major studio, from a script I didn't write. I'm sorry you didn't like CopOut; feel free to skip RedState if you feel betrayed in some way. But to suggest I did #CopOut for the money is ludicrous - as it was the least I've been paid to direct a film since 1998 - 11 years prior. CopOut may not fit into your KevinSmith narrative, but I know where my story goes - and it was the keystone to everything that RedState is.

We don't live in STAR WARS, kid. Motivations aren't always as simple & clear as "The Empire is bad! Save the galaxy!" You may not understand why I do what I do, and that must frustrate you. But in a couple years, it's all gonna make sense. And by the time it does, you won't care anymore anyway. But at least I'll have the record of this exchange; that and it's one more question I won't have to answer again. So thanks.

2 comments :: Kevin Smith Did Not Get Paid Very Much for 'Cop Out'

  1. Thanks for putting this together, Dave. I didn't have a chance to follow him much on Twitter today while at work, and reading it in this form is much more convenient.

  2. Dave, thanks for put these tweets in a readable format. I love Kevin Smith, but i wish he would just write this stuff in a blog post. The Twitter format does not do his thoughts justice.

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