As Kevin Smith gears up to take his indie horror flick “Red State” out on the road next month, he’ll be making some slight tweaks for the film before he unveils it to non-festival audiences.
Calling in to Washington DC’s Kevin and Josh Movie Show, the director once again pimped his roadshow tour for “Red State,” said “Hit Somebody” will be his last film, but more interestingly, revealed that after seeing the pic with an audience, he has decided to cut about five to ten minutes from the film, likely from a lengthy sermon given by Michael Parks’ character in the film. We’ll let him explain below.
The movie that I showed the cast and crew screening at wrap, two days after we wrapped, I showed them the whole movie, that’s the movie I pretty much showed at Sundance with end credits attached to it… I loved the movie, we knew what we were doing in terms of editing it, it was a beautiful running time and stuff… and then we go to Sundance and I sit in the back and for the first time I get to watch it with 1200 people who have no involvement with the movie, no involvement with me…
So I’m sitting there going “Okay, there’s something I thought would work, didn’t play with the audience”, “Something I thought would get a nice reaction just kinda laid there”, “Boy, that played way bigger than I ever thought it would, maybe we should shape something around there” and just found some time to take out… if I had to guess I’m saying five to ten minutes somewhere in there.
And John [Gordon, producer] fought me on it. John was just like ”Why bother dude, we’re our own bosses, nobody’s telling you to take it out”, like back in the old days Harvey would be “I love it! Take ten minutes out,” no direction at all, just take the time out, so John’s like “We don’t have to do that now, we don’t have to really cut the movie at all” and I said “Yeah, but I’m a filmmaker first and foremost, dude, and I want the movie to play as gangbusters as possible” and if the length of Parks’ speech is making anybody remotely go “Maybe that speech is a little long”… I want them to love Parks as much as I do, so for me, right, I’m an editor, you kill your babies every step of the way as an editor.
Frankly, nothing too shocking here. Films are often edited between festival screenings and their wider release dates — for example, “Blue Valentine” was about ten minutes longer at its Sundance premiere than it was when it finally hit theaters in December. Festival showings afford directors an opportunity to see how a film plays with an audience and we wouldn’t be surprised if Smith continues to tinker with the film prior to its wider release in October; he’ll have plenty of feedback from auds in the coming months who will trek out to see the pic as it goes around the country.
“Red State” opens on October 19th. [Bleeding Cool]