Kevin Smith Reveals He'll Probably Edit 'Red State' Before U.S. Tour
While the response to Kevin Smith's horror movie Red State, which just premiered at Sundance, has been mixed, with a good assortment of positive and negative, there's pretty much one common complaint - that a sermon early in the film from Michael Parks was a little too long. When I saw the film, although Parks gives a fantastic performance as Pastor Abin Cooper, the scene felt like a Tarantino dialogue scene that ran on for at least 20 minutes. Good news for Kevin Smith naysayers, as the director chatted with the Kevin and Josh Movie Show (via Bleeding Cool) and said that he might be re-editing the film and trimming down the scene.
As Smith said before the film played, since this was the first time it was ever being shown to an audience (of 1200 nonetheless), he decided to sit in the back and watch the reactions. "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." So he's going to make cuts, but why if he's self-distributing it?
"[Producer John Gordon] 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,' [with] 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."
That's actually good to hear, especially because it means he's taking all the critical feedback on the film from Sundance to heart, and making cuts where necessary. Most people I've talked to would agree that it could be an even better film if he tweaked the editing a bit; and that Sundance premiere was essentially a big faux test screening in order to see where he needed to make cuts. So if I can request anything, it's to give Red State a chance, even if you hate Kevin Smith and his past few movies - he's really stepped up and hearing this only makes me think he's going to all the lengths to really make sure this is one of his best movies he's ever made.
Smith also went on to confirm that after directing his hockey movie Hit Somebody later this year, he will no longer be directing more feature films. "This is my second to last film, I want this Hit Somebody movie next about hockey, and then after that I don't want to direct film anymore. I don't have anymore stories to tell. And I've always been more of a storyteller writer-director…" Smith also confirmed that he'll have a Q&A after all of his road show performances, so even though the ticket is $60, it's still worth it as you will get the quintessential Kevin Smith Q&A. For everyone else, well, Red State hits regular theaters this October 19th.