Kevin Smith’s 90s classic, Clerks, became the independent movie to inspire thousands when it was first released. If the movie itself wasn’t enough to inspire, the story behind the story sure was. Smith, working as a convenience store clerk, wrote a script and financed the production for around $27,000 when he was just in his early 20s. That money came from credit cards and a comic book collection.
Smith brought his friends and a few actors together to make a black and white movie about 90s angst, ambition, friendship and the things we do to make it through those minimum wage jobs we’ve all suffered through. Since Clerks was bought by Harvey Weinstein and inspired a series of films starring the characters of Jay and Silent Bob (plus a more conventional sequel), Smith has gone on to write comic books, direct darker material like Red State and podcast with his friends like there’s no tomorrow. He also paid off that $27,000 debt.
Now, after 20 years, Clerks and the story behind Clerks is still inspiring filmmakers everywhere. Christopher Downie, Brett Murray and Felix Kay have all been hard at work running and promoting an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign for a film they have dubbed Shooting Clerks.
The film is a proposed effort that dramatizes the story behind Clerks as it follows a young Kevin Smith from his decision to make a movie based in the convenience store that paid his bills at the time to the moment when Harvey Weinstein bought the movie at the Sundance Film Festival in 1994.
The campaign page is actually quite thorough and impressive as there is already a cast in place (Kevin Smith even has a part) and the trio break down the financials on the movie almost dollar for dollar. They are asking for 27,575 GBP to make their movie (a nod to Smith’s original budget) and thus far have collected £2,390.
However, the slow fundraising is not hurting the young filmmakers’ ambitions any. They have updated the page to say they are beginning filming soon and they recently released a sample scene from the movie through Kevin Smith’s YouTube channel, SeeSMod.
The trio also have some pretty relevant experience as their previous movies include two shorts: Get Greedo and Babble-On Begins. The first is a short that was released through SeeSMod and chronicled a chapter in the relationship between Kevin Smith and his formerly heroin addicted partner in crime Jason Mewes. It’s a great little movie that people should definitely check out on YouTube if they have any doubts about the talent behind Shooting Clerks.
Babble-On Begins is also a Kevin Smith inspired movie as it’s a fan film based on Kevin Smith’s and Ralph Garman’s podcast, Hollywood Babble-On.
In a world where crowd-funding exists, the internet has exploded and audiences go wild for streaming, it’s a perfect time for independent filmmakers to take a shot at becoming influential and professional artists like Kevin Smith once did back in 1994.
Shooting Clerks is a perfect example of young, independent artists today working, hustling and using today’s advantages to do what Kevin Smith did with so much less back in 1994. The fact that they are doing it with a film about the making of an independent 90s classic that inspired many is just all the better.
Visit the Shooting Clerks Indiegogo page here.