How Kevin Smith made employees himself

If you ever need a laugh, watch KevinSmith Talk about the time he almost got hired Write in superman Movie. After being with movies like Employee And chase Amy, it was clear the studios could tell the guy had serious writing skills. With Employee Specifically, Smith took the total DIY approach to getting the thing in the can.


That was such a success Employee is still a hot topic in pop culture today; even in series The Mandalorian refer to the film and second Employee The monochrome OG masterpiece has already had sequels. Here’s a closer look at how Smith worked practically all alone as a filmmaker on his feature film debut in 1994.

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Kevin Smith’s life before filmmaking

Kevin Smith in Clerks (1994)
Miramax films

If you haven’t already gathered from his countless films set in New Jersey, Smith was born and raised in the Garden State — and is proud of it. As evidenced by his 1994 feature, Smith actually worked as a clerk, in both convenience stores and video stores. Colleague Quentin Tarantino has similar professional experiences from the time, so it’s not surprising that the two are lumped together as a kind of “video store generation” where they’re said to have literally looked at every offer in their respective stores to gain knowledge about the business (as opposed to sitting in the university lecture halls and getting insights from a seasoned film professor).

Also before Employee, Smith briefly attended Vancouver Film School, where he met future collaborators Scott Mosier and Dave Klein. After retiring after just a few months there, Smith eventually moved back to Jersey and worked at the same supermarket again – and that’s where he worked Employee brought to life

Related: Kevin Smith opens up about his mental health struggles and how he’s comfortable with himself

How Kevin Smith brought employees to life

Jeff Anderson and Brian O'Halloran in Clerks (1994)
Miramax films

Smith said an underrated little film by an indie filmmaker friend inspired him to try his hand at DIY filmmaking. “I see Richard Linklaters lazy on my 21st birthday showed me that movies don’t have to blow that up [Star Wars] “Death Star – they might just be a snapshot of where you’ve been in life,” Smith once said The guard. “Employee grew out of a need for representation: there was a time when this world of dead-end jobs in cinema didn’t exist, when pop culture wasn’t the culture, when you didn’t see people speaking in movie quotes. ” Other independent directors such as Jim Jarmusch and Spike Lee also gave Smith hope that he might try his own feature film.

What would you do to bring your vision to life if you had practically no money in your pocket? Not only did Smith save money by dropping out of Vancouver Film School, but he reportedly exhausted a handful of credit cards and even sold some of his proud comic book collections. And here’s another useful tactic he employed: Smith also saved money by casting his real friends in many roles Employee. The final result cost less than $28,000 to produce and eventually made it to Sundance, where Harvey Weinstein made the purchase for Miramax. The film did well at the box office, especially for such an inexpensive project.

Related: Why Red State Might Be Kevin Smith’s Best Movie

Smith fanatics know the story of Employee by heart: Brian O’Halloran plays Dante Hicks and Jeff Anderson plays Randall in this hilarious everyday tale of…employees. Dante is a downer and it doesn’t help when he reads in the paper that his ex is marrying Caitlin. He’s also stressed out about his upcoming hockey game and a friend’s funeral. Meanwhile, Randal works at the video store next door and seems to hate his job as much as Dante.

The premise doesn’t sound like much, but the endless banter between the two leads is instantly relatable — and laughably funny. Employee was Smith’s first View Askewniverse film, which introduced recurring roles such as the infamous Jay (Smith’s real life sidekick Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith himself).

Future Kevin Smith projects

Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes in Mallrats (1995)
Gramercy images

And now, years after suffering a massive heart attack, Smith remains as busy in Hollywood as ever. After the recent release of Clerk IIIhe hinted late last year that the production of Mallrats 2 could start in 2023 but only time will tell. And it’s unclear when that will happen elkjaw will start production but supposedly it’s coming. There are also reports of an original film of his in the works entitled The 4:40 movieand he has one more film planned with Jay and Silent Bob – in addition to a rumored sequel to his critically acclaimed film starring John Goodman Red State. And the list goes on: He’s writing and directing a wild film about an evil “Giant Jesus” titled Helena handbag. Hopefully at least one of these announced projects will reach the masses soon.

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