"That seems to be the business model of the 21st century... build what you love -- dream, do it -- then figure out a way to monetize it." -- Kevin Smith
While sitting in on a conversation about the future of TV for NewTek, Kevin Smith admitted that he's been brainstorming ways of making Clerks 3 in a somewhat different fashion that utilizes some of the concepts Smith has applied to his ever-evolving new media company over the years. One of his ideas is to make Clerks 3 as a book first, giving him more room to explore the characters than he would in a two-hour movie. "I want to do Clerks 3 as a book first. I want to them in episodic chapters so that as I release it, people can read the whole thing and see what it looks like. I get to go inside the characters heads and tell year-one origin stories. The first chapter is Dante and Randall meeting in kindergarten."
Smith goes on to say that by writing it as a book first and releasing episodic chapters online, this allows him to be inspired by the audience and have his fans help "influence" it. The move is pretty smart from a business perspective, because doing it as a book allows Smith to then explore a number of ways to visualize the sequel later on. He can ask his fans to re-create chapters of the book and vote on the best fan-made videos, or farm out chapters to the YouTube filmmakers he's working with through his channel or the filmmakers he's working with via his distribution label. Then, maybe, he can animate portions of it for a DVD, or shoot various live-action scenes for a Web series, with the
filmmaker content creator finding ways to monetize each medium.
Beginning a project as an evolving book that incorporates fan interaction from the very start is an exciting concept not just for someone like Smith, but in general. It'd be interesting to see other filmmakers collaborate with their fans in this way on a project that means something to them and the filmmaker, be it a sequel or something completely original, expanding on a relationship that's been one way for far too long.
We're already seeing some of this with filmmakers and distributors creating what are essentially "fan clubs" that allow fans to subscribe to the work they're either creating or distributing. With Smith's ideas, however, the fans would directly influence the art, and then have a direct say in how they consume it and what happens next.
Fan bases want so much more than a movie these days anyway. We see fan sites, fan fiction and fan-made trailers, but what will happen when the filmmakers and creators get their fan bases more involved in making something together as one massive unit? We're inching towards a future where that's the norm, and while it may surprise you to see Kevin Smith leading the charge, we won't be the only ones keeping a close eye on which moves he makes next.
What do you think? Do you like the idea of a fan-driven sequel that begins as a book and evolves from there?
You can watch the entire video below, with Smith's Clerks 3 remarks beginning at around 12 minutes. [via Deadline]
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