Kevin Smith, Patron Saint of Internet Creators.
In recent years, Kevin Smith, has abandoned his tried and true method for horror. It started with Tusk, a snowball idea that went from podcast discussion to full length feature film. Starring Justin Long as a man who becomes a walrus, it was truly frightening. Kevin Smith has recently made a film with his daughter called Yoga Hosers that continues into his new Canadian horror trilogy. Now, Mr. Smith likes to talk a lot about how unsuccessful his films are but he is dead wrong. Tusk encapsulates the new American idea, the idea that any creator can make their idea happen. And what he has accomplished can shine a light for those who want to do what he does, make stories come alive.
The internet is becoming the bastion of creative thought. Each year, creators come out of the woodwork and make some amazing things. Kevin Smith is the patron saint of these creators. Coming from making his first feature film on the back of credit debt, he was able to make his dream come alive. Now he is back at it transferring his creative thought from his podcasts and making them into feature films. As a creator/podcaster, I look up to Mr. Smith and his tenacity as a director and a human being. So here are 3 things that Kevin Smith can teach anyone trying to create something on the internet.
Don't let anybody tell you different, man: The main goal in life careerwise should always be to try to get paid to simply be yourself.
1. Follow your Dreams!
As stated above, Kevin Smith created his first movie using credit cards. He faced a reality that his movie needed funding and he didn't have the funds. So he applied for credit cards and backed his movie on the dream of success. Sometimes following your dreams can put you into a scary situation. What if I don't have the money, the talent or whatever fear you put in your way. Don't let anything stop you from creating your masterpiece. We wouldn't have the many Kevin Smith films had he not faced his fears and put it all on credit. Now I am not advising you to put yourself in debt, however, if that means you create the next Clerks, go for it.
When you're an artist, all you're trying to do is self-express.
2. Make your art a part of you.
Something Kevin Smith does so well in his films is that he brings you to his universe (View-Askewniverse). The conversations in his films were mostly based on real conversations he had with his friends. And that truly is what sold Clerks to the audience his first go around. It felt real, genuine and absurd. It wasn't like other films of the day when it came out. This helped open the door to future filmmakers who used the same style of conversational dramedy. Bring yourself into your scripts and art, the audience will follow.
There's something to be said for failing. It's not the failure you feel, it's the failure that people project when something disappoints. You're back to ground zero, where there's no expectations, and that's where I like to be.
3. Never be afraid....even when you're afraid.
You don't get to be the next Kevin Smith unless you leave your fears behind. Now I am not saying you can't have fears. In all honesty fear is part of what drives us. The whole point is to be open with your fears. Something Kevin Smith does constantly on his podcast, is admit his fears. He recently was at San Diego Comic Con and faced one of his biggest fears to date. His whole audience got taken to a free Star Wars concert, and he was left with a half empty Hall H (one of the biggest halls at the con). He brought up this fear on his podcast and faced it. Don't be afraid of what people will say about your projects. Embrace it and face it, and make yourself better. Fear is human, but to cripple with fear, is to stay stuck in a hole. Use your fear to climb higher, and you could become the next Kevin Smith.