The love Kevin Smith has for Prince is widely known. But what you might not know is that 15 years ago Smith made a documentary about Prince. In 2002, Smith opened up about his unreleased documentary during an Evening With Kevin Smith.
It all began when Smith was working on Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and tried to get in contact with Prince's people, as he wanted to use a song for the film. Prince ended up calling Smith personally on his home phone. But instead of talking about the song, he discussed his thoughts on Jesus Christ and making a documentary. Even though Smith didn't end up getting the song, Prince did express an interest in making the documentary with him.
Smith flew to Prince's home in Paisley Park, Minnesota and made a film of the listening party for the singer's The Rainbow Children record, a concept album about faith and sexuality.
The director recalled of his phone call with Prince:
"He said, 'Basically what I want you to shoot is people's reactions to the music, then talk to them about religion, and lead that into race, and by the end of the week I want to change the world.' I was thinking, 'I'm in the middle of making a dick and fart joke movie, man!'"
Smith ended up making the film, albeit reluctantly, but it was never released and is still locked in Prince's vault. It is said that The Purple One intended for it to be a recruitment film for the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Regardless, Smith is still a hardcore fan. Following Prince's death, he took to Twitter to express his sadness:
Smith also posted this photo on his Facebook and a lengthy explanation about how the "music of Prince was the soundtrack to my life."
The music of #Prince was essentially the soundtrack to my life. My first girlfriend introduced me to his work, so any teenage heavy petting session was scored by the lusty purple pipes of his Royal Badness. #1999 and #PurpleRain were some of the first albums I ever bought. In 1989, his #Batman soundtrack never left my rack system. When we made #Clerks in 1993, the Love Symbol album was on a constant loop in my car's cassette player. @samosier & I were almost killed on the Turnpike in the pouring rain when our car momentarily slid under an 18-wheeler as we were funking out to 'My Name Is Prince' (we sang only 'The Morning Papers' for the rest of the way home). My wife & I flew to Minnesota for the Rave Un2 the Y2K concert at #PaisleyPark at the turn of the century, solely as fans. Less than a year later, I'd meet and work with the icon himself when I returned to Paisley Park to shoot a documentary with Prince during his Rainbow Children album listening party. I was lucky to have spent any time with him at all but I was far luckier just simply being alive in the Prince era. His music moved me, his lyrics captured my imagination, his journey from musical Minnesotan to worldwide superstar inspired me. I honestly thought I'd die before Prince - so it's sad to think there will be no new music in which he could sing us his point-of-view on the rest of his unique and legendary life. But having spent time at Paisley Park with the prolific Prince, I know there's a vault full of unreleased tracks we've still yet to hear. I told a long story about my week-long experience of working with Prince on the first Evening with Kevin Smith DVD - a story that would go on to help solidify my reputation outside of filmmaking as a raconteur. So as much as I got from Prince as a fan of good music, he also helped to shape ol' Silent Bob's second career as a talker. I cried today because I realized what a role model Prince always was to me: an Artist with a capital A who was not afraid to bite the hand that fed, never hesitated to reinvent himself, and was always entertaining on any stage. Today we lost one of the greatest Artists who ever lived. RIP, purple genius. Nothing compared 2 U...
Rest in purple peace, Prince. You danced in heels, you wore makeup, you rocked ruffles, and you showed us what it meant to be the most you that you could be. You were the real deal.