Can fan funding save Kevin Smith’s Red State?

Could Kevin Smith have found the way to get his long-mooted horror film, Red State, made?

If you recall in the back end of last year, we ran an interview with Kevin Smith, where he confirmed that he’d finally got the funding for his oft-mooted Red State. Red State was the first of his films that the Weinstein brothers balked at funding, and Smith himself has freely admitted that it’s a darker, non-commercial piece of work.

More recently, however, it seems as if the funding has fallen through altogether, with Smith now revealing that “the lead we thought we had dried-up”. In short, as he awaits the release of his first full-on studio picture Cop Out, Red State seems as far away from being made as ever.

However, in the last few days, a story has cropped up that Smith is seeking fan donations to help make the film. Said story has spun out in predictable directions, with critics lining up at the door to slam the idea. But now, the man himself has composed a blog post that pretty much sums the situation up.

As things stand, Kevin Smith is not asking for donations to make Red State, rather that he’s investigated, off the back of fan suggestions, the idea of the likes of you and me funding the picture. This, he freely admits, is fraught with potential problems, mostly tax-related, and it’s this that he’s looking into right now.

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He’s also taken some time to answer some of the common accusations being levelled at the idea. The first is that he wouldn’t take any salary for making the film. And the second is that it’d be impossible to pay people back should the film go into profit. Instead, the working suggestion is to seed the money into a pot to help fund future films.

The most interesting part of his post, we’d suggest, is here:

“Build a People’s Studio. Simply have any  interested/frustrated/desperate party put their script on our website, open for all to read, during a “pilot season” of sorts. Script that gets the most votes, gets the loot. That flick gets made and sold, all the loot goes back into fund for next round. If there’s enough loot from RED STATE sale to do so, idea would be to fund two low budget flicks a year. Ultimate dream: Indie Movement, v.3″

Democracy has a horrible habit of not working, but we’re intrigued by the idea, and ultra-keen to see Red State. Open that PayPal account now, Mr Smith, and we shall put our (small amount of) money where our (er, much bigger) mouth is…

Here‘s Smith’s blog post.