Kevin Smith Isn’t Done With You Yet

The indie director on his new Hulu show, lots of weed, and comic books

Kevin Smith has enough indie director cred for a whole film festival—he funded his first movie, Clerks, by maxing out his credit cards. So it makes sense that when the time came to get traditional filmmakers on board with Web video companies who were looking to compete with linear television, Smith would be first in line. He took time out from a busier-than-ever schedule to talk to Adweek about his new project, Spoilers (a non-review review show about movies and how awesome they are.) He also gave us the lowdown on working with Hulu and a few other projects he’s had in the works. Also weed.

Adweek: So this is pretty informal, if that's all right.

Kevin Smith: I'm stoned, so it's very informal on this side.

Sounds good. More or less I figured I'd just ask you to walk me through your day, if that's cool.

Absolutely. I hit my office and start smoking and that's where the good work comes from. I really started doing this at age 38. If I'd started in my youth—what pressures does one have to relieve at that age, really?

So it's a big help to you.

Finding something that allows you to kind of focus and organize? Yes. I had no idea there was this community of productive stoners. Here on Zack & Miri Make a Porno [which Smith directed in 2008] I was hanging out with one of the most productive stoners of all time—Seth Rogen. He's this kid who's baked all the time, and he gets more done than me. I'd never done it before and then after Zack & Miri I was in the house alone with the wife and we were like a couple of teenagers; somebody had given us some pot and so I pulled it out of the safe—it was all crumbly and shit— and I liked who I was on it.

But it's a totally new thing.

Yeah, for a long time I didn't want people to call me a fat lazy stoner; I've got fat and lazy covered. But as long as you're producing, nobody can give you any shit. Since I started smoking I've become super f-cking productive. By the time most people I know get up at 9, I've produced two podcasts. And I'm working on the hockey movie that just keeps getting longer and longer.

You always have that inhibitor, you're always going "Wouldn't it be cool if somebody did this? Oh, wait, somebody's probably already doing that, or who are you, or whatever." And if you don’t do that, one of two things happens. A) Someone else does it sooner or later and you go, man I wish I'd followed through or B) you drop dead one day and you never tried something really simple like a TV show. Hulu, they're kind of like weed.

They make you creative?

They're like, "Let's try it," only without the drugs. They're experimental—it's like a college. 

And one of those ideas you had while stoned on Hulu was Spoilers.

We asked ourselves, "What if we did this with a bunch of guys who know about as much about movies as a bonafide critic?" It's not a fat guy and a skinny guy, it's a fat guy and forty other guys, and they’re all just normal guys. If you have a job in this business, you govern your f-cking tongue. You don't work for Disney, you can say whatever the f-ck you want. And you put some of these guys in front of a camera, and man! I’ll go on and say "I defy you to be as entertaining as me."