If you've ever listened to Kevin Smith on his podcasts you already know he's a great storyteller. At this year's Comic-Con International: San Diego, Smith yet again delivered a hilarious and informative panel to a full Hall H. He even credited his superpower-like storytelling skills to the early days of his career working with Harvey Weinstein.
Harvey Weinstein had a brilliant idea to help promote my films since they had no stars - he asked, 'Who is a better advocate to talk about their film than the filmmaker?' So Harvey pushed me to get out there and talk about my films. He gave me confidence. Which is the best thing he ever did for me.
Smith wet the audience's appetite of, The Musk Of Tusk: An Evening With Kevin Smith, by first talking about what he could barely talk about after recently visiting J.J. Abrams and his Star Wars: Episode VII set.
They made me sign an NDA [non-disclosure agreement] so I really can't talk about hardly anything but I will say this - it was absolute magic. Don't you worry fans, J.J is gettin' it so right. I got to walk up the ramp of the Millennium Falcon. I touched the walls of the fuckin' thing. With each step up that ramp, decades disappeared. I'm back to my 20's when I made Clerks and then back to when I was 7 years old, watching Star Wars for the first time, which started my life-long love affair with film. I got hit with a gut punch of emotion and started crying, I was breathless and I think J.J.'s assistant, Morgan, who was giving me the tour thought 'Awkward...this fat man's having a mid-life crisis on the Millennium Falcon.'
I'm telling you guys, I saw some shit. This will be the highest grossing movie of all time. [If you're older] It's a return to your childhood. What he [J.J.] is doing is so important. It's on the same par with Empire Strikes Back. He's crushing it.
After the tour and after seeing some amazing fucking footage, I told J.J., "You made me believe in movie magic again."
Check out pictures of the super secret Star Wars: Episode VII set here.
After the animated prelude, Smith opened the floor to his fans. Here's a sample of what occurred.
Q: Who is the most difficult actor you've ever worked with? (asked by a thirteen year old boy wearing a Clerks t-shirt)
A: Bruce Willis. It's no secret I feel that way. I almost quit making films because of my experience working with him on Cop Out.Q: What's your favorite movie you made?
A: Tusk is the best film I've made and I love Clerks 2."Most people are content to be the audience."Q: How do you get motivation to write?
A: It's the closest you'll ever be to playing God. The fun part is asking, 'Can I finish it?' Then, 'Can I make it into a movie?' It's the joy of creation. Most people are content to be the audience. Take a single step. Force yourself to take that first step. The half-hour you would usually take to jerk-off - write."You shouldn't always have to watch a boy do something super. A girl can do something super too."Q: Will you ever make movies for kids my age? (asked by a nine year old girl)
A: I am making a movie about young girls and it's PG-13. It's part of my horror trilogy 'True North', and after Tusk, it's the second in the series, called Yoga Hosers. The third is Moose Jaws - it's Jaws...with a moose. I have a teenage daughter and I took her to see Fight Club when she was still in a bassinet but I realize there should be more films out there for young girls. You shouldn't always have to watch a boy do something super. A girl can do something super too. Yoga Hosers is about two girls that fight super natural powers.Q: First of all, I love Jersey Girl, I don't care what anybody says.
A: I'll make Jersey Girl 2, don't encourage me.
Q: My question is, there are a lot of great films coming out next year so if you could see just one, which one would it be?
A: Star Wars: Episode XII. I just have to live to long enough for that movie to come out. After that - put me in a box and be done.
And finally, the exciting and energized evening closed with Smith previewing his new film Tusk.
You might have heard the story how I came up with this stupid idea but if you haven't, it all occurred, like when you can actually hear me come to the realization 'I have to make this movie', on episode 259 of Smodcast. I wanted to see this movie and I thought, who is the only person dumb enough to make this movie - me.' Then I thought...Michael Parks would make me want to go see this movie and want to be on set again if he would star in it. So I asked him and he said, "Does it pay? If so, I'm in.""Sometimes you just have to push whimsey."
So I start playing Fleetwood Mac's 'Tusk' over and over and start writing and smoked a lot of weed and I finally gave pages to my wife and she said, "It's the best thing you've ever done." I said, "I know!" So six months after I'm talking about this idea on the podcast, I'm on set. Sometimes you just have to push whimsey. I burnt my career to the fucking ground at Sundance with Red State a few years back. But guess what, this pariah's back.
One last note. The trailer only shows about twenty percent of what this film's about. Make no mistake my friends...we do turn him into a walrus and it's fucked up!
Tusk is premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival and will be released September 19, 2014.