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Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash

Psycomic - 10.20.01


Developing the Monkey
-Kevin Smith
The Casting Aftermath
Saturday Night With Duck-Shoot
The Tenth Anniversary Column
The Unholy Tale of Greasy Reese Witherspoon
Friday Afternoon with the Ma-Sheen
Our Cover Is Blown
Still Fucking Monday and Finally, Tuesday
Still Monday
Introductions Suck
We're in L.A. to cast some roles in the new flick we're doing, the working title of which is 'VA5', which stands for 'View Askew 5', which stands for "We're not giving away the title just yet." Why we've shrouded the production in a Lucasian-level of secrecy is beyond me, as A) most folks don't give a shit what we're making next, and B) most folks immediately - and rightly - assume it's another one of those pictures with the long-haired vulgar kid and the fat guy who never says anything. It's an accurate description, but one that leaves out the crucial bit of data that it's the LAST of those flicks, as it's time to close the book on the 'Jersey Trilogy' (which has over-stayed its welcome by a chapter; some say four), and move onto more adult fare (like hardcore, triple-penetration porn - the jewel in the crown of any filmmaker worth his or her salt).
In order to cast a picture (or rather, this picture), my producer Scott Mosier and I sit down with a series of actors and actresses we've either never met or never heard of, looking for someone who can fit snugly into our two-dimensional/one-note little programmer. These are called 'meet-and-greets' as that's chiefly all you do: meet the actor/actress (as they're meeting you), and greet them with a string of bullshit about how this is going to be the most important role they could ever play (as they greet you with a web of lies about how they're up to the challenge). It's a fairly innocuous process, and easy on the eyes, as you're meeting a slew of the Best Looking People in the World. In fact, were one not so secure with themselves, it'd be more like a meet-and-weep - as you'd lay eyes on these gods-cut-from-stone, and recall that you yourself are a tub of lard from the Jersey shore who could never get beyond his fascination with 'Devil Dogs', and as such, neglected the opportunity to exercise or take daily showers. Thankfully, I've long since accepted my place in the Universe, and have put the gut to work for me as the quiet and husky half of the Jay and Silent Bob Equation - which is kinda like the Anti-life Equation, but there's no Mobius Chair (that's for the comics folks who're still reading; see? I threw you a bone).
As mentioned previously, we're meeting some actresses and actors you haven't heard of (yet), so rather than drop names that fly under your radar still, I'll mention only the cats you're familiar with (or have jerked and rubbed off to in the lonely quiet of your bedrooms at night). Mind you - not every cat doesn't wind up in the picture because they're not good enough; in fact, some cats, though I dig them immensely, I reject out of hand because I respect them too much, and this picture will be no feather in their cap.
Which brings up a really salient point about these meetings. Nobody knows what picture we're making next. We've not made the script public yet - not even to the casting folks or agents responsible for bringing in the talent we're meeting. Now, most take a look at the trajectory of our career and see two crude comedies at the start; one that clicks (Clerks), and one that doesn't quite click, or rather, simply flops (Mallrats). After that, we do a critically hailed picture about relationships (Chasing Amy), and another critically hailed picture about religion and faith (Dogma). Mind you, both the latter flicks are crude comedies as well, but since they also take a moment to address some important (to someone) issues, they're somehow considered more respectable (not my logic, mind you; this is what the newspaper and magazine critics tell me). So someone who handles talent (an agent, though that definition is questionable as all hell) looks at our previous stuff, hears we're making a new movie, and assumes that we're fashioning another funny-but issue-laden indie picture like the last two.
Not fucking so. Not fucking so in the least.
This time around, we're making a flat-out, no-socially-redeeming-value, made-or-broken-by-the-opening-weekend comedy. There will be no lesbians (unless they're played strictly for laughs) and even less talk about the Lord, Jesus Christ (unless He weighs in on the SAG strike); just hijinks and antics the like of which you haven't seen since Mallrats (which was barely seen, so all our rehashing of the same material may actually wind up seeming fresh).
This is what's called a 'step backward'. Making a balls-to-the-wall comedy at this point in our careers isn't even a lateral move, really. A lateral move would be a thoughtful, satiric, talky piece about Mormons or some other religious group. No, to mine territory that we've mined before - and rather financially unsuccessfully, I might add - is considered a step backwards. When the picture comes out (hell - if the picture comes out), the critics who've watched our careers with interest, or were simply forced to review our shit by virtue of their day jobs, will probably say "Smith should be beyond this kind on nonsense by now, but apparently decided to take another weak stab at it. Thumbs down." Knowing this in advance, you may ask yourself why we're bothering then?
Before we get there, I want to clear up a fine point. When I say 'we' I'm not using the royal 'we' or anything. When I say 'we' I mean me and the usual gang of idiots who've charged into the breech with me before (Scooter, Laura Greenlee our line producer, Ratface our production designer, Mewes our journeyman stoner, Affleck our only famous friend, etc. - the people I've been through this with more than once). And while I may be the guy who scribbles down the naughty words and makes sure the actors pronounce them on camera properly, no writer/director is an island. Film is a very collaborative medium. I never make movies. We make movies.
And all that nobility aside - at the end of the day, isn't it best to spread the blame around in advance, just in case the picture is absolute dogshit? I think so.
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Still Monday - 10.27.00

The Last Article
Introductions Suck - 10.13.00

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