Thursday, January 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Clerks

This is the first of many Throwback Thursdays to come. In each segment, we'll explore the first feature films of some of our favorite directors. Today, we'll be looking at Kevin Smith's instant classic Clerks.

It's been ten years since the Clerks: X tenth anniversary DVD set has been released. More importantly it's been 20 years since Clerks itself was released. 20 years later, it doesn't stand the test of time quality wise. But, the independent spirit it represents is still strong.

It all starts with, Kevin Smith working as a clerk at Quick Stop Groceries, stuck in a rut. When, his friend who worked at RST Video came in with a copy of the Village Voice. Inside, was an article about how Slacker was made, turning on a light in Kevin Smith's head. In the next issue of the Village Voice Kevin Smith finds an ad for the Vancouver Film School. He decides to attend the 8 month film school where, he meets Scott Mosier (producer, editor, and sound engineer) and David Klein (director of photography). Sadly, for his friends Kevin chose to leave and spread his film making knowledge to his friends back in Jersey. So, they could help him make his movie and in turn make their own movies. He went back to work at the Quick Stop this time with a word processor. Between customers he worked on the screenplay for Clerks.

The film was shot on a 27,000 dollar budget over the span of three weeks. Shot overnight at the Quick Stop while it was closed the shooting schedule ended up being gruling. Considering, all of the actors and crew continued to work their day jobs during the span of principle photography. The film was then cut in the back of the RTS Video store. From there the film was taken to the Independent Film Feature Market, where Clerks' and Kevin Smith's Cinderella story begins.

The importance of Clerks is it's a story of a lost kid in his 20's who sells his most prized possessions to make a movie. Kevin Smith is an every-man who gave it his all and made a hilarious and relatable film. Sure some ofthe acting is a little corny at times, but it's not the acting, it's the script that showed so much promise. The witty banter and hilarious dialogue are what keep an hour and forty minute film about clerks, entertaining. It's also what launched Kevin Smith's career. That and perseverance.

The Clerks:X DVD can be purchased here and it includes the doc Snowball Effect. Which, really goes into depth about the story of Kevin Smith and Clerks.

- Paul

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