Tonight I had the pleasure of seeing famed director Kevin Smith (Chasing Amy, Clerks, AMC’s “Comic Book Men”) talk in Raleigh, NC about his life & career. It was funny & fascinating. At one point during the show Mr. Smith discussed still trying to learn & discover who he is. As he was taking questions from the audience, I was frantically waving my hands back & forth like a stranded islander seeing a ship passing in the distance while holding a copy of these questions below. The show was over and these question didn’t get answered. Gave a copy of them to his security protocol with the hope that they passed it along to him. Hope we can make this happen!
Questions We’d Ask Kevin Smith On Outer Limits of Inner Truth
What are your thoughts & feelings on God? Do believe that you are an external, lower level separate entity apart from a supreme being that one might refer to as God or do you believe that you’re actually a part of God – one if it’s infinite focal points of attention & perception and on equal footing with all living beings?
Aside from being absolutely brilliant & a creative genius, George Carlin viciously attacked organized religion. In the course of your friendship with him and your time together on “Dogma” – what impact did he have on your perception of religion & spirituality? What did you teach each other about creative expressionism and how do you continue to honor his memory?
Marguerite Duras once said “Every journalist is a moralist.” What have been some of the moral values that you have interwoven into your film career? Have there been certain topics, events or people that you made the extra effort to put into a positive light because of a personal admiration?
When you look at the Edmonton Oilers dynasty – a team of young, talented, passionate players who defied all odds and won multiple Stanley Cups; did you ever see that same story arc playing out in your own life when you started making films with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and others in your inner circle? In 1994 you made “Clerks” on maxed out credit cards and by 1999 you were an established legend in the entertainment industry.
When you observe the way the Great One Wayne Gretzky played, he was exceptional at knowing where the puck was going to be and he was a saint on steroids when it came to setting up assists on goal. Have you adapted some aspects of Wayne’s style into the way you make films – setting up actors in positions where they’ll be able to shine their best.
Have you ever directed an actor you had such deep admiration & respect for that it compromised your ability to give them the constructive criticism they needed because you were afraid of upsetting them?
What do you love most about how characters are developed and presented in comic books as apposed to films & TV shows?
What were your biggest professional and biggest personal mistakes, what did you learn from them, and how has your perception changed because of them?
Throughout your life, what have been some of the most profound moments of confidence and moments where your self confidence was shaken and why?
Did you ever see yourself as a John Hughes (or anti-John Hughes) of the 90’s?
Of all your films, which one would you describe as your Picasso in terms of the way it was written, the way it flows, and its creative originality?
How has cannabis affected the way you perceive reality and the way you appreciate life? Would you directly credit cannabis for any particular film plotline or character you created?
If you were to look the millions of people world wide who’ve followed your career as “children,” what types of lessons & values do you think that you have been teaching your “children” through your years of film-making?
In some organized religions, guilt is reinforced though teachings that certain actions and thoughts are sinful despite clearly being in the best interests. If a person passionately seeks to be fulfilled and go beyond their current acceptance of what life is, will inevitably come to a crisis of conscious and faith having to choose between themselves and that of their religion?
Do you think that today’s social & political hostilities in America are in large part due to a resurgence of anti-intellectualism, social media and growing stupidity of the masses? Would a more intellectual populace have the capability of entertaining perspectives outside their own core belief system and also have the emotional maturity to have a disagreement without shouting cursive epitaphs?
For a moment, please think about the faith you’ve had in yourself and the faith you’ve had in your spiritual / religious beliefs. Which one of those two have you struggled more often to keep faith in and which one of those two has pulled you out of places of despair more often?
You find out you’re about to die and have just one minute to tell all of humanity what you learned during your lifetime and what your best pieces of wisdom are. What are you going to say?