Last night, the UK Student Activities Board held a Q&A with director and writer Kevin Smith. As fans since we first saw Clerks at the KY Theatre Midnight Movie our freshman year, CrazyCatLady and I couldn’t stay away.
I had my ACLS certification this morning, so I had to leave early–three and a half hours into the talk. Tam didn’t get home until after midnight. He answered questions from the audience without a break for nearly five hours.
Despite the horrible nature of some of the questions–you can imagine, I’m sure–he occasionally veered one of them into a hilarious story, such as how he got to know Jason Mewes and his experiences working on an aborted attempt at the new Superman movie. (The producer gave him three rules for the script–he didn’t want to see Superman in “that suit”, he didn’t want him to fly, and at some point in the movie, Superman needed to fight a giant spider.)
Kevin has made a policy for these Q&A sessions that he will not sign anything. There were well over 1000 people there, he said, and he really wanted to talk for a long time, and if he signed something for one person, he had to sign for everyone. He felt bad about it, especially since so many in the audience had brought posters and DVDs for him to sign.
So, he said, he’d make it up to us, as a one-time thing–he would take us all to the movies. He wanted to go see “Changing Lanes”, (“I’m Affleck’s bitch,” he said), and he didn’t want to go by himself. Thus, he offered to buy out today’s 12:55 showing at Lexington Green so anyone who wanted could come see it for free.
Tamara cursed her luck, as she had to work. I began to curse mine–until I remembered that I’m a fourth-year med student, so I don’t have to do shit. (Seriously, my ACLS test was at 9:00, and would be over by 11:00. Sweet!)
When the test was over (I passed, by the way!), I headed on over to the Green, where I found a small line of Kevin Smith fans who had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon. (A good cross-section, when you think about it.) The line eventually swelled to around 200 people, snaking around the building.
News cameras arrived. Many people shielded their faces, as they were skipping class or work. A woman in a pickup truck drove up to the line, saying she worked in the office building facing us, and that her co-workers had been taking bets on what we were in line for. “Star Wars,” the guy next to me said.
Someone else drove up and asked the same question, getting the same answer. “No, seriously,” he said. “We’re in line for the new Ben Affleck movie,” someone told him. “No, seriously,” he replied. “Ben Affleck?” Two people, simultaneously, replied, “Yeah, he was the bomb in Phantoms 2!”
Finally, about half an hour before showtime, we saw Kevin Smith walking across the parking lot. (He was staying in the adjacent hotel.) “Don’t any of you people have school?” he said. He went on inside where, he explained later, he had difficulty paying for everything, because this Cinemark did not accept credit cards. They graciously agreed to accept a check, and the line started to move inside.
The crowd was live, cheering on the asinine “Coke Race” in the pre-film slides (go, Diet Coke!) and occasionally making jabs at the more ridiculous parts of the movie. (It was a pretty good flick, really, but of course there was some occasional unfortunate dialogue.)
Kevin sat in the back, and when it was over, he got up and said, “Thanks for coming, guys!” and darted out. I walked by him in the lobby, and just stopped to shake his hand and say, “Thanks”. I could have talked more, but I figured the festival of fanboy fellatio would be close behind me, and I didn’t want to be part of it.
So if I can say nothing else this week, I can say that one of my favorite writer/directors took me out to the movies. That was above and beyond, and if I had been a fan before, I’m a bigger one now.