I picked up the Clerks II DVD like any good Kevin Smith fan boy. The second disc has this big 90 minute "making of" doc that, surprisingly enough, is pretty interesting. It starts out talking about how Jersey Girl was a financial failure at the box office, but squeaked out a profit after DVD sales and TV. It also got a lot of bad reviews (I liked it even if it was a little sappy), and it was a crappy experience making a "corporate" film.
The sequel was a movie he really wanted to make, and did so for all of $5 million. (I'm curious how much Rosario Dawson got of that, since she was the only name actor, and had fabulous hair.) It was interesting how on one hand he wants to make a film he likes, but at the same time is crushed at the prospect of people not liking his work. They barely get the film into Cannes, and he gets a standing ovation that lasts for eight minutes. He and his wife say it was like all of the ups and downs in his career were worth it for that moment. For a dick and fart joke movie "with a heart," as the NY Times put it, there's something to be said for that.
It's crazy how in love he is with his wife too, just because it's so un-Hollywood. Such a strange couple, because she's tall and skinny and he's short and overweight. Pretty funny stuff from the DVD and Web where they talk about making out when acting. Apparently he took a lot of shit for casting his wife, but as he mentions, his movies are almost entirely cast with his friends, so why not?
Neatest thing on there is when he shows an early cut to Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. To hear Tarantino talk about any movie is entertaining, but I respect his enthusiasm perhaps even more than his story telling. The guy just gets it. Smith says in this segment that he couldn't have made the same movie ten years ago because he didn't have the life experience to do it. I can't even tell you how much I relate to that. I could better write a college-aged script now than I could have when I was actually there, because I have the benefit of hindsight and a clearer view of how life works.
Sometimes hearing about the process of film making, from the directors and writers, is more inspiring than the actual film itself. Actually, that isn't that surprising to me, as most everything I did in TV was more about the experience than the finished product.