In my 16+ years at Avid, it's been my good fortune to be part of a lot of cool
opportunities, but none of them could top standing on a stage last week with
Kevin Smith at NAB 2011. Leading up to the big event, I got a lot of
questions about what our presentation would be, how I would lead Kevin through
it, and what he might or might not say during the presentation.
The thing you have to remember when you're
presenting Kevin Smith to an audience is that you're nothing more than a lion
tamer. You can stand there in your sequined jumpsuit (or in my case, hockey
jersey) holding the leash, but no matter what you do, the lion is going to be a
lion. And that's a good thing, because a lion is exactly what people came
to see. They want to see something memorable and a little
dangerous. And as always, Kevin gave the audience just what they wanted.
at the Avid booth
Our first presentation with Kevin took place in the Avid booth at 1 pm on
Tuesday. There had been some concern that with all of the confusion
surrounding the SuperMeet
situation, not a lot of people were aware that he would
be in our booth as well. Those concerns proved to be pointless as
evidenced by the biggest crowd I can recall seeing at any NAB booth
presentation. It was better than standing room only. People were
actually sitting on the floor surrounding the stage.
crowd at our booth was overwhelming (Kevin and I are those two orange-ish
specks on the left).
Kevin spent the hour talking about the process
of making (using Media
Composer) and self-distributing his new film, Red State, as well as giving a personal assessment of his filmmaking career,
and why his next film will be his last. His language was predictably
colorful and undeniably not what you'd expect at a corporate
event. Relatively few people seemed genuinely turned off by the language,
but for those that were, it's unfortunate because the truth and honesty that
Kevin always gives is rich with insight and truths from which every creative
professional can learn.
The hour flew by and at the close of the presentation, Kevin was mobbed by
audience members who wanted pictures, autographs, or just to say "thank you"
for inspiring them. Personally, the frenzy scared the hell out of me, but
I'm easily spooked. It was also the first time we almost needed security
to help our guest off the stage.
how he cut together Red State with
Media Composer during our booth presentation.
After the presentation, Kevin and I had a few
quiet moments to talk about how things went. He was pretty happy with
everything. This was his first trip to NAB, and he really enjoyed the fact
that the audience was made up of people who all had experience (or at least an
interest in) visual storytelling. As for the NAB Show, overall, he said it
reminded him of Comic-Con in terms of the excitement and the layout of the show
on the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus
We didn't have too much time to talk, because we
had to zip over to the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus so Kevin could check it
out and answer questions from UNLV students. Kevin is a pretty gracious
guy with all his fans, but he genuinely enjoys talking with aspiring
filmmakers, so this was a treat for him. Not to mention that The Bus is
tricked out with state-of-the-art recording and editing equipment. It
seemed to give him a few ideas for what he wanted to do with his own bus.
sidekick Jason Mewes (aka, "Jay and Silent Bob") also made the trip to hang out
with us at NAB.
quick video of Kevin and I on The JL Bus.
here's more Kevin video from the John Lennon Bus.
3-Last stop, NAB keynote
Kevin reacts to an audience
question at his NAB keynote presentation.
The next morning we had one final presentation
to do. This time it would be the NAB keynote speech, which all came
together at the last minute in place of the aborted SuperMeet
presentation. On this occasion, it would be the audience's turn to ask Mr.
Smith the questions. While he would have liked to have answered everyone's
question, Kevin's "thoroughness" in his responses tends to eat up lots of
time. But once again, everyone walked away having had a good time and
learning a few things in the process.
I certainly did.
If you missed it, the videos will be online
soon (check back for additional links on this page). And Kevin will definitely
be back to talk with the Avid community again as well. He's just too much
fun not to have around.
out a preview of Kevin's NAB keynote speech (warning: strong language).