Kevin Smith wants you to help launch his new series in the trailer for Hollyweed, which the filmmaker describes as "Clerks but in a weed store." A year ago, Smith shot the pilot for Hollyweed, and now one near-fatal heart attack later the filmmaker has made it officially available via Rivit TV. And if fans want more Hollyweed, they'll have a chance to make it happen by offering up their hard-earned cash.
When Smith compares Hollyweed to his debut Indie feature Clerks, he isn't kidding. The pilot stars Smith and Chappelle's Show veteran Donnell Rawlings as proprietors of an L.A. weed dispensary called L.A. Confidential, and the vibe is very much along the lines of Clerks, but with even more marijuana. The pilot begins as Smith and Rawlings launch their new weed strain "Hollyweed," pot so amazing it makes Rawlings think he sees dragons in Schindler's List. And things only get more madcap from there.
To launch Hollyweed the series, Smith has partnered with Rivit TV, a new service that allows audiences to directly decide whether a new show lives or dies. In a tweet, Smith briefly explained how audience-powered Rivit works while inviting fans to click over and check out the first - and possibly last - installment of his new show. Smith also included a trailer to give a sampling of what Clerks in a weed store looks like. See the trailer below:
Wanna see what CLERKS in a weed store looks like? Watch me try to act with words coming out of my mouth in the pilot of #Hollyweed! If you like it, help me & @RivitTV green light a whole season by pre-buying a few episodes! To see the first one FREE, go to https://t.co/NvouiTs2uo pic.twitter.com/ggl1fM8j1M— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) July 12, 2018
Smith's Hollyweed is the first show offered by Rivit, and it will be interesting to see if the audience-powered model catches on. Smith certainly has a lot of fans out there who might enjoy his take on the goings-on at an L.A. pot dispensary, but will they actually shell out cash to pre-buy episodes that haven't even been produced yet? Crowdfunding of content is of course not a new idea. Such campaigns were used to raise cash for projects like the Veronica Mars movie, the Zach Braff film Wish I Was Here and the maniacal short film Kung Fury, which is now being made into a feature film starring Michael Fassbender. The advantage of Smith's crowdfunding effort is that he has a whole finished pilot episode to show off in hopes of enticing fans to pay up and allow him to make more episodes.
As for Hollyweed the pilot itself, the humor is very much in keeping with Smith: There's lots of profanity, lots of pot jokes and lots of pop culture references. There's also a female lead (played by SMILF star Frankie Shaw) who, in typical Kevin Smith fashion, falls roughly into the stereotype of the "cool chick" (though Smith subverts the trope somewhat by having her do something decidedly uncool late in the episode). Smith's old pal Jason Mewes also shows up, in the most Mewes role imaginable.
Only time will tell if Hollyweed gets a bigger order via fans voting with their wallets, or ends up being snuffed out before its time.
Source: Kevin Smith