The general rise of crowdfunding as a legitimate source for bringing a project to life has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several years. Prior to the existence of the concept in popular form, countless projects never did get their chance to see the light of day due to financial constraints.
These days, crowdfunding has gone mainstream. Everything from unknown indie efforts to bigger, more well known projects like 2014’s Veronica Mars have obtained funding through an online, crowd-sourced platform. With incentive like this, it’s no wonder that the concept has also expanded into areas beyond filmmaking.
Now, filmmaker Kevin Smith is also using Crowdfunding to help make a project that involves his beloved Jay and Silent Bob characters. This time however, Jay and Silent Bob won’t be on the big screen; instead Smith’s Askew-niverse is headed to the video game world with Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch. Here is the game's synopsis:
In Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch, players get into a tag team combo fight fest and wreak havoc on their foes with fists, feet, and the magic of self-esteem-destroying jibes while embarking on a mission to find their long-lost pot customers trapped in an Orwellian mega super shopping mall.
Fans of Kevin Smith will be pleased to know that the developers at Interabang Entertainment are also fans of Smith’s work (in particular, Jay and Silent Bob), so their game could be worth paying attention to. In addition to the game being a side-scrolling, 2.5D multiplayer adventure, there’s also a special system called the Convo Combo mode in which Jay and Silent Bob can use specific insults and facial expressions to lower the self-esteem of foes. The plan is to have the game reach its financial goal of $400K via the web’s only video game-centric crowdfunding platform at fig.co. Fans now have a chance to invest in the game and receive rewards via Interabang, consisting of action figures based on the game, signed Kevin Smith style jerseys, “premium digital goodies”, and a walk on role in Smith’s next film.
Kevin Smith has toyed with the idea of crowdfunding his films in the past - Red State and most recently Clerks III - but has backed out due to concerns over taking funds from a pool that would be better preserved for filmmakers with no real access to money. Here's his quote on that matter:
Unlike back when I made Clerks in '91, I've GOT access to money now -- so I should use that money and not suck any loot out of the crowdfunding marketplace that might otherwise go to some first-timer who can really use it.
Some could argue that it’s therefore somewhat hypocritical of Smith to now go and use his celebrity to crowdfund for a video game. Does the fact that it’s a video game and not a film mean that there aren’t struggling game developers out there who could otherwise benefit from crowdfunding?
The truth is, it’s Interabang who’s doing the crowdfunding here and Smith, while also involved, is helping bring a game to life that so many Jay and Silent Bob fans will be grateful for. The large scale, commercial video game developers aren’t interested in basing a game around two pot smoking drug dealers - and because of this, Interabang are the struggling game developers that crowdfunding is intended for.
Kevin Smith's next film, Yoga Hosers, is expected to hit theaters later this year.