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With Two DVDs Due Sept. 7, Kevin Smith Mulls Over His Films, Old and New

1 Sep, 2004 By: Fred Topel

Director Kevin Smith has two DVDs due Sept. 7: Clerks X, the 10th anniversary of his first film, and the DVD debut of Jersey Girl.

Smith had originally planned to develop never-before-printed negatives from Clerks and create an extended cut, but could not find the 10-year-old materials. Instead, the DVD contains the film's first cut, which runs longer and features completely different music cues, plus the original ending.

“We felt like if we're going to do a document on the life of this movie over the course of the last 10 years, this is kind of a significant part of it, because this is the version of Clerks that got attention and got bought,” Smith said. “So we put that on a separate platter [disc 2].”

The DVD does include one deleted scene, albeit one that was never shot in the first place. A scene that was not possible to shoot at the time comes to life in an animated short in the style of the “Clerks” cartoon series and produced by Powerhouse Animation. “They just went on [the cartoon's director] Chris Bailey's designs,” Smith said.

Another major addition to the Clerks X DVD is a documentary called “The Snowball Effect,” which traces the production of Clerks from Smith's childhood as a comic book fan through employment at a convenience store, eventually making the film and taking it to festivals. “I don't think I've ever really talked about my past or covered my childhood [before],” he said.

Jersey Girl does not include deleted scenes, though one early cut of the film ran an extra 30 minutes. That material could not be ready in time for release. “We would have to go back and secure all the music licenses for music that never even appeared in the theatrical cut,” Smith said. Should the DVD perform well, an extended edition may be possible in the future.

Jersey includes five of Smith's “Roadside Attractions” skits from “The Tonight Show.” Originally planned as a separate release, guild royalties made a “Roadside Attractions” DVD unfeasible. Their inclusion on the Jersey Girl DVD is intended to gauge the interest in such content on future discs.

“They're testing the waters a bit, and [NBC Entertainment president] Jeff [Zucker] gave [Miramax boss] Harvey [Weinstein] a really good rate for the five ‘Roadside Attractions,’ Smith said. “One of them ties into the movie in as much as I think they included the one that we shot on the Jersey Girl set.”

The DVD has two commentary tracks: one with Smith and star Ben Affleck, the other with Smith, producer Scott Mosier and actor Jason Mewes, who for the first time did not appear in one of Smith's films. Smith recorded the latter track first and let Affleck dominate the former.

“I felt like I'll let this commentary track with Ben be the ‘Ben commentary track.' So I would say he takes up 60 percent of it,” Smith said.

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