Kevin Smith might be directing a Marvel or Star Wars movie in the very near future. But before Smith became a beloved world-renowned director, he literally put everything he had into making his first movie Clerks. Maxing out his credit cards, selling most of his comic book collection, and borrowing money from family and friends to fund the $27,575 needed to make the black and white movie. In the end, the film about the happenings at the Quick Stop convenience store in Leonardo, New Jersey, was a major success, but it didn’t seem that way for a long time.
Things were looking grim for Smith and Clerks, but the movie finally took off when it was selected to be one of the 34 movies to be screened at the Independence Feature Film Competition at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival.
Kevin posted the 25-year-old letter that changed his life on Twitter with the caption: “This is the letter that changed my life: an official acceptance notice from @sundancefest for Clerks. Weeks before I got this, even though the film was dead with no future, I still kept telling myself ‘I am a filmmaker.’ Weeks after I got this, I wouldn’t be alone in that belief.”
The letter reads: “As you already know, your film has been selected as one of the thirty-four films that will be shown in the Independence Feature Film Competition at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival. On behalf of Robert Redford and the entire staff at the Sundance Institute, we congratulate you for your outstanding achievement and commitment to independent film.”
Kevin’s directorial debut was a critical success and grossed over $3 million for Miramax Films despite never playing in more than 50 movie theaters at the same time. The film was a hit and it opened up the door for him to make Mallrats in 1995, Chasing Amy in 1997, Dogma in 1999, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back in 2001. Now 25 years later, Smith is working on a sequel to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. All you need is that one little break to help you along on your journey.