It's an interesting time to be a filmmaker. Because in the age of smart phones and social media, directors have to worry about social media influencers trolling their film, and therefore convincing others not to bother showing up to the theater. This trend can also work in a project's favor, as early reactions that are overwhelmingly positive all but guarantee a strong box office showing. Director Kevin Smith has a strong social media presence himself, and recently spoke to to the process of engaging with fans, including the naysayers that make their opinions known. He said,
I used to like fight back to be like... not fight back like 'You're wrong,' but be more clever. And what has that meant? Like at the end of the day, like being clever in an internet fight gets you bragging rights for two minutes on a day nobody's going to remember. I learned to kind of let go of that. I used to then go after people that would say incorrect things. So if they were like, 'His movies, I fucking hate them!' Fine. You know, I can't say anything about that, that's taste. If they were like, 'I heard he did this, that, or the other thing,' then I would engage. I stopped engaging in a kind of, 'Hey man,' and more in a friendly way.
Per Kevin Smith's conversation with Uproxx, he seems to have found a vetting process for social media contact with fans. Because while you can't please everyone, there is a way to have constructive dialogue with the more open minded folks on the Twittersphere.
Kevin Smith's active social media presence also exposes him to far more negative comments than the average Joe. His enthusiasm for all things nerd culture, as well as his work on various comic book properties, has made him a source of insight for the genre. And in addition to his AMC series Comic Book Men, he also posts live videos with his thoughts after seeing superhero blockbusters like Guardians of the Galaxy. But this opens him up to more criticism from the comments section, which he seems to be monitoring to a certain degree.
And he's not the only comic book figure that has had a hard time with social media. The Walking Dead actor Josh McDermitt left social media during last season of The Walking Dead. After his character became a traitor, he began receiving death threats, and bowed out of Twitter altogether. Because while these massively popular projects have a rabid fanbase, social media is rife with harassment.
But the upside is that Kevin Smith will be engaging with fans via social on his upcoming projects, and he's got quite a few film and TV projects coming down the pipeline, including Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. Hopefully he'll be back for to direct more episodes in the Arrow-verse as well, with accompanying social media posts along the way.