Jason Mewes is best known to the world as the Jay in Jay and Silent Bob. A fixture in Kevin Smith films, Jason usually plays the stereotypical stoner kid. In his new project, “Vigilante Diaries,” Jason goes in a different direction. In this web series he produces and stars in, Jason plays a documentary filmmaker who gets drawn into the world of vigilante justice. We chatted with Jason about his new action-hero role, and of course, grilled him for details on Clerks 3.
Tell me about these “Vigilante Diaries.”
“Vigilante Diaries” is a web series my buddy Paul [Sloan] wrote and created. It’s about a dude named Mike Hanover - which is the guy I play - he likes making documentaries and shooting and editing... like the guy who made Girls Gone Wild. That style. Not necessarily because he did the same thing, but because he had success with doing his own thing with the camera, but he wants something more real. So he weasels his way into a ride-along with this vigilante,who has been taking care of crime. From there there is a lot of action, some first-person shooter-style with The Vigilante and The Kid, his sidekick. So yeah, it’s been awesome. We got to do as much as we could for the time and money. The action is awesome, and I feel like it is going to get better and better if we can get the support we are hoping for. We will have more time and more money to do special effects - more special effects, and more action. A lot of cool stuff.
What other effects and action do you have in mind? From what I saw, in the first two episodes, it was already pretty big, especially for a web series.
I want to do more effects with the camera, like maybe chasing him on a motorcycle, shooting a tire out, then him flipping over. Stuff like that. But we were definitely able to do some cool stuff with what we had. There are tons of other ideas that I have, that I would love to do. Closeups of, like, a dude getting stabbed in the neck... cool stuff like that.
It has a video game feel. Any plans to make a video game out of the series?
That would be fantastic. Down the road that is definitely something I would love to consider. But for right now, I am just worried about getting as many people as possible to see it and hope they dig it and want to see more. Right now, we have 10 episodes written, and again, it just gets deeper into the plot, and deeper into the action.
Will you be directing any of the segments?
I plan on it. I’d love to. It hasn’t been discussed yet. I have definitely put in my creative input directing-wise. Not officially, but if I wasn’t in a scene, I would say, “I really want to get a shot of him being chased and catching the guy off guard,” or something like that. I would love to direct, beginning to end, a whole episode. Again, I haven’t discussed this with them yet, but it has been thrown out in the air.
What has been the most fun part of “Vigilante Diaries” for you?
Definitely running around with the guns. And giving some of the directing ideas. I felt like each day we shot, and the more input I put in, the more I enjoyed it. And shooting the guns. They are AirSoft guns, but they sound real and they look real, they are heavy.... it was fun for me.
You guys have an interesting marketing model. You shot the first two episodes, but then fans decide if you get funding to make more?
Yeah. We had enough money to shoot two episodes. Then if people like what they see and want to see more, we are just asking for their support.
The cool thing is you can “gift” episodes. Social gifting is what it is called. You can buy the episodes, then if you like it, you can send it to a friend. The more people who see it and buy it and dig it, the more we can make.
So you know I have to ask: what is the status of Clerks 3?
Kevin [Smith] is bringing it to the Weinsteins first because they did Clerks 1 and 2, so they get the first look at 3. Ideally, if it is possible, we would shoot that in August, but it is not set in stone yet. The script is done and Kevin is thinking about cast and waiting to hear back from the Weinsteins.
Can you give me any dirt on Clerks 3?
[Laughs.] I’m not just saying it because it is Kevin and me, but the script is really awesome. It would really be an amazing finish to the Clerks trilogy. You laugh, you cry, there is some genius stuff in there. I can’t tell you, because he would kill me. He has only let eight people read it, and he won’t let the script leave the house. You have to go over to his house to read it. Hopefully it will be Elias from Clerks 2, then Dante, Randall, Jay and Bob.... there is some really good stuff in it. I am really excited.
You can purchase the first two episodes of “Vigilante Diaries” at Chill.com.