Filmmaker and comedian Kevin Smith has offered up some behind the scenes images of his return to the original Quick Stop for the upcoming Clerks III. The tiny convenience store was the exact place that literally changed Smith’s life, allowing him to go from clerk to indie filmmaking sensation when the first Clerks film was released in 1994. Though the new sequel has yet to begin filming, the trip to the Quick Stop was part of location scouting in Smith’s hometown of Red Bank, New Jersey.

Not only did the original Clerks put Smith, and to a lesser degree, the Quick Stop on the map, but the success of the indie film was part of a revolutionary period in filmmaking. At the time, Hollywood was just beginning to see past the concept of big name stars making big budgeted films. As hard as it may be to believe today, in 1994 the idea of an indie film or an indie filmmaker was little more than a curio in that it posed no real interest for studios or large scale audiences. While past revolutionary moments in cinematic history such as the French New Wave or Italian Neorealism movements had proven that high quality, highly acclaimed films could be made by those with just the simplest of tools at their disposal, evidence of such a possibility had been all but buried by the 1980s. For Smith to make Clerks on a budget of $27,000 and have it become a hit was a major eye opener for Hollywood.

Fast forward nearly 30 years and Smith’s Clerks is an entrenched part of cinema’s bold and extensive history. With a sequel to the original film having arrived in 2006, a third entry in the franchise is at long last on its way. In preparation for filming on Clerks III, Smith has returned to his hometown of Red Bank, New Jersey where his whirlwind career first took off. In a location scouting excursion to his former place of employment, aka the Quick Stop, Smith offered some nostalgic musings on his past at the store and provided some behind the scenes images via his official Twitter account. Check out Smith’s post below:

For fans of Smith and his long-running, highly lucrative Clerks series, the fact that the filmmaker is even able to stand in the Quick Stop and plan out the filming of Clerks III is something of a revelation. At one point in the lengthy battle to get the sequel made, Smith appeared to give up entirely on the project, due primarily to Jeff Anderson, who plays Randal, refusing to return. Now that Anderson is set to return alongside the original cast, Smith has revealed that almost the entire film is set in the Quick Stop, just as the first film was. Smith has also incorporated elements from his own life, such as the heart attack that nearly killed him back in 2018.

After the arrival of Clerks II, it did seem that at least some of the magic that originally made Clerks what it was had been lost. However, there’s been a marked difference in Smith both physically and creatively since his heart attack. Perhaps its nostalgia at play, but it does sound as though Clerks III is going to be far more autobiographical than Clerks II was and as a result, there’s reason to believe that this sequel will feel as genuine as the first film did.

Source: Kevin Smith

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