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Scott Mosier is a film producer, editor, and actor best known for his work with director Kevin Smith. Alongside Smith, Mosier produced eight View Askew films, including Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Dogma. Mosier’s other credits include co-executive producer of Good Will Hunting and producer of Salim Baba, a short documentary that was nominated for an Oscar in 2007.

The way I came to know Scott Mosier, though, is through his weekly SModcast that he does with Kevin Smith. (Which, for a limited time, you can see recorded live in a town near you!) Because I’m a huge fan of the View Askew movies, I started listing to SModcast about a year ago and have tuned in every week since. This podcast, in addition to two of the other podcasts on the SModcast Network (Jay and Silent Bob Get Old and Plus One), feels to me like I’m sitting around with all of my friends from my youth. There’s the regular expletive-filled mix of graphic sex talk and bodily function jokes, but also thoughtful commentary on everything from life, movies, and music to politics, culture, science, and more sex. And if the SModcast Universe is populated by old high school friends, then Scott Mosier is like the guy in the group that you’d most want to walk you home when you’re drunk – though he’d probably make fun of you later.

On the evening of Tuesday, March 8, I had the extreme pleasure of chatting online with Scott Mosier to discuss social networking, politics, music, llamas, and who he’d like to see as our next president.

 

GH: Hi Scott Mosier! Can I call you Scott? Or Mr. Mosier?

SM: Hmm. No one calls me Scott. Or Mr. Mosier.

 

Well, that complicates things.

Just call me Scott.

 

Okay. First off, happy birthday! Your 40th. Did you do anything interesting?

My wife, who was/is a chef, made me a meal that would make you cry. And I had a few friends over to celebrate.

 

You seem like a rather shy or introverted person. Do you see yourself that way?

I’m shy and introverted. Definitely. My instinct is always to NOT be the focus of attention. I’m much happier in the background.

 

Do social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook dislodge you from your comfort zone at all? If yes, how so? What compels you to keep participating in them?

I don’t completely understand them. I try to participate. But ultimately I get a little wigged out.

 

How so?

The other day I started Tweeting. Then people start to respond and ask questions – then I freak out. Do I answer everyone? What do I do? I crawl into the corner and punch myself till I feel good again.

 

Ha! Does that make you feel better? To smack yourself?

I don’t know – [social networking] definitely alters one’s perspective. Trying to say EXACTLY what one means in 140 characters. It seems like a new talent to develop. Something that you have to practice. Like knitting. I can’t knit for shit – and my tweeting needs work.

 

On Twitter recently, someone took you to task for making what sounded to him or her like a disparaging and hateful comment about Charlie Sheen. You addressed the issue – I feel respectfully and diplomatically. I can kind of see how that was an awkward situation – I can also see where you were coming from (in mentioning how the news focuses on things that aren’t of greater importance.) That just seemed like the type of situation you were describing – where social networking can be weird.

Most people got it – the Charlie Sheen thing. But then all of a sudden I was like, “I don’t want people to think I want him dead.” ‘Cause I’m not that guy. It is weird ‘cause people can’t see my face – and I can’t see theirs.

 

Or tone of voice.

Even now we are talking – but part of what conversation really is – is missing. Our brains have memorized facial gestures to help us understand what’s happening – whether people are lying – or being sarcastic.

 

Or even exist.

Exactly. You could be that fucking Watson computer from Jeopardy, just fucking with me.

 

Vanilla Sky. You’re just a brain in a tube.

Talking to some toaster saying, “Check this shit out Toastie – I’m going to fuck with the SMod guy.”

 

You’ve ceded your role as producer for Kevin Smith’s movies. You said in a recent SModcast that you wanted to pursue your own interests. What’s been keeping you busy?

I’m working on some documentaries – none far enough along to discuss. But mostly writing – been writing a lot. Stuff that I can talk about soon.

 

Yeah? Screenplays?  Novels? Diary entries? Bathroom stalls?

All bathroom stalls.

 

Nice!

Been writing witty limericks. Shit that rhymes with boner. “Here I sit/All a loner…” That’s all I ever get to.

 

Wow. I’m on the edge of my seat; how does it end, Scott?!

I’m not much of a finisher.

 


Are you interested in doing anything with science fiction? Be it writing it or making a sci-fi film?

I have pretty broad tastes. I think I’m more story oriented – rather than genre. [I want a] great story – sci-fi, fantasy, drama, comedy, etc.

 

This next question is long Please take it wherever you wish: Being that The Nervous Breakdown is a literary site, we’re all constantly engaged in conversations about the changing landscape of the publishing industry. There’s a big push to move to Kindles. Publishing houses are tanking. The marketplace of ideas is either contracting or expanding, depending on how you view it. Etc. I know this conversation is occurring in the music industry, too. (There was a pretty great interview with John McCrea from Cake on NPR the other day, where he expounds on this subject.) How do you see the film industry as similar? In what ways is its landscape also rapidly changing?

All the industries are dealing with the same thing: Digital. I think that film has been able to hold out the longest because of cost. Books, songs – they don’t cost 150 million dollars. But I think what will change with film is distribution. It is already changing. Look at Itunes. Netflix streaming. This is going to change how content is made. That to me is part of the reason that studios are making mostly giant expensive franchise movies. ‘Cause it is content that only they can deliver.

 

I think the main question – for all the industries – is, basically, how does the next Kevin Smith/Scott Mosier get their film made in this new environment? The question for authors is similar. Musicians too. It’s discouraging, frankly. What would you recommend to up and coming film makers?

We are in a transition period – things are harder. But not impossible. You have to become a student of not only your particular art form, but of the BUSINESS OF DISTRIBUTION of that art form. Because there are so many outlets now – global outlets. Maybe your movie is something that is huge in Iceland. BAM! You got a career. Which is a lame joke, but I use to prove a point. Your audience is the world now.

 

So, learn how to peddle your wares in Iceland?

I don’t know what all this means and I certainly don’t have it all figured out.

 

Well, if you figure it out, would you email me that information?

If I figure it out I will tell the world.

 

Excellent. What are you reading right now?

I’m reading Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer.

 

You’ve talked a lot about green living (electric cars, sustainable farming, etc.); do you ever think about doing work in that industry?

For now I want to tell stories – after that, llama farm. Who can argue with a llama farm? Maybe llamas. Maybe Llamas sit around and talk about wanting to have people farms.

 

Well, that would be silly. They’d get far less wool than we get from them.

Maybe – but I’m excited by that idea.

 

What are the top five songs on your iPod?

Not my top five – but just the songs I have been listening to: “Let the World Turn” by Death, “Queen Bitch” by David Bowie, “Pala Tute” by Gogol Bordello, and “Starving to Death on My Government Claim” by Abner Jay.


Do you ever think about moving back to the Northwest?

All the time.

 


Are you better prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse or the Robot Revolution?

Neither. But if both happened at once – I would love to watch the fight between robot and zombie.

 


Me too! It’s too hard to pick. Do you get a lot of unsolicited scripts? How do you deal with it?

I get some – not many. How do I deal – I say I can’t read it.

 

Do you have time for one more?

If you got one more, go for it. Make it count!

 

Well, I mean, I have one about politics that I’d like your thoughts on. Did you hear about the union kerfuffle in Wisconsin? A lot of people are upset about it. Do you have any thoughts on the situation or on unions specifically?

Wow – should have said goodnight…I will say this – It is not a topic that I would call myself an expert in. I support the unions and the principals under which they were formed – teachers – firefighters – police – etc. My honest opinion of what’s going on in Wisconsin is it’s just more of this extremist bullshit.

 

It’s not a late night question either. If it were 10 in the morning and you were caffeinated – or we both were…

[These are] more issues that don’t begin with reasonable debate.   A foundation of logic and pragmatic thinking.  What I’m saying…is that we need more Vulcans.

 

It’s funny, ’cause it’s true.

Spock for fucking President.

 

Ha! Thank you so, so much for your time tonight, Scott.

You’re welcome. Good night!

 

 

The SModcast Network is pleased to announce that on May 9 they will launch an online talk station called SModcast Internet Radio. Visit Kevin Smith’s personal blog, My Boring Ass Life, to learn more.

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Gloria Harrison GLORIA HARRISON is a writer whose work has been featured on The Nervous Breakdown, Fictionaut, and This American Life. Gloria was the lead editor for The Portland Red Guide: Sites & Stories of Our Radical Past by Michael Munk, which was published through Ooligan Press in 2007. She was also a contributing editor to Pete Anthony's book, Immaculate, for which she received a high five and a ten dollar gift card to Stumptown Coffee. Gloria graduated from Portland State University with her B.A. in English in 2006 and now focuses on her own writing. She had a work of flash fiction published in The Bear Deluxe Magazine (No. 26). You can follow her on Twitter here.

Gloria lives in Portland, Oregon with her school-age twin boys. She is currently working on both a memoir and her first novel. You can contact Gloria via her Facebook page.

36 Responses to “Spock for Fucking President: An Interview with Scott Mosier”

  1. Art Edwards says:

    Great questions, G. It was time someone tackled the Zombie/Robot issue head on.

    Scott seems like some guy I work with, at a job neither of us likes, but secretly I look forward to hanging out with him every day.

    Art

    • Gloria says:

      I have one of those at my job, too. Her name is Tree. We’ve both agreed to take a bullet if the other one quits.

      And I agree – I see SM as the guy you look forward to bullshitting with, too. Which is why I can’t recommend SModcast highly enough.

      Thanks for reading, Art.

      G

  2. James D. Irwin says:

    I love Scott Mosier, but not nearly as much as I love you.

    This is awesome.

    Haooy Sunday!

  3. Greg Olear says:

    Great job, Gloria. And he’s bang-on about the distro channels…the hand that rocks the distro channels is the hand that rules the media. Now, if you excuse me, I have a book to promote to Icelanders. ; )

    • Gloria Harrison says:

      Interesting. Has your work distributing your own novels changed between Totally Killer and Fathermucker? How? What are you doing differently?

      I’m just really interested in this idea. Scott’s answer was the first that gave me any hope for the rest of us schmucks. It’s just such a succinct way of putting it.

      • Greg Olear says:

        No, it’s the same…with this book, I’ll get some beer just before the keg kicks. But distro is the wave of the future.

        • Gloria says:

          So, Fathermucker will get you bottom of the keg swill? And they say there’s no money left in marketing coffers.

          Can’t wait for that thing to hit the shelves, sir. Super excited.

        • Greg Olear says:

          Thanks! Me, too. Very excited for everyone to read it.

          I only mean that the existing model, while moribund, will live long enough to get me through the fall.

  4. Irene Zion says:

    Gloria,

    Do you think you might be able to get Scott Mosier to give you a list of the limericks on which he’s working?
    I’d like to read them.
    I think we all would.

  5. This is great, Gloria! So much fun. The theory about distribution, ownership, and the slew of remakes/sequels makes sense. Also, I’m all for Spock for president! Yes!

    • Gloria says:

      Thanks, Cynthia Hawkins! Yes, this was great fun to do. I’m no professional journalist, so I didn’t have the good sense to ask smart questions. I basically just wanted to ask him stuff I would ask him if we were sitting around drinking beers.

      Question: Nimoy or Quinto? (This is like the tell-tale Kirk or Picard question, only more important because we’re picking a president here. Much weightier.)

      • Your questions seriously rawk, G. I love reading Q/As in which the questions aren’t the same questions that the same person gets asked over and over again.

        Nimoy or Quinto? Kirk or Picard? Sweet Jesus! Okay, I’ll reveal the extent of my nerdiness because I’ve had a glass of wine, but these choices are torturous. Inhumane. Really. About as cruel a choice as Kirk or Han Solo. Let them all be president. At the same time. Forever. That Quinto, man, he was the only reason Heroes was the slightest bit watchable as it nosedived into oblivion. And then he became the perfect young Spock. I love that guy. Off for a refill ….

  6. Joe Daly says:

    Enjoyed the hell out of this interview. I really enjoyed the questions and Scott provided informative answers. I particularly liked how forthright he was about discussing technology as it is intersecting art currently- it’s tiring to hear so many people lament their fear and loathing of social networking, so hearing Scott embrace it even with some confusion/apprehension is refreshing.

    Get those “Spock for Fucking President” t-shirts printed asap- I’ll buy one.

    Oh, and Spock and Picard.

    • Gloria says:

      Yes. But which Spock?

      Thanks for reading (and enjoying), Joe Daly.

      • Joe Daly says:

        Hah! The funny thing about your question is that I realized that I had meant Nimoy but typed Spock. It brought the realization that I equate the two more deeply than I realized.

        Long live Leonard!

        • Gloria says:

          Believe it or not, I was just giving you a hard time. I intuited what you meant. I mean, come on – - there’s only one Spock. There are arguably two Enterprize captains, but only one Vulcan first officer.

  7. Meg Worden says:

    This was really fab, G. The way you were able to weave the outlandish throughout the serious was like you were spinning with magic.
    Masterful. Cunning. Entertaining as hell.
    Keep these interviews coming, Friend.

    • Gloria says:

      Thanks, Meg. You thought the zombie/robot question was outlandish. I would call it brilliant. Nearly broke my own arm patting my back when I thought of it. ;)

      Hope you’re well, babycakes. G

      • Meg Worden says:

        No way. I thought the zombie/robot Q was one of the important ones.
        Call me P-incorrect, but I could spend hours on that debate, while a union kerfuffle just makes me feel…kerfuffled.

        You’re aces.

  8. Richard Cox says:

    Great interview, Gloria. As always. I love what Scott says there at the end about Vulcans. The problem is people hate it when you use Vulcan logic. I think we all know that. ;-)

  9. Simon Smithson says:

    Llama farm, you say?

  10. Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

    That was totally fun. Way to rep View Askew, Glo-worm. Jersey girl props comin atcha.

    Apologies for finally going with Glo-worm. I’ve been wanting to call you that forever, but realize it’s ridiculous and insulting and have thus far refrained. However, the Reverent JM Blaine just left a comment lamenting the lack of adult nicknames on Simon’s piece, so I’m feeling juvenile and relentless.

    xo

    • Gloria says:

      You’re from Jersey LRC? I didn’t realize that. Some day you’re going to have to make us a chart – The Many Homes Of Lisa Rae.

      I don’t know what’s more adorable – that you call me Glo-worm in your head, or that you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to showcase it. You’re a crack up, my friend.

      • Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

        Yep. “Gypsy” by Fleetwood Mac. It’s my theme song. (According to my first roommate, who has some serious endurance in keeping track of me.) California would be hard to leave, though…

  11. Jessica Blau says:

    Excellent interview, Gloria!

    I had never heard of this guy but am certainly interested in him, or his work, now.

  12. [...] interviewed some cool people: Storm Large…Dennis McCarty…Scott Mosier…and Storm Large [...]

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