On August 9th screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin discussed the touchy issue of critical pans during their “Scriptnotes” podcast. These guys are intelligent and fun to listen to, but I’m mentioning this episode in particular because Mazin recalls a back-and-forth that happened (he says) between myself and Kevin Smith, and I regret to say he’s not remembering very clearly.
The exchange happened at a 2000 ComicCon panel called “Caught In The Net: Movie Webmasters on Hollywood, the Internet, and the Future of Their Bastard Child.” I asked a question, says Mazin, and Smith, he claims, looked at me and (I’m paraphrasing) said, “You’re Jeffrey Wells? Gee, you’ve written some nasty shit about me but now that I can see what you look like I don’t feel so bad.” Except I distinctly remember a moderate goodvibe feeling between myself and Smith that day. A couple of years later Smith hired me to write my column for his site so what does that suggest? I do recall Smith saying to someone “oh, you’re so-and-so?” but i don’t think it was me.
I’m not saying my memory is 100% bulletproof but I really don’t recall being Smith-dissed. Four years ago I wrote a looking-back piece about this panel, and I didn’t include any mention of Smith backhanding anyone.
Mazin is probably misremembering because I might have written something negative about Superhero (which he directed and wrote) or about Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4, which he wrote the screenplays for. I’m guessing he was transposing or substituting on some level.
The “Caught in the Web” panel, moderated by Den Shewman, featured David Poland, Film Threat‘s Chris Gore, Smith, Coming Attractions‘ Patrick Sauriol, CHUD’s Nick Nunziata, Ain’t It Cool News’ Harry Knowles, and X-Men producer Tom DeSanto.