People: Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith (1970- )
Film maker Kevin Smith was born and raised in Highlands, and attended Henry Hudson High School, right behind the Twin Lights. His first film, Clerks, was shot at the convenience store just off Rte. 36 in Leonardo. After winning the Filmmaker's Trophy at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, Clerks earned a distribution deal with Mirimax and earned back roughly 100 times what it cost to make.
Smith's next film success came in 1997, with the release of Chasing Amy. The movie made many critics' year-end 10 Best List. That year he also co-produced Good Will Hunting with friends Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
These events led to Smith's bigger-budget Dogma, which featured Affleck, Damon, Salma Hayak, Chris Rock, Jason Lee, George Carlin and Alan Rickman. The religious-themed picture drew protest from the Catholic Church but made $30 million at the box office.
Besides writing, directing and acting for the silver screen, Smith is deeply involved in the comic book business and is a rabid Devils hockey fan. He also authored the book Jay and Silent Bob Speak.