How a 1994 indie hit from Kevin Smith gave birth to an unlikely franchise...
In 1993, Kevin Smith made a movie. Clerks was shot in black and white over the course of three weeks, at night, in the convenience store where Smith worked during the day, on a shoestring budget of $27,575. Smith funded the film himself by dipping into his savings, selling all his comics and maxing out several credit cards.
Even though it became an indie phenomenon when it was picked up by Bob and Harvey Weinstein's Miramax (who gave it a new soundtrack using a post-production budget that was ten times the cost of principal photography) at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, it doesn't have 'franchise starter' written all over it.
Long considered a Gen X touchstone, Clerks is a funny and filthy slice of life movie, which equates a working day for Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) to his namesake's Inferno.