According to Fast Company, the year 2010 did not begin quietly for voluble writer-director-übergeek Kevin Smith.

The only thing that overshadowed the dreadful reviews for his action comedy Cop Out was his much-headlined booting from a flight for being too fat. “A lot of people thought I had a great sense of humor about the Southwest Airlines thing, but it was the worst moment of my life,” the notoriously potty-mouthed Smith confesses.

Last summer, after traveling to his in-person appearances on a bus, Smith had the idea to turn his podcasts into a permanent live-theater experience. Within three days, his friend Matt Cohen, a production assistant on Smith’s last movie, found a 50-seat black-box theater in the heart of Hollywood. They negotiated a lease for what has become SModcastle, the physical home of Smith’s SModcast podcasts.

Although many podcasting pioneers, such as comedians Adam Carolla, Doug Benson, and Marc Maron, are experimenting with live shows as a way to create revenue from podcasting, SModcastle is one of the first-of-its-kind open-to-the-public headquarters for a podcasting network. It hosts six weekly hour-long podcasts — four of which have ranked in the top five in their category on iTunes — including the flagship SModcast 3D, where Smith talks about the week’s news with longtime producer Scott Mosier.

We like to get the money up front.” That’s 50 seats at 10 or 25 bucks a head depending on the show, one or two performances a night, four nights a week, in a place that rents for $4,000 a month. “We haven’t advertised at all; we’re selling out shows simply because of Twitter,” he says, looking extremely pleased as he stands at the refrigerator of the bus he uses as his on-set trailer. Smith is holding a carton of low-fat chocolate milk, occasionally lifting it to his mouth, but he doesn’t take a swig because he’s talking too much. “It’s shocking how self-sufficient you can be.”

Photo by movienewsfirst.

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