Kevin Smith is an indie writer/director/actor made famous for directing the 1994 movie Clerks, which was made for $27,000 on all black and white stock, with the money coming from selling his comic book collection and insurance money from his car. His production company is called View Askew.
Clerks was a breakthrough film for independent filmmakers. It grossed just over $3 million. Not a bad return on an investment, eh?
Smith also wrote and directed Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma. He is also credited as an executive producer on Good Will Hunting, which was written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, both of whom have starred in movies by Smith.