3 Great Screenwriting Lessons by Blayne Weaver of CUT TO THE CHASE

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

 

Blayne Weaver: I think I wrote that in like 5 weeks of just getting up and like hammering away at it. I’ll tell you one thing that also is a great lesson in….

Film Courage: Blayne, your IMDB page shows 12 writing credits (and I’m sure you’ve written more scripts than are just there), but of those films which production taught you the most about writing and why?

Blayne Weaver: Oh? Interesting. You know…what we talked about a little bit earlier, the biggest lesson about writing it, get up and do it. It is a job. I’m the kind of guy that I like a glass of wine…you know… I like some music going..that’s very romantic and I’m sure Hemingway would be very proud but that’s not like really how you get a script done or how you write that many scripts. And I am always writing. So it’s like you’ve got to get up, you’ve got to spend time with your coffee. You’ve got to look at it. Sometimes it’s just sitting there not being able to write anything that gets you to two days later to where you can answer the question and put it on paper. But I love working on all different genres. That’s what fun for me to do like a punch up on a kid’s movie or here’s a horror film or here’s a family drama. But I love getting to do all of them because I love movies and it gets boring doing the same thing over and over again.

 

“That’s the hardest time for me to write, when I’m happy and busy. I just flew back from New York. And I loved living in New York because there is so much to do. It’s hard for me to write in New York. Because I’m always distracted by things that are going on outside. “What’s my roommate doing down there? It sounds like he’s having fun. Are you drinking a beer? Let me have some beer.” So sometimes that lonely time is actually easier.”

 

 

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

So as far as what taught me the most, I think it was just being thrown the random “Here, I need you to do the suspense action film for me.” And sometimes you’ll get a finished script and you’ll fix it. And sometimes you’ll get a paragraph and you’ll execute it, you know? So yeah, I don’t know? All of them I guess? It’s just the process of writing. You just get better at it. That’s something I tell young people all the time is you get better at writing the more you write. So you have to write. You know what I mean? All the time.

Film Courage: Well I know with MANIC you said that it showed you that you wanted to direct for various reasons. And then with WEATHER GIRL it sounds like being in an uncomfortable situation really pushed you. How long did that script take, WEATHER GIRL?

Blayne Weaver: That script almost wrote itself. When I think of the easiest writing experiences, I think I probably wrote that in 5 weeks of just like getting up and hammering away at it.

I’ll tell you one thing also that I think there is a great lesson in directing your own script because you find in the editing room, if there are flaws in your script, in your logic, in your plot line, you will find it in editing! And it’s crazy to me. It’s like 6 MONTH RULE, I got almost no notes on that script. That script…everybody dug that script. Like it was just one of those things, like sometimes as a writer, something will resonate. And people just liked it. They’re like “He talks a little too much but other than that, like great!”

But then we got into editing and I have all of these structural problems. Like, he has this moment where he realizes he loves the girl twice. Now why didn’t I see that? Why didn’t anyone who read the script say “This moment happens twice?” But nobody did, you know? And it’s made me look at scripts a lot harder now, especially my own. Like when is this moment in the movie and it has to be this special moment and it can’t be duplicated because we had to move a lot of things around. And this great editor Abe Levy who helped me streamline that story that in a proper world should have been streamlined on the page, you know what I mean?

Film Courage: So with WEATHER GIRL, how much do you think you really…[hesitates]…I don’t know. I’m just trying to envision that time for you. Do you think with some of your other productions you were more comfortable and it was harder to finish it (in terms of the script)?

Blayne Weaver: In terms of the script? I think…you know…I didn’t have television. It was really depressing [laughs]. I had this season of THE OFFICE that I would watch over and over and over again. And so, like I didn’t really have anything to do except sit there and write, which was by design. I didn’t get cable (television). I just wanted to work. And it was actually easier than to write then say when you’re…happy with a girlfriend, you know? That’s the hardest time for me to write, when I’m happy and busy. I just flew back from New York. And I loved living in New York because there is so much to do. It’s hard for me to write in New York. Because I’m always distracted by things that are going on outside. “What’s my roommate doing down there? It sounds like he’s having fun. Are you drinking a beer? Let me have some beer.” So sometimes that lonely time is actually easier.

Film Courage: So from being a bartender, I know you are probably busy making drinks and getting customers’ orders, but you probably had some moments where you could see the Los Angeles crowd from this other perspective. How much did you see that from some of the patrons that went there [to his bar]? Even though you don’t really know their personal lives and everybody is putting on this happy facade.

Blayne Weaver: I needed to get out of Los Angeles after 6 MONTH RULE. After 6 MONTH RULE I kind of hit this…I was super saturated with Los Angeles. You know I’d been here a really long time since I was 19-years-old. [I was a] kid actor, went to UCLA, you know? I’d been in this town for a long time and I just needed out because of what I think you’re saying. Because I saw the stereotypes. I saw the “LA shallowness” or whatever. And I saw it in me, you know? Which was not good either. And it was not what I wanted. So I fled to New York and enjoyed my time very much there and I’ve just moved back here for business reasons. And LA is different to me now. I have perspective. It’s not the stereotypes that I was seeing when I was here before. I was painting my own unhappy picture of it. It’s actually not that bad a place. I think I’d just been here too long [laughs].

Film Courage: And I’ve heard the same thing from people who’ve been in New York [City] having come here [to Los Angeles].

Blayne Weaver: Oh absolutely!

Film Courage: So I think it’s just a change of atmosphere.

 

Lyndie Greenwood and Blayne Weaver in CUT TO THE CHASE – watch it on iTunes here

 

Blayne Weaver: I know people who have lived in New York much longer than I have and I’ll tell them how much I love it and they’ll be like “Try 5 more years!” Well maybe you should give it a break? Maybe you should go somewhere else? That’s what I did.

Film Courage: But you are also coming here [to Los Angeles] with a film.

Watch CUT TO THE CHASE on iTunes here

Blayne Weaver: Yes.

Film Courage: A film coming out that has distribution so I’m sure you’ve got to feel great?

Blayne Weaver: It’s awesome!

Film Courage: You’re coming from a different situation.

Blayne Weaver: Yeah. I mean the thing about…this movie business is really weird. It’s really weird because it has so many different levels. You start, you’ve got the script, then you’ve got to try to raise the money, and that’s a whole thing. Then you get the money and you have to put it together and then that’s a whole thing. I love being on set. Being on set is my absolute favorite. I’m the best me when I’m on set. And then you wrap and go into post production which I am not my best me but that is just a part of it. And then you have to get the distribution and then you get to do the film festivals and now you’re here. Literally I will get a link later today for the pre-sale of [Blayne’s new movie] CUT TO THE CHASE. And in 3 weeks [from the original taping of this interview] it will be out and everybody in America will be able to access it. And that is kind of like the end, really. We will come out on DVD in June and that will be a whole other thing we’ll have to deal with. But for all practical purposes this journey is ending next month and like…I’m just really excited for…not for it to be over, but for this pinnacle for like “Here we are, we made it to the crest. Good job everybody! What is next?”

Question for the Viewers: Do you treat your writing like a job?

 

WATCH ‘CUT TO THE CHASE’
http://apple.co/2lEIOTw

MORE VIDEOS WITH BLAYNE WEAVER
http://bit.ly/2kRVPoo

CONNECT WITH BLAYNE WEAVER
Blayneweaver.net
IMDB
Cuttothechasefilm.com
Twitter
Facebook

 

About Blayne:

Weaver wrote, directed and starred in the Southern Film Noir thriller CUT TO THE CHASE. Previously he starred in writer/director Paul Osborne’s psychological thriller FAVOR and the acclaimed romantic comedy 6 MONTH RULE (alongside Martin Starr, Natalie Morales and John Michael Higgins) which he also wrote and directed. Previous films he’s written and directed include WEATHER GIRL (with Tricia O’Kelley, Mark Harmon, Jon Cryer and Jane Lynch) and OUTSIDE SALES. He also co-wrote and acted in MANIC (Don Cheadle, Joseph Gordon- Levitt and Zooey Deschanel), directed by Jordan Melamed, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. To date he has written 8 produced feature films.

He has appeared in films such as WHERE WE’RE MEANT TO BE, JUNK, DEEP DARK CANYON, OFFICIAL REJECTION and THE GOOD OLD BOYS opposite Tommy Lee Jones. His numerous episodic television credits include ER, NCIS, and THE MIDDLEMAN. He also provided the voice of Peter Pan in the Disney animated feature RETURN TO NEVERLAND.

Originally from Louisiana, Weaver currently resides in New York City and Los Angeles (read more here).

 

 

 

 

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