Blayne Weaver: Not that it had been easy to raise money because I had only directed one feature film before and that feature had not made its money back, so I didn’t have much of a track record.
Film Courage: How has experience impacted your financing movies?
Blayne Weaver: Well…that’s a good question. I think every movie is different when it comes to financing, you know? Some movies lend themselves more to…like [my movie] WEATHER GIRL was very user-friendly. It was a romantic comedy. It was easy. It didn’t offend anybody…not that it was easy to raise money because I had only directed one feature film before and that feature had not made its money back. So I did not have much of a track record. But Jayne Lynch was a friend of Tricia O’Kelley’s and she had agreed to star in it. Once Jane Lynch is in something, everybody wants to be in it. We had a really great cast built before we had any money, you know? Which is rare and I’ve never seen that happen in anybody’s movie. I think Jane Lynch being the “Lynch Pin” (smiles) of that movie was very specific to how that movie got financed.
With 6 MONTH RULE, we found an investor that believed in me. Me and my business partner went to the same high school that we went to. And now he is an incredibly successful business man. Like I was pitching 6 MONTH RULE all over the place and I don’t even know if he read the script. He believed in what we were doing and was interested in movies. So he financed that.
And then CUT TO THE CHASE was this great amalgam of $5,000 here…$5,000 here…until we raised over 100 grand. All people who were just betting on us. And that was a really personal thing. Like people just wanted a Shreveport movie from a Shreveport boy and they got it!
Every one (film) is different, though. But the only consistent is that you have to take every meeting. You have to talk to everybody because you never know where that money is going to come from and it’s always a surprise.
Like we had an experience where we had a driver for a movie that I was on and he drove me to set everyday. Very cool guy. Liked me very much. At the end of the movie he was like “I have a friend who has a connection to money.” And I was like “You should talk to my business partner.” And we ended up that Secret Identity [his film company] financed the movie with the friend of the driver. Like…who would have thought? But it comes from all over the place. You’ve got to always be ready. Sometimes you have to ask the awkward question “Will you give me money?” [laughs].
Film Courage: And so with crowdfunding, it sounds like it’s good for maybe part of it [the film finance] but especially in this landscape it sounds like it might be tougher now?
Blayne Weaver: I think it would be tough…I mean we raised 20 grand ($20,000) and it was hard work. Every single day you have to be out there. And you’ve got to be hitting people over the head with it all the time. [Filmmaker] Paul Osborne always says that I don’t hit hard enough. But I do! I hit really hard and I was able to raise $20,000. But it was by hook or by crook. I pulled that money from a ton of really great people. But I don’t know how much more you can get without some kind of hook, you know what I mean? The perfect sweater or whatever those things that make a million dollars [on crowdfunding platforms]. I don’t know how they do it but I would love to get in on that.
Question for the Viewers: How many investors put money into your last movie?
Watch all of Blayne Weaver’s Film Courage video interviews here on Youtube.
WATCH ‘CUT TO THE CHASE’
MORE VIDEOS WITH BLAYNE WEAVER
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).
THE BEAT OF THE BAT is a full-length documentary that tells the story of the music of the 1966 “Batman” Television Series and how composers Neal Hefti, Nelson Riddle & Billy May gave Batman his first real musical identity- and one that has remained inexorably tied to the character for over 50 years!
In fact, if you saw the just released “Lego Batman Movie” you might have noticed the numerous references to the music of the TV series.
And face it, you can go up to anyone, anywhere in the world and sing “Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na!” and they will instantly know what you are talking about!
The music was as important to the show as the bright colors, campy dialogue and tongue-in-cheek performances. Yet, strangely, the story of how it came to be has never been told… Until now.
AMERICAN TRIAL seeks to discover what a trial in the Eric Garner case might have taught us. How is our legal system designed to handle cases such as Garner’s? What verdict may have been returned after all the evidence was presented? More importantly, what conversations, perspectives and emotions went unexamined because of the grand jury’s decision?
Similarly to fiction courtroom dramas, the lead characters of this documentary will be the attorneys leading the prosecution and the defense. Our camera will capture them as they develop their public arguments and individual positions. How do they decide which witnesses to summon? How do they prepare for their court appearance? Are there any discrepancies between their systemic role and their true feelings regarding the case?
The film will also follow a news crews covering the trial and reporting on race relations in America within the context of the trial and the movement for black lives. They will travel across America to discover what public figures, intellectuals and activists think about the Eric Garner case, as well as other similar cases through the prism of racial relations in the United States.
COLD LOVE – Cold Love highlights three expeditions spanning many years of Lonnie Dupre’s career — the first non-motorized circumnavigation of Greenland, the first summer expedition to the North Pole, and the first attempt of a solo January ascent of Denali. The film’s powerful footage reveals up-close the beauty and life-giving forces of these icy realms. And in seeing, we can’t help but be inspired to love and protect our earth’s frozen places. Not only are they beautiful and fragile, but they are the global engine that regulates the climate and provides a stable environment for all life on the planet.
IT’S NOT MY FAULT AND I DON’T CARE ANYWAY – A rich and famous self-help guru’s controversial philosophy of extreme selfishness is put to the ultimate test when his only daughter is kidnapped and held for ransom (featuring the late Alan Thicke)
VALLEY OF DITCHES – A young woman bound in the front seat of a parked car watches helpless as her captor methodically digs a grave in the desert ground. The bloody lifeless body of her boyfriend lies framed in the rear-view mirror, a fate she will fight at all costs to avoid for herself. But this is only the beginning of a brutal struggle where survival could be worse than death.
From The Film Fund – Get up to $10,000 to make your short film by writing one sentence. The Film Fund is providing funding up to $10,000 for a short film in a way that’s a lot simpler than screenwriting contests, crowdfunding, or applying to grants – read more about Founder and CEO Thomas Verdi’s The Film Fund here via his website.
LEFT ON PURPOSE – Midway through the filming of a documentary about his life as an anti war activist, Mayer Vishner declares that his time has passed and that his last political act will be to commit suicide— and he wants it all on camera. Now the director must decide whether to turn off his camera or use it to keep his friend alive. Left on Purpose is an award winning feature length documentary that confronts the growing issues of aging, isolation and end of life choices through an intense character driven story of the relationship between filmmaker and subject. With humor and heart it provides a rare cinematic look at what it means to be a friend to someone in pain.