Film Courage: When you finish a screenplay on spec, what’s protocol when you’re done?
Blayne Weaver: You finish it up and get all of your buddies to read it and tell you what you think because this is like you only get one first read on that. And this is hard for me because I like to get it out there, see what the agent thinks (as soon as possible) and…it’s a mistake! You should hold it until it’s done. I have trouble taking that advice but…you send it to your agent or producers or whoever your contacts are in the world and you wait to see what they say.
It’s pretty simple. You have very little power over it once they take it. I have this one script that has had overwhelmingly positive feedback and notes and has been at one agency for about 8 months…you know…going through actors, big movie stars reading it or their “people” reading it. Anyways, we will wait for 9 weeks and then we will hear “Well, Matthew McConaughey just passed, but that’s okay. We’re going to Woody Harrelson.” Okay…9 weeks later “Well, Woody Harrelson passed, but that’s okay. We’re going to Josh Brolin.” And it just sits there and people read it and you know, I do nothing. I just sit and I’m happy that these agencies and this talent has something of mine to read. You know, maybe they will see my name on it.
Film Courage: What if you don’t have the agent or manager to give it to? I mean, let’s say you are a new writer that doesn’t have a foundation, hasn’t been in Los Angeles that long?
Blayne Weaver: There are online resources. “The Blcklst” is one of them where you can send in the script and have it covered, have it read. Coverage is this thing where it’s like a book report on your script where they…all the studios do that, they’ll give you a little score, you know?
And you can pay people to do it professionally. But I would say that right now, these competitions, like I know the Austin Film Festival has a very prestigious one, but sending your script in if you win a couple of awards, that’s something that might get some leeway in sending it to an agency.
Normally I would say that almost never works. I’ve never heard of anybody being read because of a query letter. But if you have awards, maybe it would work? I mean look, there is no set way to do anything in this business. Like everything is a twisty-turny, chutes and ladders kind of thing. So you just try everything. You just throw everything at it and I mean that’s how I finance movies. That’s how I got all of my movies done. You just try everything and see what works out and be open to something working out in a way that you didn’t expect.
Question For The Viewers: What’s your protocol when you finish a screenplay?
WATCH ‘CUT TO THE CHASE’
MORE VIDEOS WITH BLAYNE WEAVER
Watch all of Blayne Weaver’s Film Courage video interviews here on Youtube.
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).