How I Found Distribution For My First 4 Feature Films by Blayne Weaver
Film Courage: We’re hoping you can give us a brief profile of how you found distribution for each of your films, from OUTSIDE SALES, WEATHER GIRL, 6 MONTH RULE and now with CUT TO THE CHASE?
Blayne Weaver: Sure. OUTSIDE SALES, we didn’t know what the hell we were doing. That’s a very important thing about my first movie. I was doing well acting-wise and like this was the movie that I sold my house to finance. I had done this cartoon for Disney where I do the voice of Peter Pan and I made a good amount of money and I bought a house. And then I sold the house to finance my first movie. We made the film and traveled all over the film festival circuit and spent all this money. And then came out the other side and was like “I’m broke.” I don’t have distribution for the movie and what do I do? So that one [OUTSIDE SALES] was crazy. It took about a year of just like talking to everybody and finally we landed with this company and got a DVD deal. Which again, this was when the system wasn’t working very well. So it’s like we got a DVD deal. No money up front but they threw us a big release party and that was pretty much it. But the movie was out. That was an important thing.
“I made a good amount of money [acting] and I bought a house. And then I sold the house to finance my first movie. We made the film and traveled all over the film festival circuit and spent all this money. And then came out the other side and was like “I’m broke.” I don’t have distribution for the movie and what do I do? “
WEATHER GIRL was a way better experience. WEATHER GIRL got into the Slamdance film festival. We had some cool actors. We had Mark Harmon, Kaitlin Olson, Tricia O’Kelley (who was on The New Adventures of Old Christine) and they all came out to Park City [Utah] with us. That helped promote the movie and got a distribution deal right there and we sold to Lifetime [Movie Network] which was really where the money came in so that paid back all of our investors and then we had this huge international deal where they never paid us. So we had to sue this company in order to get them to settle for 1/5th of what they owed us.
Again, the system just didn’t work. It was the kind of thing where people…the distributors…not all of them but a lot of them would just refuse to pay until you sued them because they knew you didn’t have any money. So if you sued them and got that far, then they would settle for like 1/5th for what they owe you. Which is a lot of the…politically this kind of business is being talked about a lot right now and in my experience, it happens all the time. Like the little guy, screaming and yelling about “Where is the money that you owe me?” and them saying “No, no, now. Alright, here! I’ll pay you 1/5th and you’ll be happy to have it.”
Luckily that is happening less now with distributors. But that was WEATHER GIRL. So with WEATHER GIRL we made all of our money back, but before we got into profit, we had this problem with our international distributor.
[With our movie] 6 MONTH RULE we premiered at the Austin [Texas] Film Festival. Film Buff came to us. Film Buff is Cinetic Media’s kind of little brother in the indie film world and they put us out on iTunes VOD and like that. It was a great experience. We’re still out there with Film Buff. 6 MONTH RULE, check it out!
[My new movie] CUT TO THE CHASE, we finished the film and we’ve just been traveling film festival wise and like having conversations and we met with 108 Media Corp. They seem down with the movie and we certainly speak the same language and they’re bringing us out March 7th ! So I’m excited!
Question for the Viewers: Have you distributed a movie? Share a story or something you’ve learned from the process.
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).