The #1 Rule Of Film Financing by Blayne Weaver of CUT TO THE CHASE Movie
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).