Monday, April 26, 2010

FOURPLAY: Jason is productive... (pt 2 of 2)

Second part of my interview w/ FOURPLAY producer Jason Wehling (pictured above on the set of AUSTIN). Forgot to mention last week that we are both Rice University graduates. There aren't that many of us in the entertainment biz! - Kyle

3) Having now worked as a producer/director on many low-budget shorts, commercials and several features (e.g. AUGUST EVENING), what advice/tips would you give to budding producers who are producing their first films?

I think something that’s really helped me grow is keeping a humble spirit, and I’d push this on anyone who’s interested in working in this world. Ego is important - making a low budget film is a huge undertaking, and it you don’t believe in the project and in yourself, you’ll never stick with it long enough to finish. That said, the same ego that gives you that drive can be the thing that keeps the project from succeeding. Don’t just go forward believing that you know how to make the perfect film by yourself, because you most likely do not. But if you surround yourself with talented people and stay humble enough to really listen to their advice on your script, your schedule, your edit, etc..., you’ll be amazed at how much better your film will turn out.

4) A particular story or moment you'd like to share from the production of AUSTIN last summer?

I think one of the key elements in AUSTIN is the scene that takes place in a porn store, and one of the most difficult parts of the project was finding the right store. We figured this could be problematic, especially given the nature of our story, so I took a broad approach and called or walked into almost every single store in Austin. I’ll say now that I hadn’t been into many of these places, so I was quite curious. Obviously, some were quite tame and more oriented towards sexing things up for couples, but we were looking for something that could conceivably have video booths in the back, and the only places in town that really have booths wanted nothing to do with us. In my search though, I found myself in a AAA News shop, and it had a terrific look – like a clean, well-lit drug store full to the brim with aisles and aisles of porn videos. I knew it was perfect, and when I showed my stealthily gathered location photos to Kyle, he agreed. Unfortunately, getting permission wasn’t easy, so we came really close to faking the location with our own weak substitute. I wouldn’t give up though, and must have made at least 20 calls and talked with 10 different employees before I finally got through to the owner - when I did, he was amazingly generous, and his trust in us helped make the film!

Also, I got to stick my finger in a fleshlight - wow!

5) Any question you'd like to answer that I haven't asked?

Not really...I do want to say that I’m super excited about TAMPA. A lot of my friends shake their heads when I describe Carlo’s story about a lonely man seeking companionship in a public restroom, but I think it’s completely touching, and totally hilarious, and I can’t wait to show it to everyone of those head-shakers!

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