Jason Nash has built a massive online following for his Vine videos. Now he’s hoping that the power of social media can help his new movie become a hit. FML, starring Nash and fellow Vine star Brandon Calvillo, launches on iTunes today and is available for download at FML’s official site.
The movie follows a 40-year-old stand-up comic and his 18 year-old best friend as they travel together from Los Angeles to New York in a desperate attempt to gain 1 million followers on social media. “It’s the story of two guys who are two generations apart on a cross-country road trip,” Nash said in an interview with The Interrobang. “My character is trying to get a million followers so he can save his marriage. Brandon’s character is just coming along on a quest to lose his virginity. It’s cool because old people will like my story and the kids will like his story. Something for everyone.”
In 2014, Nash starred in the film Jason Nash is Married. He began making Vine videos to help promote the movie, but the six-second comedy clips took on a life of their own. “I started working with Brandon, and we would make videos that were a big hit, getting 20,000 followers a day,” Nash said. Their success with Vine prompted them to develop a script loosely based on their experience in becoming social media stars. Nash said it took two-and-a-half years to make FML a reality, from writing the script to editing down the final version. “Making a movie is much harder than making a funny Vine. Stand-up is much harder. Acting is much harder,” he said. “When we set out to make Vine videos, it might take a couple hours. A YouTube video might take a day. This was a real story with a real script. We shot it over the course of three weeks in May, and then had to go through the process of editing it down from the original two-and-a-half hour run-time to 98 minutes. There’s a lot more involved in the process.” FML is also rated R, which provided Nash and friends with a bit more leeway and material that they couldn’t use on social media.
FML is being released by Digital Riot Media as a direct-to-fan online film. Digital Riot has announced that it plans to produce 10-15 feature-length films annually, largely targeting Vine, YouTube, and Instagram viewers and personalities. In addition to Nash and Calvillo, FML stars Jessica Michél, Bart Baker, Jimmy Tatro, Busy Philipps, Andy Daly and Liza Koshy. “Several of the people in the film have never done a movie before and they knocked it out of the park, including Brandon,” Nash said. “He’s really the key to the movie. I couldn’t have made it without him.”
Nash said the way to succeed in the age of social media is to continue to adapt to new technologies and formats as they become available, because that’s what the audience will do. “The kids who first discovered and liked my Vine stuff two years ago have already moved on to the next thing. We’re living in such a weird time,” he said. “I think there are going to be more platforms popping up and more people getting in the game. Social media is always changing; I don’t see it going away. It will always be here, but there will be many different incarnations about what social media is. That will continue to change.”
For more, visit FML-the-movie.