By Carrie Love
Brian Wieve, an OU HTC Film graduate, returns to Athens to screen his first feature in the Athens Film Festival this spring. We reached out to Brian and asked him to share a little about his journey.
Congratulations on your first feature film being accepted into the Athens Film Festival. You are an HTC graduate of the Ohio University Film Program. Can you tell us a little about what you’ve been up to since graduating in 2007?
Wow - a lot has happened since 2007. Let’s see: I got married to my wife Michelle who I met at OU. We moved to Chicago, I got my Masters Degree in Cinema Arts & Sciences from Columbia College, made a feature, continued working as a freelance director, DP, and editor, and a little over a year ago we had our first child Nico. I’m accumulating debt like you wouldn’t believe, but having a good time doing it.
What is your film, A Good Person, about?
On the surface: Over the course of a lost weekend, A Good Person follows a Dickhead Contrarian, his Passive Aggressive Wife and his "Puss-puss" Best Friend as they smoke weed, drink PBR, reminisce, box, exchange barbs, make out, yell, lie, spy on each other, cry, fight some more, lie some more, commit crimes, kind of make up, and dance.
Underneath that, the film is about the desire to be thought of as “good” despite the knowledge that everyone is flawed and some more than others. It’s about how love and relationships require patience, forgiveness and courage to weather the inevitable storms rather than concede to the easiest impulse and give up.
Every film is an adventure to make. Tell us about your journey in making this film.
Making this film was honestly a joy. I was coming off an experience in which I had made a very ambitious short with all kinds of depressing adventures. I had reflected on the mistakes that I had made on that production. I decided to scale back on scope and make something smaller and more contained with a group of people that I really trusted.
I had spent a summer working in Alaska, and used the money I made to finance the production of the film. The film really came together quickly, but I ran out of money. So the audio mix, color grades, and festival submission fees took longer to get together than I would have liked, but that’s life. With the help of my sister (another OU alum), I put together a successful indiegogo campaign and now I’m here.
I’d also add: I had the best group of people as my cast and crew. I would make another movie with all of them in a heart beat. They either were or quickly became my friends, and I continue to work and hang out with them now.
In what ways did the program at OU prepare you for the making of this film?
The OU Film program is something that I remember with great fondness. I was very young, and while I knew I wanted to tell stories through the medium of film and video, I honestly was very naive to all that entailed. My professors as well as my classmates gave me the knowledge, pushed me, and, frankly, called me on my bullshit when that needed to happen, and celebrated with me when I succeeded. Without that foundation, I wouldn’t be the filmmaker I am today. With that I’d also add, that I was always pushed to make the best version of the film I wanted to make, and that isn’t always the case in the academic setting.
What lessons have you learned since film school on how to survive the ever changing communications industry?
I would say it is extremely rare that you are handed anything. You have to be persistent. You have to fight. You can’t take rejection personally or as a reflection of your worth. I used to really feel hurt when I didn’t get a gig I wanted or got rejected from a film festival. While it will never feel great, I try to see rejection now as just a part of the process. You have to be told ‘no’ so many times, before you get to hear ‘yes.’
A Good Person will screen at the Athena Cinema on Sunday, April 9th at 3 pm. You can check out the trailer at agoodpersonfilm.com.