Jason Nash has been working as a comedian and actor for nearly two decades, but he’s best known as a Vine superstar. At 40, Nash has amassed 1.5 million followers and he’s trying to parlay his (looping) six seconds of success into a feature film.
He’s currently crowdfunding “FML: A Social Media Adventure,” a feature-length comedy about two guys, two generations apart (Nash and Brandon Calvillo), who embark on a a cross-country road trip to boost their social media followings. But the film isn’t just a commentary about social media. It will also star some of the biggest names in social media, with the cast boasting over 150 million followers across social media platforms, according to the Kickstarter page. So far, the film has raised nearly $22,000 towards its $200,000 goal.
In addition to featuring established TV and film stars such as Busy Philipps, Andy Richter, Patton Oswalt, Rob Corddry, Matt Walsh and Mary Lynn Rajskub, “FML” will feature Vine stars including Brittany Furlan (8.8 million followers), Nicholas Megalis (4.7 million followers), Logan Paul (7.2 million followers), Markus Johns (6 million followers) and over 35 additional Viners, with a total number of followers exceeding 40 million.
Indiewire recently spoke to Nash about the film project and whether Vine stars can translate to the big screen.
How does Vine showcase new talent?
Vine is great because none of us have time to really see all the talent that’s out there. If you can make someone laugh in six seconds, you can see there’s more to this person. Vine lends itself to that. It allows you to be exposed to new people and you get it right away. You can tell in six seconds if someone is funny.
What does it take to succeed on Vine?
You have to be original. People do Vine so many different ways. If you’re original, then you’ll get followers. There are people who do selfie Vines, people who do special effects, people who do artistic Vines. You have to find your niche and people will find it. Of course, it helps if you’re 16 and if you’re a handsome guy who is taking your shirt off.
How does the film connect to the Vine world?
Part of the movie is about social media and about people who have no talent that have massive followings and people who have talent, but can’t break through. It’s about our culture of Instagram where there are people who are trying really hard to show something really great and then you have a girl who shows off her butt and gets a million followers.
What inspired the film?
Brandon [Calvillo] is 19 and I’m 40. It came from our real relationship….This guy is the guy I’ve been waiting to meet my whole life to do comedy with, but he’s 19. This is such a good starting point for a film. A 40-year old guy in a midlife crisis and a 19-year-old kid who hasn’t grown up yet. He’s a comedic genius and is very smart, but he will say things like, “Have you ever heard of chicken schwarma?” He just hasn’t lived. I was such an idiot until the age of 28. In the movie, his character wants to be pure and original. He calls everyone a sell out. I’m 40 and I’m ready to sell out. It’s a buddy road trip.
Do you think Vine stars will be able to make the jump to broader audiences?
The biggest challenge is convincing people that these people who did six-second vines can hold up a movie and I really believe that they can. There’s a lot of people on Vine who aren’t good actors, but have big followings, but the people we have in this movie were already hilarious before Vine.
We have a sketch group we all work in and I think of it as an online sketch show. But it’s even better than a sketch show because we all have our own pages and we all get to say what’s going on in our channel. We all help each other.
But will Vine popularity translate to film?
I made a movie [“Jason Nash is Married”] last summer for Comedy Central. It went to #3 on the iTunes charts and that was all because of Vine.
And the stars will all be able to help promote the film on Vine, which will help, right?
It’s worth quite a bit. Companies pay those guys thousands of dollars to promote their TV shows and movies and beer and vodka. So it’s definitely built-in promotion for us. There are plenty of people on Vine who have big audiences, but I didn’t cast the people with the biggest followers. I cast the people who should be on “SNL.” I know if I don’t make this movie this year, they’ll be on to bigger and better things. I’m trying to get in on the ground level and do this before they become big movie stars themselves.
Check out the “FML” campaign here.