My name is Jason Nutt, and I’m a writer. (No, it’s not a pseudonym.) My lone credit — so far — is for a small indie comedy called BALLS TO THE WALL, which began life as a spec of mine called WEDDING RINGS AND G-STRINGS that I originally wrote in 2004, optioned in 2008 and sold in 2010. The finished film premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival in April of 2011 and finally hit Amazon and iTunes last month. It’s safe to say that BALLS failed to set the world on fire, but it was the best film school I could possibly have gone through; hell, somebody paid me, and I didn’t even have to sit through Birth of a Nation in Film History 101. You always read about how hard it is to get a movie made, but you have no idea how hard it is until you watch the machine up close and try to avoid getting caught in the grinding gears.
I have very mixed feelings about the finished film, but the bottom line is that everybody worked their asses off to bring my script to life, and for that I’ll be eternally grateful. Although I’d give anything to build a time machine to go back and stop myself from taking a certain note here or convince myself to fight for a certain idea there, that’s a fool’s dream. The movie is what it is. And hey, there’s some funny stuff in there, a few solid laughs. The lead, Joe Hursley, was so good, he should be a movie star by now. And I got to work with Penelope Spheeris, one of my all-time favorite directors. I got a movie made and I got paid for it! I truly have nothing to complain about.
But let’s back up a little: in July of 2008, the month I optioned WEDDING RINGS, my wife gave birth to our our only child. Shortly thereafter I began a blog, WriterDad, in which I anonymously detailed my new life as a father, my other new life as an optioned screenwriter running the development gauntlet, and my desperate efforts to balance both of those new lives without going completely crazy. Gluttons for punishment can find an excruciatingly detailed rendition of my complete backstory up to that point here, here and here.
At first the blog was a great outlet, allowing me to write in short bursts that were perfect for my addled, sleep-deprived mind. I kept it anonymous because my movie continued going through the usual bumps and setbacks on its molasses-slow march toward the green light and I wanted a place to vent. In the end the anonymity was probably unnecessary; I don’t think I really spilled any real dirt along the way. I make a terrible backstabber.
Eventually, however, the demands of our infant daughter and the endless rewrites of WEDDING RINGS (eventually retitled BALLS TO THE WALL — not my choice) gradually ate away at my free time; within a couple of years the blog withered away and died, just sort of lying there in the digital wilderness like a corpse on The Walking Dead after Daryl puts a crossbow bolt in its brain. Flash forward to 2014: when I got the inspiration to put together a new website I revisited the old blog for the first time in years. I was a little freaked out by my candor back then, a little embarrassed by my naiveté, but also pleasantly surprised by how it now exists as a time capsule for me — a snapshot of a period in my life that was full of excitement and upheaval and utter exhaustion.
So where am I at now? Well, sort of at a crossroads, to be honest. I’ve had a couple of spec features circulate over the past couple of years, garnering me some meetings but no sales. As a result of one of those meetings I wrote a one-hour TV pilot based on one of those feature specs; that didn’t go anywhere, either, but I caught the TV bug. Since then I’ve begun writing TV pilots as well as features — something that I would have had no interest in doing even five years ago. Ever since I was 13 years old I’ve wanted to write movies. Now, to be honest, I find TV to be the more exciting medium. I’m not exactly alone in this opinion.
Also, very recently I’ve had the opportunity to fulfill another lifelong dream: becoming a professional comic book writer. I’m on board to write something that I can’t talk about yet, but hopefully it’s the first step down a new path in my writing career. In addition to this paid gig, I’ve also begun developing a couple of homegrown webcomic ideas that I plan to get started with various artists and post here on my website. And I have a long-gestating retro sci-fi project with my friend and fellow writer Dave Anaxagoras (he of Gortimer Gibbon fame) which started life as a movie spec but has morphed into yet another a comic book project.
So yeah — there’s a lot on my mind at the moment. Movies, TV shows, comic books. Maybe a web series. Maybe even some short stories. Maybe a play? Sure, why not! For years I was so hellbent on writing feature films that I blocked out every other avenue for me to express myself. Now it’s different. Maybe it’s the times, maybe it’s the slow motion implosion of my beloved film industry, maybe it’s the fact that I’m no longer the 23-year-old who pulled into LA in 1997 and lived/ate/slept/breathed movies, but I just want to try different things now and see what happens. I just want to write… stuff.
With that in mind, I’m going to try to post regularly, upload new and old scripts, publish installments of my webcomics, explain my creative process for anybody who cares, share the little knowledge that I’ve picked up in my Hollywood adventures, and just have fun.
Who knows what’s going to happen. I hope you stick around to find out.