We were thrilled to be able to put some questions to Brian Volk-Weiss who is involved in many Netflix projects including The Movies That Made Us, Down to Earth with Zac Efron, and countless stand-up specials on Netflix.
Founder and CEO of Nacelle Company, Brian Volk-Weiss is a busy man working on a suite of content ranging from stand-up specials to docuseries. The company, which is reportedly the “largest independent comedy production and distribution company”, has been making huge strides in recent years becoming a content dealer to the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Disney, and a host of others.
Just recently, the company has released season 3 of A Toy Store Near You on Prime Video on June 23rd and Behind the Attraction on Disney+ in mid-July.
For Netflix, the company has produced The Movies That Made Us, The Holiday Movies That Made Us, and The Toys That Made Us.
Through their Comedy Dynamics label, they’ve released Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History as well as stand-up specials from Bill Burr, Ali Wong, Aziz Ansari, Craig Furguson, and Bo Burnham.
Season 2 of The Movies That Made Us was just released on Netflix globally that covered Forrest Gump, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, and Pretty Woman. That series covers some of the biggest movies in history nabbing interviews with talent behind them to talk about how they got off the ground, how they were made, and their impact years (decades in most instances) later.
We got to send some questions over to Brian Volk-Weiss about the making of The Movies That Made Us and what’s coming up next.
How does the team go about choosing what movie to cover for The Movies That Made Us?
We make a list of about 100 films that we are excited about, and then we first look into how big the audience was for the film, as we try to pick movies that appeal to multiple demographics and not just one. Then we take the remaining options and do about two weeks of research to see how good the story about the making of the movie is. After that is done we’re probably down to about 4 options for every slot.
At this point, we send the list to Netflix and we go back and forth until the final selections are agreed to by both parties. It’s worth mentioning that Netflix has always been extremely receptive to our recommendations.
WoN: Who has been your favorite person interviewed on the show thus far?
I don’t have a favorite as so many interviews (over 250) have been memorable and a few have been life-changing. But if I had to pick one person who I just learned so much from, had a great time while in their presence, it would be Linda Gottlieb, the producer who got Dirty Dancing financed and therefore made.
We still speak and text when we see something the other person might be interested in. Honorable mentions go to Sigourney Weaver, Ed Neumeier, John Amos, Sam Neill, Danny Elfman, Reginald VelJohnson, Jan de Bont, and Nancy Allen.
WoN: You’ve got an incredible credits list working on so many different types of projects of which many are comedy specials – what are the key differences between working on a stand-up special to a docuseries like Movies That Made Us or Down to Earth with Zac Efron?
There are a billion differences and really only two things in common; both use cameras and both have humans as crew and subjects. Other than that there’s really nothing in common between the work that goes into making these different forms of content.
WoN: Speaking of Down to Earth with Zac Efron, can you provide an update on season 2?
We shot season 2 entirely in Australia earlier this year and have been in post-production for the last three months. We hope to deliver all episodes before the year is over.
WoN: What other Netflix projects do you have coming up?
We have more episodes of The Movies That Made Us coming later this year and, apologies, but that’s all I can talk about at this time.
WoN: And finally, we ask everyone we send questions – what have you been watching on Netflix lately?
Omg, what haven’t I been watching lol! I’m usually late to the party because I don’t have much time for TV, but I just watched every episode of the Gilmore Girls from the start, The Umbrella Academy, Ronny Chieng’s stand up special (for the third time), Masters of the Universe: Revelation, and even though it was a few months ago can I mention I Care A Lot? Because it’s probably my favorite movie of the year that I didn’t see in a movie theater (meaning it’s second place to The Suicide Squad)!!
With thanks to Brian Volk-Weiss for his time and we look forward to seeing what’s next!