Jason Nash on His No Budget Film, City Living, & Movie Making

Chad White

Jason Nash is a comedy juggernaut. He’s been in the game since the nineties with Random Play, voiced a character on Batman Beyond, and did standup on and off for years. More recently, he has written and produced his own web series turned movie Jason Nash Is Married. This movie is the first of its kind: a no budget superstar driven comedy film distributed by Comedy Central. This is the very first movie from their production side CC:Studios . Nash has worked tirelessly with the movies’ producer Ravi Subramanian, and its actors including Busy Phillips, Matt Walsh, Rob Corddry, Patton Oswalt, T.J. Miller, Rachael Harris and about a dozen other comedians who filmed cameos or larger parts. Over the past two years, Jason has put his heart and soul into this movie.

I recently caught up with the writer/comedian before he arrived at an event. 

 What was it like turning a one man show into a web series?

It was pretty easy I guess. I just had a lot of jokes that I had written, things that happened in my life and, you know, you put them into the web series. And then you put them into the one man show. I would say only one or two [jokes] made it into the web series. It’s all new material. I’m always writing and trying new things. It wasn’t that bad I guess. Just a different brain.

I understand. What about the web series to film adaptation?

Now that was hard. It’s a long story. That was really hard because I had just done shorts before so trying to figure out a structure and an arc was difficult.

Oh, that makes sense. Was Comedy Central a good parent bringing this movie to fruition?

Comedy Central was amazing! They were so amazing. I finished the film and then they saw it and bought it right away. They were really cool. And they’ve been so supportive. You know this is the first time they’re doing that. There’s a guy named Eric Abrams and a woman named Allison Kingsley who have just been incredible letting me put out a movie. I’ve never put out a movie before and to have Comedy Central behind me was great. I was really lucky.

Did you get a lot of freedom [with the film]?

They gave me a ton of freedom! They gave me no notes. They let me do whatever I want! You know, the fact that the movie was really cheap. I think that…they gave me that, they were like “Okay, we’ll let him do what he wants because we know there’s not a lot of money at stake.”

Right. I’ve read that people have been calling it a “no-budget film” instead of low budget.

Yeah it’s a no budget film. It’s true. It was really, really shot for no money. And it was all friends and favors and you know, I watch and I see little things that I wish I could’ve done differently but for $10,000 I think it’s really, really good. I just hope that people realize that I made it for nothing.

And your friends basically helped out. Like, there was David Koechner and Paul F. Tompkins. They just hopped aboard right?

They gave me so much. Ravi Subramanian is the executive producer. He shot and edited it. My friends gave me so much. My comedic friends here in Los Angeles who are just great people, great performers, and people that are willing to go to bat for somebody. Somebody that has never made a film before and just say “yeah, go ahead.” All of them put a trust in me and [it’s] totally amazing. Andy Richter, Rob Corddry, Nick Swardson and T.J. Miller. These are all working actors. And I consider the top, some of the funniest people out there. I’m so blessed and so lucky.

So you guys shot this in and around Los Angeles?

We shot it mostly at my house. And then I have a friend who has, not a mansion, but a very, very nice house. And we made that look like four locations. Oh yeah. All over LA we were in Silver Lake. I love LA. I’m from Boston and New York. I’ve lived in New York for a long time. I came out here and LA was really hard at first but it’s only when you don’t know anyone and you don’t have an amazing support system like I do now with these friends. I’m just truly blessed. I don’t know where you live. Where do you live?

I live in Atlanta.

Oh yeah. Atlanta’s great! It’s nice to be in a city. It really is. I’m a city person. I like the art, you know. It’s not that I like the traffic but I just like the art of it; the artists and performers.

Are you still dong stand up while you’re living in the city?

Yeah I do standup but I’m terrible at standup. So I just do it sometimes. I think I’m just about to give it up. I keep saying I’m going to give it up because it’s so much work and I want to make movies instead. I don’t think I can do both. I don’t know how Louis C.K. does both. Truly amazing. I don’t think I could do that. I keep fighting with standup like “Why are you going to bomb every night? Quit now!” Stand up is really fun and it’s really hard. It’s the hardest art form. It’s much harder than making a movie.

I definitely think so. So you prefer the long form comedy like TV shows and movies and stuff?

I do. I don’t watch that much stand up. I only watch the very, very best. Like Bill Burr, Louis C.K., Jim Norton, Chris Rock. I don’t like sitting through comics.

(Nash begins talking to his son. He later explains that they are on the way to a Vine meet up where he hopes to further promote the movie).

Do you like to do podcasts?

I used to do a podcast. I’ve tried everything and I always wanted to make a movie. And I stopped myself because I never had money to make a movie. So I would do everything else but a movie. Standup, podcasts, sketch. We had a podcast called “Guys With Feelings” and I think we did like two hundred episodes. It was one of the first [podcasts]. It was good. I loved it but it just wasn’t what I wanted to do. I’m inspired by Judd Apatow and Lena Dunham and Larry David and Louis. Those four are my inspiration. I have a few others. Those four I kind of fuel everything from.

In the movie, you had these moments in the future when you’re doing podcasts. I kind of got a vibe like Marc Maron. You had the mustache, you were alone and you were talking about your emotions.

Yeah. You can’t deny the Marc Maron but I was podcasting before Marc Maron. So it’s really what my podcast was. My podcast was complete true. Really, I was schooled on Howard Stern. I fell in love when I started. I’ve been listening to Howard Stern since I was a kid. So I just fell in love with that idea of when you get on a mic, all the truth comes out, like anything can just happen. So I thought “that would be a good way to string it together. In the process, Maron started to do the same thing. And we were like “Aw shit. That’s the same thing.” But it was too late. Because the movie’s been done for like, I don’t know, a year and a half or two years since Comedy Central took a really long time to put it out.

(Nash exclaimed how big the Vine meet up was. “Oh my God, the Vine meet up is huge! There’s so many kids here!”)

[Laughing] I won’t keep you any longer. So you said you want to do more movies. Do you have thoughts right now? Any ideas?

Yeah, the next movie I’m doing is about my dad. And then I’m also doing one on social media. Sort of like a mockumentary on social media. These Vine meet ups and…

(Fans begin to storm him so I end the interview).

You can purchase Jason Nash Is Married here. Follow Jason on Twitter!