Comedy Producer Brian Volk-Weiss – Once a Hawkeye, Always a Hawkeye
The film producer and founder and CEO of The Nacelle Company attended the University of Iowa before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film.
Brian Volk-Weiss is an Emmy-nominated film producer, founder and CEO of The Nacelle Company and its subsidiary Comedy Dynamics, owner of over 2,000 toys, Star wars fanatic, and last but not least, a University of Iowa alumnus.
From the moment he saw Star wars at age 3, Volk-Weiss knew he wanted to get into the entertainment industry. He learned that the Death Star in the movie was a little role model, created by those who worked in film, and knew he wanted to be a part of that world.
Volk-Weiss knew from the start that he would spend most of his life in New York or Los Angeles. At 18, the teenager from Queens chose a college where he believed he would have a good experience.
The decision landed him in the heart of the Midwest.
“Deciding to go to Iowa instead of any other school I could have gone to is, I really believe, the second or third best decision of my life,” Volk-Weiss said.
Volk-Weiss studied communication before graduating from IU in 1998. He said he had many fond memories in Iowa, such as watching documentaries at the Englert Theater, or the first day of shooting of his first student film, Identity crash.
Nothing had as much of an impact on Volk-Weiss as two of his favorite instructors, experimental filmmakers Johanna Hibbard and Meg Jamieson, who taught at UI until 2000.
Volk-Weiss said he came to the UI as an action movie lover – the more guns and explosions the better. Hibbard and Jamieson respected his tastes, he said, but taught him how much more there is in a movie, like heart and passion. With their guidance, he learned how to build a script.
Related: “Hunger Ward” Director and Producer Uses Art for Justice
Volk-Weiss’ learning experience at UI turned out to be more about developing relationship skills and creating memories than heavy class loads and sleepless nights studying. He said he had college friends in Minneapolis and Chicago who he often shared new ideas with.
“Iowa trained me to be a good human being and a well-rounded human being, and gave me some really good experiences that – when I got to LA at 22 instead of 18 – I think l “Iowa has done a lot for me so that I don’t crash and burn,” Volk-Weiss said.
Volk-Weiss moved to Los Angeles six days after graduating from Iowa and immediately purchased several Hollywood newspapers and magazines with “job wanted” sections upon arrival.
He said he had cut out at least 500 job postings from the back wall of his new apartment, taking up all the space. There were three categories on the wall: jobs available, jobs he had told someone about, and jobs he had already secured. He was hired within eight days. Work? A production assistant on the film Castaway, with Tom Hanks.
In 1999, Volk-Weiss worked for a small company which was taken over by a much larger company called Big Wave in 2003. In 2017, he created his own large department within Big Wave, which is now the Nacelle Company. – the largest independent comedy production. and distribution company. The company has worked on projects such as The toys that made us, The films that made us, and a special on Ulysses S. Grant on the History channel.
His goals for the company now include making films that people and people are as passionate about as he is. Star wars.
Volk-Weiss was recently nominated for her first Emmy for the production of Netflix docuseries Down to earth with Zac Efron.