How I made a movie about 'My Life' on vine and then the app died

Vine stars Brandon Calvillo and Jason Nash
Source: Digital Riot Media
Vine stars Brandon Calvillo and Jason Nash

Well, that's perfect. Two weeks after releasing my feature film "FML" (which stands for fu*k my life), a road trip comedy about my life starring Vine's biggest names, Twitter decides to discontinue the app.

With my 2.7 million Vine followers now completely erased, yes, indeed, fu*k my life.

In 2013, I was broke after making my first movie, "Jason Nash is Married," and I got on Vine hoping to sell a few copies. The movie did OK, but my Vine began to take off. Soon, I was no longer pitching movies and writing for TV shows. I was making Vines every day. And I loved it.

My family and friends thought I was crazy. Why would a 40-year-old dad with two kids go running around with 20-somethings making videos? Is it some sort of desperate mid-life crisis? Simple. Vine was like no other creative rush I ever had. In minutes, you could conceive an idea, shoot it and send it off to millions.

I started working with all the best people on Vine — King Bach, Ry Doon, Logan Paul, Brittany Furlan, Manon Mathews, Sunny Mabrey, and Matt Cutshall. We honed in on the art form of making a 6.5 second video, creating nuances and jokes I could have never conceived in such a short amount of time before.

I also began working with a 19-year-old named Brandon Calvillo who, at the time, didn't drive and lived at home with his mom. Even though he was just out of high school, Brandon was a comedic genius. Every Saturday, I would drive down to his house at 6am, make Vines and race back to watch cartoons with my kids. One Saturday, after being in one of Brandon's biggest Vines, I picked up 25,000 followers. We became unlikely besties, and it gave me the idea for FML: an old guy and a young guy on a quest for a million followers. In 2015, I was able to sell "FML" with Brandon and myself attached as stars, in part, because of my Vine following.

Eventually, I got enough followers that people started to pay me to promote things. One day I got a call from some Macklemore-sounding kid who said he did something for Zayn Malik, wanting to know if he could pay me to fly to Las Vegas. The conversation went something like this:

Kid: "Homie, we're throwing this party that's gonna be lit, yo."

Me: "Lit? Cool, like literature? It's a book reading?"

Kid: "No, the party dude. It's gonna be fire."

Me: "Oh, sure I'll go. What do I have to do?"

(Silence on the other end of the phone, then incredulous.)

Kid: "Make Vines, homie!"

I felt stupid for being old enough to be everyone's dad at the party, but I didn't care. I loved being able to support my family by making Vines.

I was really happy doing Vine. But it became clear at the end of 2015 that some of the other top creators on the platform were not. Here's what I know: some of the top Vine creators got together and demanded to be paid for their work. When Vine effectively said "no," the creators walked and almost overnight millions of fans left the app. I stayed on Vine for the last year posting every day because I still had some great fans there and it was still fun for me.

I probably should have waited a few years to make a movie about Vine, that's how fast technology changes these days. But then again, I think I might have my sequel.

Commentary by Jason Nash, a filmmaker and Vine star. His movie, "FML," was released on iTunes and other digital platforms on Oct. 11. It's available via digital download on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and VHX. Follow him on Twitter @JasonNash.

Watch the "FML" trailer:

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