Breaking Glass Pictures has officially release the comedy thriller The Influencer, a satirical tale that examines the life of a vain social media influencer from first-time director Meghan Weinstein (producer of IFC Midnight’s The Djinn).
“The Influencer is way more relevant now than when I wrote it three years ago, it reflects real life in ways I didn’t expect”, said Weinstein. “Watching how internet virality has led to such a dramatic spike in consumerism and waste with fast-fashion, or an obsession with how we appear online, it warps reality and values for so many people in an effort to distract us from the bigger issues going on in the world.”
The film stars real life influencer and comedian Kasia Szarek (A24’s Pleasure), with supporting cast led by Shantell Yasmine Abeydeera, star of the viral online series Girls Like Magic and CEO of OML.tv. The Influencer diverts from glamorizing the lifestyle, and instead takes a critical view on consumerism and questions; what if someone could use their online influence to do something bigger than just sell products?
Abbie Rose is a popular social-media influencer known for her lifestyle, fashion and makeup videos. One night she signs a coveted contract with Nutrocon, a notorious cosmetic company known to pollute, test on animals and treat female workers unfairly…
Immediately, she’s taken down and tied up in her home by a group of masked activists. Overnight, they force Abbie through the filming of a video, advertising a mysterious new makeup kit. As the hacker’s plan unfolds, we learn the real reason for their visit and as Abbie’s facade fades we learn more about the lies she’s been living.
“I think there are a lot of young people who want to change things but don’t know how and that kind of helplessness can lead to a lot of anger, but this movie is a fun exploration of what can happen when that leads to action and they start figuring out ways to turn the system on itself”, said Weinstein.
“Timely and topical, The Influencer is an amazing directorial debut from Meghan Weinstein”, said Rich Wolff, CEO of Breaking Glass Pictures. “We are proud to have it as part of our catalogue.”
We chatted with Meghan about her work as a female director and being a champion in this space
Tahyira Savanna: Does being female give you an advantage as the director? Do you feel like a champion in the space?
Meghan Weinstein: I think it does in some ways because we can be a bit more empathetic and as a director, you have to be able to work with lots of different personalities and understand where they are coming from, why they are asking for the things they want or things that are making the job more difficult, etc. Sometimes you have to be able to put your own ego aside to make sure other people are getting what they need to do their best, whether it’s the cast or crew.I do feel like I’ve accomplished so much in the past few years as a filmmaker, the projects I’ve done have just gradually gotten better. What makes me feel like a champion in the indie film world would be how the projects coming my way have great stories with powerful messages behind them. If I had failed to impress I don’t think anyone would trust me with a film that was really meaningful.
TS: What was more tasking, finding the locations or casting for the main cast? What did you learn from this process?
MW: Casting was definitely the longest process in pre-production because this film has quite a few characters and they are all very specific and different.I’ve always tried to keep an open mind in casting, I like being surprised and finding someone who I wouldn’t have pictured for a role but they somehow make it different and interesting. This film really taught me to really go for the unexpected, I made an even more conscious effort than before to think outside the box and in the end every single person brought something different to the movie, even the worst of the characters, the actors somehow made them endearing and fun.
TS: If you could collab with any A-list actress past or living, who would it be? What would be the title of that project.
MW: Meryl Streep in “Honey, Where’s My Oscar?”
TS: How has the pandemic affected your work ethics?
MW: It’s just made me more hyper-focused on whatever I’m working on. I’ve actually gotten alot done.
The Influencer will be released September 14 on iTunes/Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu, FandangoNOW, through local cable & satellite providers, and on DVD.