“WE NEED RENT MONEY” – MOVIE FILMED IN EUGENE
Eugene Magazine wrote us an article after seeing the film! Check it out: Read the Article!
We were invited to a private screening of a movie filmed in Eugene, called We Need Rent Money. On Friday, February 18, we went to the Wildish Theatre in Springfield where a large crowd of people who either acted in the film or were associated with the crew, along with media (that’s us!) to watch. The film is a romp through what happens to three roommates who are trying to scrape together rent money in 7 days. The filmmaker, director Blake Laitner, said it was inspired by Dumb and Dumber, Cheech and Chong, and Animals House, and indeed, it was not difficult to find the throughlines of those comedic gems in this movie.
The roommates decide that in order to get rent money in time, they’ll have to resort to some nefarious means, which includes selling weed (which no one wants to buy), selling molly (which their landlord seems to like and wants for himself), stealing credit card information, selling their organs, hosting keg parties in their house, and more. Needless to say, nothing really works out well, but it’s funny along the way.
The movie was written by Blake Laitner and Sampson Ray Simon, who plays one of the roommates in the most convincing acting role of all. His try at becoming a rap star, Lil Sandpaper, in order to get paying gigs, was among the funniest bits in the movie. At the Q&A session at the end of the filming, Ray Simon said he indeed did hurt himself doing some of the stunts as Lil Sandpaper, whose shtick was masochism, which is supposedly what sets apart popular rap artists these days.
Local actors Jason Leva and Malakhai Schnell play the other two roommates. Local people fill out many of the supporting roles, and many well-known locations play the part of backdrops (Old Nick’s Pub, Alton Baker Park, Pegasus Pizza, among others).
The crew believes that this movie represents the largest Eugene-based crew on a movie filmed here since Animal House. Laitner is seeking distribution for the film, and plans to show it at a film festival in Klamath Falls later this year. Check them out to learn more: https://www.facebook.com/WeNeedRent; weneedrentmoney.com
Eugene filmmaker brings together drugs, beer and comedy in new movie!
Eugene Weekly wrote us a very nice piece. Check it out: Read the Article!
The recipe for comedy is to start with a true story, and for director Blake Laitner, 35, when he started working on the screenplay for We Need Rent Money, he looked at a situation about coming up short for rent money.
“We decided to make a college party film, a tribute to Animal House,” he says. “The struggle is real and a comedic approach to a serious subject.”
After spending more than three years working on We Need Rent Money, Laitner is wrapping up his locally made film, heading to the festival circuit and looking for distribution opportunities. The movie itself, he says, takes comedic inspiration from Dumb and Dumber and Mel Brooks.
“I love everything about comedy because it puts people in awkward situations,” he says.
There isn’t an advanced screening available yet, but We Need Rent Money is about three college kids who are getting kicked out of college and are behind on rent, according to the movie’s website. They only have a week to come up with the money, so they invite the neighborhood drug dealer, White Wally, to move in.
Before working on We Need Rent Money, Laitner says, he and Sampson Ray Simon were trying to sell a script for Space Pimps, which he says was going to be like SpaceBalls but with intergalactic African American pimps trying to save their father from an alien warlord. He says they shopped the movie around but were told that they went all in on a ludicrous idea. “And that’s what we did with We Need Rent Money.”
Of the three main characters, Simon portrays the movie version of himself, Sanders, who Laitner calls a “wildcard” character. That wildcard character, Laitner laughs, isn’t too far from the real person portraying him. The two other main characters are the comedic straight men — Larry (Jason Leva), who portrays the fictionalized Laitner, and Fred (Malakhai Schnell).
Laitner went into developing We Need Rent Money with the intent of making a movie that he wanted to see. “Something nonstop,” he says. “No exterior shots of going to places, just nonstop movie, start to finish.”
Laitner says filming the movie took some creative decisions. They wanted to film it near the University of Oregon campus, but no students wanted a film crew in their home for six days. So they booked campus area housing through Airbnb. And there’s a lot of Eugene representation in the movie. The movie has scenes shot in the Flower of Lyfe and White Lotus dispensaries as well as Alton Baker Park and a lot of pizza from Pegasus in the background, he says.
We Need Rent Money is Laitner’s first feature-length film. He studied cinematography at Film Connection in Los Angeles, which is described as an alternative film school. While in Eugene, he’s directed a music video for local rapper Def Davyne, he says.
The whole movie making process, Laitner says, cost him $50,000. His father, Mort Laitner, served as executive producer, and the duo have worked in the past. Laitner says he previously adapted his father’s novel A Herbraic Obsession into a short film called “The Stairs,” along with a student he met at Film Connection.
The trailers for We Need Rent Money suggest the movie has some DIY qualities. Laitner is quick to say the movie doesn’t have Godfather production values. But Laitner says viewers who have seen the rough cut have said it could become a cult classic.
Judging from the trailers, the movie has some of those cult classic qualities — offbeat lines, Jackass-like stunts with the classic “Wilhelm scream” and lots of over-the-top drug references. Maybe this is a movie that could sit alongside the likes of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room.
Viewers who partake in weed and alcohol will especially like the movie, Laitner says. “Just watch three idiots do stupid stuff,” he adds. “I mean, who doesn’t want to see that?”
Watch the movie’s trailers and stay updated on the film and when it streams at WeNeedRentMoney.com.
Mr. Laitner wrote a very nice article about the film winning the Wallachia International Film Festival 2021!
Two of my favorite words are “Award Winner.”
So when I opened my email and read,
Wallachia Int’l Film Festival has updated the Judging Status of your submission WE NEED RENT MONEY to Award Winner.
There in front of my eyes was the digital trophy, with the gold star on it, next to the words, Award Winner.
How sweet it is!
Not an acceptance into a festival, not a semi-finalist but a win.
There it was on top of the list of films: We need rent money (USA) by Blake Laitner and Jeremy Ferguson Best Trailer
I was ecstatic for Blake, Jeremy and WE NEED RENT MONEY film team.
A Romanian film festival with three years under its belt, located in downtown Bucharest, only hundreds of meters away from Dracula’s former court in the Old Town! loved the trailer.
I wondered, “Did the ghost of Dracula watch Blake’s trailer in this open air film festival?”
As a ten year old, I remembered how frightened (scared-the-crap-out-of-me frightened) when I watched the classic version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1931) with Bela Lugosi on the Million Dollar Movie.
You New Yorkers recall twisting the dial to the Million Dollar Movie on local station WOR channel 9.
You remember the opening credits, the City at night as “Tara’s Theme” played in the background.
Who can forget it.
A film with Vampires, the Carpathian Mountains, a Translyvanian castle, a crucifix, a wooden stake in the heart and the classic line, “I want to suck your blood.” made that film a winner.
So in the spirit of these two classics, I wish Blake, Ferguson and the “WNRM” team all the luck of the Dracula film and a Million Dollar movie on its release to the silver screen.
May the wins keep rolling in.
“We Need Rent Money” was officially selected for The Hollywood Dreamz International Film Festival 2021!
“We Need Rent Money” ‘s Teaser Trailer was selected as a Film Trailer Finalist!
“We Need Rent Money” ‘s Teaser Trailer was officially selected for the Focus International Film Festival!
“We Need Rent Money” was officially selected for the The Film Collective Film Festival.