Jason Brett & Nick Weir
"This was his idea", laughs Nick Weir, blaming Portofino Partner Jason Brett for instigating the formation of of their production company. Then, pausing to think. "Or, was it mine?"
"Depends...", muses Brett. "If we're ever profitable, it was definitely my idea."
Which prompts more laughs from Weir, who sums up their partnership by saying, "We're just a couple of knuckleheads."
While "knuckleheads" might be a comic exaggeration, the visual contrast between the two is indeed amusing, with Weir towering above Brett. But what radiates between them is a genuine friendship. "We're each other's best audience", says Brett. "We share a reference level that makes for easy laughs and good communication."
With backgrounds as contrasting as their respective statures, both point to a shared sensibility as the inspiration for founding Portofino Partners.
"While Jason's experience is in entertainment, and mine is in complex corporate litigation, both require a keen understanding of narrative", states Weir. "Whether it's a film, a play, or even a media project", adds Brett, "it's all about story - that's what connects us as humans. So we look for projects with a strong and compelling narrative."
Since joining forces, the Portofino Partners have been involved in a wide range of projects, from live theater to digital media, film development to education technology. Currently in the works is a Chicago production of their NY stage hit, "Debutante" (written by Weir's daughter, actress / playwright Ryann Weir), an ambitious, new digital platform for jazz education and a feature film about the enigmatic life of billionaire fugitive, Robert Vesco. "Our tastes are all over the place", says Weir. "Right now, we're working on a new film comedy."
"It's about a couple of knuckleheads who start their own production company", quips Brett, illiciting an easy laugh from his fellow Portofino Partner.