Martin Jay Weiss founded Martini Shot in 2007 to facilitate the development, creation, and distribution of varied content, embracing traditional as well as emerging formats.
“The success of any movie, book, or TV commercial depends on the strength of concept and execution. Martini Shot aspires to approach every project by adhering to the time-honored fundamentals of storytelling.” -Indiewire interview-
Martin Jay Weiss became known for creating comedic and highly visual TV commercials, directing hundreds of national and international campaigns for major Blue Chip brands, and acquiring numerous industry awards, including Clios, Cannes Lions, Addys, and One Show Pencils. His commercials have premiered on the Super Bowl and screened in the AICP show where they are displayed in the permanent collection at New York Museum of Modern Art.
He began his career at DDB Chicago, producing commercials for clients such as Anheuser Busch, McDonald’s, and Disney. Highlights included the iconic Budweiser frog commercials (and other infamous animatronic and CG critters), as well as a series of humorous spots with lauded filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen. After relocating to Los Angeles, Weiss directed commercials through Sony Picture Entertainment’s Pavlov Productions, The Bedford Falls Group, Cucoloris Films, as well as international companies (h) films/Milan, Filmmasters/Rome, Partners/Toronto, Macando/Spain, and Cielo/Europe.
He directed his first feature length film, Vampires: The Turning, for Sony/Screen Gems Entertainment – an action/horror movie from executive producer John Carpenter. It was filmed in Chiang Mai, Thailand and released worldwide in 2005. Then came The Pre-Nup, an independent comedy produced by Mosaic Entertainment, featuring Larry Miller, Alex Borstein, and Alanna Ubach. The film was acclaimed throughout the film festival circuit, including the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, the Santa Barbara Film Festival, the Palm Springs International Festival, and The World of Comedy Film Festival, Toronto. Weiss also directed thrillers Backwoods and Xtra Credit, which premiered on Spike TV and Showtime.
He has also written (and rewritten) several scripts for studios and production companies. His original TV pilots have been developed at Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video (“30 Rock”), Gerber Pictures (“Grand Torino), and with several independent producers. He was honored with Amazon Studios first Best Screenplay Award for The Alchemist Agenda, which was made into a feature length motion comic.
“The work I did with Amazon gave me a taste of how technology is changing our creative tools and distribution channels. I intend to embrace these rapid shifts while maintaining the proven elements of linear narrative that have worked for thousands of years.” -The Guardian interview, London-
Rare Bird Books, Los Angeles, is publishing Weiss’s two upcoming novels, The Second Son (summer 2018), and Flamingo Coast (winter 2018/2019). He is currently working on his next thriller Line of Sight.
Weiss earned an MFA in Film and Television at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and a BS in Journalism at the University of Illinois. He also has an FAA license to fly drones.
He is a proud member of the Directors Guild of America, Writers Guild of America, and the International Thriller Writers community. He also serves as a mentor to MFA students at University of Southern California’s Cinematic Studies Program.
Weiss lives in Palos Verdes, California with his wife and two children.