Tom Weber is an independent filmmaker based in Erie, Pennsylvania, specializing in music, performing and visual arts. Tom Weber Films LLC is a production and distribution company for documentaries, concert videos, artist profiles, electronic press kits, business videos and narrative films. Retail distribution is through MVD Entertainment Group, a Pennsylvania company; broadcast and online distribution is through WQLN Public Media and other partners.
I’ve played music since childhood, and I have a particular interest in musicians who develop their craft to the highest levels with little regard for mainstream fame. I worked for my local newspaper during high school and college and made my first documentary in 1972, a half-hour video profile of some Harvard students helping stage a musical production at an inner-city school. I’ve authored a book and a doctoral thesis about Jamaican reggae.
My first feature-length documentary, Troubadour Blues, was released in October 2011. The film is an intimate portrait of the lives of singer-songwriters such as Peter Case, Mary Gauthier, Chris Smither, Slaid Cleaves and many others. After a premiere at the Buffalo International Film Festival, I’ve screened Troubadour Blues at festivals, theaters, music listening rooms, coffeehouses, bars and church basements throughout the USA and Canada. You can find more information here.
A new full-length documentary, Don’t Give Up Your Day Job, is now in production. It focuses on skilled musicians who have chosen to remain grounded in local communities, where they practice their craft among friends and neighbors. The film is inspired by The Hidden Musicians, sociologist Ruth Finnegan’s groundbreaking study of musical activity in a small English city. I have a number of other music-related projects in the works, including a script for a rock-and-roll-themed mystery, The Big Session.
I produce hour-long documentaries of local interest for my community public television station; also electronic press kits and promotional videos for performing artists, small businesses and nonprofits. With added crew, I can produce concert videos with 4-5 cameras and 16-track sound recording, including 5.1 Dolby Surround if desired. You can see my rate card here.
I’ve taught communication, media studies and video production at a number of colleges and universities, and I’m involved in a number of initiatives to promote sustainable filmmaking at a grassroots level. I’m a member of Folk Alliance International, Pittsburgh Filmmakers and the University Film and Video Association. At various times in my life, I’ve made a living as a print and broadcast journalist, longshoreman, factory expediter, drywall hanger, stage manager and rock & roll musician.