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INTERVIEW: Jamee Natella

Hi Jamee, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Recovering from my Halloween party in Los Angeles over the weekend. We had over 500 hundred guest. Great costumes. It rivaled Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion days for greatest number of floppy-eared, cotton tail bunnies. Now getting ready for AFM. (American Film Market)

When did you fall in love with films?

When was I ever not in love with films? I was a child actor, and I lived my life either on movie sets or in a theater watching a film. I was curious about how they were made, down to the smallest detail, and that’s how I knew my destiny was to become a film producer.

How was your eventual transition to LA?

It was such an exciting time. I moved from Chicago when I was 17. I starred in movies & tv shows to pay my rent, so I could meet producers and directors who would hire me to work for them behind the camera. I worked for a number of commercial production companies, as well as major film studios such as Warner Brothers and Touchstone Pictures. Benecio del Toro asked me to be a part of a small film in 1995 called, “Submission.” I ended up getting a producer credit. It was his directorial debut, and this short film launched me as a movie producer. Filled with gratitude to him.

So what led you to start your own production company Blueyed Pictures?

My work on “Submission” brought my producing abilities to the attention of the Tokyo Broadcasting System, which led to me becoming the head producer for a popular Japanese talk show, similar to “The View,” called “Teatime.” Working in Asia, I learned a great deal about the Japanese and Los Angeles markets and I envisioned the creation of a global commercial production service company. That’s how Blueyed Pictures came to be. During the past 18 years, Blueyed Pictures has evolved from producing award-winning content for leading advertising agencies, PR firms and major corporations to producing independent, television and feature films.

How have your previous experiences shaped you as a producer?

Film producing requires resourcefulness and ingenuity. A producer is charged with being able to keep all of the many parts of a film moving, while staying within the budget, without losing any quality. That’s not an easy task, but I thrive in this type of environment, and it’s what keeps directors hiring me again and again, knowing I’m a great asset to their production.

How was the production process for “JL Family Ranch”?

It was one of the most enjoyable films that I’ve had the pleasure of producing. I had the good fortune of working with such a talented team of industry professionals. I’m thrilled to have been invited back to executive produce the sequel.

What was like to work with two iconic names in the industry such as James Caan and Jon Voight?

I had worked with Jon Voight in the past. In both instances he was the consummate professional. His work is remarkable, and he’s a lot of fun to be around. He’s generous with his other actors. Jimmy Caan, is also a dedicated and passionate performer. He is a unique person. A true actor. They are both so free with their acting.

What was the thing that draw you attention the most about the film?

Jon and Jimmy play two polar opposites Texas landowners. Enemies. One is a lawman a vintage cowboy who comes from a dynasty of ranchers, and the other a conniving multi-millionaire who is scheming to steal land he believes belongs exclusively to him. Between them they have family members and friends who suffer consequences trapped in their realities. It’s gripping and relationship driven story, and that’s what appealed to me.

What were some of the biggest challenges?

Making sure Jon and Jimmy didn’t jump on horses while I had my back turned! Jimmy spent several years as a rodeo clown and Jon too, is an experienced horse rider, so they were game to yee-haw! Seriously, the challenges were no different than any of the many other films I have worked on. I’m solution oriented, so each day’s challenges are met as they come, and resolved efficiently and effectively.

What else is happening next in Jamee Natella’s world?

Making many more movies! I’m Executive Producer on two films being released in 2017 by SP Distribution. Singer/Actress Natalie Imbruglia and I have formed a partnership for a series of environmentally friendly products, and I’m looking forward to sharing in this creative and entrepreneurial endeavor with her. It’s going to be fun. Life is good.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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