Jamee Natella has a slew of projects to her name, and years of experience backing her up. Her big break came in 1995, when she was approached by Benecio Del Toro to executive produce his short film, “Submission”, and she never looked back. She opened Blueyed Pictures in 1998 and began working on a variety of international advertising campaigns for clients including Pepsi, Toyota, and the folks behind “Got Milk?”. With a background in acting, she has diversified and become a force of nature in the production world, and took a moment from her busy schedule to fill us in on some of her upcoming works!
KW: How did you get started in film making and what inspired you to start your own production company, Blueyed Pictures?
JN: I actually started as a child actor and then I transitioned over to production. I held a couple of development jobs before finding my true calling – commercial production! I really like the fast paced environment of the commercial world. After doing numerous productions, it made sense to start my own company. Thats the only way you can progress in this sector – you have to control your own destiny.
KW: You have said in past interviews that you were in the "right place at the right time". Can you elaborate on that and the importance of that in the entertainment industry?
JN: If I hadnt been living in Tokyo, Japan, I would not have been able to get a job working for Richard Branson and Virgin Cinemas. I would have never gotten to know Richard and I would never have been launched as an independent producer. So, yes, timing is important. But you have to be able to deliver. Being in the right place at the right time can give you an opportunity, but you have to be able to run with it.
KW: That is so true- delivery can make or break you!With your experience, what defines a good film or project?
JN: For commercials, most of the time Blueyed Pictures has its regular group of clients that bring us work. However, we still have to bid on it. And we are always out there trying to get new clients. For feature films, we are a little more creatively driven and what drives us is a great script and the knowledge that we are doing, or trying to do, something different then everyone else.
KW: You currently have two productions listed in post, but what is next for you and for your company?
JN: Yes, in the feature world, Baby Geniuses and the Space Baby as well as Baby Geniuses Treasures of Egypt are in post.
Next for features, I am line producing a feature for E-one & IM Global. Next year, we hope to launch Blueyed Pictures’ first feature film.
In the commercial world, we currently have airing Bud Light for AKQA, SC Johnson’s "All out". We also have the Viceroy Hotel and the Adidas web spot with Snoop Lion.
KW: Sounds like a lot of projects! You have a large roster of directors that you work with in your company-what do you look for when picking up new talent?
JN: This is a very competitive area now so new directors/film-makers have to have an identityits hard to quantify but we are for sure looking for uniqueness – like everyone else!
KW: Your company has seemingly had a natural progression in regard to starting out with advertising and commercials, and now you have transitioned into feature films. What is the next step for transition?
JN: As we have a roster of directors and significant production experience we felt like that was a natural transition. We will attempt to produce/line produce at least two features in 2014. As we already have had so many commercial productions, its a natural move for us. Beyond that, we would like to develop and finance our own slate of features, but thats in the future…
KW: What about your acting career? Is that still something you pursue and enjoy doing?
JN: Ha! Well, thank you for asking! But I have way too much going on as a producer to seriously pursue that. Apart from a couple of well-placed cameos, perhaps!
KW: Who is one celebrity that you have had a interesting experience with?
JN: John Voight- who is being nominated for A Golden Globe for Ray Donovan. When we were shooting Beyond, in Alaska the conditions where brutal.
We were shooting outside against the harsh wind chill (35 degrees below zero!). I remember seeing his actual hair turn to ice in 5 minutes.
Jon never complained once. When the director (Josef Resnik) yelled action he delivered a stellar performance. A few hours later he was serving hot chocolate to try and get our blood flowing again from the freezing cold. A class act!
KW: That’s awesome! He sounds like the kind of guy who should be on every film set! What advice would you give aspiring filmmakers-especially directors?
JN: To be distinctive. Its more important than ever to not only have talent but also to have an identity, and not just be one of the pack. That applies to both commercials and features, in my opinion.