An Interview With Commercial Producer Jamee Natella

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Jamee Natella is the founder and executive producer of BLUEYED PICTURES a company that produces commercials, live events and multi-media entertainment. Here is a link to the website:

http://www.blueyedpictures.com/

Q: What does your company offer to a client who wants to make a commercial for their product?

A: Blueyed (BLU) is an innovative and imaginative production company where creativity can thrive. We strive to engender a hip and artist-friendly work environment. We are fully integrated and able to provide clients with a roster of award winning directors and the world’s leading production crew. If necessary, we also have access to top creative teams (e.g. when an ad agency is not involved). And we are full service – everything from concept to production to editorial/post-production, including visual effects.

Q: What does planning a film premier entail?

A: It depends on whether the client is a major studio or an independent company. If it’s a studio, we usually collaborate with the studio’s in-house publicity and marketing departments, in order to implement their vision and ensure that it is incorporated into the event. We watch the film itself several times in order to get ideas for themes – e.g. if the film’s story takes place in the winter, we might bring in snow for the premiere after-party. We liaise closey with the studio to ensure that the correct media are invited to the event, and properly placed on the red carpet etc. and that they get access to the stars/director for interviews. For an independent client, it’s a similar process to the above, but there is usually less money available which forces us to be more creative. We would also watch the film, and make sure that the premiere “theme” matches the product. Blueyed would create a budget for the event, hire all vendors, and provide our camera crew.

Q: How do you secure celebrity guests?

A: By working with the studio’s in-house PR team and/or the outside public relations company, and using their established lists. Sometimes we bring in nightlife professionals, who have their own celebrity invitation lists, and tastemakers like Bolt House Productions. We also work closely with the agencies – CAA, WME, UTA etc.

Q: . How did you get into the business?
A: I started working as a PA on commercial and film sets at a young age .I managed to work my way up to production coordinator and then eventually a production manager . Shortly after, I landed a studio job at Warner Brothers and later Touchstone . After working the studio environment for years I was asked to produce in Tokyo and realized there was a strong need for Western service production in Asia.
I had support from ad agencies such as BBDO/ BBH . Dentsu. Virgin Enterprises , Pioneer and many others.
It was inevitable for me to start my own company. In 1998 Blueyed pictures was born. We now have offices in London Tokyo and Los Angeles.

Q: What is your strangest work story?

A: I was flown to Alaska to line produce a kids movie, where I had to work with four different sets of twins, in 30 degree-below weather . I had my own four year-old son in tow, who was curious about twins and kept as asking me if there was two of him. On another occasion, I was hired at the last minute (48 hrs beforehand) to oversee a movie premiere in Los Angeles, for TRANSFORMERS. It was a big budget event, and we closed down several streets in down town Westwood. I had to incorporate the actual Transformer cars from the movie, using art directors and set decorators (not the actual props from the movie).

Q: Who was the most challenging client you ever had to deal with?
A: The hardest client to work with this is the client who doesn’t know what he/she wants. But when this happens, we always sit down with them and try to work through the problems. It is really important to get everyone on the same page.

Q: What is your greatest success story?

A: The “Boo Boo Campaign” which was to publicise a campaign to promote giving blood. For a period of time, anyone who bought a box of Band-aids and had a boo boo, was encouraged to swipe the blood from their boo boo (a swab was provided in the band-aid kit) and then you could mail it for free to a doner bank. The campaign saved lives and added a lot of new names to the doner list. Blueyed produced the campaign in Europe and was involved in it from its conception. It put us on the map as a company but we also got to help people.

Q: What do you like about working in Hollywood?

A: It is a dynamic, exciting and rewarding environment. I get to meet and work with a lot of different people from all over the world. I get to learn a lot about different ways of working, and different ways of seeing the world, and that in turn informs how I approach my job in LA, and makes me a better resource for my clients. In addition, being based in Hollywood gives me access to the top professionals and equipment in my line of work. This is still the center of the global entertainment industry.

Q: What don’t you like about it?

A: Because Hollywood is so entertainment-driven, and so dominant in LA, it can get a bit insular and suffocating. But I am lucky as a I get to travel a lot, and my company has offices in London and Tokyo, so I don’t lose my sense of perspective.

Q: How important would you say looks are in your business?

A: It’s Hollywood…so your looks may get you in the door, or help you get started, or enable you to stand out in a crowded field. But that’s all. This is a very competitive industry, and people are ultimately interested in results. So, expertise and a strong work ethic are more important than looks. You have to be able to deliver.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

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