@jbellprods



In Pre-Production

The Hyperions (2018, feature film)

I'm happy to announce that I will be creative producing a new feature film called The Hyperions, written and directed by Jon McDonald (Muddy Corman, Chagrin). The movie is set for production early 2018. Mixing together both live action and animation, the story is about Professor Ruckus Mandulbaum, who in 1960 invented the Titan badge - a device that enables humans to have a particular super power. He took in three down-on-their-luck youths, creating an unusual family of superheroes and they quickly rose to fame and prestige. Over time, however, the commercial family fractured and the Professor replaced the team with a new set of super hero teens. Cut to 1979 when two of the original superheroes are all grown up and wanting their Titan badges back, even if it means robbing the Professor's museum and taking a few hostages accidentally.

Recent Projects

Full of Grace (2016, feature film)

In association with Outside da Box and ReKon Productions, I produced Full of Grace, written and directed by Andrew Hyatt. The movie was released Cinedigm in early 2016. The film is an exploration of the years after Christ's resurrection and follows the life of his mother, Mary of Nazareth, in her final earthly hours. There are several elements of this project that got me excited about producing it. First, it is a very cinematic and poetic piece, similar in style to The Tree of Life. Second, the story is referential to and inspired by the Biblical accounts and church history, yet is more of a creative interpretation of what MAY have happened to Mary in her final days. There is great artistic freedom in that. Third, most other biblical-era films choose to shoot in foreign countries, yet we decided to depict the first century world by shooting in iconic Hollywood locations such as Bronson Caves (of Batman fame) and Malibu Creek State Park, which served as the backdrop for M*A*S*H. And fourth, we tried through our casting to use a diverse cast that is more reflective of the people and the time, vs. ignoring ethnic authenticity.

Elsa & Fred (2014, feature film, Millennium Entertainment)

Elsa & Fred was an opportunity for me produce alongside my friend and mentor, Academy Award-winning producer Ed Saxon. again on another feature film! I was the Co-Producer on the film, which is a remake of a Spanish-Argentine film that was a box office smash internationally. The story is a romantic comedy about two people who fall in love later in life. Our picture stars Academy Award-winners Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer, and Academy Award-nominee/BAFTA winner Michael Radford (Il Postino) directed. Our amazing supporting cast included Academy Award-winner Marcia Gay Harden, Chris Noth, Jared Gilman (the young star of Moonrise Kingdom), James Brolin, George Segal, Wendell Pierce, Reg Rogers, and Erika Alexander. In November 2014 Elsa & Fred had a theatrical run in select cities, and Millennium Entertainment has made the picture available on many VOD formats, including iTunes and Netflix.

   

A Leading Man (2014, feature film, Mance Media)

A Leading Man marked my first opportunity to be the lead producer on a feature film. After a one week run in Los Angeles in September 2014, Mance Media has now made the film available on VOD formats, including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, XBox, Comcast, and more! A Leading Man is writer/director Steven J. Kung's directorial debut, and before being picked up for distribution, we enjoyed an amazing festival run. Most notably, we had our World Premiere Oct. 2013 at the Hawaii International Film Festival, and had our North American Premiere at the Austin Film Festival Oct. 25, 2013. Other festival appearances included: Disorient Asian American Festival (Winner - Best Feature), Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (Winner - Best Cinematography), Dances with Films, Asian Film Festival of Dallas, Boston Asian American Film Festival, Virginia Film Festival, and Vancouver Asian Film Festival. The story is about a failed romance between a Chinese-American Hollywood actor and a casting director, starring Jack Yang and Heather Mazur.

 

Ask J (2016, web series)

Google can't answer the big questions in life, but there’s an app for that! Meet Jay, an employee in The Internet’s human app division, who risks life and limb to bring you the big answers via his real world experience—despite being allergic to his job. A web series created for Franciscan University of Steubenville. Written by Chris Easterly and Justine Schmiesing. Directed by Michelle Steffes.

   

Judgmental Moose (2016, web series)

A day in the life of a man haunted by the head of a moose. Appearing at the most awkward moments, a disembodied moose head silently challenges the hapless Rich to rethink his poor decisions. Each episode focuses on one of the seven deadly sins. A web series created for Franciscan University of Steubenville. Written by Vicki Peterson. Directed by Kevin T. Willson.

 

 

Completed Projects

"Game Time: Tackling the Past" (2011, NBC TV Movie)

"Game Time: Tackling the Past" is an inspirational sports drama, co-sponsored by Walmart and Proctor & Gamble. I was the associate producer, responsible for script development, casting, product integrations, and set management. We shot May 2011 in Wilmington, NC. Piece of trivia – we shot at Michael Jordan's high school! The movie broadcast on NBC Saturday night, September 3, 2011. It is available on DVD. Here's the trailer:

"Field of Vision" (2011, NBC TV Movie)

Also Co-sponsored by Walmart and Proctor & Gamble, "Field of Vision" is a dramatic/fantastical family film that broadcast on NBC June 11, 2011. I was an associate producer on the project. In case you missed it, here's the trailer. DVDs are available at Walmart stores across the USA...

Away We Go (2009, Focus Features)

My involvement with Away We Go started with an unpaid internship (typical Hollywood, right?). It was my first year of film school. I was busy producing the City of the Angels Film Festival, but needed more experience in developing and packaging Hollywood projects. My film school friend, Evan Cholfin, suggested that I intern one day a week for Edward Saxon, the Academy Award-winning producer of The Silence of the Lambs (and other amazing films, like Philadelphia). I spent 15 weeks fetching Saxon's dry cleaning and washing his car. Four month later, Ed called me saying he needed help on a Sam Mendes film. The film was Away We Go at Focus Features. I dropped everything and spent 18 months assisting Ed in all aspects of the project – script, casting, budgeting, scheduling, post production, etc. It was an amazing learning experience!

Our Family Wedding (2010, Fox Searchlight)

Soon after Away We Go, I helped Ed Saxon produce another feature film, Our Family Wedding, at Fox Searchlight. With one movie under my belt, I settled in and enjoyed the ride of putting together a movie entirely in Los Angeles. I continued to help Ed with all creative aspects of the project -- script, casting, production, editing, interfacing with the studio, etc. -- and spent about 70% of my time on set working with the production team.

In Development

Fathers & Prophets

Inspired by the punk politics of Falling Down, the pressure cooker of Dog Day Afternoon, and the moody beauty of CollateralFATHERS & PROPHETS is a character-driven, psychological hostage drama that explores a generation without fathers or prophets, raised by internet trolls and video game violence, confused and adrift in an America that increasingly views them as the next big security threat. Based on a book by acclaimed author Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius). Written/Directed by Brent Hoff. I'm producing with Academy Award-winner Edward Saxon, and Andra Gordon.

Lonnie Frisbee

LONNIE FRISBEE is the true story of a hippie who "came to Jesus" on an acid trip, and went on to shape three major religious movements: The Jesus People, Calvary Chapel, and The Vineyard. Frisbee symbolized the Cultural Revolution's influence on American Christianity. Yet, in spite of his accomplishments, he's been kept out of history books due to rumors involving drug abuse and his sexual orientation. Based on a documentary by David Di Sabatino, the feature film explores the complexity of Lonnie's life.

Devil's Hollow

DEVIL'S HOLLOW. Released from prison after a decade, Bobby Hawkins returns to his neglected farm to start anew. When Bobby tries to reconnect with his estranged teenager daughter, Alyssa, he learns that his former criminal associate Harry Casper has taken her in. Casper wants the hidden cash he and Bobby robbed from a bank years ago, and threatens to kill Alyssa if he doesn't get it. The only way for Bobby to save his daughter is to violate his parole by leaving the farm to rescue her. But can Bobby get to her before the police get to him? From writer/director Chris Easterly. See the proof of concept trailer here: