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Jim Jacks

Jim Jacks

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Also Known As: James Jacks Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: producer, executive, stock analyst

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

James Jacks left a career as a Wall Street stock analyst to try his hand at screenwriting. When that did not pan out, he turned to a career first as a successful studio executive at Universal and later as an independent producer with Alphaville Productions, formed with Sean Daniel. The producing pair has delivered such fare as the Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle "Hard Target" (1993) and the box-office hit "Michael" (1996).Although he had several screenplays optioned, Jacks really became immersed in show business when he became head of production for the Washington, DC-based Circle Films in the mid-1980s. During his tenure, he supervised the distribution of Ethan and Joel Coen's "Blood Simple" (1984) and served as executive producer of the Coens' "Raising Arizona" (1987). Jacks subsequently migrated to Hollywood to become vice-president of acquisition at Universal Pictures, eventually rising through the ranks to senior vice-president of production. While at Universal, he supervised such features as Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" (1989) and the Oscar-nominated "Field of Dreams" (1990), working directly for production chief Sean Daniel. Jacks left Universal in 1992 and formed Alphaville with Daniel....

James Jacks left a career as a Wall Street stock analyst to try his hand at screenwriting. When that did not pan out, he turned to a career first as a successful studio executive at Universal and later as an independent producer with Alphaville Productions, formed with Sean Daniel. The producing pair has delivered such fare as the Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle "Hard Target" (1993) and the box-office hit "Michael" (1996).

Although he had several screenplays optioned, Jacks really became immersed in show business when he became head of production for the Washington, DC-based Circle Films in the mid-1980s. During his tenure, he supervised the distribution of Ethan and Joel Coen's "Blood Simple" (1984) and served as executive producer of the Coens' "Raising Arizona" (1987). Jacks subsequently migrated to Hollywood to become vice-president of acquisition at Universal Pictures, eventually rising through the ranks to senior vice-president of production. While at Universal, he supervised such features as Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" (1989) and the Oscar-nominated "Field of Dreams" (1990), working directly for production chief Sean Daniel. Jacks left Universal in 1992 and formed Alphaville with Daniel. Their first success was "Hard Target" followed by the critically-applauded "Dazed and Confused" (1993), directed by Richard Linklater. Alphaville had a surprise success with "Tombstone" (1993) before stumbling in 1995 with John Carpenter's unnecessary remake of "Village of the Damned" (which Jacks and Daniel co-executive produced) and Kevin Smith's disastrous sophomore effort "Mallrats".

Jacks and Daniel have often found themselves with films that either earned a healthy box-office or garnered critical acclaim, but rarely both. That changed with Nora Ephron's "Michael", featuring John Travolta as a boozing, skirt-chasing angel. Rousing reviews and packed houses gave the duo the combined hit for which they had been waiting. Their 1997 follow-up was "The Jackal", with Bruce Willis as a paid killer and they have numerous projects in various stages of development. The producers also oversaw the thriller "Don't Look Back" (HBO, 1996) which was scripted by Tom Epperson and Oscar-winner Billy Bob Thornton.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

:
Left job as Wall Street analyst to try hand at screenwriting; had several scripts optioned but none produced
:
Worked for Circle Films as head of production
1987:
Executive produced, "Raising Arizona"
:
Joined Universal as vice-president, acquisitions; later promoted to senior vice-president, production; served under production chief Sean Daniel
1992:
Formed Alphaville Productions with Daniel
1993:
With Daniel, produced "Hard Target"
1996:
Scored box-office smash with "Michael", produced with Daniel
1996:
Executive produced HBO TV-movie "Don't Look Back"
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Education

Carnegie-Mellon University: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania -
Cornell University: Ithaca , New York -

Notes

"I can agree that every one of our movies has stuff in there that if we were the sole person making the movie, it wouldn't be there." --James Jacks in THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, Craft Series, 1994.

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