Welcome to the J. Todd Harris website and the “On Producing with J. Todd Harris” Facebook page. Both of these sites are focused on the rapidly evolving movie business and my work both as a producer and teacher.
Having produced nearly 40 movies with many more on the way, I’ve experienced the gamut of highs and lows. My first movie, Denise Calls Up, went to the Cannes Film Festival and more than doubled its investors’ money. Ten years later, I found myself personally exposed for six figures on a train wreck of a movie that led to a hospital visit and anti-depressants. I got to attend the Oscars as an executive producer of The Kids Are All Right in between making two audience-pleasing movies that were let down by marketing. I’ve had five movies invited to Sundance and I’ve had a few disappear virtually without a trace.
And still I come back for more. I like producing. I like the art and act of starting with almost nothing and then 6 months or 6 years later finding myself on a set with over 100 people, or surrounded by stars and friends at a movie’s premiere. I like the different worlds I get to visit. Just this past week, I was with an Indian investor whose house was being blessed by two Indian priests and the next day with two Iranians visiting a rabbi at the Wiesenthal Center – all in the service of getting movies made. From sipping champagne in a tuxedo-clad crowd on a yacht moored at Cannes to despairing in the desert, Lear-like on the heath as all hell breaks loose on a movie set; it’s rarely boring.
I’m enthusiastic about the projects coming up, which include movies about Frank Lloyd Wright, Mary Shelley and Don Juan, and I’m excited to share my experiences with newer filmmakers from all over the country. In the past year, I’ve taught classes in Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Nashville. My hope is that my expanding body of experiences will make me a more effective teacher and allow me to offer practical guidance to writers, directors, actors, producers and financiers as they approach the dynamic filmmaking (and film selling!) landscape.
I hope to meet you along the way.