Jackson, Miss. native J. Lee started his own production company after graduating from Jackson State University and has become one of Jackson’s rising businessmen and entertainment industry figures.
The 30-year-old CEO took some time to speak with us about his short film The Murderer that made the 14th Annual Crossroads Film Festival. Check out our interview below.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: What inspired you to begin producing plays?
J. Lee: I begin writing in middle school and wrote my first play in high school as a fundraiser my junior year, to help raise money for the class. I was class president. Then once I came to college, I became President of the American Marketing Association and wrote another play for a fundraiser. This time there was something different about having my characters come to life on stage. It was something that I couldn’t explain. I was addicted and wanted to get back on stage so after graduation, I started J. Lee Productions and began doing plays, documentaries and short films. Seeing the success of Tyler Perry and other play writes motivates me to keep on going.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: Tell us a little about your short film The Murderer that will be showing at Malco Grandview Theater.
J. Lee: I’m always looking to challenge myself and take things to the next level. The Murderer is our eighth production and marks the first time that I’ll take on a new title as actor. It was filmed at various places around Jackson such as the Penguin, The Mississippi Museum of Art, The Jackson Memorial Funeral Home and downtown Jackson. It’s about a man named Nickolas Allen who “has everything” but it may end up costing him his life because everyone around him has a reason to want him dead. This film is very suspenseful and it’ll have you guessing the entire time. It will be screened at the Malco Grandview Theatre in Madison on Saturday, April 13 at 9:45 p.m.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: Do you have any upcoming projects or productions?
J. Lee: J. Lee Productions will be releasing the third installment to the documentary series Black Love on April 27, 2013 at the Russell C. Davis Planetarium at 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. It is entitled BLACK LOVE 3- THE BLIND DATE EDITION. We’re also looking to possibly film another short film this summer and releasing a stage play this fall.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: What is the best advice that you’ve been given as you’ve built your company?
J. Lee: The best advice I’ve been given has to be to keep pressing forward- no matter how hard it gets and difficult of times, continue to do what you love.