'Crazy Rich Asians' Producer Nina Jacobson Discusses the Trick to Making Big Films That "Come From a Very Personal Place"
Jacobson also produced this year's 'Ben Is Back' starring Lucas Hedges and Julia Roberts.
"It's a brave film," is the best backhanded compliment Nina Jacobson has ever received on one of her films. "It's a code word for stupid, foolhardy, poorly chosen, unlikely to succeed in the marketplace," she told the Producer Roundtable.
She noted the Wes Anderson-directed film Life Aquatic as an example saying, "I started to be concerned when many people commended it for being brave. I still really love it. I still really love the film, but it did not make money."
"The work that you end up making and believing in, it comes from the inside out," Jacobson continued. "You don't think about what other people like. You think about, 'What does it mean to me? What does it mean to the filmmaker? What does it mean to the writer? What does it mean to the actors?'
"The idea is, we're humans, and if we dig deep enough, those emotions are universal, and they will be received by others if it moves the people who are telling the story deeply," she told The Hollywood Reporter.
"It can be a big, giant movie and still come from a very personal place."
Jacobson and her producing team decided to develop one of the year's blockbuster hits, Crazy Rich Asians, outside of the studio system, for just this sentiment, saying, "It will be too easy for someone to not make it, or to have to make a concession, which was fundamentally not true to the movie."
"To get [a movie] developed, who cares? it doesn't really matter if you've developed something, it only matters if you've gotten it made," Jacobson said on the intricacies of being a successful producer in today's industry. With each movie, Jacobson told the roundtable, you have to "anticipate very early on in the process, what is the path that will actually result in this movie being released, being valued by the people who are releasing it, and being seen by hopefully as many people as possible?"