On September 25 I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing film producer Jim Bigham.
I was given the rare opportunity to ask him a few questions about his career before he went on stage to give a speech to a group of UT students.
Before Jim Bigham decided to go down the path of film, his parents encouraged him to become a boat captain.
The vision his parents had for him never became a reality after Jim realized his strong interest in the arts.
Bigham loved art, music and especially film. He realized he had a passion for movies “that got to you and left an impact.” A few of his favorite movies are Psycho, Goodfellas and Blondie’s In Love. He decided to pursue his interest in film further.
He became a producer by “default.” He originally loved photography and went to New York operating movie cameras.
Through his previous work in Florida he kept receiving calls to return to the Sunshine State and produce.
“I like multi-tasking and doing a lot of stuff at once,” said Bigham.
He really stressed the importance of maintaining focus while working on many things at one time. I figured being in the film industry had to include a few highlights. Jim said some of the greatest highlights for him are, “Being around people who are turned onto the business and enjoy working with others. I also enjoy the opportunity to speak in front of classes.”
Of course being in such a competitive line of work there are bound to be downsides. He expressed how unpredictable the business is and the many uncertainties that come with his job. “Sometimes you don’t know when you will work next or where your next paycheck will be coming from,” Bigham stated. The film industry is not for the “light at heart.” Bigham stresses the importance of having idols during the interview.
“It’s important to have your idols. I like people that are inventive and fresh. One of my idols is Jason Reitman. He directed the movie Thank You for Smoking. He’s very fresh and new and that’s a good thing to see,” said Bigham.
Before our interview time came to a close I had to ask him what advice he could give for those of us interested in employment in the film industry. His advice was, “Read A LOT! Listen to music A LOT! Develop a memory. Remember pictures, faces and names. Also, learn to manage stress and not over-eat.”
Jim Bigham has produced the films: Jeepers Creepers, Sweet Land, Grapevine, The Last Marshal and Shootfighter, to name a few. Check out his work the next time you want to rent a movie!