Today’s Women Behind the Scenes spotlight is focused on screenwriter, film director and producer and soon-to-be TV executive producer Amy Holden Jones.
Amy grew up in Florida and lived in Buffalo, New York during her high school years. She attended Wellesley College, majoring in art history and she also took film studies courses at MIT.
In 1975, Amy won first place at the American Film Institute’s National Student Festival for her short film called A Weekend Home. One of the judges of that festival happened to be legendary director Martin Scorsese, who liked her work and offered her a job as his assistant on the classic film Taxi Driver. It was during her time working on this film that she met her future boss, Roger Corman.
From 1976 to 1982, she worked as an editor on the films Hollywood Boulevard, Corvette Summer, Second-Hand Hearts and the documentary American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince. In 1982, she was the producer and director on the slasher film The Slumber Party Massacre, where she also met her future husband, cinematographer Michael Chapman. The following year, she was the writer and director of the thriller film Love Letters that starred Jamie Lee Curtis
In 1987, she was the writer and director of the Ally Sheedy film Maid to Order and the following year she wrote the screenplay for the cult classic film Mystic Pizza, which featured actress Julia Roberts prior to her landmark film roles in Steel Magnolias and Pretty Woman.
Amy wrote the 1992 box office film Beethoven with the late John Hughes, developing characters for the follow-up sequels in 1993 and later in 2000, 2001 and 2003 that went straight to video. During those years she was also the writer on the 1993 film Indecent Proposal with Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson and Robert Redford; the writer on the 1994 film The Getaway with Adam Baldwin and Kim Basinger; the writer and director on the 1996 film The Rich Man’s Wife with Halle Barry and Clive Owen and the writer on the 1997 horror flick Relic.
In 2010 she was the writer and executive producer on a failed pilot called H.M.S.: White Coat that would have starred Sarah Jones (the former star of Alcatraz) and Megan Boone (the upcoming star of this fall’s new drama The Blacklist).
Next year, Amy will be the writer and executive producer of the ABC 13-episode limited-series called The Black Box that will star actress Kelly Reilly (from Sherlock Holmes fame). The new series will center on Elizabeth Black (Reilly), a world-renowned neuroscientist who appears to have it all but is constantly haunted by her own struggle with mental illness. And that is not the only secret she’s kept locked away from her family and her new fiancé. Amy will work on this new series with Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn) who will be the director and will executive produce with Ilene Chaiken (The L Word), Bryan Singer (director of X-Men) [among others].
Amy Holden Jones can be followed @aholdenj.