In an industry where discourtesy and double-talk have reached the level of an art form, Jonathan Bell has come to represent a new breed. He has quietly gained a reputation as a straight shooter.
Smart, film literate, savvy and impeccably polite. Not to mention, a refreshing aversion to personal publicity.
Hollywood is changing, technologies are evolving, and Bell is in perfect harmony with this new era. He’s tenacious to be sure, but in a way that makes you smile.
Jonathan Bell is a new-gen exec who made a logical segue, from the corporate suites of the multi-national conglom, Fuji, into personal management: Blackstone Artists Management.
Blackstone is a “we” culture. He said, “So many people are involved in the making of a movie or TV show. If you want to be singled out – write a book”.
International demand for content is skyrocketing due to the massive need to fill more-and-more digital pipelines. Content is king. Great creators are in very short supply. Blackstone is tailor made to be an international content and talent one-stop shop.
Bell has a solid reputation as a steadfast champion for talented creators, and true to his Asian business roots, a loyal team-player.
Ηe has a hawkish eye for talented filmmakers with fresh voices, and a good nose for tracking down stories that are both smart, and profitable in the international market.
“At Blackstone, we support established creators, who have a body of meaningful work. Work that earns the trust, earns the attention, and builds a bond with their international audience. Work that always matters, but is never boring”, Bell noted.
When asked about his personal tastes he said, “Taking our audience to the extremes of human experience. And emotion … authentic emotion is the new punk rock. Very unpopular with the intelligencia. Taking our audience through an emotional experience, and leaving them with a big idea.”
Jonathan left Fuji on top, and with a long list of accolades. Victorious. Fuji is one of the great success stories in the evolving digital era. The Japanese conglom flourishes with a slate of new streaming and digital innovations, a bigger financing footprint in worldwide entertainment, and an enormous IP portfolio.
Known for his eclectic mix of pals – (like photographer Lauren Lovette; Brandalism street-artist “Shrink”; and Hong Kong film director Chuan Lu) – Bell feels at home in the Venice street-art scene; the Los Feliz cine-geek dives; and the office suites of Beverly Hills.
When we chat about our new favorite TV shows, he reminds me of a kid rummaging through a trunk of new toys. Refreshing. Optimistic. Quick and witty. Bell is a new breed from the new digital era.
And Blackstone – a new shingle with a trending upside. Definitely, one to watch.
Tara LaChapelle / Newsly Film