First-Time Producer Makes Big Waves At Oscars

By Tashanea Whitlow 02-20-15

James Lucas, a novice in the film industry, is making some pretty big waves. His first short film, “The Phone Call,” is nominated for an Oscar. Lucas, who also serves as writer, producer and executive producer on the film, says, despite the hype surrounding the film, which he’s extremely grateful for, he’s still humble.

Lucas tells WEBN in Los Angeles, “First and foremost we’ve been incredibly humbled by the reaction we’ve got from the industry and people around the world.” And he says his family played a big part.

“Very simply my family. I have two little boys. A three-year-old and a three-month old, a beautiful wife and a loving family around me.”

“The Phone Call” a London based film, starring Academy Award winners Jim Broadbent and actress Sally Hawkins. Hawkins stars in two Oscar nominated films – nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her part in the movie “Blue Jasmine.” But according to Lucas, that’s not why they were cast.

“We didn’t pick them on the bases that they were academy award winners,” Lucas tells WEBN. “We wanted to work with them on the bases that they are incredible actors.”

“The Phone Call” deals with love and death, things Lucas says are synonymous with living.

“A word that comes up often when describing our film is empathy…we’re all going to love somebody and we’re all going to die. These are sort of the big themes centered around being a human being and that’s why people connect to it.”

Lucas and his partner Matt Kirby financially backed the self-contained film. The Oscar nominated movie was filmed in two locations, which contributes to the minimalistic style and direct focus on the actors.

“I think what the focus was on this particular film was and why so many people relate to it as much, is the story. And that story is conveyed by Sally Hawkins and Jim Broadbent and their incredible acting ability.”

You ask what’s next for this first time producer and the future looks bright.

His original passion is writing, which has served Lucas well. He is currently working on a successor project to “The Phone Call” and shopping several TV pilots to networks, while in Los Angeles for the Oscars.

“One is a sexual noir thriller, called the “Chameleon” and the other one is called, “Hinds and Rind Heart,” Lucas tells WEBN. “It’s about two brothers who enter into the SS in Nazi Germany, so really interesting stories.”

Lucas continues that he also has one sports biopic in progress, about a very famous football player named Gazza [a famous British Football player, struggling with alcohol and drug addiction] which will be Shakespearean, in terms of drama.”

 Depending on which network picks up the pilots, Lucas may be returning to America, but on our tube.