I worked in the Hollywood film business on and off for about a quarter of a century. Jim Jacks, who just died at the shockingly young age of 66, was one of the only Hollywood producers I ever met who cared more about what audiences thought than about what his peers in the business thought, who cared more about making cool movies than about his place in the pecking order of the industry.
Jim’s place in that order was nevertheless pretty high because he had a pretty good idea what audiences wanted, having come, like the rascals who created Hollywood, from the world of distribution. It was fun to talk to him about movies, fun to collaborate with him making movies.
I suspect that there were more people like him in the business before my time in Hollywood — I’m glad there was at least one person like him left by the time I got there.