A Little History…
I’m Jack Venturo and I have been playing with my camera since I was 15. During high school, in Florida, I wrote and directed several films under my production company Moviegod Productions Entertainment (MPE).
One of my movies was played at an independent movie theatre to a sold out opening night in 2000.
I moved to California in 2001 and worked as a production assistant and temp until I made the short film “The Death of Tempo” (2010), which was a multiple award winner & nominee at two film festivals in California and London.
During pre production of my next project I realized I needed to switch gears and focus more on what I appreciated about production and film making versus just jumping into my next project. In 2013 I decided to revamp my production company, now Venturo Productions, and focus on writing more projects and smaller productions.
I currently have 36 projects in the works, ranging in genres and platforms including, children puppet shows, dramas, cartoons, raunchy comedies and horror films.
Venturo Productions is here to serve as a portfolio of my work and to collectively work with other creative minds that were made for entertainment.Jack’s Mini Blurb…
I am an award winning filmmaker who loves to watch, discuss, and write movies. I’m an artist & toy customizer who specializes in building dioramas. I am a puppeteer and a distiller. An adventurer and a BBQ Pit Master. I love cooking, entertaining, reflecting and quiet time.
I adore dating my wife, singing and dancing with my five daughters, and rolling on the floor with my cat and dog. I’m quite fond of food, tea, coffee, cigars, pipes, wines & spirits, and I am a master at playing checkers.
Writer, Producer, Director, Editor
E-mail = JV@VenturoProductions.com
Jack’s Full Bio…
Jack Venturo was born in Lima, Peru on January 9, 1981. He left Peru and came to the United States in March of 1990, spending two months in New York before settling in Miami, Florida. Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992 and Jack then settled in St. Petersburg, Florida where he was accepted in The Pinellas County Center for the Arts (P.C.C.A) at Gibbs High School in 1996 as a Visual Artist.
While in P.C.C.A. he pursued a wide range of visual arts including photography, oil painting, welding, sketching, design, sculpture art history and film history.
An interest in puppeteering led Jack to create his puppet, Stanley who quickly became very popular and inspired him to write a full three-part screenplay about the puppet. He started his production company Moviegod Productions Entertainment (MPE) and created his first feature length film, “Natural Born Stanley” which was released in 1997. Jack went on to build two more puppets Seally and Eddie and with them came the much-anticipated sequel “Stanley 2 – The Legacy” in 1999.
Jack continued his sculptures, painting and artwork and held an art exhibition in March of 2000, entitled “Fear”, which dealt with horror and its portrayal in motion pictures.
Jack quickly moved on to the next project, writing and directing his third film “Lost in the Wilderness” which opened on June 22, 2000 at the Film Paradiso Beach Theatre in St. Pete Beach, Florida.
The premiere was an undisputed success, with lines forming around the theatre, it was sold out opening night.
Jack was a fulltime high school student at Gibbs and a part time cameraman and floor director at The Home Shopping Network. He graduated High School on June of 2000 with artistic honors but without a High School Diploma. He had difficulty taking the final exit exam and attempted to pass it seven times before the year was over, He was given a certificate of completion and was allowed to walk with his classmates.
On December 24 he packed up everything he owned, took a seven day road trip and moved to Los Angeles, CA. He spent the first several years learning the ropes and finding odd jobs as a Production Assistant and a temp.
Jack’s 4th film, entitled “The Shortest Day” was released on September 5, 2003. It was the most nominated and most awarded movie at The 2003 Circle of Excellence Film Festival Archie Awards. (An Archstone-Smith Screening) The awards ceremony was held at the Colony Theatre in Burbank, California. It was nominated for four Archie Awards, of which it won three:
-Best Director – Jack Venturo
-Best Screenplay – Jack Venturo
-Best Actor – Chris Pagano
-Best Film (Nominated)
Jack created www.Jackorama.com in 2004 which is a portfolio of all his art. In December of that year Jack was working in Simi Valley where he met Eydie, they quickly became great friends. Eydie and Jack started dating October of 2006.
Jack became a set intern for Shadow Machine Films in 2007, building miniature sets and props for “Robot Chicken” on Cartoon Network’s [adult swim]. where he learned more about miniatures, dioramas, stop motion and cartoons.
In August of 2007 Jack became a citizen of The United States of America, being sworn in at the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles and in September Jack and Eydie discovered they were pregnant with their first child, and 9 months later on May 29, 2008 at 4:35 PM they welcomed their daughter Athena Phoenix Venturo into the world. She weighed 8lbs 5oz and measured 20 inches long. Athena is Eydie’s 4th and Jack’s 1st daughter.
On September 1, 2009 Jack and Eydie got married in a small private ceremony in Los Angeles.
Jack’s 5th movie “The Death of Tempo” was released on January 1st, 2010.
The movie began production in 2008 and with the help of several contributors Jack was able to finalize the post production and release the film on DVD.
This time around Jack wanted to make sure everyone knew the process of his filmmaking, his passion and his labor, so he documented every production day as a behind the scenes video diary. Jack Venturo’s Production Diaries can be seen on YouTube and on the special features of the DVD.
The film was accepted into the Crystal Palace International Film Festival in London and got nominated as a finalist and a special transmitter award.
The movie was also accepted into the 10 Squared Film Festival in Fullerton, CA where it won:
-1st Place Jury Award (Panel of judges included a film critic for the L.A Times)
-Best Picture – 1st Place People’s Choice (After watching all 10 films the audience chose the movie as their favorite)
-Finalist (Nominated) Crystal Palace International Film Festival
-Transmitter Award (Runner Up) Crystal Palace International Film Festival
Jackorama premiered for the first time to the public as a whole entity at DesignerCon in November 2011 at the Pasadena Convention Center.
In February of 2012 Jack and Eydie found out they are pregnant with their second child and 9 months later on November 28th, 2012 at 4:17 AM they welcomed their daughter Vivian Jade Venturo into the world. She weighed 8lbs 6oz and measured 21 inches long. Vivian is Eydie’s 5th and Jack’s 2nd daughter.
In July 2012 Jack became a film critic for Divulge Magazine. He offers a unique perspective on film reviews making it the one and only three point of view movie review. A film lovers view, a filmmaker’s view and a parent’s view.
Moviegod Productions Entertainment was renamed Venturo Productions in January of 2013.
VP is a whole new forum of filmmaking for Jack focusing on writing original scripts and spec scripts, and working on smaller productions.
In 2014 Jack decided to earn his High School Diploma. He went to the Antelope Valley Adult School in Lancaster and signed up to an Algebra course and a test prep class. He hired a math tutor and went to work. He went to night school every week. Took the final exit exam once more and passed on the first attempt. In May of 2015 Jack graduated again, this time from the Adult School, wearing blue once more but this time with a diploma.
Jack has always loved the outdoors, hiking, camping and adventuring. In 2015 Jack began volunteering for the Friends of the San Gabriels as the Guest Camp Host of Sturtevant Camp where he meets and greets guest and fellow hikers while he cares for the off the grid power systems providing power, light, propane-based heating systems and hot showers for the campers during the weekends.
While scrolling through Facebook one day Jack came across a post from The Jim Henson Company stating they were looking for new puppeteers to join their crew and attend an eight week puppeteer workshop.
Jack quickly filmed an audition video of himself performing his puppets Stanley, Seally and Eddie and a week later he was invited to audition with more than 200 other candidates.
Jack auditioned in front of Brian Henson, Patrick Bristow, Kevin Clash, and Allan Trautman. He got the callback and in the summer of 2015 Jack and thirty other puppeteers worked once a week at The Jim Henson Studios training in Improv and the Henson puppetry technique.
In February of 2016 Jack and some of his puppet pals filmed his 6th movie, The short titled “The Date” it is currently in consideration at several Film Festivals.
Jack got the puppeteering bug again and he decided to audition for a project for Disney. He got the part and on April 1st, 2016 he worked as a puppeteer for their Disney Interactive YouTube Channel “Disney’s Tsum Tsum Kingdom”.
On August 1st, 2016 Jack officially became a member of the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry.
The Jim Henson Company held a Fan Film Competition for “The Dark Crystal” in early 2016. Jack designed and built three puppets from scratch including a replica of the Skeksis Chamberlain from the film. With the help of Eydie operating the camera they set off into the woods and filmed a 5 minute short in which Jack performed and voiced all three puppets. He edited the film and submitted it.
“Akasta: The Salvation of Thra” became his 7th movie and was distributed by The Jim Henson Company on their YouTube channel. The film was one of 29 films entered. It did not win the grand prize title but it did win:
-Runner Up #2 (5 Runner up films were personally selected by Brian Henson, Cheryl Henson and Blanca Lista)
Cheryl Henson personally sent a photo from the film and a signed letter from the Jim Henson Archives. Cheryl is quoted in the official Dark Crystal website… “I love this film! I imagine it being shot out on the empty desert plain and by the stream in a forest glade. Wonderful puppets. The rock and the bark creatures are inventive and well performed. Their integration into the environment is very well done. Nice story with a clever twist at the end.” – Cheryl Henson – 2016
On September 9th The winning filmmakers were invited to The Jim Henson studios and Creature Shop for a grand tour, drinks, meet & greet and screening of the films. it was a wonderful and inspiring time had by all.
In late 2016 Jack and his friends Ben Goretsky and George Gaspar decided to create a new web series that would bring a weekly video to YouTube and Facebook with all things toy related.
In January of 2017 the show “Toy Geeks: Behind The Counter” premiered and it is filmed at Ben’s toy store 3DRetro in Burbank.
Jack is currently living in Palmdale, California. Working on dioramas, custom toys and prints, for Jackorama.
He is writing and developing several projects ranging from T.V. sitcoms, cartoon shows, short and feature length movie treatments for Venturo Productions.
When not at his desk he practices his puppeteering craft with his new puppet Chester Pepper.
When Jack is not working on his projects he spends time with his amazing family.
His beloved wife Eydie and five daughters, Isabella (2002), Xochitl (2003), Athena (2008) and Vivian (2012).
Their other daughter Hali (1994) finished trade school became a hairstylist and is currently living in North Carolina with her wife Ellen who is in the Air Force.
To be continued…