Mindy Cohn 00:00
Hello from Los Angeles and welcome to another episode of Monday's with Mindy. I am joined as always by my co host and co Producer Christian Brescia.
Christian Brescia 00:08
Hi everybody. Welcome back.
Mindy Cohn 00:09
Today we're gonna have a conversation with Jina Panebianco. Jina Panebianco is a producer and was born and raised in New Jersey moved to LA in 1999. With a dream and a passion for telling stories that would move the masses whether by laughter mostly, or extreme thought provoking, heartfelt tales. She raised $500,000 for her first feature in 2004, and has not stopped since.
Christian Brescia 00:33
Mindy Cohn 00:34
Yeah, producing credits include feature films and TV movies. First with her partner Tosca Musk. They mastered the romantic film genre, and that's where we first met when she cast me in their production of a Cinderella Christmas. In 2016. She co-founded passion flicks, a streaming service, which turns romance novels into movies with Tosca and their other partner Joanie Kane, as President and CEO she produced all movies in series until her exit in 2018. She felt compelled, gratefully, to get back to her roots of storytelling in the form of more elaborate romantic comedies and the thought provoking stories I talked about before in the form of just to reach a broader audience, shall we say? Again, I was fortunate enough to be hired for a little part of one of those productions. gratefully, Jina has always kept me in mind when she's casting. In fact, it was during the production that she first offered me the role of Priscilla in a feature, based on the nonfiction book pornology, "A Nice Girl Like You." Self promotion, Christian! Finally, A Nice Girl Like You starring Lucy Hale and Jackie Cruz and yours truly shot in New York, New Jersey was made at the end of 2018. And it's finally coming out gratefully on July 17, on all on-demand platforms. You'll hear more about that.
Christian Brescia 01:54
Mindy Cohn 01:55
Yaaaay! I know. In 2019 Jina formed Caliwood pictures with her longtime friend and business partner Wesley Sierk and investors Michael Reiser and John Straily. A Nice Girl Like You is their actual first production under the new company. They're also in production on their second feature, a psychological thriller inspired by actual events tentatively entitled Shriver starring Michael Shannon, Don Johnson and Kate Hudson.
Christian Brescia 02:19
Mindy Cohn 02:20
Unfortunately COVID-19 shut them down with eight days left of shooting. So they're gonna go back...
Christian Brescia 02:25
Mindy Cohn 02:25
Oh, I know. It was like a harpoon in the heart for Jina. Yeah, so they're gonna go back to production sometime in August here in Los Angeles and finish that up. Jina resides in Marina Del Rey and in New Jersey with her beautiful son jack and adorable pup hairy bear. So I hope you're ready to gab with the highly energetic mogul that is Jina Panebianco.
Christian Brescia 02:46
Ladies and gentlemen, it is our pleasure to welcome to the show Ms. Jina Panebianco!
Jina Panebianco 02:50
Hi guys! Hi, Christian. So great to meet you.
Christian Brescia 02:57
Nice to meet you!
Jina Panebianco 02:57
Mindy, I love and adore you. Thank you for having me.
Mindy Cohn 02:59
Ditto, please. So I've already sung your praises so we're going to start this episode The way we always do out of our fabulous Jonathan Adler secrets jar, I'm going to pull some questions...
Jina Panebianco 03:12
I love that jar.
Mindy Cohn 03:13
So do I! And we'll just go from here...really like...
Christian Brescia 03:16
A little get to know your session.
Mindy Cohn 03:17
Getting to know you... Oh okay this is hilarious if an actor were to play you in a movie, who would you want it to be?
Jina Panebianco 03:27
Bette Midler. I don't even have to think about it.
Christian Brescia 03:29
Ohhhh! That's a good one!
Jina Panebianco 03:32
She's like my sister. Yeah. You know. And the reason it's so easy for me to say that is that I've always loved her. I've been following her from her years of her cabarets, everything she's been she's just awesome. And I love that she can be serious but she can be funny, and she doesn't take herself too seriously. That's pretty much it, yeah.
Mindy Cohn 03:53
Christian Brescia 03:53
That's you in a nutshell?
Jina Panebianco 03:55
Phew! Yes, that's pretty much me in a nutshell, yeah.
Mindy Cohn 03:57
We're starting off good, kiddo!
Jina Panebianco 03:58
All right. I'll take it.
Mindy Cohn 04:00
What's your favorite place to travel and why?
Jina Panebianco 04:03
Okay, so my favorite place to travel when I get there and it will be Italy. That is the favorite.
Mindy Cohn 04:11
And who are you taking on that trip?!
Jina Panebianco 04:14
We're going on that trip! And, we're to go eat and drink and flirt our way through the entire country. We're gonna do and then really any place that that takes me to the water and it can be super close. I love going up to Santa Barbara, Monterey anywhere. I haven't been to Carmel. It's like my place to go that I haven't been we've been but yeah, and so I would just say I'm at peace when I'm by the water if not on a vineyard.
Mindy Cohn 04:42
Mm hmm. Nice.
Christian Brescia 04:43
Speaking my language!
Jina Panebianco 04:46
Yes! I'm already having the wine you'll be having later.
Mindy Cohn 04:49
How did where you grew up? And who you were raised by develop your creative aesthetic or did it?
Jina Panebianco 04:57
okay. First of all, well Yes, very much so. So I grew up in New Jersey for those of you who can't hear from the accent that I have some of you might have thought I was French.
Christian Brescia 05:09
Where about in New Jersey?
Jina Panebianco 05:11
Bergen County, Paramus Westwood are you familiar with it.? I have cousins in the Toms River area my family goes to Sea Isle all the time. South Jersey, Yeah. So you know the Jersey Shore, and all that. So here's a very interesting thing. It definitely shaped me because first of all New Jersey is filled with a lot of characters and I grew up in a predominantly Italian family. So everybody was very animated. But you know, I would say the most significant thing was my when my parents got divorced and moving in with my father and my stepmother.
Mindy Cohn 05:44
Jina Panebianco 05:44
Because my stepmother was a nightmare. And she's dead now so I can talk about her but...but but in such a good way because she was one of those people where when she was good, she was great and when she was bad, she was bad. And so I learned from an early age that if I needed to get what I wanted, I had to find a way to work around her. Right. And she was the hardest critic. So if I needed I don't care, a pair of boots or whatever it was, I'd have to say, I have to approach Lola like this. No, it's not working. Let me try behind a bit. So I think that really gave me the ability to not take everything to heart or to seriously but but also know that what I needed was a serious thing.
Mindy Cohn 06:31
But you've also just told our listeners basically how I would define how you work and produce. I mean, you are you are and your reputation is I feel you're finally getting the reputation you've deserved for the last decade,
Jina Panebianco 06:43
I appreciate that.
Mindy Cohn 06:44
...which is that you not only make things happen in every aspect, most producers are well, I'll say some producers are name only or some producers are finance only or some producers for those of you who don't really know what a producer does, there's like five different versions of a producer. Jina is all five, which is why Finally, she is getting to do a lot of the projects that she wants to be getting off the ground. Because you're able to raise money find locations, cast, budget, problem solve onset, problem solve post production in the way that you just described, and people still like you afterwards. And like me want to work with you. I crave to have you with a boss!
Christian Brescia 07:27
That says a lot.
Jina Panebianco 07:28
me too. I mean, no secret ––– Christian, Mindy is one of my favorite people. And you know, I all I think about sometimes at night is why Mindy should be doing this. We got to be doing this and when you were talking to Isaac Yeah, his interview was so great and he was talking about a show and he said to you Well, let's do it. I thought I need to be part of that.
Mindy Cohn 07:50
oh my gosh, light bulb. Holy cow. You don't even know. I mean, people think that Isaac, but like to know him as an actor. Yeah, we've done certain things together. Yeah, professionally he's kind of a genius.
Jina Panebianco 08:03
I didn't know he was an actor...
Mindy Cohn 08:05
He's auditioned for things...the things he's not gotten, you'd be like how did you not get cast? So anyway...Point being that just that relationship with Lola alone not only the other things and aspects but I can now see how you work with divas how you are able to make difficult people putty in your hand how you're able to walk away after problem solving even if it gets heated and walk away with dignity and grace. Anyway, I this is not like I'm not Christian...I'm not trying to like she's already employed me! But, that really explains to people your your skill set. Among other things, but...
Christian Brescia 08:44
yeah, cuz it's not very common out here to have in the entertainment business in general. I would say it's not super common to have a producer that is that well skilled in my experience.
Jina Panebianco 08:56
I appreciate that. Someone said that to me the other day that You know, she just said, she said, I don't know a lot of producers like you that actually do all these things because most people come in at 10. And they have their coffee and they're gone before the set closes down.
Mindy Cohn 09:11
I loved visiting you on the production, I mentioned in the intro that got shut down to to COVID that you're going to go back to I loved visiting you on the set and listening to people who had never worked with you before. And it's like, and we're never going to work with anybody else again. It was lovely to hear.
Jina Panebianco 09:30
That's sweet, thank you. We had so much fun that day.
Mindy Cohn 09:32
Question number three, I say it like the owl that Tootsie Roll Owl.
Jina Panebianco 09:37
How many licks?
Mindy Cohn 09:38
Yeah, um, another time. Another time we'll get to that! we'll be able to what assumption do people make about you, that's wrong?
Jina Panebianco 09:53
Hmm. You know what I I'll tell you the thing that I say to people sometimes times if if a situation goes not well, and I always say to them, please don't mistake my kindness for weakness. Because I can be kind and I'll do everything I can and bend over backwards, but don't piss me off. Because then it's you know, so it's going out. And I'm good. Yeah. And I'm going to do everything I can but doesn't mean I'm weak. I actually am well aware of everything. That's what I would say.
Mindy Cohn 10:27
Yeah, no, and I, I do have to say, I was privy to a couple of those times. And I just thought, boy, I've never seen anyone handle someone, so gracefully. So that was kind of fabulous. Thank you. Next question.
Jina Panebianco 10:42
Mindy Cohn 10:42
Well, I kind of I kind of want to say the answer to this, but....do you have a hidden talent?
Jina Panebianco 10:49
Do I have a hidden talent? Most people wouldn't know. Well, I did stand up comedy in New York City for quite a long time, and I loved it. I mean, there's nothing more that I love than making people laugh. It's as you know, min, like, if anyone knows me closely, I'll I'll go the extra step to make the joke.
Mindy Cohn 11:08
Christian Brescia 11:09
I love that.
Jina Panebianco 11:09
You know what? So? Yeah, well, I mean, when I was young, my dream was I wanted to be an actress, I was going to sing I did all the things. I was in all the plays. And, yeah, so I would say it's, you know, the acting that the being funny, singing I mean, I, you know,
Mindy Cohn 11:25
I am grateful that you, I'm not even at the bequest at the begging of me, and a couple other your friends, you got to play a little cameo in A Nice Girl Like You and I'm thrilled about that. But that is one thing that I was going to talk about, too, is that to be able to tack the way that you did early on in your career, where you came out here obviously to write and produce but also to act and to have the ego in the best sense of the word to not only go where the work was But to understand that storytelling is the thing, and this is how I do it, and I do it really well. So I always consider you a producer, writer, actress. But I know you are known as a producer.
Jina Panebianco 12:11
Mm hmm. Yeah, that's true. Thank you appreciate that.
Mindy Cohn 12:14
But I really can't wait till you can act your balls off.
Jina Panebianco 12:17
I know, think I know, we often talk about that. I mean, I did have a great time in nice girl. And, you know, you have to be able to feed your soul in in different ways and not feel guilty because of it. Well, I should only be doing this. I should only be doing that. It was also like what Isaac said on his time is, you know, it was so poignant. What he said about his teacher or the guidance counselor or teacher in school, saying you're good at all these things. Pick one. So that's what my family always did. You know, I know they have the best interest for me, but it was always Oh, you don't want to be an actress. No one's gonna take that seriously. You don't want to do that. That's not a real job. You know? So right away, you know, you you do you. Yeah, I want to please everybody around me, right. So I want everyone to be proud of what I do. So you know, every job I took over the years, even in my 20s, it's like if I took the job at the bank, I was the branch manager in three years, like in my early 20s. So, you know, because I had to whatever I was going to do, I was going to do the best at it, you know, and had to get the top job, because I'd rather you know, not have to answer to all these people. Let them answer to me, you know!
Mindy Cohn 13:18
Yeah. we'll I also think acting is the hardest in that It's so not up to you whether you work or not, I mean, there there is a way as an actor that I participate in my own career, whether it's sitting in class, or working on friends short films or doing other other things like writing and producing, BUT, you know, there is something to be said for personalities like ours,
Jina Panebianco 13:40
Mindy Cohn 13:41
It's it's very hard when you're a control freak, and you're good at certain things to have hands off on the thing that you really want. Anyway, I totally miscounted we did five questions. Three was actually four. I know I was showing off for no reason.
Jina Panebianco 13:56
It's like, like our lunches together. You know, I only have an hour! Four hours later, we're still there.
Christian Brescia 14:03
Those are my favorite lunches!!
Mindy Cohn 14:04
We have the art Christian of being tangential trudes together. So if anyone else would have seen our conversations there, it's just this like a centrifugal force of 10 conversations and we get to all of them. Just not linearly. Yes! Thank you. So anyway, that was that. I hope our listeners have gotten a taste of just how exquisite and amazing you are. But let's like dive into what we talked about as being the creative process, however you define it, what inspires you what what stories, you know, not in a broad way that we've talked about in the intro, but why does something resonate with Jina Panebianco?
Christian Brescia 14:19
Jina Panebianco 14:44
That's Interesting. Great question because it can really, I wouldn't even define it as a specific genre. It's a per se. It's just there has to be a character for me that has a lot of layers of things going on that And always something that I can tap into that resonates with me as a human being, you know, so it could be someone who's struggled in their life, you know, personally in trying to find themselves, you know, and whatever that is, that could resonate with me, it could be someone who had love and loss love, like we all have and say, Oh God, I remember what that feels like, I want to see that journey. Who's this person? You know? So, things that are written really well, you know, I read a lot of scripts, and you can just tell that sometimes people have ideas and they just spew them out. And then you're reading something and thinking, Oh, God, I wanted this to be good, but there's like, it's, it's just rushed. It's not together. So those stories are hard to find. But I always know when I do find them. It's something like when I'm reading in my mind, I can play out the story in my head. And when I see the characters playing out in my head, I usually know I've connected with it. It's something I want to do. Yeah, reading a lot of books right now. So you know, books, I think Having an IP turning those into films are great because you've already a you've got an audience who's read the book. Books are great to adapt, because you can say you can stay true to the characters but also deviate from it a bit to make maybe a scenario more interesting, you know?
Mindy Cohn 16:15
Yeah. What's what's your I you tend to like your dream project tends to be the things that you're working on right now. But but do you have so and I know there are certain things in certain projects in various stages of production that we can't talk about.
Jina Panebianco 16:29
Mindy Cohn 16:29
I am sensitive to that, but I feel especially because it's finally being released! A Nice Girl like You, on demand all platforms. July 17 was such a labor of love for you in so many ways. First of all, you talk about a script. I remember you giving me this script and I had laugh out loud moments, which is so rare...so rare! Yeah, it was it was such a beautifully crafted script and, and and better idea. So I completely understand why you wanted to do the film, but I'd love you to talk about and we will promote the heck out of it. And I'm so proud of it. But you know, it started as a different thing. It started with the lead character being a different age, it started with so many different things. And so to talk about that process of getting the picture made, I think would be so fascinating for our listeners.
Jina Panebianco 17:16
Yeah. So Mindy knows best as anybody how long it took to get this off the ground. So you know, I was dealing do on a project, I had connected a director, very dear friend of mine with Nicholas Wagner and Melanie green over their agency affirmative for representation for him as a director, and they saw his film, and we just got to talking about the kind of material that I like, what I'd be looking for. And about a month later, Nicholas reached out and said, you know, now that I've gotten to know you, I know your humor. I know your style. I think you're going to love this. I mean, I read that script immediately. And then I went back and read the book. And when I read the script again, I thought What a great effin adaptation from a book that really is a lot more about different vignettes and storylines to hone it into this script about this girl or this woman at the time older and these friends, so I became obsessed with it right away. And Mindy knew about it right away.
Mindy Cohn 18:16
And I became obsessed with it.
Jina Panebianco 18:17
Yes, she became obsessed with it. And it also had many iterations, you know, I had another partner at the time, and she was going to direct it, you know, and I think at that time for where we were, it would have been great, you know...
Mindy Cohn 18:30
but it would have been a different movie, though.
Jina Panebianco 18:31
It would it would have been a much different movie, it would just you know, everything has its time and well if there's one thing that I've learned for everybody to know in this business is can't put the Circle in the Square. I've done it and it never works. And it's always bad, real bad. But but but if you really just let something breathe and have its time and know that this is a great project, but let me move over here because I might be missing something over here. And so as Mindy knows, that wasn't the right time and Wes who is one of my favorite people in the world as well. Mindy knows him well, my business partner at the time and now a partner in our current company. Um, you know, he was just so great. You know, he was so understanding about saying, We've already spent a little bit this money, but now we're going to hold off and here's why. And he was always just super supportive. So we let it sit for several years, always with the intention. I mean, Mindy, and I would talk and it was always you know, you're doing Priscilla, I'm definitely doing Priscilla. And there was like, no question in my mind from the minute she read it.
Mindy Cohn 19:29
Until... Yeah. It's important to talk about. I mean, I really, you know, I have to say, by the time so Christian by the time it finally gets into, okay, this is where we're going to go. So the woman is going to be a young woman. Hmm. You know, it kind of did change the dynamic of the script in these relationships with people and very often, I have been the victim of this many times very often when you find the lead, the leads representation they're seeing commission signs they're seeing work for their actors that they represent. So you know I have to say Jina not only I mean fought for me is sort of like a real understatement having said that what I so appreciate it in your not only belief in me but belief in the original story and relationships is no one denied including our crew. The immediate chemistry we all have: Lucy, Jackie, me and Atheria. I mean, it works. Yeah, it works really well. I think,
Jina Panebianco 20:29
Christian, I can't wait for you to see the movie because it's really great for men and women older younger, I think, you know, to Mindy's point about even though we ended up skewing for the lead of Lucy and she's adorable, wonderful. We adore her. Lucy Hale we love you. But you know, she was she just was so gracious. I mean, wasn't she just, she just was open...
Mindy Cohn 20:51
Every single day.
Jina Panebianco 20:52
Every single day. Even when she was sick that time she had to go to the doctor whenever she no one even knew. She just was the kind of she just was adorable and Honestly, I can say, going with that choice hundred percent right choice to do Now with that said, as Mindy saying there were the other people that came in and had their other ideas for characters, specifically, Priscilla, but there was absolutely no way that was not happening with Mindy. And what I always said is it's it goes beyond. It's not even a friendship thing. It's it's the person that has the talent that is absolutely right. For this. I wouldn't like always people know who know me. I'm not hiring friends, just because I like them. They have to be qualified in some way to do what they do.
Mindy Cohn 21:32
I had to audition.
Jina Panebianco 21:33
And, she had to audition...
Mindy Cohn 21:34
For a part that was quote unquote, given to me, right. So I mean, I do think and I've heard this from many of my friends of us all having to do listen. Yeah, I know that I'm Priscilla. You know, I'm Priscilla. Let me show you guys. You know, so it was, well, you know, hard on the heart. I know in my mind and my actor cap was like let's go! Come on...!
Jina Panebianco 21:57
you know, I have to tell you and haveMindy and I, we've since talk this through, you know, this in length. But I mean, my heart hurt so much because I knew that, you know, it's tough to, it's tough to have to get out there and go, you know, I've been doing this for so long and I have to prove this to you. Okay, sure, whatever. But it honestly it pissed me off. But I had other people that I had layers of BEEP things that I had to answer to, and for, but it still was not going to deter me from you know, that was going to be Mindy's and you know, it was hard for she and I in those moments, and everyone who listens to this will know you are going to have moments if you are in a position of authority, the ability to you know, create and bring people together you're going to have to really determine do you fight for someone and and why and if you believe it, you have to you know...
Mindy Cohn 22:44
Which leads me to the I know we can't talk in details or personalities and we shan't but even in the current project that you're working on, you know, you have you're working with a few other producers and how how do you compromise on a talent choice that may have not been your first choice or a crew member of vital...well, every crew member is vital, but you know, a DP, a head of grip and Dolly you know someone that's really gonna make or break? How do you negotiate what's important to you? And what's not?
Jina Panebianco 23:14
It is it's a that's a great question because we you know, as producers, when you're when you're someone who is fully immersed in the entire process from beginning to end, you have to pick and choose your battles. And I that's something that I feel like I've had to learn, but I feel innately it's always just been in me to say, Okay, I can I can appease this person by this, but you know what I'm going to do, I'm going to get this and that's and I'll just get right with that little checkmark. But yeah, it's definitely look on projects like this one that we had to shut down. You know, it's filled with lots of amazing actors and a list actors and they all have their stuff that they come with and their needs and everything and so you have to balance you know, so let's just say there's there's an actor that you might not have in your head, certainly In my head it had that I don't know if I envision that as my first. But wouldn't it be great to see them challenge themselves and do it? You know, okay, so let me go into that mindset instead and come from a positive place to say, okay, that's not in my mind.
Mindy Cohn 24:12
Well also the biggest one of the biggest things people, you know, have asked me about producer, right is that I said, you have to have an ego bigger than the world and then not an ego and then an ego again, because basically, you're at the helm until production, and then you hand it over to a director, right? And then and after he or she is finished, you take it back, right? And you don't have to put it together. So it's one of those. I'm at the helm. I'm not at the helm. I'm at the helm. And a lot of people either BLEEP are doing it, or don't understand that dance. It's really challenging.
Jina Panebianco 24:46
It's a real good point, because I'll share something that it took me a while to honestly come to grips with it. I remember my first few movies and television and I worked really hard and I mean, I put in a lot of work and I knew that that work meant that the film was happening, but that's At the end, it's true. Like the creative will say that the directors certainly get to say my movie. Oh, I made my movie my movie and I thought but it's my it's my movie to it's our movie right but, um, so that that's definitely a hard thing to swallow. I've always been the type I embrace everything as a we, you know, and as much as I can when I know that someone needs that, yeah, it's like we're doing this even in my current. You know, film now though all the producers, you know, we all bring something different to the table. Yeah, even if I know I'm talking to my company, and my investors who are doing this always say, Well, you know, we or, you know, hey, you know, Rob and I discussed this and we feel because I just think I'm not going to come from that place. You know, if I do that, then I expect that you do that as well. And then maybe if you know, as Maya Angelou says when you know better you do better. So if I can teach someone you know, a little way just to say you can be inclusive, everyone gets that you are special. We got it. It's okay. Everything rises and sets mostly around you. But there are a few other people here that would also like to have some light!
Mindy Cohn 26:00
That does resonate with Christian, being the producer that he is...I've seen him do that dance well.
Jina Panebianco 26:07
Yeah. I mean, you know, you have to and here's the thing is someday, you know there comes the point where you know now like how Mindy's taking the time and people get to know you and they understand the full scope of what you do and you are in the background a lot of the time but that's okay. You know, you're getting something incredible done and people that are the ones that are tight knit and know how a movie is made. They get it.
Christian Brescia 26:30
Yea, they get it, absolutely. That's very much true. I'm gonna take a little break. Ladies, give us a chance to catch your breath and do a little business for our listeners and our viewers. Just let everyone know that once again. Lots of information about Jina is available on our website MondaysWithMindy.com. There are links to subscribe to our podcast on every major podcast platform, as well as on YouTube. If you would like to actually watch the show as opposed to just listen to it. There's a section there you can leave comments you can give us a thumbs up if you like what you're what you're seeing and hearing and there's a little bell now if you want to tap that you'll be notified whenever new episode releases that is every Monday at 11am Pacific Standard Time. So if you're interested in a little bit more about the show about either Mindy or myself want to shoot us an email, get in touch with us or learn more about our guests, Jina, all that information will be on MondaysWithMindy.com, including show notes and sort of everything else we talked about. And now that being said, we have a very special sponsor this week, and we're very excited about it. It's an honorary sponsor for Monday's with Mindy, and that honorary sponsor is the new film brought to you by Caliwood Pictures and vertical entertainment starring Lucy Hale, Jackie Cruz, and our very own Mindy Cohn. It's called a nice girl like you they will be released Friday, July 17. It will be available on Apple TV, Amazon and pretty much every major on demand video streaming service. More information will be on MondaysWithMindy.com so you guys can connect there if you're having trouble finding it or you just want a direct link. We'll add it up in the show notes so that you check it out again, that's July 17. It's a Friday, the new movie starring Mindy Cohn and Lucy Hale and Jackie Cruz called A Nice Girl Like You.
Jina Panebianco 28:03
That was great. Thanks.
Mindy Cohn 28:04
Thanks my love bug. That was so awesome. You know what I'd like to kind of just dive into for a couple minutes Gee, if you feel comfortable doing it, you know, I am always really careful about keeping personal lives of our guests, private, let them do their thing. But you and I have bonded over being women of a certain age. I've been older than Jina that have taken risks. You know, for me, it's been to stand in my actress-dum and claim it. And this is the life I've chosen and it's not always peaches and sometimes work is not up to me and you as a producer have shown me. It makes me very emotional, to walk away from something where there is a very generous paycheck and but you are not fulfilled as a storyteller.
Jina Panebianco 29:00
Mindy Cohn 29:01
And your voice is being dimmed...
Jina Panebianco 29:04
Mindy Cohn 29:05
by either an ego or a direction the company is taking that isn't really what it was started out to do. Having said that, to be able to leave that, and that security, and not only start something new, you're trying to change people's lives by telling stories, impact them emotionally, psychologically, and move away from things that are entertainment. Yes, but not that.
Jina Panebianco 29:29
Mindy Cohn 29:29
Do you want to speak to that at all without sort of asking you I don't want to ask you direct questions, because I want you to share what you want to share about it. But it really is like Ted Talk Gee been last two years.
Jina Panebianco 29:40
Mm hmm. Thank you. I appreciate that so much. Thank you. Yeah, I don't mind talking about it. And because it's it really, it's part of who I am. I loved the reason I started it and wanted to do it. And it's also shaped me to how I am now that I couldn't be here now with Caliwood Pictures and all these great things happen. If that didn't happen, so yeah, I mean, I, I co founder of an OTT platform, but something along the way happened and happens sometimes you realize when you've got someone you have been so close with in a friendship and business for so many years and you see things different, you know, you have a different point of view. Yeah, I think it became I was, as you said, my light was definitely being diminished. I felt that I didn't have a voice and I had great ideas. We used to talk about Mindy and I, you know, there's five lanes to a freeway, it doesn't mean you go down one lane because you actually need to hit multiple, you know, walks of life of people. Yeah. So it was a very difficult time for me because the three of us we had all put a lot into that initially for the launch in 2017. And, you know, and my brother came in as an early investor as well to see that you are taking a step back and because I would, I would cry a lot at home all the time, as you know, and I cried because I wanted so hard for things to work and I cried out of my own fears. I was a new mom, I just had I adopted an open adoption. My gorgeous little boy, my little Jackie bear. And, and...
Mindy Cohn 31:22
So most people Gee would not walk away from even if if they were unhappy or not as satisfied, as expected would stay just out of you know, for the paycheck. You are a single mom and newborn.
Jina Panebianco 31:37
Mindy Cohn 31:37
You know, and instead. You absolutely jumped off the cliff. I mean...
Jina Panebianco 31:42
I did and it was a poignant moment because I remember, you know, I contemplated staying, you know, and because there was so much at stake for me, it wasn't just the company, it was friendship, it was things it was a history of years and years. And even though I can definitely take the backseat at times when I know certain things have to happen. I'm definitely not the person who's going to Be in the backseat Oh visit, but I can't stay. Yeah. So. So anyway, I remember going to...
Mindy Cohn 32:07
which by the way, I'm going to interrupt you because to me, it's the definition of a creative, someone who if my voice is not being heard, and I'm not storytelling the way that I want to, I physically am not going to be able to do it. Like, it's not about money. It's not about prestige. It's not about ego. It's literally like, I'm not going to be happy doing what I'm meant to be doing on this planet. So...
Jina Panebianco 32:32
yeah, and it's true. And I remember calling my therapist we all have one of those. And and I said to her, this is what I'm thinking and she said, Wow, I can't really and I said, Yeah, that bad is it? And she said, No, that's amazing. She said jump and you know, like the net will appear as they say, just just quit because you know, quite honestly, Jina, you know, you don't want to hear yourself, keep you know, complaining about it or crying over it or wondering why things might be different. You know, That's not you just move, just move just go forward. And so I thought what, you know, what can I do? If, you know if I were to leave and you know, with my son and so, you know, I had to regroup and go back to you know, Wes, who was a dear friend for years, my business partner and and he was ready and when I, you know, I remember I went to him in August of that year and said, That's why everything happens so quickly. So I went to him in early August and I said, here's the thing I loved nice girl like you I know we had it sitting for a long time the money was always in the bank because we were always going to make it so I everything was there and I said, How do you feel about getting it back off the ground? He said, Yeah, let's let's do it. And I was just so you know, you know, he's a financial risk management advisor very successful. This film is not his his world, I think except in you know, a lot of the finance sense but we've partnered quite a few times and so for to get that that positive feedback from him and, and he knew a lot of things that were going on and he said, Jina I couldn't be happier for you this is this is like your destiny.
Mindy Cohn 34:03
He also believed in your ability, as we were talking about at the beginning of our conversation, which is incredibly rare. He sees a good investment, you know?
Jina Panebianco 34:14
Yeah, he Yeah, he's a good so you know that's so that's the story. So once that happened, you know, we just you know move quickly and I said to him Look, I'm going to try to get this off the ground and you know, September October time let's just see what happens I'll just try so so we did...
Mindy Cohn 34:31
which is also always the thing right Christian This is like years and years and years, and I talked about it and her putting it down and putting, and then when it's like a Yes, it was like a bullet train
Christian Brescia 34:43
That's what I love about entertainment, something can sit there for forever and you're like, is this ever gonna happen? And then when it does, it moves.
Jina Panebianco 34:50
when you know Robert Zemeckis talks about Forrest Gump. Everyone's like, Oh, it's again a story...what an original. No it's been like, you know how many year and he's Roberts Zemeckis for christ's sake, right? Like 15 years. People like BLEEP this, you know, a guy who chases a leaf and like, you know, talks about shrimp?
Mindy Cohn 35:06
I have to say and it has always been my motto I have not hit a year where I don't believe what I'm saying. And when I hit that year, I think we'll all mourn it terribly. But for now, I do think the best is yet to come. It's not only a pithy thing to say, but you know that I walk and talk it and even in times of, you know, dissatisfaction and frustration I have to say that I am so excited that I have a front row seat to the best is yet to come for you Jina. I am so excited and we'll be hanging on ever so tightly to those coattails...Thanks for playing!
Jina Panebianco 35:42
Listen, I have one strip with your name on it! You just sit your BLEEP right there!
Mindy Cohn 35:49
God. Anyway. I am so excited for you. I feel that finally the release of A Nice Girl Like You and what will be I know Amazing second film coming out of Caliwood. I mean, just being one day on the set and seeing the characters and reading the script, it is a homerun, I predict. I just so excited. Thank you. Thank you so, so, so much for being a part of our Monday's With Mindy.
Jina Panebianco 36:17
This was great. You guys. And I'll just, I just want to give a shout out to my amazing partners, john, Mike and Wes, who with Caliwood, you know, and their support, could not could not be doing it. They give me the freedom to, you know, make the choices and they have faith in me to move forward. Which is incredible.
Mindy Cohn 36:31
And they have very good taste, I have to say...
Jina Panebianco 36:35
I mean, look Hello,
Mindy Cohn 36:37
Exactly, but also just the projects that you starting to manifest and create and gather. Yeah, you know, it does does a lot for them. Yeah, so I feel very happy for you.
Jina Panebianco 36:49
Thank you I do too. We need to talk about our next next, next, next.
Mindy Cohn 36:54
Next Next. In the meantime, it's just a full court press on A Nice Girl Like You.
Jina Panebianco 36:58
I love it. I'm so excited for everybody to see this movie it's so adorable and charming. And I'm going to tell you, Mindy because she won't say she is one of the very best things in the movie. Every time someone sees this movie, they say, and Mindy made me laugh my BLEEP off. She is so funny wait until to it, and she impro improvise so much. And we have so much of that. You know, the one I'm talking about with you and Lucy sitting on the bench.
Mindy Cohn 37:24
I do it makes me laugh just thinking about it.
Jina Panebianco 37:26
Know that that was not scripted when you hear them on the bench in the rain with the umbrella. That's all Mindy to me.
Christian Brescia 37:31
I'm excited to see it myself.
Mindy Cohn 37:33
Thank you so much. Thank you.
Jina Panebianco 37:35
I feel so blessed. Thank you, Christian. So nice to meet you. Let's share some wine together.
Christian Brescia 37:38
Thank you for joining us, and sharing. Yes, absolutely. Sometime soon, i hope!
Jina Panebianco 37:43
Yeah, yeah. When we can sit closer than six feet or a camera.
Christian Brescia 37:47
Jina Panebianco 37:47
Yes. And good luck with the show. You guys are doing a killer job. Really. You're such great interviewer and you're so great Christian as well and your energies together. It's great. I'm happy for you guys.
Christian Brescia 37:58
Thank you for the feedback, we appreciate that. Well, thank you, ladies and gentlemen, this is our very special guest Jina check out her film on the 17th. Again, we'll have some more information on the website. links in the show notes. You can learn more about her more about the projects that she's going to be releasing in the near future, not just A Nice Girl Like You, but check out the website. Check out Jina, learn more about her. And once again, thank you very much for being on our show. We really, really appreciate it.
Jina Panebianco 38:20
Thank you guys so much. Have a great day. See you soon!
Christian Brescia 38:23
See you later. Take care.
Mindy Cohn 38:24
Talk to you later, Gee. And that was Jina Panebianco.
Christian Brescia 38:27
Pretty amazing. She's so relatable. I wasn't expecting that it was it caught me off guard in a really, really great way.
Mindy Cohn 38:33
Oh, what about I mean, you being the producer that you are, it's not many times producers gab the way that she did in my opinion.
Christian Brescia 38:41
Agreed. Agreed. I mean, I like producers, in large part, at least in my experience in the entertainment business tend to kind of fall behind the scenes. It's generally the role even though they're very much a big player in everything that's in front of the camera that's happening on on all sides. I like that. She kind of lifted up the kimono a little bit and revealed a little behind To see the process the magic that goes into the filmmaking process, you know that a lot of people don't really know that you could get funding for a film that sits in a canister for years. And it's only when life kind of taps you on the shoulder and reminds you that your, your, your need to be directed in that way. And that's, you know, kind of amazing that she saw it. She didn't know the opportunity was 100% there but she went after it anyway and said this isn't working. This is better. Let's Let's go for it.
Mindy Cohn 39:29
This is how much I believe in Jina Panebianco is that I think people will listen to this podcast years from now, after Jina has accepted one of many of her Oscars for Best Picture projects she is now involved in. I mean, she's at a level that she should be in. It's, it's very exciting. Yeah. And we will have had her first!
Christian Brescia 39:47
I think that name is going to be, you know, resonating in all of our ears for many, many years to come, which I'm very excited to see how she, where she goes and how she takes this journey. It's pretty awesome. And hopefully you'll be along for the ride for most of that too.
Mindy Cohn 40:00
You know I will beg borrow and steal!
Christian Brescia 40:05
Another awesome conversation. Mindy, thank you for joining me today. Thank you to our audience for joining us again, if I haven't told you enough times, MondaysWithMindy.com, pretty much has everything you could possibly need. Join us next week we're excited to be back with you once again where we will be joined by another one of Mindy's co stars from the upcoming film that we just talked about. So hopefully you can join us for that and we will see you then. Bye, everybody.