When she graduated from UCLA with a B.A. from the School of Theater, Film and Television, it went something like this:
DAD: So… what do you want to do with this degree I just paid for?
JESS: I want to be surrounded by people I think are talented.
DAD: It sounds like you need to start a company.
Given some seed money, and a few months of making up company names, Cinterra Pictures, LLC was created. Under this banner, and with the same entrepreneurial spirit instilled by her parents, Jess has in fact worked to surround herself with talented artists. This began by producing two feature-length documentary films: Namaste Nepal (2009), available worldwide on Amazon in the Gaiam channel, and Big in Bollywood (2011), available worldwide on Netflix. In 2013 Jess partnered with Stephen Cox to produce parody video Placeba which appeared on FunnyOrDie’s most viewed in the week of its release. In association with Upstart Crow Productions, Jess, under the Cinterra banner, also served as associate producer for acclaimed festival shorts Out With A Bang and The God Chair.
In 2015 she launched Cinterra Entertainment, creating a fully integrated production and management company with the goal of running it like a "theater company for film." Cinterra now boasts a roster of over 50 talented above and below-the-line member-artists with careers in Emmy-winning and nominated television, award-winning feature films and commercials, as well as podcasts and theater. In 2019 Jess expanded the company by bringing on two new managers, Sarah Baker Grillo and Bay Dariz.
This newly integrated company also hit the ground running on the development side with television series Palisades Justice, for which Jess co-wrote and directed the pilot episode. She also helped to launch the bi-weekly podcast Brentfast, co-created with client Brent Pope and Cinterra is currently in development on four feature film projects. In her spare time she loves to direct comedy with sketch group Humor Endorphins including The Case, The Bad Guy, The Case II and Top Remote.
Prior to launching Cinterra, Jess held a number of positions at the original new-media company (yep! pre YouTube, iTunes, Netflix and Amazon) - CinemaNow, Inc. As Director of Acquisitions she gained in-depth knowledge of the digital distribution of movies, television, and music videos under the wings of founders Curt Marvis, Bruce Eisen and Mark Amin. Jess got a crash-course in entertainment law and managed distribution contracts with all major movie studios, music labels, and negotiated a number of distribution deals including with Lionsgate, Vivendi Entertainment, EMI, and Image Entertainment.
Jess' first job in entertainment was as an assistant to producer Joseph Singer (Courage Under Fire, Dr. Dolittle) where she learned valuable first-hand knowledge of the film development process.