Producer and Past executive at Sony Pictures Feature Film Marketing and Domestic Television Research; Currently Producer - Crown Heights, Basmati Blues
Jonathan Baker is the Executive Producer of the film Crown Heights (dir. Matt Ruskin), which tells the true story of Colin Warner and stars Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out, Short Term 12, Atlanta). Warner was wrongfully incarcerated for 21 years before his best friend Carl King, played by Nnamdi Asomugha, fought the legal system to get him exonerated.
Crown Heights won the Audience Choice Award at Sundance in 2017, and was picked up by Amazon for global release and distribution. Baker Executive Produced Halfway, starring Quinton Aaron (The Blindside), a film about recidivism. He Co-Produced the feature musical film Basmati Blues, starring Donald Sutherland, Tyne Daly, Brie Larson and Scott Bakula. The film’s original musical score – supervised by Bonnie Greenberg, composed by multi-Grammy winning songwriters and choreographed by Grammy winner Noemie LaFrance – promotes a powerful anti-GMO message.
While at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Jonathan first worked in television research, then at Screen Gems and TriStar Pictures. He marketed fifty major theatrical releases, of which ten films achieved #1 at the box-office status. He is credited as Co-Producer of the documentaries Fang vs. Fiction (airing on AMC), The Real Exorcist (A & E), and Real Premonitions (A & E) while also having developed the feature Silent Hill. Films of note include Closer (dir. Mike Nichols), Adaptation (dir. Spike Jonze), Big Fish (dir. Tim Burton), Boogeyman (#1 at the box office), Underworld (#1 at the box office), In The Cut (dir. Jane Campion), You Got Served (#1 at the box office), the Resident Evil franchise, and Exorcism of Emily Rose. While at TriStar, Lords of Dogtown (dir. Catherine Hardwicke), Oliver Twist (dir. Roman Polanski), Running with Scissors (dir. Ryan Murphy) and Silent Hill.
Prior, Jonathan worked on Wall Street at Salomon Brothers Asset Management in Institutional Sales, and on Broadway at The Nederlander Producing Company of America where he handled development and line producing for CEO Jimmy Nederlander, Jr. He worked with acts like Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, Dionne Warwick, Neil Young, Paul Simon, and many others. He worked on nine Broadway shows at a time. He independently produced documentaries on Broadway stars Lea DeLaria, Geoffrey Holder, Liliane Montevecchi, and Julie Wilson that went through the film festival circuit. He landed a Jazz television show on BET staring Savion Glover and consulted at the Tribeca Film Studio for the first hi-definition video library and production company in conjunction with talent like Celine Dion.
In 2007, Jonathan left Sony Pictures Entertainment and founded JB Studio to educate and develop over 150 talented artists that range from film, television, Broadway, sports stars, to young up and coming singers. In 2015, he founded New Renaissance Artists to manage a select few JB Studio students and produces their projects under the banner New Renaissance Entertainment. He produces double bottom line content under the banner I Am 21 with Nnamdi Asomugha.
Jonathan is currently Adjunct Professor of feature film and entertainment economics at Carnegie Mellon’s Masters of Entertainment Industry Management program in the Heinz School of Public Policy and the GIOCA graduate program at the University of Bologna, Italy. He has been a guest speaker at UCLA Producing Program and the University of Texas.
Jonathan received Best Actor for his role in Thank You for Not Smoking, an official entry in the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. He composed and directed the musical short film, Naked: A Guy’s Musical, distributed by Shorts International. Most recently he produced the short film Harper Finch, and is post-production on the feature Manifest Destiny Down which he wrote, directed, and produced.
Jonathan attended The Boston Conservatory of Music and graduated from The University of Michigan in music, philosophy and religious studies. He studied directing and acting at the University of California, Los Angeles Extension Program, from Don Richardson.