His first directed and produced theatrical feature film, “Shame, Shame.. Everybody Knows Her Name,” was made a permanent part of The Museum of Modern Art’s archives. He next directed, wrote, and produced his first major motion picture, “Hurry Up, Or I'll Be 30” with Danny DeVito - DeVito's first feature film. It was honored at the USA Film Festival as one of the Best Directed Films of the Year. Many more films followed.
Returning to his roots in the mid-90s, Mr. Jacoby founded Children’s Video Theater® with the purpose of producing high-quality family programming for television and video. “Davy Jones’ Locker,” a family musical starring The Bil Baird Marionettes, was seen nationally on the PBS stations and Japan’s NHK, to both critical and ratings success. The film was awarded The Unima Citation of Excellence and, in 2002, was chosen for the Ten Years Winner’s Circle by Unima and The Puppetry Arts Center in Atlanta. “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves” is currently in development.
In March 2006, The Museum of Modern Art in New York City honored Mr. Jacoby with a one-week retrospective of his film work to date, which coincided with the publication of his memoir.
Joe Jacoby recently completed his one-hour documentary A Case of MisTaken Identity? having to do with his search for the father he never knew. This film is based, in part, on his acclaimed memoir Boy On A String, with an Introduction by his longtime friend and NYU colleague, Martin Scorsese. It is a prequel to Jacoby’s feature film to be based on his book.
A Case of MisTaken Identity? is distributed nationally through American Public Television. (Please check your local PBS station listings for time and date).
As a direct outgrowth of his experiences while investigating his own biological roots, Jacoby became convinced of the universality of his search (“when it’s personal, it’s universal”) and the waiting audience for an ‘Everyman’ reality series that would enable and empower the individual. Search for Identity is a projected one-hour reality show now in development.
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The Power Of Your Dreams
Joseph Jacoby was born and raised in Brooklyn. From age 7, when his mother was institutionalized, he spent the remainder of his youth in seven foster homes and two institutions, one intended for emotionally disturbed children. No relatives, no siblings. Just dreams.
From as far back as he can remember, he loved the camera, he loved movies, he loved what was then, in the late 40’s-early 50’s, the new medium of television, and he loved puppetry. From childhood on, he dreamt of becoming a part of this world of entertainment, although he had no specific agenda. Only intent, passionately and deeply felt. It was a dream he would keep secret, sensing its fragility, and suspecting that it would be taken if exposed, since loss was a conditioned reflex, as was the expectation of its inevitability.
If a child with no structural or familial underpinning can succeed—working in live network television beginning in his teenage years, and making his first theatrical movie by age 27, all while attending NYU full-time and majoring in film on a partial scholarship—then this is testimony to the power of the will and one’s deeply felt dreams.
How this works is something Mr. Jacoby talks about. He does not believe it is accidental or coincidental, although he does believe in what the psychologist Carl Jung called Synchronicity — things that happen in one’s life through acausal events. Jacoby believes these are brought about through intent.
His lecture is directed at corporate executives, university students, and the general public. The lecture is punctuated by Power Point visuals, including Behind-the-Scenes visuals of his films. While his presentation is not strictly a theatrical one, it can be tailored to groups that prefer an entertainment business emphasis.
Mr. Jacoby is the owner of Jacoby Entertainment, Ltd.—a privately held company in business since 1976.
- The upside of early childhood deprivation and loss.
- The power of Intent
- Accessing inner resources at the earliest age.
- The downside of patience.
- The crippling effect of conformity.
- The non-conformist as entrepreneur
- The value of the contrarian—not caring about what other people think.
- Anger as a useful fuel.
- Follow your passions, never money. Let money follow you.
- Discipline born out of Passion.
- Motivation is the key.
- RISK. Embrace it: There is risk in not taking chances.