Jack Lechner

Jack Lechner

Affiliated Program

Cineplex Entertainment Film Program

Biography

Jack Lechner was recently supervising producer on the reboot of National Geographic Explorer, which premiered in November 2016; supervising producer on The New Yorker Presents for Amazon; and producer on TruInside for TruTV. His credits as executive producer include the Oscar-nominated Blue Valentine; the Oscar-winning The Fog Of War; the Emmy-nominated Left Of The Dial for HBO; Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys for Sundance; Parking Lot for Trio; Sunset Daze for WE; the feature documentaries The New Public, Naked On The Inside, Very Young Girls, and Smile 'Til It Hurts: The Up With People Story; and the upcoming The First to Do It and Bite Me. He was a producer on the pilot for Mad Men, the Emmy-winning AMC drama series; and on Shots In The Dark for Court TV and Channel Four. In 2013, he was a co-producer on Playwright: From Page To Stage for PBS.

From 2000 to 2004, Jack was an in-house producer for RadicalMedia. Prior to that, from 1996 to 1999, he was Executive VP for Production and Development at Miramax Films. During this time, Jack was closely involved with such movies as Good Will Hunting, Little Voice, The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, Guinevere, and Velvet Goldmine. Before Miramax, Jack was a VP of original programming at HBO, where he supervised the BBC co-productions The Affair and Deadly Voyage, and developed the docudrama Hostile Waters. From 1991 to 1994, he was second in command at Film Four in London, supervising the development and/or production of films including The Crying Game, Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Full Monty, Shallow Grave, Brassed Off, Safe, Naked, Bhaji on the Beach, and Backbeat. Prior to that, Jack worked in Los Angeles for producer Art Linson and for director Alan Parker. Before that, he was a creative executive at Columbia Pictures, and story editor at Vanguard Films.

As a writer, Jack worked on the NBC game show Million Second Quiz, and currently contributes to the NPR quiz show Ask Me Another and the website QuizLife. His articles have appeared in The Village Voice, Good, Variety, The San Francisco Chronicle, Photography & Culture, and Premiere; and he has constructed puzzles for publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, TV Guide, Original Logic Problems, and Games. His non-fiction book, Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You: One Man, Seven Days, Twelve Televisions, was published by Crown in 2000; his picture book, Mary Had A Little Lamp, was published by Bloomsbury in 2008; and if you want to reach way back, The Ivy League Rock & Roll Quiz Book was published by Delilah in 1983.

Jack wrote the lyrics for the off-Broadway musical The Kid, based on the memoir by Dan Savage, which premiered at The New Group in 2010. The show won the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Jerry Bock Award, a Jonathan Larson Grant, a GLAAD Media nomination, a Lucille Lortel Award nomination, and five Drama Desk nominations, including one for Jack’s lyrics. Jack contributed special material to the 2003 film View From The Top; and for six years wrote song parodies for the Independent Spirit Awards. From 2010 to 2016, he was a member of the steering committee for the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop.

Jack is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice in the graduate film program at Columbia University School of the Arts, where he supervises the Creative Producing concentration. Although he dropped out of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Jack was an adjunct professor there for nine years. He graduated from Yale University in 1984 with a B.A. in film studies.

Jack is active as a consultant, for clients including Left/Right, the Canadian Film Centre, HBO, Harpo Films, Blue Horizon, The Rockwell Group, Capitol Films, and Avalon Pictures. In 1988, he set a still-unbroken record for wagering and losing the most money in the final round on Jeopardy!, but he made up for it later on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and Wheel of Fortune. He is married to Sam Maser; their daughter Maude was born in 2001.