As a youth, Jeanne grew up in New York. Then, as a young adult, she made her way out to Colorado studied art at the University of Colorado.
Over the next few years, Jeanne worked as a graphic designer and then art director for the KUSA television station. Early on, she started requesting opportunities for creative direction on set. People took notice of her passion and talent, and she was recognized with 12 Emmys during her time at the station.
Jeanne then moved on to Colorado Production Group, which eventually became Citizen Pictures, and that’s where her career as a director really took off.
About 10 years ago, Jeanne and her husband started Mrs. K, which is based in Boulder, CO and focuses on creating branded content for networks. Jeanne has worked with clients such as ABC, Animal Planet, the Cooking Channel and many more. She’s worked with talent such as Oprah Winfrey, Anthony Bourdain, Mike Tyson, and on and on. The list is very large.
Jeanne is known for a calm directing style with celebrity talent and for her ability to draw out performances not only from actors but also from “real” people.
[1:23] Jeanne’s background
- Grew up on Long Island
- Double major in Fine Arts and Creative Writing at the University of Colorado
- Attended Rhode Island School of Design
- Attended a Computer Graphics class at UoC Continuing Education
[12:30] The value of formal education vs. on-the-job training
[15:12] Learning how to learn
[15:53] The value of networking during film school
[16:47] How Jeanne got started with KUSA
[18:26] What is art direction in television?
[19:45] The pace of production working on a news program
[21:34] Growing up in the industry, and finding local support to blow up buildings
[27:38] All about Mrs. K
[30:43] Work outside Colorado vs. in-state
[31:45] Dealing with gear and traveling remotely
[35:20] Why Jeanne resides in Colorado
[37:42] Growing a network of clients
[38:57] Marketing then and now
[41:53] Dealing with the competition
[43:49] Advice for someone just starting out
[48:18] The advantages of becoming the lowly PA
[50:29] Dealing with the ups and downs of freelancing
[51:59] How Jeanne learns and keeps up with the times
[52:45] The value of downtime
[55:20] Things that can help keep the creative juices going
[58:56] Remembering that working in media is a group endeavor
[59:57] Current projects
[1:09:07] Working for Disney+
[1:11:48] Typical budget ranges for productions for Mrs. K
[1:13:18] Determining how much to charge for a project
[1:16:32] Good projects, bad clients, and how to deal with it all
[1:20:57] The reality of life vs. art
[1:25:42] Being a working woman in what has historically been a “man’s world”
[1:30:23] The best book Jeanne has ever read
[1:33:13] Words of wisdom that made an impact
[1:35:45] “Your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness”
[1:36:41] The greatest lesson ever learned
Links and resources
- To contact Jeanne, please visit the Mrs. K website
- View Jeanne's credits on IMDB
- 100 Years of Solitude
Be sure to check out podcasts with other great guests in the film and media industry on our DMP Podcast Page!