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The Influence

Established in 2004, after Knudsen and Van Hoy met while serving as assistants to Scott Rudin, the company earned its first Oscar for Christopher Plummer’s supporting turn in their 2010 drama "Beginners." That was just one example of the duo's ability to take small-scale indie projects and nudge them into a mainstream spotlight.

Van Hoy and Knudsen haven’t let up, producing Ira Sachs' "Keep the Lights On" and "The Loneliest Planet." Now they're in the midst of a banner year. They were the production company to reckon with in Park City, arriving with "Ain’t Them Bodies Saints," "Mother of George" and "Narco Cultura." All three were acquired out of the festival, with "Ain’t Them Bodies Saints" emerging as a possible Oscar contender.

Biggest Success

Plummer's Oscar was a big moment, though Knudsen said it was humbling as well. “The next morning we thought, 'How can we use this to get another film financed?'" he said. "Winning an Oscar provided a big opportunity. But to be honest, I wanted to be there two years prior."

Biggest Disappointment

The struggle of figuring out how to make a living doing what they love. "We’re getting it figured out," Knudsen said. "Certainly we’ve stared into the edge of abyss more than once."

Biggest Challenge

There are too many to count. "You get a lot of bad news on a daily basis," Van Hoy said.

What's Next

They’re currently prepping for Ira Sachs' next film and actor Ben Foster’s directorial debut.

The Survey
My Biggest Career Break...
It's a toss‑up between closing the financing on our first feature, "Gretchen" and Mike Mills pushing for us to producer "Beginners."
Best Filmmaker Working Today...
I don't think about filmmakers in this way.
A Guilty Pleasure Movie...
Sometimes do gravitate towards complete garbage, but I honestly don't have a guilty pleasure film.
My First Job...
I worked the Galveston Stewart Beach service, which was a 60 to 70 hours/week summer job, ranging from digging holes in the sand using a 35 lb stainless steel pick, to unloading the umbrellas and chairs. In the film industry, I was hired out of the intern pool at The Shooting Gallery to assist Daniel Schwartz as the company expanded in an effort to take advantage of the tech bubble. That effort ultimately sank the company, but at that time TSG was a special place. Daniel was a great, generous mentor to me.
14 YEARS OLD
The age that Jay had his first job
7 FESTIVALS
Attended this year by Jay
40 WEEKS
The average amount that Jay travels for work each year