Who is Jay Hix Jones?
Jones admits he would be completely lost without Jesus. For the majority of his life, he aimlessly roamed the planet as a nomad. Although a Christian from as far back as he can remember, Jones really didn’t begin living the Christian life until he found his purpose, and advises against using his life as an example before his thirties. He’s found success by working hard to use his gifting and blessings to further the Kingdom, and his happiness comes from a deep love for his family and personal relationship with Christ. Jones has worked professionally as a TV producer for the last fifteen years with credits on hit shows such Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Ice Road Truckers, and Hoarders to name a few. He is now preparing to embark on a new journey of moving from behind the camera to out front and center stage (more on this later in the interview). Although Jones is a producer/director, it appears God is directing his career, and Jones prefers it that way.
Jones will celebrate his ninth wedding anniversary to, the love of his life, Kara Jones this July. Together they have two beautifully made children (Reeder Hix Jones and Hunter Rose Jones), and currently reside in the Seattle, WA area.
How do you think your mom would describe you?
Driven. Dreamer. Kind. Creative. Obsessive. Workaholic. Blessed. She passed away last April from complications relating to lung cancer and I miss her dearly.
Why did you get involved in the film industry?
It’s definitely not your typical Hollywood story and wasn’t something I knew was my calling until much later in life. It basically took me hitting rock bottom and arriving at a crossroad for me to discover my purpose. I was twenty-eight years old, had a cushy account management job where I oversaw ninety accounts in the northeast region, was engaged and basically living “the life” in New York City. Then for apparently no reason, or fault of my own, the bottom fell out. Within a span of several months, I lost my career, my fiancé and I broke up and my grandmother, who was like a second mother to me, passed away God rest her soul. I was so lost but didn’t freak out. I knew there was a reason for the season (ha! Love that saying), asked God for clarity, and He provided it in what can only be described as flashes or clips of my life that highlighted what my purpose was to be. Sort of like what people say they experience right before a near death experience. It was as if my life flashed before my eyes. God gave me glimpses of me sitting on the couch as a kid watching TV with my grandmother, me hamming it up in front of the camera while my father was recording, etc. etc. etc. I immediately felt complete peace, and from that moment on new I was called to the entertainment industry. Then the crazy journey of figuring how to step into that at twenty-eight years old began.
What do you love most about being a producer?
I consider myself to be a pretty creative person, so for me producing is the outlet for that energy. I love the entire process. I also love the fact that I can influence people’s lives positively through the content I choose to produce. It also presents opportunities for me to speak at churches and events about my experiences, which I really enjoy.
What is it like to be a Christian in the film industry?
It definitely has its challenges and my guess it is only going to become more divided. I’m basically an outsider and the minority, but we are called to go into those places and share the light, right? I think if I was producing only Christian films my answer would be totally different, but for the most part I work on the secular side of the industry and we all know how liberal it is. I love a challenge and there are some amazing opportunities to share my faith in Christ with non-believers.
What place do Christian films have in the industry?
“God is on the move, on the move, hallelujah” (love me some seventh Time Down).
I think Christian films are gaining momentum at a record pace right now. If you think back to just a decade ago, you can’t really even name a handful of Christian films that had been made, right? I believe people are so hungry for God right now and at the same time so over the typical “Hollywood” movie experience.
Let me blow your mind real quick! Ha! We are called to share Him with the world, right? And we know that TV, film, video, etc. is a very powerful medium, that we can and should use to share Him with the world, right? But do we truly know how powerful and influential this medium is? Here’s the math; if we truly believe a picture is worth a 1,000 words of power and influence and film is basically (depending on frame rate) 30 still pictures per second, then an average length feature film of 90 minutes is equaled to 162,000,000 words of power and influence over our lives (math breakdown below). Or your typical reality show, lets say the Kardashians, is worth 54,000,000 words of influence. What does this mean Jay Hix Jones? The Bible in its entirety has roughly 820,000 words, and we know how life changing it can be to read through it in one of those yearlong plans, right? Imagine reading the bible from cover to cover 197 times in an hour and a half. That would be pretty dang powerful, right? Impossible but powerful! It is crazy to think the majority of people’s beliefs systems are shaped through entertainment consumption, which we now know by the math has a lot of influence over our lives. The scary thing is that the majority of films/TV/videos we consume do not have biblical based themes and values. So the short answer (ha!) is the need is definitely there! Up until now Satan has dominated this medium but God is on the move, on the move, hallelujah!
The Math: (30 pics per second x 1000 words = 30,000 words per second. 30,000 words per second x 60 seconds = 1.8 million words per minute of film/video. 1.8 million words per minute x 90 minutes = 1620,000,000 words)
Tell us more about the Hungry Fish Media Ministry that you recently launched?
Once I put the math together of how powerful and influential the technology behind entertainment and culture truly is, I immediately partnered with my cousin, Professor Dr. Chuck Hix, and created Hungry Fish. The goal is of course to develop and produce original content that builds personal relationships with Jesus. We’re still getting our footing but are learning a ton and should have a few faith-based projects come out over the next several years. We also produce a teen filmmakers boot camp that helps students learn how to go public with their faith, which we hope to bring back towards the end of the summer.
What’s one thing about yourself you want people to know about you?
I love Jesus, love my family and am here to serve and spread His love around the world. Less of me and more of Him Amen.
What kind of advice would you give others who want to get involved in the entertainment industry?
The best advice I can give anyone is to really figure out why you want to pursue it. Is God speaking this into your life or do you have this grand dream of fame, fortune, glitz and glamour. If it’s the latter, you are setting yourself up for a major disappointment and my guess is that you will not last more than a few years. Trust me when I say it’s not all that glamorous. If your goals/motives are pure and you’re wanting to use the industry as a way to entertain, educate, inspire, and influence then you have a much better chance at not only success. Why? When people only have surface or superficial reasons for pursuing dreams (fame, fortune, the red carpet, etc.), it becomes a lot easier to give up on those dreams when they don’t come to fruition as quickly as hoped. For example, after going back to film school at 28 years old, and then having produced a few projects, I found myself homeless in LA. If my goals would have been superficial (glitz and glamour), I would have given up, but there was a bigger purpose. Find your purpose and you will find happiness and success.
What film projects are you currently working on?
The projects I’m currently working on are all in the development stage, which means I can’t share much about them yet. One is a documentary series for a major network that, if green-lit, I’ll be co-hosting and attempting to solve a mystery of legendary proportions. Not much more I can say other than it also involves treasure. Ha! It will prove to be quite a challenge to both produce and host the series, but I am embracing it. Should be a lot of fun! We will know the first of June whether it’s a go or not, so please pray for me!
Another project in development is a feature film that Hungry Fish is set to produce about divorce and how God can save marriages if we allow him to. I have never been divorced and only married once but my parents got divorced, my wife’s parents divorced and so many people I know have experiences with it as well. We’re looking to partner with several churches and prominent pastors to help get this one out there and keep families together. My team is also developing an on online project titled, “Morning Jones”, which will be a spin-off of the short inspirational videos I’ve been doing on FaceBook called Morning Joe. This new spin will take on a talk format with guests, hosted by me, set on my backyard deck, and cover faith topics.
Where can people connect with you?
You can reach me over at The Hungry Fish Media Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/hungryfishm/