April 18, 2014

Trendsetters: Entertainment

Mike Vogel | 4/1/2008
Terry Miller Jr.
[Photo: Eileen Escarda]

Terry Miller Jr.

Producer, Parkland

Before movies:
Miller studied at the University of Florida, planning to become
a veterinarian.

Favorites:
Harry & Son
“Just opened my eyes to a whole world of things and people.”

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
“That was a laugh every day. Every day we didn’t really know what (Jim Carrey) would turn up with.”

Cliffhanger
Miller traveled to New Zealand, France, Italy and Spain to find locations for the Sylvester Stallone adventure movie.

The film bug chomped on Terry Miller Jr. on the Florida set of Paul Newman’s Harry & Son, for which Miller was a college student intern production assistant. (His alternative description of his work on that film: “A wide-eyed goofball walking around and bumping into things.”)

That was 1983. He went on to be a production assistant for the “Miami Vice” pilot and a location manager for its first two seasons. He moved to California, where he became an assistant director on the first two Lethal Weapon movies, the first two Die Hard movies and a bunch of others before returning to Florida in 1998, where he’s currently a producer/unit production manager on USA Network’s “Burn Notice.”

He and other producers are “magnets for production” in Florida, says former state film commissioner Paul Sirmons. “Larger productions want to know that there is a person that knows all the people and equipment in an area and has done multiple large shows before. Without them, probably, I believe a lot of shows would not choose to come to those areas.”

A Georgia native whose family moved to Miami when he was a child, Miller returned to Florida in part to be closer to family. His role includes bringing projects in on time and on budget, and his skill at that seems to offer as much psychic satisfaction as the stardust. “I like to take a good script and a good story and make it come true and also make it for the amount of money that was (projected),” says Miller, 53.

But shooting is his first love, and he has some ambitions to realize. “I still want to direct my own film.”


» FUN AND GAMES

Former designers of military simulators Erick S. Dyke, 40, and Dan O’Leary, 38, partnered to create n-Space in Orlando, an independent designer of games for various platforms. The 92-employee company’s credits include “Geist,” “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” and the upcoming “Star Wars: Force Unleashed.”

» ANIMATION

Iake Eissinmann, 45, CEO of Mighty Mojo Studios in Orlando, founded his company in 2005 as a digital animator of characters, products and real estate developments. It also produces a children’s educational series, “Tol Stilts’ The Mystery of ... “ and another TV series, “Cartoon Galaxy.”

» MATCHMAKER

John Pokorny’s ProductionHub.com in Winter Park is a national search engine that matches producers with crews, support staff and equipment suppliers, carries classifieds, production news and paid listings, among other services. The 40-year-old president and CEO plans to go global this year.

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