People would consider Lisa Jones Gentry, (formerly Lisa Jones Johnson) a true renaissance woman, because the former entertainment attorney, and now WGA member, became a writer-producer for film, television and digital content.
Lisa discovered her passion for the creative side of the business while serving as broadcast counsel at CBS in New York City, where she was the lead attorney on deals ranging from multi-millions to billions, such as the Olympics and Major League Baseball deal. But her Hollywood calling changed from “behind-the-deal” to “behind-the-laptop”, and ultimately moved to LA to break into the business as a writer-producer. As luck would have it, the first film script that she and her writing partner wrote was optioned by Paramount and repped by one of the major agencies.
For the next several years they had several screenplays and teleplays optioned and set up at networks and studios, including development deals and a writing/producing First Look deal at Sony Screen Gems. She then took that creative experience and brought it to her position as EVP of Development for the stalwart Western International Syndication, known for legendary Showtime at the Apollo and formerly a division of renowned Western International Media. There she executive produced over 100 hours of television including 130 episodes of On the Cover, a celebrity driven game show for NBS and Pax television, 26 episodes of syndicated show The Talent Agency hosted by Eva Longoria, 26 episodes of It’s Showtime for syndication and executive producer of Bloodsucker” a TV movie for SyFy (formerly Sci Fi) .
Though “behind-the-deal: again, she didn’t stop her work behind-the-laptop and during that time wrote her first novel, A Dead Man Speaks. It garnered her an NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Debut Author, followed by a Literary Critics Award nomination for best general fiction. With the cataclysmic changes in the “business,” like many other writers and producers, it wasn’t long before Lisa expanded her focus to digital media and due to her writing and executive experience was recruited to be the CEO of Comedy Express, a start-up broadband network targeting the young adult male demo with short form comedy content. Under her stewardship, Comedy Express was acquired by the famed National Lampoon.
Lisa continues to flex her creative muscle with several TV and film projects in development. Her most recent book, Forbidden Love, the true love story of a white nun and a Black priest in the segregated fifties told by their son, Joe Steele, was featured in People Magazine and attracted attention from Hollywood. Lisa decided to partner with Jamie Foxx and his producing partner Datari Turner and Foxhole productions for the film. Jamie and Datari are producing, acclaimed filmmaker Julie Dash is attached to direct Lisa’s screenplay based on her novel and Lisa is also a producer on the film. Other projects include Lisa’s first novel, A Dead Man Speaks which is currently being developed as a television series. Lisa is repped on the legal side by Darrell Miller of Fox Rothschild.