Usually the people who come along to chat on my blog have some connection with writing. Today, however, is going to be slightly different. My guest is Canadian Jovan Vujatovic, who is not only an accomplished musician but also runs a business providing vehicles for TV shows and movies…
Hi Jovan and welcome. Can I start by asking you a little about yourself?
My name is Jovan Vujatovic and I was born in Hamilton Ontario. I have two Degrees in Music from Musicians Institute in Hollywood, and Los Angeles Academy of Music in Pasadena CA. I also got a Diploma in Business Management and Graphic Design in California. I have performed with great musicians such as Peter & Gordon of British Invasion fame, and also Spencer Davis. I have recorded 13 albums to date. I have five song writing wins from Cfox Seeds (2002-Superjaded & Hybrid Cartel), (2006-Fully Loaded), Z-95.3 FM Song writing Star, (2005-White Noise), and most recently the Peak Performance Project, (2014-Damn Fools). I’ve lived in LA, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver throughout my music career.
In 2002 I wrote an album and started a band that won Cfox Seeds with a lead singer named Antonio Cupo who is an accomplished actor known in Canada for his lead role in Bomb Girls, who encouraged me to make money by working as a film extra on sets. That’s where my film career began. I worked on such shows as Davinci’s Inquest and Catwoman. In 2004 I started my company 396moviecars, and by 2006 I landed my first full time job as a car wrangler on a series called Masters of Horror. In 2007 I landed my first position as Picture Car Coordinator for the TV series Flash Gordon. I am now entering my 10th year as a Coordinator.
You’re the drummer with rock band Damn Fools, how did you guys get together?
In 2006 I found myself sitting at the ROXY nightclub to watch a band when a good friend of mine walked in the door. His name is Tommy Mac, from the band Hedley. He came up to me and introduced me to Mike, Andrew, and Chris who Tommy had discovered and produced. At the time the band was called Fully Loaded. Tommy asked me to join the band as the drummer. Since he was involved, I said yes! Here we are 10 years later and now called Damn Fools with a new style of music and added members Mike Turner and Alex Gordon Firing.
As Fully Loaded, we one CFOX Seeds 2006. We went on the have to biggest booking agent in Canada, and possibly North America. His name is Ralph James of the Agency Group. We got great opening spots and tours with such bands as Denko Jones, Econoline Crush, Default, State Of Shock and My Darkest Days. One of the best shows we played as Fully Loaded has to be Fox Fest for 5,000 people opening for Theory of a Deadman, Marianna’s Trench, and Billy Talent. As Damn Fools, we have played some incredible festivals opening for bands such as Matt and Kim, Atlas Genius, MGMT, The Trews to name a few. One of the highlight shows for me was performing at the Imperial in Vancouver with The Washboard Union opening up. The reason it was great was because the styles of music came together so well. During sound check, I suggested that we all get up and do a jam at the end of the night – EPIC! We ended up jamming out Elvis’s That’s all Right Mamma. In 2014, we became part of the top 12 Peak Performance project bands. Amazing experience.
You have a dedicated Facebook Page for your company 396 Movie Cars. How long have you been in business and what service do you provide for prospective clients?
I started my business in 2004. I provide rentals to film. Mainly vehicles such as Police cars and specialty vehicles. I also broker vehicles that belong to people who are interested in registering their vehicle with me. Think of me as an agent for background performers or actors. The vehicles become the stars of the shows at times, and it’s my job to land these vehicles a part. I do so by submitting a “Head Shot” of the vehicle to the producers and Director.
How do you locate vehicles for a movie or TV series?
I use all tools and resources. I need to research classified sites such as Craigslist, Kijiji and Auto Trader at times. But a lot of the time it’s from making calls to contacts that I have built over the years. I also pull from my inventory of vehicles I own, or vehicles that are registered to me.
What is the most famous movie/TV series you’ve been involved in?
I worked on both, but I have to say that the biggest show I’ve ever been a part of hands down is Amazon Prime’s “Man In The High Castle”. This show is a 5.5 Million dollar per episode show. It’s rated only second to Game of Thrones as far as production costs go. Earlier this year we won two Emmy’s.
Have you had a really difficult or strange request from any clients you’ve worked with?
I would say they are all difficult and or strange. Working in film is already abnormal – lol. I did once get a call from New York looking for a Sleigh for a Santa Gag. I only deal with wheels.
What is your favourite vehicle?
Most difficult question to answer. My brain starts spinning with all the cars I would love to own. I am a real huge fan of the 1969 Dodge Charger, and the Plymouth Superbird. But I have to keep it real and go with the car my parents were so nice to get me when I turned 16. My 1970 SS Chevelle with a 396ci Motor. Hence, the 396Moviecars reference.
You must have met many famous people, are there any memorable encounters?
So many great people and yes, memorable encounters for sure. First one that comes to mind is working with Halle Berry, on Catwoman. Not only was she surreal to see in person, but there was a great moment on set were one of the back ground performance started singing Oh Canada, and the entire place erupted in singing the anthem, including Halle. It was epic to say the least. Another personal favourite moment came when I was working as a cast driver on the mini series “Tin Man” starring Zooey Deschanel, Allan Cummins, and Neil McDonough. I got to drive all three. I would say I became very close with Allan and Neil. Neil starred in one of my favourite all time things to watch. It was the 10 part mini series “Band Of Brothers”. That show moved me so much, you could say I was star struck when Neil got into my van. He looked and me and said, “Hi, I’m Neil McDonough” and I replied, “I know who you are (Like a little kid) You’re Buck Compton from Band of Brothers! From then on, we became good friends and I looked after his family while shooting the film.
Oh I almost forgot, my absolute favourite show of all time is the Dukes Of Hazzard. Probably one of the reasons that I like cars and girls.. lol. I always dreamed how awesome it would have been to be on the set of Dukes of Hazard and see the car when they jumped it. Well! In 2005 I got contacted by Smallville looking for a 1969 Dodge Charger to jump on the show, which would star the two original actors from the Dukes, John Schneider and Tom Wopat who played Bo and Luke Duke in the original series. I got to work with them all day doing stunts with the car. We also got to jump the car not once, but twice. It was a total dream come true. It also put me and my company on the map in the film industry.
Many thanks for taking time out to be interviewed Jovan, and good luck with all your future projects.
If anyone is interested in a promo slot for their work on my blog – and you don’t have to be a writer – please contact me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org