Jared Hess is a successful 30 year old film writer. He attended Brigham Young Film University in Provo, Utah and now has made a career out of working behind the scenes, directing and writing films. Before his big break in the film industry, Hess worked as a camera assistant in films and had small roles in LDS or Mormon cinema comedies. “These include The Singles Ward, The R.M. and Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-day Comedy (1).
His first “big break” was a short film Peluca. The film was a hit in 2003 at Slamdance, which is a film festival. Peluca was such a big hit investors decided Hess had earned another chance at making a film. His “big achievement” was Napoleon Dynamite (2004), “which is an expansion of Peluca(2). The same plotline and cast members in Peluca were actually used in Napoleon Dynamite, including Jon Heder, who plays Napoleon Dynamite. Napoleon Dynamite’s budget cost was $400,000 and the domestic total gross was $44,540,954 making the movie an enormous success, grossing over a hundred times more than the actual production cost (3). The success of Napoleon Dynamite is not all contributed to Hess. His wife, Jerusha Hess, co-wrote and directed Napoleon Dynamite. Jeremy Coon, a friend at Brigham Young Film University, produced and edited the film (2). The inspiration for the movie was actually events that Hess observed through high school, which is why it was a success because viewers could relate to it. Hess claims that each event in the movie has happen to someone he knew and many of the scenes in the movie were actually filmed at the high school he attended. Pixelsurgeon conducted an interview with Hess and Hess explained that “Napoleon really is a composite, myself and my younger brothers. Some of the things he says and does are almost direct things that happened to us when we were growing up. My brother did ring me up and ask me to bring him his chapstick, just weird, crazy stuff like that” (4).
Both Jared and Jerusha Hess continued on with their success and made their next hit, Nacho Libre (2006). Mike White also was a co-writer on this film. Jack Black, the star in Nacho Libre, actually approached Hess because he enjoyed his style and Hess had “heard of a Mexican priest who turned to lucha libre wrestling to support an orphanage, which blossomed into Nacho Libre(2).
Their most recent finished works include a film Gentleman Broncos. “This film stars
Michael Angarano as the teenager, Jemaine Clement as the established novelist, and Sam Rockwell as the story's fictional title character who appears in book-come-to-life sequences” (1).


http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0381478/
Media Now: Understanding Media, Culture, and Technology. Wadswoth Cengage Learning:2009

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=napoleondynamite.htm
http://www.pixelsurgeon.com/interviews/interview.php?id=159