Jimmy Jack, also credited as Jimmy the Exploder, is an Australian screenwriter, film director, actor and producer best known for achieving success following his work on the 2008 film The Black Balloon.
Jimmy Jack was born in Melbourne but raised in Perth, Western Australia. His work as an actor instilled in him a love of the film-making process.
In 2001, he began working on The Black Balloon with Elissa Down, in her hometown of Sydney, and the film was under production for six years until its completion in 2007. The narrative is semi-autobiographical, mostly drawn from Down's childhood experiences, but she asked Jack to join her in writing the screenplay. He claims the pair argued often during the writing process and "at one point Elissa threw her laptop at me and I walked out and went back to Perth," later returning upon realising that "the arguments meant richer story material. Neither of us would let the other person get away with bullshit."
In 2007 Jack wrote, produced, directed and acted in the experimental feature Five Guys Named Moe which was produced before The Black Balloon but has yet to be taken to market.
Jack won the Best Original Screenplay at the 2008 Australian Film Institute Awards for "The Black Balloon". He caused a minor sensation with his acceptance speech after reading an extract of an article from The Age written by film critic Jim Schembri. After pocketing the article Jack declared "F**k you Jim Schembri" an outburst which received a star-studded ovation, but was later censored from the Channel 9 broadcast.
In 2008 Jack was poached by Mark Naglazas film editor of The West Australian as a film reviewer, which he did into 2009. He then wrote articles for PerthNow with his weekly column 'Manscape'. From 2013 he began contributing to The Guardian.
Currently in development is Archimedes Screw, a biographical film about his own father: "My dad grew up on a dairy farm in Victoria, he was one of four sons and there was a fatality, one of the sons was killed and he was meant to be taking over the farm." Jack has been interviewing his family members for several years, creating a more complete picture of events.
In 2010 Jack launched the YouTube channel 'EXPLODERVISION' which he describes as his 'side project'. The channel consists of skits of his own and other media oddities.
In 2013 Jack founded the film sales and distribution company Video Archives named after the video store Quentin Tarantino worked at before he became an auteur. The company's first acquisition is low-budget horror film Jugular.