Nigel Miguel

Nigel

Ardomi Media Group
Belize Film Commissioner

Contrary to belief, the number one export from Belize is not seafood, but rather an ambassador of sorts in the way of one shy 6’5” gentleman, Nigel Miguel. Born in Belize, it was Miguel’s father’s zest for education that brought the entire family to be raised in Southern California. Athletically blessed, Miguel was a standout player at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks. He soon found himself on the McDonald’s All-American Dream Team, which featured the top 20 high school basketball players in the country. His classmates were Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, and Michael Jordan.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Miguel also attended UCLA when he was offered a scholarship by then coach, Larry Brown. Continuing his love for basketball, Miguel went on to become a star basketball player for the UCLA Bruins all four years in college. While in school other interests would ensue and the likeable Miguel would befriend a lot of students who were film majors. Film and entertainment intrigued Miguel but he didn’t quite know then how it would become a part of his life.

Meanwhile Miguel’s mind was on playing professional basketball as coach David Wohl of the New Jersey Nets, soon drafted him. Unfortunately, an inoperable heel injury sidelined Miguel early on in his career, and although he couldn’t play basketball any longer, he met a commercial casting agent who began to place him in front of a camera instead of in a basketball arena. Says Miguel, “I stopped playing ball because I was injured, but someone got me an agent at Commercials Unlimited, which at the time was one of the top three agencies in the industry.” He continued, “I had somewhat of a following through basketball and soon I was in the movies such as “Colors,” “White Men Can’t Jump,” “Space Jam,” and “The Air Up There.” Miguel would also find himself becoming Michael Jordan’s body double for seven years.

Fast forward. Miguel has now successfully merged his passion for basketball and his interest in film and created II Jam Casting & Production, which specializes in placing athletes & unique individuals in commercials and film. Miguel also has served as technical advisor, sports choreographer, and consultant to major advertising agencies including Wieden + Kennedy and Chiat Day as well as to a variety of movie studios. It was during this period while coordinating/tech advising for Nike is where he met Peter Friedman and their friendship and a mutual respect for each other started. In fact, many commercials or films where you have seen a super star athlete in motion has either been casted or consulted by Miguel. He adds, “I have casted over 100 national commercials and have overseen all the technical advising on those as well. I look forward the next set of challenges that the
industry will present”

Next up for Miguel and company is to set up filming opportunities back in his hometown of Belize, “Belize is quickly becoming the production Mecca of Central America & The Caribbean”. Miguel also feels, with the relationships that he has developed over the years there’s no one in the entertainment world that I can’t approach. Continues Miguel, “Basketball has been so good to me. It’s supported me in education and afforded me a chance to travel all over the world and meet a diverse cross section of people”.

Back home in Belize, were Miguel is currently fulfilling his roll as the Belize Film Commissioner he’s in charge of building the infrastructure of the filming landscape for the country. Miguel, who was officially appointed to his position in 2008 by the Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Oliver Barrow travels to the US & Africa to establish new production partners. Along with his duties as film commissioner Miguel also serves as a Goodwill Ambassador to the country this is a position that he has held for the past 15 years. Miguel believes, by promoting Belize worldwide and seeking out investors who want to do business with the Belizean Government, he can create opportunities for his people. “I have a foundation called The Belize Forever Foundation, which I began 15 years ago. I would just like to see the kids back home get the same kind of opportunity that I had.” Not bad for the
shy kid from Belize.