Hamptons Confidential: Jenny Landey

1976 donzi
Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews

Welcome to our new feature in which we interview local personalities: agents, architects, interior designers, builders, anyone who plays a part in the world of Hamptons real estate. Want to get in on the fun? Drop us a line!

As the founder of Jenny Landey Productions, Jenny Landey has scouted and represented properties all over the East End as locations for photography shoots, films and events. She once sourced an oceanfront modern home in Sagaponack as the location for a Chanel commercial directed by Baz Luhrmann! She’s also an agent at Sotheby’s. An avid boater, Landey lives on Three Mile Harbor, close to her beloved restored 1976 Donzi.

So where did you grow up? How did you end up in the Hamptons?

I’m born and raised in New York City, which was a great place to grow up. I wouldn’t trade the experiences and friendships I made there for anything. Hard to top going to Studio 54 as a high schooler or driving my parents’ Oldsmobile station wagon up and down Park Avenue dropping off advance copies of Interview Magazine with doormen for advertisers. My family had a home in Westhampton back then. When I began renting on my own, I headed to East Hampton along with my father’s boat (which I still have) and I’ve never left. I kept my apartment in New York much longer than I really needed and finally gave that up 10 years ago.

So on top of having your own location company for photo shoots and being a real estate agent, you’re a boat captain?

I became a boat captain when I started a boat rental business called East Hampton Yacht Co. with the owner of the marina where I keep my boat. More than anything, I wanted to be able to be called Captain Jenny. Passing that exam was daunting, so I must have been very motivated. We had a fleet of small powerboats that we rented but after ten years, it seemed like a good time to stop. The business was became very time-consuming, but I’m proud of the record we have of having introduced many non-boating friends to the great joys of being out on the water. It was often frightening and funny in a way watching so called “boaters with experience” try to leave their slips. Eventually we started to bring boats around to the fuel dock to spare them trying to dock in a slip.

Three Mile Harbor is surprisingly quiet, so it’s a nice place to putter and learn. I still do charter referrals and have good relationships with a few favorite charter boats. My own boat, a restored 1976 Donzi, has been in the same slip for 30 years.

I have a very cute and cozy waterfront cottage still available for full season rental right on Three Mile Harbor. It’s like stepping back in time. Very simple with a great big deck right on the harbor with the best sunsets on the planet.

How did you get in to working as a location provider?

I kind of fell into it. I had worked in New York for a variety of companies, such as ABC News, The Andy Warhol Foundation, Interview Magazine, my father’s ad agency originally named Martin Landey Arlow, and many other places. Nothing really stuck. My last full-time job was working for a production company. When I left, I realized I had actually picked up a skill I can do on my own. I knew a few photographers and it just naturally evolved that way. I travelled the world producing shoots for W Magazine, Tiffany & Co. and Ralph Lauren, and many more and eventually I just wanted to stay put. That’s when I decided to really focus on representing locations for photo shoots and prioritized the Hamptons. Connecting clients with locations has given me a lot of insight into connecting buyers with properties. It’s very similar in a way.

What kinds of locations do you look for with The Affair? Are all the ones supposed to be in Montauk actually in Montauk?

Right now, The Affair is filming at one of my favorite locations in Springs, an authentic farmhouse overlooking Gardiner’s Bay with oodles of privacy. Many of their locations are in Montauk but not all. I’m only involved with them with the Springs property that I am the location agent for. I prepare the location contract, negotiate fees, check on insurance and permitting and all of the logistics and rules that go along with letting a large-scale film shoot on your property.

Bridgehampton subbing for Cali

What other TV shows/commercials/films have you worked with on photo shoots and locations?

It was fun working with Billions last year. They booked a stunning Bates Masi house in Bridgehampton, which was meant to look like California. In post-production, they put in a mountain range. Most of the work I do is with photo shoots as opposed to film shoots. This year already I’ve worked with Calvin Klein, Design Within Reach and Harper’s Bazaar UK. And the season is just beginning.

Your West Lake Drive listing went into contract after only two weeks. Since it’s stunning, it’s unsurprising that it went into contract so fast.

Every part of that compound is magical. I had it as a location listing and had done many photo shoots there over the years. Victoria’s Secret shot there and made fake snow in the summer and we also had Knoll and Nordstrom there too. I actually cold called Robert Young, the architect, when I first saw the house published and pleaded with him to connect me with the owners, which he did. After years of knowing them and becoming friends, it came full circle when I was brought in on the listing. I think the most special part of the property is the guest house. The views of Lake Montauk and the serenity felt there are pretty amazing.