JTWO Welcomes intern Chloe Butler

THE NEXT CHAPTER


By Chloe Butler

If someone had told me four years ago that I would be interning at a film production company in Philadelphia I would never have believed them. I grew up in a small town in the South East of Ireland where the most exciting thing that’s probably ever happened is when a film crew showed up to shoot some scenes for John Crowley’s film Brooklyn.

It seems that most people have an unequivocally clear moment where they figure out what area of film is for them, but I can’t say the same. Even though I studied film in university I was still unsure whether or not it was the right fit for me. I’ve spoken Irish since the age of two and my whole life pretty much revolved around the language, anyone who knew me thought that I would turn out to be an Irish teacher at a school in my hometown and for a while I thought that was where my life was headed too. Even throughout my time at university I had that safety net behind me as I continued to study Irish, alongside film, just in case my little film dream didn’t happen.

It wasn’t until my third year at university after going on a study abroad to Drexel University that I came to the realization that there was absolutely no way that I was going to let that dream fail. Even after my time at Drexel and learning that the film industry was where I wanted to have a career, I still cringed away from that dreaded question ‘so what area of film do you want to work in?’.

Fast forward a few months, after studying at Drexel and moving back home to Ireland, I had one final year left at NUI Galway where I had no film classes my entire final year and I was miserable. All I was studying was my ‘safety net’ subject, Irish. I concentrated all my energy on figuring out how I was to pursue a career in filmmaking after gaining essentially no practical film skills after spending three years studying film while my graduation date was fast-approaching. I had this fanatic notion in my head that once I graduated and had that piece of paper in my hand, I needed to be on track to taking some sort of step in the direction of starting a career in the industry and that if I didn’t make the step then I never would. I’m not sure if I was driven by the hysteria of final year or by ambition or a combination of both, but however driven I made the decision to drop everything and move to the US after graduation. I figured that if I was to have any opportunity to get into the industry what better place than here, where my love for film was reaffirmed and the anxiety that I had made the wrong decision and wasted three years of my life was allayed.

After a year of planning and obtaining a visa I moved back to Philadelphia with no solid plan once I got here. I made a list of production companies in the area, and talked to a few professors I had during my time at Drexel and thus found JTwo Films. After researching the company and later speaking with some of the team I felt like it was a great fit for me. I still wince at the question of what area of film I want to focus on, but I’m confident that during my time at JTwo I’ll be much closer to having a clearer idea of where I’m headed.

  

This project was created as part of the JTWO [INC]ubator Project. A semester long internship program built from the ground up to give young filmmakers, content creators, and all around hungry for a challenge individuals a place to stretch their creative minds while preparing them for the road ahead.

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JTWO Welcomes intern Megan Swick

THAT ONE MOMENT


By Megan Swick

It seems now, that the most successful personalities in different fields can pinpoint a particular moment when they fell in love with their craft. It’s almost as if there is a spiritual urge, guiding them directly to their life’s passions. The most noble leaders, artists, and scientists recall that moment with a certain tenderness in their hearts, as it was the dawn of a lifetime of devotion to perfecting their craft. When Galileo first watched that swinging pendulum, could he feel the Gods calling upon him to become the father of observational astronomy? When Edgar Allan Poe first picked up a pencil, could he feel the spirits of centuries of artists possess his tortured soul, begging him to become a central figure in American literature? When Rosa Parks refused to move seats on that bus, did she feel compelled by her ancestors to become one of the most well-remembered civil rights activists? Because for me and the start of my life’s ambition, all I did was pick up a 2009 Flip camcorder and press record. 

For the record, I buy the life’s calling and predetermined purpose spiel. I actually find it inspiring and comforting. However, I must admit, no God called upon me to go into the production field, and I certainly never felt Stanley Kubrick’s blood pulsing through my veins. In high school, I was mostly unamused with most learning material, but also found my extracurriculars lackluster. As graduation approached I was convinced I’d have to decide on a neutral major like communications- I just didn’t have the passion for anything specialized. 

The last half of my senior year, I dropped my environmental science, and took a broadcasting class that produced the morning news. This was the first time I held an actual camera and filmed something other than my teenage self and friends doing something cringey and/or stupid. 

Was this my Galileo-pendulum moment? No, it wasn’t an irresistible pull towards my school’s morning announcements, but I found I really did enjoy making something. As the year went on, I got a taste of creating something from nothing. I experienced the rush of working in teams to produce something for an audience. I found a community in production, and I found a passion. 

Flashforward a year, and I’m going to school at Temple for Media Studies and Production. It didn’t start out that way though, because my college career actually began over 2 hours away at a different school in an entirely different major. But hey- I made it to Temple- it’s that Galileo calling working its magic right?

At Temple, I was launched into Media Studies and surrounded by people enjoying the same passion as I was. But after a while, I noticed a pattern regarding what content was more acceptable to enjoy. Perhaps all people in this industry are familiar with the age-old icebreaker question of “what’s your favorite movie?”. Depending on who you are speaking to, there is a right answer. Most people in my school are looking for an Oscar nominee, well regarded but not too well regarded as to be tainted by the wrath of pop culture followers. You can’t say the Matrix or the Breakfast Club, but you can probably throw out High Fidelity or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And, although I’ve seen all of these movies and enjoyed them, they’re simply not on my top ten.

I thoroughly enjoy what some may refer to as “lowbrow” culture. My top ten list of movies feature Wet Hot American Summer, Lego Batman, and Paddington 2. I’ve watched Interstellar once; I’ve seen Disney’s Christopher Robin five times. On the first day of my first production class, we were asked what movie inspired us to be here, and when people audibly scoffed at a kid’s answer of “Robocop”, when it was my turn, I had to choke out “Donnie Darko”. How could anyone take me seriously had they known the only song I have downloaded to my Spotify is The Muppets’ Life’s a Happy Song? What if they found out I fell asleep during The Godfather?

It was this sentiment that frustrated me. Art is so subjective that it’s ludicrous for there to be an invisible measurement that dictates what is intellectual to enjoy. It took some minor soul searching, but in time I became a firm believer in like what you like. Art is for everyone. Television and film have no boundaries, and it’s quite ridiculous to treat it as a dichotomy structure of high and low culture. I came into this field to create things I like, to share with other people who might like it. I did not waste four years of studying production to churn out indie coming-of-age pieces that I do not have the passion for. 

I found JTWO through their shared passion for innovative storytelling, and creating. The wide array of content they’ve created showcases their rage in this industry, and acceptance of the malleability of this art form. I was excited to find a home that will support my pursuit in creating what I like. Through my high school broadcasting career, my introduction to (sometimes) pretentious film culture, my media studies, to my JTWO internship, I carried with me the desire to make something to share with an audience. Whether that something is a foreign film noir or a musical with puppets, I plan to stay true to what I like. I’m sure if Galileo diverted his studies because other scholars didn’t see the art in it, his potential would have gone to waste. I realize that I’m in no way destined for the level of greatness as the father of modern physics, but as an intern at JTWO, I can try.

This project was created as part of the JTWO [INC]ubator Project. A semester long internship program built from the ground up to give young filmmakers, content creators, and all around hungry for a challenge individuals a place to stretch their creative minds while preparing them for the road ahead.

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Lost Boyz Doc Official Selection Beloit International Film Festival


The Lost Boyz of Chicago was recently named an official selection as a Documentary Short in the 2020 Beloit International Film Festival. Located in Beloit, Wisconsin, BIFF is a ten day tribute to independent film from around the world.  Residents and visitors gather to view over 100 films, and even get the opportunity to meet filmmakers from throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America. BIFF celebrates filmmakers in all genres and we could not be more excited to be honored as an official selection in the Documentary Short category. The Lost Boyz of Chicago will be playing Saturday, February 22nd at 12:00 pm and Saturday, February 29th at 5:00 pm. Read more about The Lost Boyz of Chicago below and buy tickets here.

 

 

About the Lost Boyz

Dig Deeper

After serving a short term in prison, LaVonte Stewart, a lifelong south side resident and founder of Lost Boyz Inc., became inspired to give back to his community’s youth. Through baseball and softball training, he helps provide a safe space where he can teach leadership and life lessons to neighborhood kids. We were humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to share their stories and tell about how LaVonte and the Lost Boyz are changing the south side of Chicago for good.


BEHIND THE SCENES

With only three days of filming we made it our mission to really immerse ourselves into the south side culture and come to know the Lost Boyz family. We could not thank LaVonte and the players enough for being so vulnerable and trusting of our team with their stories.

In the Press


Credits

Client: Laureus USA
Production: JTWO

Producer: Conor Hare

Director: Justin Jarrett

DP: Maria Vattimo 

AC: Aaron Preusch

Location Sound: AJ Olestad

This project was made possible through our Projects That Matter Initiative.  The Projects That Matter Initiative is a Philadelphia based video production program with the mission of  providing professional digital media services to Non-Profits at a discounted rate. To learn more about how your organization can join the initiative and qualify for creative content production discounts click below.


JTWO Produces Bowie State University Spots


PROJECT DETAILS

Our team recently had the pleasure of traveling to Maryland with Trenton-based creative agency, EFK Group, to produce a set of commercials for Bowie State University. We spent three days on campus to capture what the university has to offer. As a result, we had the opportunity to witness some of Bowie State’s arts, sports, and student life. After making a :30 and :60 TV spot, we went above and beyond and released a director’s cut of each. Watch below to see how Bowie State University is changing the game of secondary education and taking tomorrow boldly.

Bowie State University :60 Director's Cut


Client: EFK Group

Watch the :60 Bowie State University director’s cut here

PLAY

Bowie State University :30 Director's Cut


Client: EFK Group

Watch the :30 Bowie State University director’s cut here

PLAY