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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fredsfootsteps

PTM Helps Fred's Footsteps Celebrate 15 Years


GO DEEPER

Fred’s Footsteps has been a client of the Projects That Matter Initiative for the past several years and we have had the privilege to join them on their journey. The video reflects the past 15 years of stories and experiences from the family members who make up the Fred’s Foundation, to the families who have benefited from their helping hand.


Credits

Client – Fred’s Footsteps

Director – Justin Jarrett
Assistant Director – Maria Cantu
Producer – Travis Capacete
Cinematographer – Maria Vattimo
Cinematographer – Jay Miller
Sound –  Steven Layton
PA – Chris Tocchet
Editor – Maria Cantu
Editor – Ian Schobel
Color Grading: Dave Bauer


JTWO Welcomes Director Maria Cantu

Maria Cantu


JTWO added Maria Cantu as a new Director. A former graduate of JTWO’s [INC]ubator Project, Maria is also an Emmy Nominee and an Addy “Best of Show” Winner. She brings with her an uncanny ability to weave together intricate stories across genres.

Maria came to us from Temple University in 2018. After obtaining a Media Studies and Production degree and seeing the beautiful work she brought to JTWO during her internship, it was an easy decision to bring her on full time as one of our Directors. Her Directorial debut for “Barre None” recently won Best Documentary in Bucks Fever Filmfest and took home 2 Gold ADDY Awards for Best of Show and Best Cinematography under the student category, along with Best Student Documentary at the 2019 Louix Awards.


JTWO | LISC Chicago Partner For Neighborhood Development Awards

LISC CHICAGO: 25th CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT AWARDS


Client: LISC CHICAGO

JTWO was tasked with creating ten videos for the 25th Chicago Neighborhood Development Award Show Winners. We shot the videos over four days of production from Hyde Park on the south side, to Logan Square on the north side and everywhere in-between.  During these four days our production crew got to see and hear the real meaning behind neighborhood development and what it really takes to bring it all to fruition. LISC and the city of Chicago have been hosting this award show since 1995, and have helped to create a better means of life for so many Chicagoans and the communities they live in.

When LISC and MK Communications came to us in November 2018 we knew we had some special stories to tell about the communities and neighborhoods of Chicago. Since 1995 LISC has been holding the annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards to recognize the non-profits and for profit developers who have enhanced the communities in Chicago. These awards are given to developers who acheived outstanding development and community building. View the ten award winners videos below.

CARLING HOTEL

PLAY

WHOLE FOODS

PLAY

BOXVILLE

PLAY

FARM ON OGDEN

PLAY

CITY GARDENS

PLAY

TRAUMA CENTER

PLAY

CHICAGO STREET MEDICINE

PLAY

BELMONT CRAGIN

PLAY

ACCESS HOUSING

PLAY

ST. EDMUND'S OASIS

PLAY


responsibility.org

Ask, Listen, Learn: Nathan Adrian + U.S. Attorneys General

AskListenLearn

Ask, Listen Learn asked us to write and produce Public Service Announcements (PSAs) featuring 5-time Olympic Gold Medalist Nathan Adrian along with Attorneys General from over 20 states. Each PSA is aimed at helping educate parents on how they can help their kids say “yes” to a healthy lifestyle and “no” to underage drinking. Nathan is the newest champion to join Ask, Listen Learn, a program that the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) developed alongside a team of educators and organizations specializing in middle school-aged students.

The Project

The PSA’s were filmed in Washington, DC over the course of one day with post-production taking place in March in order to launch the projects during April’s Alcohol Awareness Month. The PSA’s were written and directed by our Principal Creative Director, Justin Jarrett.

Behind the Scenes

21 PSA’s in 5 hours….need we say more?


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 Chicago Works with We Raise Foundation

Our team had the opportunity to work with We Raise foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending poverty, violence, and inequality in Chicago communities.


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 Wins 4 Louix Awards + Opens Show

2019 LOUIX AWARDS

Our team was back at the  Louix Awards this year opening the show for the SECOND year in a row with our short film, Two Lou’s One Club! We also picked up some new hardware for some of our recent work – winning four Louix Awards in total.

WINNER

Product Design | Online Campaign

Victus Baseball


Victus is one of the leading wooden bat manufacturers in the world and used by Pro players in the US and Japan. They tasked us with expanding their product offerings and redefining their brand, entirely.  After establishing a new brand direction, our team got to work designing t-shirts, hoodies, hats, knob stickers and batting gloves. We designed everything down to the tags and packaging. [Some of which we can’t even show you….yet].

View Project

WINNER

Video Promotional

This is Lou


This is Lou, a short film produced as the show open for the 2018 Louix Awards, follows the story of a piece of shit from Philadelphia named Lou who finds himself in a precarious situation with some of the most ruthless cutthroat killers in the City of Brotherly Love.

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WINNER

Best Student Documentary

JTWO [INC]ubator - Barre None


 “Barre None” created under the JTWO [INC]ubator Project is a short documentary that tells the captivating and beautiful story of a young ballerina who is able to push through the harsh realities and overbearing pressures of the dancing world, with her unconditional love for the art.

View Project

Opening the Show


We received such an amazing response last year that we knew this year’s opener had to be even bigger and crazier, taking everything to the next level. More action, more comedy, and more insanity. When the credits roll we want the audience to turn to the person next to them and say, “what the hell did I just watch?”

Enter, Tricky Ricky.

This year’s film, titled Two Lou’s. One Club. is a twelve-minute direct sequel to last year’s opener, picking up the plot where we left off one year later. An 80’s inspired action comedy on steroids, the film pits Philadelphia’s entire creative community against one another, riffing on classic films like Jean Claude Van Damme’s Bloodsport and featuring everything from rooftop fight clubs to underground boxing.

Two Lou’s. One Club. is a stylistic action comedy about Philadelphia’s underground creative community vying for the coveted top spot within the city. This short film debuted at the 2019 Louix Awards, opening the show.

Behind The Scenes

Cast

Frank Halbiger

Ginger Kochmer

Dave Wright

Rick Angeli

Zachary Haines

JTWO Squad

Jesse Kahn

Rick DiDonato

Deardorff

Hanlan

Agency M

High Heels & Bananas

Matthew Paul

Dom Luza

Kyle Luza

Brownies Irish Pub

Bleu Martini

Northern Liberties Rec Center

#SquadDeep


Of course, our team had to make a cameo!


Crew

Writer + Director: Justin Jarrett

Executive Producer: Travis Capacete

Producer: Brittany Bonanno

DP: Chris Harley

DP/ AC: Maria Vattimo

Camera Op: Jay Miller

AC: Alex Siwik

AC: Justin Williams

Grip Team: Federal Grip

Location Sound: Jelani Thomas

Set Design: Gillian Speers

Voiceover: Joey Eyes

BTS Photographer: Elle Chernaskey

PA: Omar Alqahtani

PA: Derrick Kim

PA: Brynn Antaran

Color Correction: Jason Druss


JTWO Wins 10 Addy Awards

2019 Philadelphia ADDY Awards

After opening the show with our sequel to last year’s “This is Lou” short film and taking home four awards at last month’s One Club Philadelphia Louix Awards, we capped off the award show season with ten wins at the Philadelphia ADDY Awards. Winning three Golds – two in Cinematography and one in Best of Show and seven Silvers, including wins in Video Editing, Internet Commercial, Social Media Campaign, Cinematography Campaign, Internet Campaign Non-Broadcast Audio/ Visual, and Cinematography. Our former intern even took home, Best in Show for Student Films for her JTWO [INC]ubator Project. Check out the winning projects below.

WINNER

GOLD ADDY | Cinematography

 

SILVER ADDY | Video Editing

 

This is Lou


 This is Lou, a short film produced as the show open for the 2018 Louix Awards, follows the story of a piece of shit from Philadelphia named Lou who finds himself in a precarious situation with some of the most ruthless cutthroat killers in the City of Brotherly Love.

View Project

WINNER

SILVER ADDY  |   Internet Commercial

 

SILVER ADDY  |  Social Media Campaign

 

SILVER ADDY  |  Cinematography Campaign

 

SILVER ADDY  |  Internet Campaign

 

Victus Baseball


Victus is one of the leading wooden bat manufacturers in the world and used by Pro players in the US and Japan. They tasked us with expanding their product offerings and redefining their brand, entirely.  After establishing a new brand direction, our team got to work designing t-shirts, hoodies, hats, knob stickers and batting gloves. We designed everything down to the tags and packaging. [Some of which we can’t even show you….yet].

View Project

WINNER

SILVER ADDY | Non-Broadcast Audio/ Visual

 

Lost Boyz Chicago


Our team partnered with New York City-based non-profit organization Laureus USA to produce a mini-documentary about Chicago’s Lost Boyz Inc., a non-profit organization committed to decreasing violence and improving the social and emotional conditions of the youth in Chicago’s South Shore community through baseball and softball.

View Project

WINNER

GOLD ADDY | Best of Show

 

GOLD ADDY | Cinematography

 

JTWO [INC]ubator Project - Barre None


 “Barre None” created under the JTWO [INC]ubator Project is a short documentary that tells the captivating and beautiful story of a young ballerina who is able to push through the harsh realities and overbearing pressures of the dancing world, with her unconditional love for the art.

View Project

WINNER

SILVER ADDY | Cinematography

 

JTWO.tv REEL


View Project


JTWO Welcomes Omar Alqahtani

The Good Kind of Stress

by Omar Alqahtani

I was filming my first narrative short outside of a 7/11. One of the characters was smoking a cigarette. We were stopped by a couple of strangers asking saying that they did not have cash for cigarettes but they had a personal bottle of Grey Goose that they didn’t want. I was 19 at the time so I was pretty excited.

While working on a different movie, I called a casket supplier to ask for permission to film at his store. There was a scene where a grandma has to pick out a casket and I wanted it to be as visually compelling as possible; caskets hanging up on the wall felt like they would get the job done. The owner of the store was actually really cool about the whole thing. He gave me a tour around his little factory. He showed me his patented casket technology for people who only want to rent caskets, he explained to me how different types of caskets work, he even showed me how bodies get cremated. He has this giant machine that just sets bodies on fire for several hours. He showed me a can of ashes with leftover body modifications, such as braces, metal teeth, metal bones. It was all wonderfully morbid, but by far the weirdest part of that whole interaction is that he did not seem to mind my pretentious man bun.

For one short summer I worked with online media content company, so they send me on all kinds of weird prop runs. One time was especially different. They sent me out to carry a $10,000 chair through the busy streets of Manhattan. They half-assed the wrapping of the chair and made it my responsibility to return it without any scratches. I’m a pretty clumsy guy, and I did not want them to know that, which led to the most stressful 10-minute walk of my life. It was only 4 blocks, but it felt like 27.

All of those experiences lead to recorded moments on video. I would plug all those experiences onto a computer, and I would have to reappropriate all those memories to create a compelling narrative. To me, this is the beauty of filmmaking. The fact that the making of a narrative is a story within itself. Yes, for the audience, the narrative o the screen is completely divorced from the experiences that formed it, and for the sake of the art, it should be that way. However, the making of a movie leaves me with a lot of stories that I get to carry with me, and be able to tell my friends, family, maybe even grandchildren. I can’t think of many other professions that leaves you with so many stories to tell. That’s why I chose this profession. That’s why I took the internship at JTwo.


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.

Learn More