JTWO partners with LISC Chicago & Walmart for latest Hoops in the Hood production


PROJECT DETAILS

We recently partnered up with LISC Chicago and Walmart Foundation for the second time through our Projects That Matter Initiative. This years Hoops in the Hood tournament was finally taken back to holding games in person since the pandemic. We were tasked with profiling two players, Apple Guerrero and Devin Feliciano who play for the Pilsen neighborhood. Both kids have very unique individual stories about how the Hoops program has given them a safe space to play and how it has helped them excel both on and off the court. Stay tuned for more!

Check out the brand overview video we created for the Hoops in the Hood here to gain insight about how the program helps over 17 Chicago communities each year!


BEHIND THE SCENES


Jtwo-Welcomes-Intern-Matthew-Sullivan

Jtwo Welcomes Intern Matthew Sullivan

SHARING PIECES


By Matthew Sullivan

As I was growing up my grandfather had a saying that he repeated to me over and over again – knowing I was the middle child of a big family and more than occasionally felt lost in the crowd: “You’re a combination of all these incredible people around you.” The idea was sometimes comforting and sometimes horrifying depending on how I felt about my family any given day. I clung to the idea as it gave me a sense of togetherness with my family, and provided me role models to look up to in my siblings. The concept of sharing qualities, interests, and points of view with those around me opened a world of new outlooks and took me from a little kid lost in the crowd to one learning from it. I have my older brother’s sense of humor, as I grew up desperately trying to make him laugh. I share in my sister’s relentless sense of empathy, and therefore her unending passion for social justice. Even my closet is full of vintage pants, t-shirts, and Hawaiian shirts after raiding my grandfathers’ closets to emulate, and revamp, their styles. These pieces, which I originally only emulated, eventually built a strong perspective and sense of self as I’ve grown and made them my own.

The idea of people having the power to influence each other is something that has always guided me creatively, personally, and socially. I’ve always kept in mind that my passions, interests, beliefs, and actions can all be shared to benefit those around me in the same way I’ve benefitted from others. This sense of impact whether it be with family, friends, or neighbors I barely know, has guided me to use film as a tool for change. Through storytelling, whether it be commercial, narrative, or documentary, we can communicate our struggles and solutions, and more importantly we can share in common experiences. In doing so difficult events, subjects, and possibilities can be dealt with and evaluated in a safe environment. These pieces of ourselves, whether they’re positive or negative, simple or complex, can be shared through stories in the same way they can be shared through personal relationships – and I think that holds a power to represent every community.

Though I don’t specifically know where I’m going with my journey in the film industry, I know that I’m bringing a piece of every single person who’s influenced me along for the ride. Whether I end up a Producer, a DP, or something else entirely different down the line, my goal, as vague and simple as it is, is to use the pieces of those around me and share them with others. When I work on social justice documentaries I hope a piece of my sister’s passion for others shines through, and when I’m working on a short or music video for YouTube I’m simply trying to make my brothers laugh. These pieces of others that I see in myself motivate me and help me keep my perspective.

I want to create work that reflects the incredible friendships, families, and communities that I’ve been a part of. This guided me to interning with JTwo, as their work brings attention to the stories of different communities, and brings to light issues and experiences that may not currently be solvable, but must be talked about, evaluated, and felt. The work JTwo does through its internship program specifically interested me as it not only gives young creators the space to figure out the route they want to take, but provides the steps and lessons required to get there. I see this internship as an opportunity to learn and develop both personally and creatively, and I couldn’t be more excited or thankful for the opportunity or to see what the next twelve weeks hold in store.

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

JTWO-INCubator-Project-Brings-You-The-Journey-Rachels-Story

JTWO's [INC]ubator Project Brings You "The Journey: Rachel's Story"


GO DEEPER

From the beginning, I knew I wanted a change of pace for this project. I’d spent the last year or so working on a narrative film as my thesis for college, and by the time I was done, the thought of doing another narrative piece made me want to tear my hair out. Don’t get me wrong, I love narrative work with all of my heart, but I was just so burnt out. Naturally, I shifted to another form that I greatly admire, documentary. I wanted to do a piece on an individual or organization that really stood out to me. I wanted to tell someone’s story and be able to give them a piece that they can use on social media doing just that. I soon ended up with the idea to do a piece around tattooing. I’ve always loved tattoos and have long admired the large amount of skill and effort that goes into making pieces of art become a part of someone’s body. I spent so much time in my adolescent years watching various tattooing tv shows (Best Ink, LA Ink, Ink Master, to name a few), daydreaming of what I’d get tattooed on my body once I was old enough. I think young Lauren would be a little disheartened to know that she’d still only have one tattoo by the age of 23, but hey, quality work is expensive, and rightfully so. 

Seeing so many memes and forums dedicated to exposing people trying to shortchange artists for their work has gotten me more and more fired up as time has gone by. Being an artist myself has only increased my awareness of it. A field I see so often treated this way is body modification, specifically tattooing. In the age of cheap piercing guns at malls and anyone being able to buy tattooing and piercing equipment online, the value of these skills seems to have decreased. Sure, it’s great that these things are accessible, but the appreciation of quality work has also decreased. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve seen friends and acquaintences get poorly-executed tattoos or piercings because they were cheap, resulting in infections, blurry lines, regrets, and keloids alike. That, and many years ago body modification was seen as reserved only for “bad people”. If you had a tattoo, you were up to no good. I knew that once I thought about doing a piece on tattooing, I had to do it. It’s my belief that the more exposure that can be given to the art and artisans in this field, the more people will come to accept and value the practice as an art form. I think it’s worked so far in the grand scheme of things! With each generation, more people are expressing themselves through body modification. So that was my plan. Once I figured this out, I still had one issue: Who do I do a piece about? I had several different ideas, but the one that stuck out to me the most was reaching out to an old friend from high school: Rachel Friel.

I’ve always admired Rachel throughout our time in school. If you had asked me to give an example of someone “cool” during this time, my answer would have been them, hands down. As someone who struggled with fitting in and suppressing who I was, I was in awe of the way they expressed themselves. They just seemed to march to the beat of their own drum, and that alone was badass to me. Rachel was also one of the most talented people I’d met during this time. Whenever I’d see anything they’d be working on I would ooh and aah over the quality of it. I knew they’d go places. Going forward, I kept tabs on Rachel’s journey through art school as mine progressed as well. I found that their journey of figuring out what the right path was for them reminded me of my own. When I saw Rachel had started tattooing over at Ahava I was thrilled! I had reached out to them a bit before even starting the internship to tell them that I was so happy to see that they were doing something with their artistic skills that really seemed to be something they love doing. It made me so happy to see them find their niche. I think small Lauren and small Rachel (pictured below) would be stoked to see just how awesome the quality of current Rachel’s work would be.

My biggest piece of advice: Have all of your ducks in a row before you pitch an idea. This just isn’t for future interns at JTwo, but everyone ever all the time always. This was my biggest mistake, and it lost me the entire first week of my 2-week period for this project and set me back substantially. I had waited to hear back from a potential subject for my documentary for a whole week with no response, and did not get an answer until that point. My line of thinking had been that I should wait until my pitch was approved so I don’t seem like I’m flaking on a potential subject if it isn’t up to par, but in trying to be considerate to others, the whole thing just kinda blew up in my face. Not fun. Thankfully, I was also considering Rachel at the time, and quickly reached out to them. They were gracious enough to let me poke around their apartment and Ahava on such short notice, and I’m very thankful for it. Having your head in the game is more than just lining up your documentary subject, however. I’m talking about shot lists, storyboards, call sheets, equipment lists, the whole thing. Thinking of these things in advance is something I’m getting better at, but wish I had down to more of a science like my co-intern Lana does. (I was in her project, so I got to see her organizational skills firsthand.) Seriously. Planning is so much of the battle. It’s nice to have everything in order when you step on set so you can really just focus on what you’re doing in the moment. All in all, I think I’ve learned so much during this process, and at JTwo in general. Sometimes the important lessions are learned the hard way, but even when you mess up and lose an entire week on your project you can always pull yourself together and do your best, learning from your mistake going forward. It can feel hard to admit that you messed up (in any way), but it’s more freeing when you acknowledge it, learn from it, and let it go as you move forward.

Meet the Director

Lauren Koob is a recent graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, with both a BFA in Film and a BFA in Acting. She seeks to create work that is rooted in the exploration of the depths of the human condition and hopes to show through her work in directing and cinematography what she believes to be beautiful.

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

Credits

Writer and Director – Lauren Koob
Cinematographer – Lauren Koob
Editor – Lauren Koob
Editor – Lana Duda
Sound: Audrey Zycinsky
Talent: Rachel Friel
Music by Dani Jalali – “NY Girl”
Music by Capt QUBZ – “Get Down”
Music by Rex Banner – “Easy Money”
Music by Ziv Moran – “Listed Thoughts”


Not-On-Sundays

JTWO Produces Commercial for Responsibility.org


PROJECT DETAILS

We recently partnered with our long-time Projects That Matter partners Responsibility.org to produce a commercial titled, “Not on Sundays.” This spot was produced for several states that currently do not prohibit liquor sales on Sundays. It can be seen on web-based platforms such as Youtube in select southern states. Responsibility.org gave our team an opportunity to be creative with the script, which in return let our crew have a lot of fun with the production in this spot. We even had the chance to have some of our Jtwo crew members make cameos in it as well!

NOT ON SUNDAYS


Client: Responsiblity.org

Our team partnered up with Responsibility.org to produce a witty commercial for several states on prohibiting liquor sales on Sundays

PLAY

BEHIND THE SCENES


Mighty-Ira-Documentary-Poster

JTWO Collaborates with FIRE on Mighty Ira Documentary


We recently partnered with The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) to assist in the post production process for their feature length documentary, Mighty IraBased on the life of Ira Glasser, the former executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, this film chronicles his life story and the events surrounding the ACLU when a party of Neo Nazis decided to march on Skokie, Illinois to protest the desegregation of their neighborhoods. Part of the Projects That Matter initiative, the Mighty Ira documentary raises the question: Does the first amendment of the United States constitution protect the free speech of hate groups such as Nazis? Such a complex question requires an even more complex answer, one which Ira Glasser and other ACLU members beautifully articulate throughout the length of the film. Featuring interviews from lawyers, activists, and holocaust survivors, this film is sure to inspire questions about liberty, protest, and individual rights.

 

Mighty Ira can be found streaming on Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play, and YouTube Movies and is coming soon to Blu-ray DVD.


Everyone's A Critic: Our Team's Favorite Projects


WE DON'T LIKE TO ADMIT IT, BUT WE ALL HAVE OUR FAVORITES

For Aaron: The Documentary

This project will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the one project that defined who I would become as both a filmmaker and a man. It was deeply personal and taught me more about life then I had learned in the 23 years combined leading up to it. No matter where we go in the next decade or what projects I have the opportunity to direct, “For Aaron” will always be my favorite.

Justin Jarrett, Director

FOR AARON: THE DOCUMENTARY

Jtwofilms.com 1.0

My favorite project of all time would have to be the first iteration of the JTWO website. We transformed an alley from Ninja Turtles into a functional website. I had to learn Flash in one weekend in order to create all of the functionality Justin wanted incorporated. It was pretty cool until Apple killed Flash and everyone stopped using desktop computers.

Andrew Broft, Web Designer

Two Lou’s. One Club.

I think I’ll always love this project for a number of reasons. First, it was the direct sequel to, “This is Lou” which we had created the year before to open the Louix Awards. We wanted to create our own take on a Guy Richie film and we just had a blast on set experimenting with transitions, camera angles and makeup. For “Two Lou’s” we wanted to up the ante and really go all out.I grew up on 80’s action movies like Bloodsport and if you watch it today it is one of the most over the top ridiculous pieces of popcorn cinema out there. You can’t watch it and not laugh! So we wanted to take that and put our spin on it. When my sound guy Steven got his teeth knocked out in the opening credits, I knew we had succeeded.

Justin Jarrett

My favorite project with JTwo has been the Louix Award openers that we shot the past two years. It’s rare you get to have complete creative control and boy did we. Over-the- top characters, dramatic lighting and JCVD-inspired fight scenes are just some of the chaos that we cooked up in our narrative masterpiece.

Maria Vattimo, Cinematographer

TWO LOU'S. ONE CLUB.

Barre None

Of all the videos I’ve had the pleasure of working on at JTWO, my favorite will always be the one that started it all, my intern project: “Barre None.” I love this piece not only because it’s about my best friend, but because it was the first time I worked with everyone in the office. I’ll always be grateful for the guidance they gave me. From working through challenges during the process to then watching the final cut win multiple awards, I had really proved to myself that I can do this. Now if I hit points of frustration in my work, I’ll give my video a watch to remind myself that it can be done, it will be done and it’ll be pretty damn good.

Maria Cantu, Director

Barre None


Directed by Maria Cantu
The [INC]ubator Project

In her short documentary, Maria 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 unconditional love for the art.

PLAY

The BluePrint

My favorite project is the book trailer for The Blueprint. It is the first true test of all the After Effects work that I’ve been learning. I got to work closely with Maria Cantu which is a fun and different dynamic than being directed by Justin; I love working for Justin but he’s more of a mentor figure while Maria is more of a peer figure. This is just a fancy way of saying that I feel more confident being rude to Maria. Working long nights is tiring, but when you get to make the single greatest book trailer of all time, it feels like it’s worth it. However, please consider the fact that I am the type of person that would brag about beating a 6 year old at monopoly. My favorite memory was when Travis and I tried to get the Popeye’s chicken sandwich on 4 different occasions. The 4th one was the only one where the sandwich was actually available. It was a good day.

Omar, Editor

THE BLUEPRINT

Fred’s Footsteps

 Kyle’s Story: Getting a chance to sit in a room and hear Kyle Pszenny’s story with Fred’s Footsteps was really an incredible experience for me. After hearing all he went through and to still have a positive attitude about his life and to really use his tragedy as a springboard to help others was really impactful to me in my personal life and I have to say he was an inspiration that still sticks with me today.

 Jelani Thomas, Sound Engineer

FRED'S FOOTSTEPS: KYLE'S STORY

Visit Philly

Working on a series of Visit Philly Commercial spots was fun for our team for many reasons, but to be given the opportunity to really put a stamp on the city we call home was special. Our content was everywhere from TV to billboards.

Travis Capacete, Producer

"City of Summer Love"


Client: Visit Philly + Wawa

This Spring we teamed up with Visit Philly to produce a spot for Wawa Welcome America’s July 4th annual celebration, which features 7 days of 50+ free events citywide including fireworks, concerts, block parties, and more! In an effort to showcase the event’s festive family atmosphere, we worked closely with Visit Philly and actors to bring a giddy, light hearted sketch to life.

PLAY

Finley Untamed

Right out of school in 2013, I interned with JTWO. This was the first time I was able to work on something that wasn’t graded. I was tasked with a few projects, but one had stuck with me and that was the Jermichael Finley documentary project, Finley Untamed. It was my first project outside of school that I felt connected to. The story was inspiring and being part of such a dedicated team made it that much better.

Logan McGee, Graphic Artist

FINLEY UNTAMED

Lost Boyz of Chicago

My favorite project that we worked on was our first ever project in Chicago on the South side with the Lost Boyz of Chicago. We placed our crew in the south side of Chicago to understand exactly what day to day life is like there while on production. We got to see first hand how the community pulls together to help each other through the rough times that can come about, while being surrounded by gun shots as we were outside on set.

Conor Hare, Producer

LOST BOYZ OF CHICAGO

Victus Product Catalogue

Victus has given us so much creative freedom and variety in design projects, so creating the layout for the entire product catalogue was one of my favorite projects overall. It was exciting to not only create the catalogue, but to incorporate and showcase years of our design work throughout.

Monica Grevera, Graphic Artist

Responsibility.org

My favorite JTWO project I got to be a part of was the mini doc we filmed in Texas for Responsibility.org in November of 2018. On this shoot, we followed a man named Issouf throughout his daily routines as a recovered alcoholic and got his story first-hand on how he recovered through the DUI Court program. His story of hitting rock bottom and getting back on his feet was very powerful and getting to film him graduate from the program and give his speech was heartwarming. The b-roll shots we got all had a grittiness to them that I really loved.

Alex Siwik, Cinematographer

Victus Vandal

The Victus Vandal bat was easily my favorite project to work on. The incorporation of hand-drawn elements and usage of gold foil made for great printed pieces. Being able to be the face of the Vandal and the artist on set is something I’ll brag about for the foreseeable future.

Christian Debuque, Graphic Artist

My favorite project I’ve worked on would probably have to be the Victus Vandal series. Working together with Federal Grip Co. to create the sets in their studio was a blast, but my favorite part was mixing all of the spots. There were a lot of cool drones, music and sound effects that made mixing everything a fun challenge, especially the main spot. Sonically speaking, it was all over the place and I really enjoyed trying to make a punchy mix that was just as aggressive as the edit. I’m super proud of the final product, and I’m even more proud of all of the hard work our team put in.

Steven Layton, Sound Engineer/Swiss Army Knife

VICTUS VANDAL

Philadelphia Flyers: Playoff Hype Video

Our crew loves Philly sports so when the Flyers asked us to get the city hyped with a new spot for their playoff push we couldn’t say no. We had fans getting haircuts, tattoos and going crazy all across the city.

Philadelphia Flyers - "Get Hyped"


Client: Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers reached out to our team to produce their postseason playoff hype video. As a studio full of fans, we couldn’t wait to get to work.

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Janssen Storytellers

San Diego: My favorite JTWO project was the Janssen storytellers shoot in Los Angeles. I got to drive a solid 2002 minivan with super cushy seats (a lot of butts sat where I was) and the shoot itself was dope. It was my first time in LA, it was the longest flight I’ve ever experienced and the first time using my new drone. Solid shoot with all around.

Jay Miller, Cinematographer

JANSSEN STORYTELLERS SERIES

Avian

This opportunity was identified in 2013 through one of JB’s colleagues in Leonardtown but it wasn’t a referral gig. We had to respond to a proposal as well as additional questions. What set us a part was our responses which embodied JTWO’s deep rooted creativity and approach to designing a solution that told AVIAN’s story. The outcome was a modernized website (simple, single scroll, responsive) with embedded content that created a marketing stunt from within and outside of the their organization (their customers were mainly Department of Defense) that ultimately demonstrated their capabilities of being progressive and forward-thinking to solving client challenges. It also led to follow-up media work!

Jim Pettit, Account Manager

Legion Transformation Center

As I looked over the extensive collection of JTWO projects I’ve had a hand in editing into existence, it was tough to find a favorite. Was it the project buoyed by intense, emotional interviews? The one with the most beautiful sunset drone shots? Which challenged me the most? Or felt right when I made the last cut? Comprehensively, it has to be “Legion Transformation Center: Why Franchise With Us.” It’s got real people (unlike those horrific chevy commercials) some quick sexy cuts, good music tracks and a story that cut through my skepticism and actually managed to resonate with me. Though I don’t have any ambitions to own a franchise of anything, I think this project will tip the scale for someone who actually does.

Ian Schobel, Editor

WE ARE LEGION


JTWO-Begins-Production-on-TV-Show

JTWO Begins Production on TV Show About PTSD


PROJECT DETAILS

As a production company, we are no stranger to working on big projects on a national stage. From commercials to feature films we have produced them all throughout our ten years of operation. However, our next project might be the most important to date.

As part of our vaunted, Projects That Matter Initiative that works directly with non-profit organizations to create content, we are set to produce a new television show about the dangerous effects of PTSD within the military and first responder community and how cutting-edge technology is being used to identify and treat it. We have partnered with frequent collaborator Al Roker Entertainment to produce the one-hour television special set to air later this year.

The show will be directed by Creative Director Justin Jarrett and Produced by Rick Angeli as part of a new campaign for the organization, LifeAid. The special, which wasn’t completely wrapped filming before the country went into mandatory lockdown due to the virus has continued production through online collaboration tools.

LifeAid is an organization that seeks to reduce veteran and first responder suicides with a new scientific approach. By creating a bridge between technology and mental healthcare to treat brain injuries vs. mental health symptoms, LifeAid offers veterans, first responders and their families new opportunities for peer support, access to new healthcare technology, and individualized therapy programs to heal the brain, reduce pain, and restore purpose.

The show will focus on the stories of several military veterans and 9/11 first responders on their journey to recovery as they explore new therapies and treatments with doctors from around the U.S.

In addition to the television show, our crew will also produce several Public Service Announcements for TV and Radio informing the general public how they can get involved. All of the post-production will be handled by our creative team under the direction of Justin Jarrett.


For-Aaron:-A-Retrospective

For Aaron: A Retrospective


The most difficult project we’ve ever made, was easily our first. Honestly, it will most likely be the most difficult project we ever make. Back then, in 2009, we weren’t worried about payroll or commercials or trivial notions of trophies. Rather, we were simply trying to discover if we could even make the project. Was there enough funding? Would we have enough time before we had to get “real jobs”? Did we even know how to make a movie?

For us, it was the project that started everything. It was our origin story and our ethos all wrapped into 120 minutes of a digital love letter. Without it, there would be no Projects That Matter. There would be no JTWO. There would be no us. That project was, “For Aaron: The Documentary” and it’s been ten years since the day it was born.

For those of you that may not remember or maybe you didn’t even know us back then. In 2009, our co-founders Justin Jarrett and Travis Capacete were students together in Penn State University’s film program. They had just made their first documentary, “Failure by Design” about how they wanted to tear down the entire film program and start over. It was controversial enough for one professor to tell Justin, who was directing the project to “take his check and go to NYU” if he wasn’t satisfied with the current structure of the program (Needless to say, that the professor isn’t on our Holiday Card list.)

With only a few months left before graduation, tragedy struck when Justin’s lifelong best friend, Aaron, was killed in a car crash. Prior to his passing, Aaron and Justin had decided to bicycle across the United States after graduation. One last hurrah before “life kicked them in the teeth” they would say. When Aaron passed away, Justin decided to take the trip in his honor and document the trip. It was in this moment that JTWO was born.


WHAT IS A (JAY)-T-W-O?

Justin Jarrett

Travis and I had always talked about starting our own production company since the first time we met at Penn State University. We both shared a similar vision and really respected each other’s work ethic. Above everything, I think we just trusted one another. In order to make a film, we thought we had to start a production company. I had asked that we keep the name that I had been using since fifth grade, “JTWO Films.” This was out of respect for Aaron. The first time I ever actually used the moniker was in one of my first video projects in fifth grade – one in which Aaron did the filming. When the credits rolled (because every two minute video needs credits, right?) “a JTWO film” came across the screen. I don’t really remember why, but I thought this was cooler than saying, “a Justin Jarrett film.” The name stuck and the rest is history.

Over the course of the next 65 days, a skeleton crew made up of Justin, his lifelong friend Kylar and two college buddies took off on a trip across the country which would ultimately total 17 states, 6000 miles and numerous close calls. When it was all said and done they had over 800 hours of footage and a lifetime of memories.

Justin Jarrett:

I had just spent my final semester in college trying to raise money for the film while juggling classes in order to graduate. I held fundraisers, sold t-shirts my brother, Jason, printed out of the back of my car, asked for donations and even cashed in every savings bond I had in order to come up with the funding for our upcoming trip. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and the 3000 mile trip hadn’t even begun.

I can still remember the day, however, that our camcorder arrived in the mail. We purchased a brand new Panasonic HVX300 that shot on P2 cards. Despite only having one lens and limited media It was a great little documentary camera for its time. I was so excited to own a “film” camera. This was our first purchase as a newly formed company.

IT WAS IN THIS MOMENT THAT JTWO WAS BORN


FILM SCHOOL

Justin Jarrett

For Aaron was only the second documentary film I had ever made and by far the longest project of my life to date. Those 65 days of filming gave me more of an education than a lifetime at film school. I was learning to make a movie as we went. Each day we would face challenges and I would learn something that would completely change how I viewed the project. None more so, than a day in Kansas on the home stretch of the trip.

I was eager to get home and I was pedaling as fast as I possibly could. Kylar was exhausted and for good reason. We were pushing hard during those weeks to get home because the weather was starting to turn on us. I remember we separated and I had pulled ahead. At one point the follow car called me on the radio and asked me to stop and wait for him to catch up. I was in a great mood because we were making good time that day.

However, Kylar, didn’t share my sentiment. He pulled up, slammed on his breaks, screamed at me to slow down and threw his helmet into a corn field before walking off into the field. He was done. Completely finished and ready to go home. To me, this was the film.

I knew we were both still mic’d up. I walked up to Kylar (with our cameraman Jon filming from afar) and we talked. At first, he didn’t want to hear a word I had to say. He just wanted to go home and I can’t blame him. It had been almost two months of sleeping in cars, tents and sleeping bags. After awhile, the mood softened and we spoke about Aaron and why we were here in the first place. It was the most heartfelt conversation of my life. It summed up what the entire trip and experience was all about. As Kylar’s friend, I was thrilled that he was willing to keep going. As a director, I was elated. That conversation was the movie in a nutshell – my emotional pivot into the last act. The most important scene in the entire film. That was… until my cameraman told me he forgot to hit record. I learned a valuable lesson that day – documentary filmmaking is unpredictable. You can’t control it, you simply have to capture it because every moment is a story and those stories only last if we hit the record button.

Upon returning home, our fearless leaders had close to a thousand hours of footage between the trip and archive footage from Justin’s childhood. They had P2 cards, portable harddrives, DVD’s, mini DV, VHS Tapes and VHS-C that they had to digitize. Justin set up a makeshift office in his bedroom and went to work.


SO, THIS IS EDITING

Justin Jarrett

When we got back from the trip, I had $14 left to my name, literally. My parent’s let me move back home while I was editing the movie because Aaron was like a fourth son to them. For 14 hours a day I sat in my bedroom going through footage and trying to figure how to craft a story out of a lifetime of footage. At the 6th month mark, I finally was ready to admit that I was in well over my head. That’s when I called Travis and asked if he would help me finish the movie.

 

Travis Capacete

I remember standing in Justin’s bedroom watching the first half For Aaron (the second half/end wasn’t finished), knowing that moment that we were going to win a ton of awards. I was really excited to take the film and shop it around. I was waiting for a call from Justin to finish the film and was looking forward to jumping in and start editing together, especially since the beginning of For Aaron started off a bit rocky. I was supposed to go on the trip and drive the RV. Instead, I stayed back in Philly and took a job. Thank god I did because we probably wouldn’t have had a company today, for so many reasons, many of you probably understand why haha. It also then turned into creating a network which ultimately turned into us getting the film color corrected and finished at one of the top finishing facilities in the world.

Travis Capacete

One of my favorite moments of the post process was the day I saw how the For Aaron footage was backed up and how the projects were organized. That day I realized that file structures, backups and organization are three of the most important things in filmmaking/production. I remember very vividly cutting the Trailer. Justin had had most of the film put together and the story was there but there was still a lot that had to be done including writing the end of the doc. At the time, I was working a full-time job and trying to network/build a base of clients so that way we could actually start a company and was trying to get funding to finish the film. He and I spent about 20 hours a day for a long weekend back-to-back in my parent’s house, finishing the trailer. The trailer, specifically, was the hardest thing I have ever edited. Once the trailer was cut, Justin wrote and recorded the end of the doc. Finishing the film became second nature to me. I loved the finishing process, adding in the graphics/animating and getting it ready for a color grade and mix. Finishing the film, in general, was one of the coolest things I had ever done. For Aaron was one of the coolest things I have ever been a part of.

When it was all said and done, For Aaron: The Documentary, premiered to an audience of over 1,200 people in Justin’s hometown before going on the film festival circuit – claiming numerous awards for Best Documentary, Audience Choice and Best Spirit Awards.

Justin Jarrett:

Being able to share Aaron’s story with as many people as we were able to was a dream come true. In addition to the festival circuit, the film was shown at high schools and non-profits around the country. I still have all of the letters I received from complete strangers telling me how much the film meant to them. It was in those letters that our Projects That Matter Initiative was born. From that point on we knew we wanted to create meaningful content that could effect change within the world. It was the best decision we ever made.

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Memory-Lane

Memory Lane


We have had a lot of talented people come through our doors. We asked some of them to sound off on some of their favorite memories and moments.

IAN SCHOBEL, EDITOR

My favorite memories in my two years at JTWO is the night I slept over on the couch in the cave. It was very cold. The second is (I remember it like it was yesterday) when our glorious band, Sonic Deepthroat, delivered a Golden Guitar-worthy performance at the prestigious Foundry at the Fillmore. We snagged second place, but I still felt like a winner!

CHRISTIAN DEBUQUE, GRAPHIC ARTIST

The 2019 Battle of The Bands practice and performance. JTWO’s Sonic Deepthroat ripped through a 4-song set list and played a much more memorable cover of Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy” than another agency’s weak attempt.

OMAR ALQAHTANI, EDITOR

My favorite memory was wearing a wedding dress onstage at battle of the bands and getting fake married to my girlfriend. This was followed by us disgustingly making out for 3 whole minutes onstage and NO ONE was able to stop us.

CONOR HARE, PRODUCER

My favorite memory about JTWO would have to be the first year we entered the Battle of the Bands. We went into the concert only practicing 2 days before the actual show and we had to change the entire setlist due to a couple bandmates dropping out. Our band practiced for a total of 6 hours and pretty much winged it on stage and ended up winning the Golden Guitar as Champions.

MONICA GREVERA, GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Working with Victus has been filled with interesting experiences. One of my favorite memories was photographing all of the Victus baseball bats for Player’s Weekend. Josh and I really enjoyed touring the space, meeting the whole team and seeing the detail in the artwork on each bat up close. Also, I never imagined I would design a tattoo, until I saw the baseball player, Tim Anderson had inked the logo I designed for him prominently on his inner forearm. That was quite a surprise!

STEVEN LAYTON, SOUND ENGINEER

I have a lot of fond memories from my time here at JTWO, but the ones that stand out the most are from some of our most exhausting shoots. Between Kumho Tires, the NBA, the Penn Relays Documentary and all we did with the Victus Show Series, our team has put in so much hard and rewarding work. With these shoots specifically, I gained closer relationships with all of our crew members. One of my favorite memories is sitting down after the relays with everybody back at the office, having a drink and just rehashing the crazy events of the weekend together. Whether it was from the interviews, carnival, or centerfield crew, it was so cool to regroup and hear everybody’s individual accounts and stories from the weekend. Even though they were some of the longest, most exhausting days, I will always look back on these shoots and remember the great times I had with our team.

ALEX SIWIK, CINEMATOGRAPHER

My favorite JTWO memory was getting to go out to LA for the Janssen Storytellers shoot in December of 2018. This was one of my first real travel jobs and my first time on the west coast. While on the job as a camera assistant, I got to learn a lot about the Ronin 2, which was very new to me at the time. We shot at some awesome locations, my favorite being the hilltop in Loma Linda where we got stunning shots of our talent doing yoga with the valley and mountains in the background.

MARIA CANTU, DIRECTOR

My favorite JTWO memory was at the 2019 Louix Awards. The JTWO fam all had a great night together, I won my first Louix, and when it was over, we were the only ones on the dance floor breaking it down. Ian did a backbend out of nowhere and I had never laughed harder.

JELANI THOMAS, PRODUCER

My favorite memories are mostly based around the people I’ve had a chance to meet and work with and the incredible stories I’ve gotten to hear particularly through The Projects That Matter Initiative. Some of my favorite clients to work with were responsibility.org, Fred’s Footsteps, Mission First Housing and Bringing Hope Home.

ANDREW BROFT, WEB DEVELOPER

Favorite memory: anytime I had the chance to visit the Philly offices from NYC and hang out with the JTWO family. VIBES all day.

JAY MILLER, CINEMATOGRAPHER

My favorite memory would have to be that time me and Trav pulled an all nighter. Shot, slept for one hour and then started the next shoot. Learned my physical and mental limits that day.

CHRIS HARLEY, CINEMATOGRAPHER

My favorite memory is also that very same Victus Sports shoot. It was Ian’s first day as an intern at JTWO, and for the interior shots, his job was spraying sweat on the players. He will forever be known as Sweat Boy.

MARIA VATTIMO, CINEMATOGRAPHER

My favorite memory at JTWO will have to be filming the Lost Boyz Documentary in Chicago in the summer of 2018. I remember showing up feeling incredibly nervous with this being my first large documentary project, but once the interviews started rolling and we walked the streets of South Side Chicago with our main subject, LaVonte, I felt a great confidence that we were making something really special.

RICK ANGELI, PRODUCER

…that time we were shooting with Al Roker and I yelled, “that’s a wrap” before Justin could. Lesson learned: only the Directors gets to yell, “that’s a wrap.”

NOVA/GRIFFEY


Lunch.

EVERYDAY.



Projects-That-Matter:-A-Decade-of-Meaningful-Projects

Projects That Matter: A Decade of Meaningful Projects


Following the release of our award-winning feature film, For Aaron: The Documentary in 2009 and the digital campaign that accompanied it, we saw how important digital storytelling was as a tool to engage and inspire change in the world around us.

We saw first hand how rapidly the marketing of a social cause or an impact organization was changing with the advancements in technology and with our access to filmmakers, web designers, photographers, digital artists and branding specialists, we knew we could be a large part of that change. We understood that if we committed our time and talent to the world, we could create a legacy of impact. So we came up with drastically reduced costs for marketing & advertising services, flexible & affordable payment plans and began working side by side with social impact organizations around the world to make a difference and help share their stories.

Now ten years later, we look back on some of our favorite projects.


REDWOOD GIVES BACK

HAITI
New Story/Century 21 Redwood Realty

In 2017 our team travelled to Haiti with California based non-profit New Story and Century 21 Redwood Realty as part of their Redwood Gives Back program. We spent four days talking with the resilient people of Haiti about their experiences following a deadly earthquake and how the Redwood Gives Back program has helped them to return to a sense of normalcy through their community home building project.

Century 21 - "Redwood Gives Back"


Client: Century 21 Redwood Realty / New Story
Location: Haiti

CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty has been a client of ours since 2010. We have created over 60 video projects, built websites, presentations and advised their marketing team for the past seven years. However, it was just in the past 12 months that they launched a new non-profit, 501-c3 charitable organization called Redwood Gives Back.

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CORA

INDIA

Our Principal Director had a chance to travel to India with Cora CEO + Founder, Molly Hayward, for 20 days in 2017 in order to capture the company’s brand story.

CORA


Our team traveled to India with Cora to tell their brand story and announce their social mission to the world.

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A VOICE IS HEARD

KENYA

Our team’s first international project took us halfway around the world to Kenya. We spent almost a month working with the Maasai Tribe and non- profit, A Voice is Heard to tell their story.

A VOICE IS HEARD


A Voice is Heard works in partnership with children and families of developing nations who are in need of the basic necessities of life. They find sustainable solutions for the provision of land, water, medical care, education and alternative sources of income.

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SIMONE BILES

ASK, LISTEN, LEARN

Ask, Listen, Learn - "U.S. Attorneys General PSA's"


Client: Ask, Listen, Learn

Ask, Listen Learn asked us to concept, write and produce Public Service Announcements (PSAs) featuring Olympic Gold Medalist and Dancing with the Stars ContestantSimone Biles and some friends along with Attorneys General from over 25 states aimed at helping educate parent’s on how they can help their kid’s say “yes” to a healthy lifestyle and “no” to underage drinking.

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HEROES

FRED'S FOOTSTEPS

Our team spent the day with Philadelphia based non-profit organization, Fred’s Footsteps and their extraordinary heroes. It was one of our team’s favorite days on set to date.

"HERO"


Client: Fred's Footsteps

Watch as these brave children redefine what it means to be a hero.

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SHAQ + BELLA: iDECIDE

RESPONSIBILITY.ORG

Our team’s first shoot in LA couldn’t have been any BIGGER. No really, working with NBA Superstar Shaquille O’Neal for the first time (the start of a very mutually beneficial relationship involving Shaq Soda and Shaq the Cop) and TV/Movie Star Bella Thorne was just the kind of introduction to the City of Angels JTWO revels in.

"iDecide" F/t Shaq + Bella Thorne


Client: Responsibility.org
Agency: Brian.

Our crew teamed up with Responsibility.org to help bring their iDecide Campaign to life which encourages teens to focus on the importance of formulating and following individual decisions such as saying no to underage drinking.

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