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.

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