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Five Questions: j+v films

Click 3X recently signed the directorial duo of Josh Ruben and Vincent Peone, known as j+v films. Best-known for their work at collegehumor.com, where they've creanked out thousands of funny videos, Ruben and Peone are now branching into commercial work, with a project for Hostess and a series of videos for Durex. What's more, they've balanced out their popular music-video spoofs with a real music video for Rachael Yamagata. Check out their work at the Click 3X website, then read our Five Questions on scalp care, sweet technology, and staying funny.

1. What are you working on today?

J: Today I’m working on two things: pre-production for an Entertainment Tonight parody I’m directing for CollegeHumor. Also, prepping a presentation I’m doing on making funny vids at Eureka College in Illinois this Thursday. I guess there’s a third thing, and that is being frustrated I have to pack a suit for a men’s scalp care commercial audition tomorrow.

V: I’m directing a parody of LMFAO’s “Party Rock.” It’s amazing sometimes how my job can keep me up to speed with pop culture. Also, it’s an added bonus that I have things to talk about when I’m surrounded by teenagers.

2. What have you found is the best tool or innovation that has come out in the last year?

J: I guess the iPad. I kind of hate to say it but it’s true. It’s great for scripts. I like it better than physical copies. It’s also killer for pitches and presentations. I have a feeling Vin is going to say something more epic like the [RED] Scarlet…

V: Ok, you’ve got me. My favorite part of the last year was Scarlett Johanson’s character in We Bought A Zoo. Kidding! The Scarlet is easily the sweetest camera system to hit the market in a very long time. Incredible results for competitive prices is going to make filmmakers out of anyone with a passion in the years to come.

"Don't Wake Up in a Roadside Ditch," directed by Tom Kuntz and shot by Emmanuel Lubezki

3. The project (film, television, commercial or music video) that most impressed you in the last year? Why?

J: Something that we did or anyone did? To me, for J+V, it was DUREX. We had a small budget, a [Canon] 7D, and a bear puppet, and it’s one of my favorite things to watch. I’m impressed that it came out so well for being composed of so many small parts. 

V: I have to agree that DUREX was one of my favorites, too (but I’m probably a bit partial). I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t mention the DirectTV spot where the guy ends up in the ditch. Awesome storytelling and the perfect mix of esoteric and funny. Also, Midnight in Paris.

"Woman Afraid of Owls," directed by Mitch Magee and co-written by Magee and Ruben

4. What's the best, or your favorite, project that you worked on in the past year? And why?

J: Definitely “Woman Afraid of Owls” for CollegeHumor. I co-wrote it with director Mitch Magee and got to act in it. Paper magazine called it the #3 funniest vid of 2011, which was pretty awesome.

V: I have been very excited about a series I direct for CollegeHumor called The Six. It’s a comedic approach to common themes in an adoldecent male’s existence: the women you date in college, the way you see your father, etc. What’s special to me is that it also presents the viewer with perspective, and a skill it takes many people years to fine-tune: the ability to articulate feelings. I wish 19 year old me had these videos for reference.

5. Name the top 4 artists on your iPod.

J: Marty Robbins, Ray Charles, Elliot Smith and, yes, Rachael Yamagata.

V: Hall and Oates, The Smiths, Daft Punk, and anything Phil Spector did. Well, almost anything. Too soon?

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