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Mysterious and magical Indie Feature Twotwo screens at the Spring 2022 New Jersey Film Festival on February 4

By Al Nigrin

originally published: 01/31/2022

Mysterious and magical Indie Feature Twotwo screens at the Spring 2022 New Jersey Film Festival on February 4

Twotwo screens at the Spring 2022 New Jersey Film Festival on February 4. Here is my interview with Director Jun Hoskulds:

Nigrin: Your film focuses on a young corporate type who has lost his way and is enlightened by Twotwo, a mysterious muse who helps right his ship. What made you want to make this film?

Hoskulds: The inspiration for this movie came from my first few days walking around Downtown Los Angeles. I just moved to LA from NY and never really spent much time Downtown. But when I discovered it I though it had this “out of time” magic and it made me decide to move here. There was an old abandoned hotel just up the street from where I lived and every time I passed it, I though it was somehow magical, as if it did and at the same time didn’t belong there. Like a quantum gate in between worlds. I could see in my head all these scenes happening inside, and this mysterious beautiful woman (Twotwo) connected to a power from another world, and her very complicated story. Next I saw Joe, the homeless man, the gate keeper of the two worlds, but I knew these characters would never meet and there has to be another person in the middle, someone normal, maybe a bit too normal (David). The hotel never made it into the movie and the scenes transformed, but the essence of the story and the three main characters stayed.

Nigrin: You wrote, directed, produced and edited this film. Was it a challenge to perform all these functions?

Hoskulds: It was a lot of work. I never intended to do all these jobs, especially editing and the soundtrack, I thought I would just get it started, you know to set the pacing and the vibe, and pick the best takes, and then I couldn’t stop. We had a lot of footage, some scenes 20, 30 or more takes, and by the time I went through all of them I was so deep into the editing I had to keep going. Regarding the music, very similar story, I thought I would just pick some temp tracks from my own library, I’ve been composing for about 5 years and have an album released few years ago “Cause of Birth Unknown/ Intellectual Grey”. I also have over 200 songs that didn’t make it into the album, it so I thought maybe something would fit. But again, I got carried away and then started composing new songs more specific for this scene or that scene, and it fit. Then when we took the film to a real professional and experienced film composer to do “the real” soundtrack, he said it’s too good, he likes it too much as it is and he doesn’t want to touch it. 

Nigrin:  Morgan Makana is beguiling as Twotwo. You can’t take your eyes off of her.  How did she come to star in your film?

Hoskulds: Morgan was a blessing. I usually spend a lot of time and energy casting, I can’t start filming until I’m 100% confident I have the right actors. We only did 2 days of in person casting and Covid came that week so we had to stop and continue online. We watched hundreds of reels..

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But we got lucky we found some great people in those first few days, and Morgan was one of the two girls we really liked. She had a very powerful presence, a confidence and openness that I notice right away, that was something unique to TwoTwo.  She also smelled very nice and so we talked about her perfume for a bit, then about her pet rats. I though that was quite unique. I had never met anyone who had rats. It’s funny how it all adds up, it’s not this one thing or the other but after 15 minutes with her I new she was on the short list. She looked very different than in the movie and we worked together for a few weeks to create this look, and find the character. She was very easy to work with, never showed any sign of being tired, never complained, even through some pretty hard shoots or long days. A truly beautiful presence on the set, very smart and funny and sweet, a treasure for the film and for the whole crew. I Am confident she will soon be very wanted in Hollywood and will have a beautiful career.

Nigrin: Joel Ballard is also pretty special as the other lead. How did you decide he fit to play the role of David?

Hoskulds: For David we were looking for someone who had some background in comedy or at least that can be funny. David is maybe socially awkward but also likable, and Joel had by far the best audition. He was 100% David from the first read.  I also like actors who are a bit different, you know, memorable, and once we saw him none of the other actors came as close to David as him, so he got the part. But another thing I pay very close attention to when I’m casting is the actor’s personality and how serious, how passionate they are about their craft. It’s a big commitment, for a long time, and very delicate and complex work, and I want to feel safe that we can do this together. Then it’s my job to make them feel safe. We were blessed with very good people in this film, cast and crew as well, all gifted but hard working. Joel and Morgan both trusted me completely with everything, and they gave this film everything they had and I hope it shows.

Nigrin: Lisa Stoll’s cinematography is really great. Tell us more about her work.

Hoskulds: Lisa made over 50 films in her career, had a great reel and resume. But the main reason I decided to hire her was because I felt she really got it, as soon as she read the script. I felt like this film picked its own people somehow, it was so obvious who belonged in our little family, actors and crew as well. Lisa is a perfectionist. She has a good eye and she watches your back, never lets you make a mistake. More than once I would tell her we have it and she wanted to keep on going, until she was satisfied. Sometimes until late at night, she won’t let go until it was perfect. I’m very grateful to her for that. And many many times during editing I would thank her in my mind (and then call or text her and thank her again) for treasures I would find, footage I didn’t even remember we filmed it this particular angle, or for a take she really wanted that I didn’t even ask for. I also have to mention a very special person, Harrison Wayne who was the camera assistant who made an amazing team with Lisa. Harrison is one of those people you work with once and you would probably want to hire him for ever on your every future project.

Nigrin: Are there any memorable stories while you made this film or any other info about your film you would like to relay to us?

Hoskulds: I have to say one of the most beautiful things was to have my husband with me on this journey, he worked tirelessly for almost two years, doing - just like me - multiple jobs. He is extremely talented and creative and funny, but also very critical and clear minded. You should Google him: S. Husky Hoskulds, you will be impressed.  He is a recording engineer with a long career and many accomplishments. It was a first film for him and as hard as it was, with Covid and everything, 3 months of shooting and one year and a half in post, he is so into it. We can’t wait to start our next film, we are a very good team.

Here is the Twotwo trailer:

Twotwo screens at the Spring 2022 New Jersey Film Festival on February 4! To buy tickets click here.

The New Jersey Film Festival Spring 2022 will be taking place on select Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between January 28 and February 20, 2022. As a result of COVID our Festival will be a virtual one again this Spring. All the films will be available virtually via Video on Demand for 24 hours on their show date. More info is available here:


Albert Gabriel Nigrin is an award-winning experimental media artist whose work has been screened on all five continents. He is also a Cinema Studies Lecturer at Rutgers University, and the Executive Director/Curator of the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, Inc.

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