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In the Spotlight with FUJIFILM – Featuring Jasmine Quiñones

In the Spotlight with FUJIFILM – Featuring Jasmine Quiñones

CineD is always searching for a way to connect creators and manufacturers – and, of course, to help filmmakers show their work. This is why we teamed up with FUJIFILM to show our filming community work that has been done with FUJIFILM cameras. Please meet Jasmine Quiñones, a Texas-based skateboarder and freelance filmmaker. “In the Spotlight” is proudly sponsored by FUJIFILM.

Today we get to know the work and personality of Jasmine Quiñones. As with many skateboarders, the love for this sport naturally drew her towards filmmaking. Due to the close link between these two passions, Jasmine has developed a personal approach to camera work with a preference for lightweight, run-and-gun setups.

This is the reason why she opted for the freshly-released FUJIFILM X-H2S mirrorless camera to create her latest short film, PUSH. As revealed by the trailer below, Jasmine’s narrative makes use of skateboarding as a mean to investigate deeper, more relevant matters. Make sure to take some time to check out the trailer.

In the Spotlight With FUJIFILM – Jasmine Quiñones

Name: Jasmine Quiñones
Currently based in: Austin, Texas (USA)
Language(s) spoken: English, Spanish
Occupation: Freelance Filmmaker

Q: How did you get started in our industry? 
J: I am self taught and picked up a camera in my senior year of college. I went on to take a wedding editing position after graduating as well as interning two summers at Maine Media Workshops where I learned a bit more about filmmaking and editing. It didn’t take me long at all to go completely freelance and have been a freelance filmmaker for 4 years now. It’s been a wild ride!

Current assignments:
I’m currently working on trying to write some more short film ideas to pitch to more sports/fitness brands.

Image credit: Jasmine Quiñones

What types of productions do you mostly shoot? 
I typically shoot commercials. Historically, I’ve been all over the map with my “niche” but I am leaning more into commercials that center around action sports, active lifestyles, cars, etc. Honestly, anything that I can bring a high energy and creative style of filmmaking to is what I am focused on.

What is your dream assignment / job in our industry and what are you really passionate about? 
Right now I am incredibly passionate about bringing stories about POC, women, and the queer community more into the spotlight of the sports/fitness world as well as focusing on narrative arcs that deal with mental health and the deep battles we have within ourselves and our identities. A lot of stories get told with the same arc. Grit hustle, hard work, blah blah blah.

Image credit: Jasmine Quiñones

I want to see the real stuff. The struggle to get out of bed. The days where you fall flat on your face. The small wins, the big wins, everything in between. I feel like this is a lot of people’s dream but I would love to direct a commercial for Nike or Adidas Skateboarding, showcasing the relationship between skating and mental health through the eyes of someone less visible in the sport (ex: a queer person or POC).

In the work that you are presenting us, now that it is done, what would you have done differently throughout the production?
I think if I had the time I would focus a little more on lighting with the outdoor scenes and household scenes. It was difficult because we only had 2 days to film everything so it was kind of a mad house and outdoor lighting circumstances really took a back seat with the time that we did have. I really wish I could’ve filmed the outdoor scenes during golden hours!

Image credit: Jasmine Quiñones

What current camera, lenses and sound equipment do you use? 
I only own the FUJIFILM X-T4 and FUJIFILM X-H2S with one lens, the 16-55mm f/2.8. I’ve always been known to work with the least amount of equipment known to man to make a production. Part of that has been because camera equipment is expensive, and another part is because it becomes cumbersome to get my ideas executed efficiently with tons of gear. Too many fancy options sometimes lead to less creativity. However, for this short film we used the X-H2S with the 16mm and the 35mm I believe for most of the images.

You chose to shoot your project with the FUJIFILM X-H2S camera. Did you impose on yourself any limitations like not shooting with a tripod?
I am always self imposing limitations on myself. Simply because I like to work light. We filmed a variety of ways, handheld, a couple tripod frames, and some gimbal movements were used. We barely used the monitors we were given because I was just moving too fast with the production.

Image credit: Jasmine Quiñones

What’s your favorite lighting equipment, and why did you choose that kit over other solutions? 
My favorite lighting equipment has to be Aputure lights with a spotlight mount. I love the creativity you can achieve with a spotlight mount. I’m a huge fan of hard moody light. So being able to slice and dice light and create spotlight scenarios proved to be very effective in communicating my message visually for this film specifically.

Do you use drones/gimbals in your productions? If so, what is the most effective way you’ve found of deploying them? 
I don’t often have a need for drones in my productions. Only if it enhances the story. I also don’t love filming on gimbals because it feels too sterile at times. However, a gimbal comes in very handy when you want to film smooth skate lines. It depends on the look you are going for, and I often opt for handheld because I love the more raw and real look.

Image credit: Jasmine Quiñones

What editing systems do you use and are you satisfied working with them?
I’m a Davinci Resolve user and have been for 4 years now. I absolutely love the platform especially for color grading since I am a color nerd and it is one of my favorite parts about post-production. I love how Resolve functions and it rarely ever crashes on me, unlike certain editing softwares.

How much of your work do you shoot in “flat picture profile” and what is your preferred way of color correcting? 
Like I said, I’m a color nerd and will always make time for color grading so I shoot everything in a Log color profile. I love the flexibility of Log and the dynamic range it gives you to create unique looks.

I have also recently dived into the Dehancer plugin which is a color grading plugin that emulates all different types of film stocks. It is currently my favorite plugin to use within DaVinci Resolve to grade my footage as I typically always go for a more styled look vs a more natural grade.

Image credit: Jasmine Quiñones

How frequently do you travel and do you have any tips when it comes to packing your gear?
I have been traveling more and more for work in the last year. I travel on average about once a month for work. I would love some tips on packing gear myself honestly. However, I try to travel as light as possible.

One camera body, one lens – very stripped down, so I’m usually able to fit it all in a backpack or wrapped securely in my carry-on. I’m a small person and carrying a bunch of cases and bags to the airport is what I honestly try to avoid as much as possible especially because I am usually traveling by myself.

Links: FUJIFILM Site | “PUSH” Trailer, Behind the Scenes, Website & Instagram | Jasmine Quiñones’ Website & Instagram

Full disclosure: This “In The Spotlight” series of interviews is sponsored by FUJIFILM.

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