Born in Frankfurt, Germany during wartime, Junell moved with family to deep West Texas and lived between rural and urban environments throughout his youth. He matriculated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Plan 2 Honors Degree. Ryan currently splits time between New York and the Bay Area.
His video work includes artful non-fiction about travel, politics, media, and society. His music videos and music films have appeared in programming on MTV2, MTV Europe, MTV Japan, Res DVD, Sonar Festival (Spain), The New York Underground Film Festival, and numerous theaters and galleries around the world. He has created music videos for bands such as Spoon (Merge Records), Gravy Train!!!! (Kill Rock Stars), The Octopus Project (Peek-a-Boo), The Soft Pink Truth (Soundslike), The Natural History (Star Time), Lesser (Matador), and Sagan (Vague Terrain).
He directed a short documentary about John Kerry on the campaign trail in 2003. In 2004, he created an experimental documentary video installation about the Republican National Convention in New York. Junell interned for George W. Bush on capitol hill one summer when he was governor of Texas. Junell's duties included researching the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and compiling national press clippings in a "zine" format for the governor's desk.
Ryan is founder and curator of The SLOMO Video Festival, 100 one minute slow motion short films by 85 filmmakers and video artists from around the world. In 2006, the festival toured to 9 countries and 22 cities and was distributed online independently on DVD. Junell's work with slow motion returns in October 2007 as The SLOMO Horror Festival... 100 one minute slow motion horror films by 100 filmmakers and video artists.
Ryan is also an organizer of WEBZINE, an event series held in San Francisco and New York (1998-2001, 2005) featuring the art of independent online publishing.
In collaboration with many other inspired West Texans, Ryan helped bring to life the title role in "Radio Free Steve", an 80s post-apocalyptic epic road-trip movie about independent media... and mutants. You can catch a rare glimpse of Ryan's acting abilities in the extremely unpopular online series "The Vlogger". He also recreated the role of Tycho Brahe in Sagan's "Unseen Forces", a 40 minute cinematic paean to the late great astronomer.
Junell recently finished his third animation for Creative Commons. He also finished a short animation for Safari Books Online. He has produced animations for several non profits including H2O, WestEd, and PRX (The Public Radio Exchange).
Mr. Junell has also done a ton of web building, print design, zine making, set design for theater, and on-air radio dj'ing (KROC/KIXY/KTSB/KVRX). His lifelong fascination with media in all its manifestations leads him to write longish biographical essays about himself in the third person just to get through it all. However, the links below probably do the better job at whatever this set of text set out to do.
Pizza is almost always good.
Well, how do you do? Thanks for visiting this messed-up place known as Junell's. The proprietor has been busy since 1996 stuffing it with design and art that made sense at the time. Junell's personal catguard is really that large and keeps constant tabs on the movements of the distant and glowing media hemispheres.
Double Triple asked me to take some photographs for a new website they built for our dear friend Maura Madden's new book Crafternoon. A group of friends crafted words for a few hours and I documented the finished pieces as they came up. If you get your hands on the book, I'm the mad stamper on page 105. Craft Magazine just gave it a rave review... hot!
A 20 minute short documentary about a homemade mobile music venue from Oakland, CA that runs on veggie oil. The film follows the bus as it travels
from town to town with a vibrant crew of itinerants, chronicling the high and low points of life surrounding this unique temporary art
space and social utopia.
The bus has a very rich backstory and a very colorful daily existence which I'm very excited to go deeper with in a longer format, perhaps for television. It was also a great opportunity to work with my friends at the post-production facility Stuck On On in Austin. They cleaned up the audio and did a fantastic color correction pass.
My name got passed to the editors of this monthly publication. Each issue they profile a different city and hey, the finally got to my neck of the woods! A new mini was provided and I spent two days driving around shooting this lovely town from some of the classic old angles as well as some new ones. I also had a budget for a soundtrack so I worked with a track from Ship who make this awesome, weird folk music... and asked my friend Safety Scissors to remix it.
My friend Blevin Blectum has a new record out on Aagoo called Gular Flutter. I did a 20 minute video for her that she performs with and a print ad for The Wire, a high-falutin' UK music magazine. But when Alec from Aagoo contacted me about doing a tour poster I dropped everything I was doing and called my friend Caleb Rogers who is an artist and co-founded Lobot Gallery in Oakland. We co-designed this poster in a day and I'm perfectly thrilled with it. Blevin is on tour right now... the show is very very freaky! I highly recommend it.
Two weeks before the California Presidential Primary election, my friend and long-time collaborator Eddie Codel called me and asked if I wanted to create some ads for Obama on behalf of an organization called PowerPac. I was like, heck yeah! I made these two ads from concept to completion in less than two weeks with the help of Phillip Niemeyer of Double Triple, Blevin Blectum, Tonya Glanz, and several others. Our target is the younger, fence-sitting voter who needs a positive lift to the voting booth.
XLR8R TV is a new online show created by the publishers of XLR8R magazine, a print publication that focuses on music and culture. I've been "guest editing" their footage and having a blast. This is super fun work... almost more like taking some kind of daily video challenge. The colorful personalities, fun music, and awesome XLR8R staff makes it a pleasure.
VIEW #73: Hercules & Love Affair
VIEW #34: Black Moth Super Rainbow
VIEW #22: Matmos
VIEW #21: Devin the Dude
VIEW #17: Klaxons
VIEW #15: Adult.
VIEW #10: Asphodel
VIEW #09: Joakim
VIEW #05: Busdriver
VIEW #03: SXSW Room Service
Anything, anything, anything for Annalee Newitz, the new president of this non-profit that was founded in 1983 to promote the responsible use of computer technology. I was so flattered when she asked me to work on the organization's new identity design. The tshirt will be available on their website and at the Technology in Wartime conference at Stanford in early 2008.
This is a minute long flash animation that gets people hip to what Stylefeeder.com is all about. Illustrations by Tanya Unger and narration by Jillian Mosley
This is a short flash animation that describes what this not-for-profit does.
PRX.org is a fantastic non-profit based out of Cambridge that distributes independently produced public radio. This is a 4 minute animation done in After Effects that describes what they do.
VIEW ANIMATION (67 mb)
Safari Books Online, part of O'Reilly Media, is a web-based subscription service that offers a searchable reference library of computer books. They needed a flash animation for their website and other outlets that could concisely explain to n00bz what they do. I worked with their creative director and marketing people to come up with this.
This is the third animation I've done on behalf of the wonderful organization, Creative Commons. I've done similar work for many other non-profits since I did the first one for CC. View it at the following link and click the ad at the end. CC has an arrangement with the video host to receive all of the ad revenues, so they are using the videos as a fundraising endeavor. Smart!
Travelled around the country following different union workers and documenting their struggles as they try to attain the American Dream for themselves and their families. This was an intense project in collaboration with Peter Glantz (co-creator of Power of Salad and much more!)
Dabble.com, a new site that allows people to bookmark their favorite videos, asked me out of the blue if I would be interested in doing a humorous vlog that they could underwrite. This set of 5 episodes is what I came up with over the course of several months.
This video "experience" is an experimental documentary with a rich, complex, and horrifying audio component. Four one hour long video tracks recount four different narrative trajectories surrounding the event of the convention. The four tracks follow specifically the perspectives of Media, Authority, Republicans, and Protestors. The tracks overlap as these entities intersect over the course of the four days.
I set out to witness and document this intense moment in our nation's history out of a lifetime fascination with politics. The experience of putting this together was surreal at times. At the same moment I was rubbing elbows with high-ranking conservative icons inside the convention, one of my producers was text messaging me from the soily interment camp he ended up in while following a protest. Moments later I'm on CNN holding a premade posterboard handed to me by an enthusiastic Republican intern that says "Girly Men for Arnold". I sold the poster on Ebay later that week to some conservative in Pennsylvania for $160 to raise money to get the producer out of jail.
The whole experience for me is recognizing the interweaving and interlocked stories that make up our lives. I definitely think the video reflects this philosophy.
The months I spent on this were heavy and, to record, the fastest I have ever worked. No surprise that I followed up this project with the Slomo Video project. I drove cross-country screening the piece in swing states in the few weeks before the November presidential election to Republicans, Democrats, and Anarchists alike. The best part... every stop I met new people from unknown communities in towns I had never been before.
For three years I was did video projections with original footage for an experimental electronic band called Sagan. R.I.P. Carl Sagan 1934-1996.
This long form music video is a messed-up comedy of unprofessional reenactments from the history of science (ala Cosmos) featuring the music of Sagan and starring the band and friends (including the guys in Matmos). We shot the whole thing over the course of 2003 with no script or audio aside from one little scene. I defined the story through editing and wrote all the dialog subtitles in post.
We released the dvd and an audio cd in a package under the same name. I spent two weeks building the dvd menus so check it out if you can. We also buried some easter eggs in the menus if you can find them. It was the perfect artifact to create with this wonderful spaced-out band. Our live shows were a trip.
After four years of volunteering with the Lobsters, from handing out programs to shooting short films, I decided to get my hands very dirty on a theater production. Fresh off of an ambitious Burning Man tent experience, I offered to design the set for the next show. When the director accepted, I was totally surprised and excited. The writing for the show was based entirely on found items. I attempted to support that idea by designing a 20' x 10' cabinet with hundreds of cubby holes to shelve an eclectic array of "found" items. It also featured a large projection screen and a dj booth.
I designed and helped construct this stark white modular set for this new all-female sketch comedy show. Kudos to Alex Estrovitz, Joshua Winsor, and Jessica Serran for making it come together. The show runs November 8th thru December 8th in San Francisco.
The latest music video for The Octopus Project that I co-directed and animated with my friend Phillip recently over a couple of weeks in Brooklyn. We used thousands of photos on hundreds of layers to create this kind-of horrible/splendid array of bats, butterflies, and psychedelic stop-motion animation to depict "An Evening with Rthrtha". Rthrtha, as I understand, is a mythical gigantic pink bat that likes to play cards... well, at least that's what the band told us.
A three minute 2d stop motion animated music video for the band Spoon. Neither of us had done stop motion or green screen before so there was a big learning curve, but it was super fun and some of the best hardwork I've done in awhile. This was done entirely in collaboration with long time friend Phillip Niemeyer of Double Triple.
We invented a production ethic called "Whomping" (alt. "Wamping" or "Womping") where you just take what's in front of you and Whomp/Wamp/Womp on it til its done. Phillip explained to me that you can't pay for whomping... because whomping can only come from the inside.
I loved this project. It was commissioned by the band as the third video for the record "Gimme Fiction". Spoon is unfortunately not in it... they were on tour and far away. So people don't believe that it's an official Spoon video, but it is. However, Charo does make a classic cameo appearance. I am the only person that appreciates this fact. This video could technically be considered a documentary, except Jawknee Kat (the star) actually works in a beauty salon. Thus, the perfect wig.
One afternoon. One tape. One grave-tipping. If you have never seen a live Gravy Train!!!! show (yes, four exclamation marks) then you simply do not know the definition of a fucking good time. Fans might understand my sorrow the day I showed up at Hunx's Oakland apartment to shoot and learned that Drunx had left the band. However pre-Gravy Brontez was certainly in the house half-naked and wearing roller skates. R.I.P. Gaston Straus 1856-1938. It was an accident, sheesh!!!!
People just now discovering The Soft Pink Truth's music three years later think its the latest greatest thing... which, of course, it is! There's alot of really crappy dance music out there. Drew Daniels concept was to tell an abstract story about a mischevous flying moustache entirely out of clip art from queer lifestyle magazines from the 70s. I brought in the Monsters & Mazes illustrations. And together, video magic!
I know Britt from the student radio station (then KTSB) in Austin and first saw Spoon play at a benefit for the station in 1993. I started regularly going to Spoon shows that next year with a fevered little crowd that would go wild... dancing and drinking immediately in front of the band. Absolutely nothing mattered behind us. Spoon is one of those bands where I don't know the titles of any of their songs or albums, but I could sing you every word if they were playing it live. This video makes gratuitous use of an old used video mixer I bought for $250 to do live shows with Lesser and Blevin Blectum.
There is a story behind nearly every frame of this video. The set and props were made entirely out of cardboard in a wonderful collaboration with friends of mine and the band. Pause on any of the scenes and check out the detail. A cardboard mouse nibbling on cardboard pizza? A year after this video played on MTV2 the band broke up. Go figure.
In early 2001, I decided to learn how to edit using Final Cut Pro. I did not know J very well at the time, but loved his sounds so picked out a song that I thought I could do something with and put this together. I'm embarrassed about the "copyright 2001" and the credits at the end of the video now. I did that as if I had the rights to the clip from Lolita... so sue me! Creative Commons hadn't been invented yet.
An HIV awareness music video for music by Papa Wemba. This project is underwritten by the US Embassy in the Republic of Congo and will be seen all over Africa. I got connected to this project by my old friend Tomas Apodaca who was a co-founder of Angry Monkey out here in SF back in the day. Ian Greeb made these fantastic puppets and we shot the whole thing in my place in Oakland. SIDA means AIDS in many other countries.
I made a bunch of new friends in the vlogging world and now I'm like, in their wikis, programming their film festivals. I also did the :30 sec festival bumper that will screen before each of the nine screenings.
The inimitable Irina Slutsky of Geek Entertainment TV microfame asked me to create all the award show video components for The Vloggies... a live award show honoring excellence in video blogging. I designed the logo and created all the clips in the following directory that start with the word "vlog"...
I'm doing design and production on this new community site that will launch in late spring this year. Working with a great Ruby on Rails engineer. I love knowing how to handcode websites from scratch. Its a weird skill that has gotten me through many a lean time. And hey, its a site that will bring people together... always a good thing.
I hand coded the web templates for this site that supports the Wholphin DVD Magazine, an outstanding media product. It was a fun, no-brainer gig that the designer (also my friend) Sasha Wizansky asked me to help out on because she said she's "done coding". I'm always thrilled to work with the McSweeney's folks... I've been a fan and subscriber since the get-go.
I seem to always meet talented people on projects that I continue to work with and so it is with Doug Fales, the mastermind behind this wonderful web 2.0 site, WalkingBoss. We were both freelance mercenaries on Mog.com and worked closely together. We rocked this on the side over the course of a few weeks. I designed and built out the XHTML templates that Doug connected to his Ruby on Rails backend.
This project is under wraps at the moment, but when it debuts everyone should check it out because it'll be a cool way to learn about music. I was hired to precisely convert the designer's mockups into functional strict XHTML and handoff to the engineers who turned them into Ruby on Rails templates. If you know what that means, you are a big dork.
I've been over at Sega in SF the last couple of weeks working on gameplay trailers for the xmas season. Today I get to help direct action inside the game and I will run around in the game with a virtual camera and capture gameplay for the trailers that I will be editing. This is about as fun a gig as I've ever had!
More rad Sega work! This time editing several gameplay trailers for this new game for the Wii.
This is a set of trailers destined for popular gaming websites featuring gameplay footage from a new video game for the Nintendo Wii. I love working with videogame people. I'm thrilled that someone I worked for years ago at EA retained my contact information.
One of my big clients over the past couple of years has been my own health care provider, Blue Shield. I can't say I'm wild about the health care industry, but by working for them I am able to pay my dues. I've done a ton of video production, authored dvds, created original presentations, shot video and other general media production. I even supervised a recording of the CEO making personal messages for 100 employees, then edited them all down so they could be put on ipods as gifts. Weird work that I'm happy to do on occasion.
After years of flirting with film festivals, I realized how easy and fun it would be to pull one together. And why do something traditional? I had been experimenting with slow motion stuff recently and noticed that I could VIEW slow motion videos all day long. So I put out a call for submissions on the internet and 4 months had enough to put together a two hour show. Then I screened it for some people and learned that 100 would suffice. I have a promo screener dvd available if you are of the booking persuasion.
Webzine is one of the projects I'm most proud of over the past 8 years. This was the fifth Webzine event I co-organized with Eddie Codel and many others since 1998. Unless you live in China, it is easier now, more than ever, for common people to speak their mind to the world. Webzine has been one of the most genuinue gatherings of people inspired by this new culture of independent publishing.
Three 30 minute video pieces about Rock and Roll for the Hammer Museum's 2005 outdoor summer concert series.
Audio/Visual performance in venues located in San Francisco, Oakland, and beyond including... SF Museum of Modern Art, The Headlands Center for the Arts, 111 Minna, 21 Grand, The Luggage Store, RX Gallery, New Langton Arts, The Lab, Bottom of the Hill, Cafe Dunord, Stork Club, The Oakland Box, The Hemlock Tavern, Blue Room Gallery, 26 Mix, Compound Eye, Bleakhouse, Studio Z, Femina Potens, Music Union Hall, The Derby (LA), CEAIT at USC (LA), Sushi Gallery (San Diego), Sit & Spin (Seattle), Austin Museum of Digital Art (Austin, TX), SXSW Showcase (Austin, TX), Pianos (NYC), Monkeytown (Brooklyn), Blackbird (Portland), Espresso Metro (Sacramento).
50 artists from around the world screen underground visuals via dozens of projectors on a massive 5-story, block-long wall in downtown San Francisco.