GOC EXCLUSIVE – From XY Cell Lif3 to Sesame Street: Meet Julien and Justen Turner
Julien, 19, and Justen Turner, 15, are a pair of brothers inseparable through their craft as throughout their lives they’ve maintained a career focus within the realm of film-making as Julien trained himself through the lens of a camera, and utilized his skills in writing to conform with Justen’s abilities to edit, interact with technology, and perform extensive research when faced with obstacles of both digital and physical means in their journey to provide diversity-inclusive entertainment.
And, on November 1st, Julien and Justen’s lives would be changed as a video of their own creation would be placed in the limelight and be viewed by the mass audience of the internet, a video known as XY Cell Lif3, something which was initially created for extra-credit points in Julien’s science class, but would unknowingly culminate into providing exactly what the brothers wanted: an audience.
Here’s the video:
Well, a few weeks after their video went viral, Julien announced on his Twitter page that him and his brother would be “two of the youngest filmmakers to ever be commissioned to produce a Sesame Street film”. After catching wind of both the video (which our staff loved) and the newly-provided news about their next project, Geeks Of Color was able to “sit down” with the brothers and get to know them as individuals and filmmakers… along with snagging a piece of information about one of their future projects which will be sure to excite the GOC audience, hope you enjoy.
GOC: What can you tell us about your upcoming project with Sesame Street? Any specifics? Possible release date?
Julien Turner: It’s about the number “6” and will help provide preschoolers a visual to memorize and conceptualize the number with music.
Justen Turner: Nothing exact yet, we don’t even know the exact date. But, should be around 2018-2019.
GOC: How did you two go about getting this opportunity?
Julien Turner: Well, it’s funny because it wasn’t a result of XY Life. But, we were at a film festival which had a Sesame Street workshop and we pitched an idea to them, the pitch got us the job which they confirmed with us.
GOC: What made you excited about this project?
Julien Turner: We grew up on the television show and, with the announcement, Sesame gave us a huge boost with our fanbase and relationships.
GOC: That’s awesome. Now, what would be your dream project to take on?
Julien Turner: Well, we’re already doing it. We love superheroes and we’re currently working with a producer about a series, It’s an original superhero program about a female superpowered vigilante who’s addressing the issues in her urban community. She’s the leader of a civil rights-styled movement, and the series is to focus on how the government and authorities would react to an individual like that.
Justen Turner: We wanted to use this project to provide a voice and role-model for our family as there aren’t many black, female superheroes in mainstream media and, due to Sesame Street, we’ve been able to get closer to doing this dream project.
Julien Turner: Yeah, we’re trying to get a lead attached as soon as possible.
GOC: Wow, that sounds terrific and Geeks of Color is the first to hear about this?
Julien Turner: Yeah, I mean we get our entertainment news from you guys it only makes sense that we give you guys this.
GOC: Well, thank you. Also, to finish this off, what advice do you guys have for aspiring filmmakers?
Julien Turner: Just do it! Me and Justin started six years ago with a flip camera. But, we just kept doing it, and trial-and-error helped us out. We go back and look at our original films sometimes and they’re just…. not good.
Justen Turner: So bad.
Julien Turner: Also, age is not an excuse. Justen is only 15, and it seems to us that the younger you are the more advantages you’ll have in the industry rather than older. And, he’s doing it.
Julien and Justen Turner’s Sesame Street film will be on your television screens at some point in 2018. We hope you enjoyed this GOC Exclusive Interview and leave your thoughts about their superhero project in the comment section below!