Spotlight On: ‘JJ in Dobbs: A Film by Juan Carlos Hernandez’

JJ in Dobbs (2008)

Written and Directed by: Juan Carlos Hernandez

Produced by: Adria K. Hernandez

Starring: Adria K. Hernandez, Anthony (A.J.) Hernandez, Juan Carlos Hernandez

Anthony (A.J.) Hernandez as J.J. in JJ in Dobbs

In 2008 – or maybe in 2009, I’m not sure – my friend and collaborator Juan Carlos Hernandez sent me a package to my former home in Miami from Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., where he was living with his wife Adria and his son Anthony.

At the time, Juan and I had somehow reconnected online after being separated by space, time, and circumstance for nearly 20 years; I last saw him in person when he was a college sophomore with an associate in arts degree from Miami-Dade Community College and on his way to a four-year university to earn his bachelor’s degree and then start his acting career.

By the time I received the package from Popcorn Sky Productions, the company he runs with his wife Adria, in 2009, Juan and I had started talking about maybe, possibly, perhaps someday working on a project together. He remembered that I had been the Entertainment Editor of our high school’s student paper in 12th grade, and he always thought I was a good writer. At the time, I didn’t have the screenplay-writing software that we both use now (Write Brothers’ Movie Magic Screenwriter 6.0), but I did express my interest in collaborating with him and Adria when the opportunity next presented itself.

In the meantime, Juan – in between his acting jobs on TV and in feature films (he’s been in HBO’s OZ, as well as several episodes of the Law & Order franchise and the 2002 thriller High Crimes) was making his own short films, including Waking Up in Astoria and JJ in Dobbs.

From the DVD Package:

JJ in Dobbs is a story about a boy who is caught in the middle of two culturally different parents. His mother, an ex-heavy drinker from America, and his father, who took a raft from CUBA. are constantly fighting. Through their hysterical quarrels and funny charades, JJ finds a life of his own in his cartoon world, which is both funny and endearing.

Using a plug-in for Apple’s Final Cut Studio software, Juan and Adria were able to combine live-action cinematography and a cartoon-like effect. As Adria writes in the promo blurb on the DVD packaging, “It’s amazing how this turned out.”

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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