Jason van Genderen needs no introduction to most of you…but let me say how excited we are to have him join our Judging Panel for 2020. As the Founder of our Major Sponsors, We Are Treehouse, and a smartphone filmmaker who has won awards at festivals all over the world including Sundance Film Festival London, Tropfest NY and more, there is no more qualified filmmaker to watch your entries. And while most of us were resting during Covid, Jason has been going viral with Omas Applesaucewith over 30 million views and counting! Ask him a question below.

1. What is the first gig/job you ever did?
Jas: I was a freelance commercial illustrator from age 14 (while going to High School), I designed street banners and murals for Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations, was an artwork designer for long stitch tapestry kits (I know right!) and had my own greeting card range with Hallmark.

2. What are you working on at the moment?
Jas: Just about to publish my digital course ‘Going Viral’ which documents how we went from 1 to 30million views on our self-shot mini-docs during isolation, without spending a dollar. It’s a two hour course which I started filming as soon as we realised our own content was going viral, and we kept the camera rolling for two weeks to document the whole process and give others the experience of what this is like, and what they can learn from my journey to better their chances of going viral in the future.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Jas: The imperfections of life to be honest…. and the beautiful way that people find creative ways to problem solve and push through. Those disrupters in our industry really inspire me to approach my storytelling from different perspectives.

4. What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Jas: Day-dream. Honestly it’s the most generous gift anyone can be given. Time and space to imagine, re-set, re-imagine and un-think… I love that!

5. What are some memorable moments from your career?
Jas: Definitely winning Tropfest NY in 2008, that really lit a fire underneath my creative soul and made me want to charm audiences over and over as often as I could. And also winning Sundance London in 2013 and the Moment Invitational in NYC last year… that was incredible… blew me away!

6. What’s your favourite movie and why?
Jas: I have a few here… as a kid, it was definitely a tie between E.T and Ghostbusters… my first two films I experienced in a cinema… they took me to a whole other world in my imagination and I’ve been spell-bound by it ever since. As an adult, my stand-out film of choice is a little indie documentary titled ‘My Date With Drew’… a wild can-do story made by three friends with a borrowed camcorder…. with a huge dream to realise. Everything about that film makes me feel alive and excited to explore my own next story adventure.

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