The Digital Juice Crew: Where Are They Now

I saw the other day that Digital Juice turned 16 this month and it made me think back to my days working there. I often get asked about it and people still ask me for updates, so I figured I’d take a look back and give everyone an update on the old DJTV and Digital Juice crew with a “Where are they now” blog post.

For me, working at Digital Juice was great, it was by far the one of the coolest jobs I’ve had in my career. The people I worked with were incredibly talented and creative, and I actually enjoyed going to work everyday. I contacted everyone and asked them for an update on what they’re doing now, as you’ll see we’ve all gone on to do some pretty cool things, so let’s get started.

Perry Jenkins

Perry Jenkins

Perry Jenkins was the Creative Director at Juice, he was the host of Production Notes, and oversaw all the productions and video products. Perry was a funny guy, great to work with and always willing to wrestle. Here’s what Perry wrote.

“I am producing video and photography for a company in the healthcare industry in Nashville TN. right now. I just came off of a five year stint as creative director for a team of producers, editors, designers and photographers that produce marketing for the National Guard. What I do now is kind of boring compared to that. (it’s a paycheck) I do occasional freelance and hope to get back into dancing. I also excel at ping pong and teach macramé to silver haired sirens after bingo at the city center. Of course none of that later part is true. Except being badass at ping pong.”

You can check out some of Perry’s work here

www.behance.net/perryjenkins

 

Chris "Ace" Gates

Chris “Ace” Gates

Chris “Ace” Gates was one of the main editors at Juice and host of “Cutting Class”. Chris has an incredible work ethic, loves talking college football and Sean tells me he’s a great Dragon Slayer. Here’s Ace’s update.

“I’m just outside of Nashville now, been here for about 4.5 years. I work for a small little shop as the “Post-Production Supervisor” heading up all our post work – editing, motion graphics, animation, art direction, and doing some graphic design as well.”

You can check out Ace’s site here (he’s in progress of reworking the site)

www.chrisacegates.com

 

Rusty Wolfe

Rusty Wolfe

Many of you might not know Rusty, but you’ve seen his work. Rusty did a lot of the promotions for Juice (the SFX one being one of my personal favorites). Everyone loved Rusty, just an all around great guy, and a very talented editor even if he only used 3 fingers. Here’s Rusty’s update.

“I’m currently living the life on a beach in south florida working as an independent contractor for a boutique agency in mid-town Miami. Most of my work is for non-profit agencies and commercial clients with the occasional pharmaceutical company and Creole re-tracks thrown in for the fun of it! I’m not getting rich, but I AM loving life and isn’t that what it’s really all about? in simpler terms, i’m a f*cking beach bum. deal with it. 🙂

On a serious note, I have nothing but love for the crew I had the honor to work with at digital juice. A super talented crew across the board and a bunch of really smart motherf*ckers that were also really cool to hang out with!

miss ya boys. <sniff>”

You can check out some of Rusty’s work here.
http://www.youtube.com/user/eflowytsur

 

Sam Allison

Sam Allison

Sammy is another guy some of you might not know, but you know his work. Sammy was one of the Audio guys at Juice and he created and mixed a lot of our Stack Traxxs. Sammy is a bad ass musician, and a really nice guy. Here’s Sammy’s update.

“I’ve been in Miami for the past 5 years working in recording studios. I’ve been working at the Hit Factory Criteria, one of the top recording studios in the US since 1958, for 4 years. I moved up to an administrative position a few years ago but I still do a lot of recording and mixing. I’ve worked on a whole bunch of platinum and gold records as well as Grammy and latin Grammy winners. luckily the studio keeps me pretty busy. I do a lot of work with latin artists like Ricky Martin, Shakira, Alejandro Sanz. hip hop as well. I’ve worked with lil wayne, extensive work with Pharell for the despicable me soundtrack. Also did work on the soundtrack for Django Unchained and rock of ages. I’ve worked on some surround sound mixing for Iron Maiden and Shakira live concert dvds. its been pretty exciting down here. And being close to the beach doesn’t hurt either lol”

 

Chuck Peters

Chuck Peters

Chuck Peters was the General Manager at Juice, the original host of “Take 5” and “Field of View” he was also the face of Juice. Chuck has a strong faith and he’s a master of rhymes. Here’s Chuck’s update.

“In May 2008, I chose to leave Digital Juice to pursue a more personally missional position as VP of Rivet Productions in Nashville, TN. I have spent the last 5 years giving oversight to the production of KIDMO’s high-energy, media-driven childrens’ Sunday School curriculum, consisting of both live-action and cartoon animation. KIDMO properties, including the Lil K preschool program and the Johnny Rogers Elementary program, have been used by thousand of churches in the US and worldwide. With my beloved DJ Mag dead and gone, I am now once again a regular writer for Videomaker magazine. — Although I’ve spent the last 5 years out of the spotlight, off the grid and under the radar, I often entertain Blues-Brothers-esque fantasies of someday “getting the band back together.” So stay tuned, our stories are far from over & you never know what might happen.”

You can see some of Chucks work here. He also invites you to like his new Facebook page “Chuckpeters.tv”

www.chuck-peters.com

 

Charlie Burket

Charlie Burket

Charlie is another behind the scenes guy you may not know, Charlie was an editor at Juice and edited Tech Know, he also worked on various video products like Compositors Toolkit and Video Traxx. Charlie knows his stuff and is a big gear head, and if you think he has good editing skills you should see him iron. Here’s Charlie’s update.

“Essentially when I left DJ, I decided that I didn’t want to go back to a 9-5 job working for someone else. So my life became much longer hours and many more headaches…but they are of my own doing! I was in a great position to jump in head first to entrepreneurship and turn some casual freelance into a production lifestyle.

I run a sports production company called Game-Footage.com in Orlando.  It produces game film for professional, semi professional athletics (football players who are entering the Arena leagues and European pros), college recruiting (Players have used our highlight reels to get into many D1 schools) and amateur sports.
In addition to Game-Footage, I also have a production company called Fresh Pixel Media, which handles marketing, commercial and live video services for medical, healthcare, nonprofit, scholastic and regional businesses. The nice thing about Fresh Pixel Media is it’s a scalable depending on the job and client, so I am able to pull in some of our old DJ team as well as resources from Full Sail to accommodate production needs. It’s great getting to pick and choose who I work with on many of our projects.
And on top of that, I have been working with Sean Mullen / Rampant Design Tools to create and develop product ideas, and turn them into tangible entities. Currently, I have worked on SmokeFX, Optical Bokeh, GunFX and LightFX. This is the fun part of my production schedule and I look forward to shooting many more products to come.”
You can check out Charlie’s companies here

 

D. Eric Franks

D. Eric Franks

D. Eric Franks was multi-talented, he was the host of “Tech Know” and hosted/wrote our training videos. I’m pretty sure he produced more content than anyone at Juice while I was there. He was also active on the forums and tech support. He’s just an all around smart guy, I miss our talks on politics. Here’s Eric’s update.

“I’m a bitter old man who has never reclaimed the glory I once knew at Digital Juice as my heart was broken by Rusty Wolfe and Ami Pearsall when he was told he could no longer play ‘Lucky Pierre’ in the middle… Or you could just say that I’m the overworked, underpaid rock-n-roll producer for Hard Rock International. It’s rarely glamorous – trafficking commercial spots to Krakow isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds – but it has its moments.”

Here’s a nice spot on Eric and his current position

You can visit Eric’s site here

http://videopia.org/

 

Michael Mavrikios

Michael Mavrikios

Michael Mavrikios or Maverick (as we called him) was another audio guy, he worked on the SFX libraries and mixed the DJTV shows. Another great guy to work with, funny, motivated and creative. All I can say is Giddy Up! Here’s Mavericks update.

“Im currently the Producer/Director of “ΤΕΤ-Α-ΤΕΤ με τον ΤΑΣΟ ΤΡΥΦΩΝΟΣ” an internationally syndicated show that focuses on interviewing the greatest minds of the Greek world. Presidents, Actors, Singers that have something to say and are not everyday on gossip tv shows. I fly every week to Athens and other locations for the interviews.

I’ve run my own company since 2008. I’m developing projects for TV and Film and my ultimate goal is to have a Hollywood production in Cyprus!

It will happen! Its in the works…”

You can check out some of Mavericks work here
www.youtube.com/mavrikios

 

Sean Mullen

Sean Mullen

Sean Mullen was the Visual Effects artist at Juice and Host of “Suite Effects”. Sean is super talented, super funny, super motivated, and works extremely hard. If Sean’s not in the edit bay you can find riding the rides at Disney. Here’s Sean’s update.

“I’m in Orlando running my own stock effects company, Rampant Design Tools. I’m proud to say that we have some DJ people who work with us on various projects including TVs Perry Jenkins, Dr. Charles Burket, Dragon Slayer Chris Ace Gates and DJ Mike Brassell.”

You can check out Sean’s company and all of his great products at

http://www.rampantdesigntools.com

Mike Brassell

Mike Brassell

Mike was another one of the guys on the Audio team, Mike composed many of the Stack Traxx and also created Worship Staxx. Mike is extremely talented and as nice of a guy as you can meet. I miss our conversations Brazzle Dazzle. Here’s Mike’s update.
I am working with the Army National Guard as a Video Editor and my second job consists of providing VoiceOvers to my clients.  Pleased to be working with Sean Mullen at Rampant Design Tools in their music department.  Lastly, I run a music publishing company providing Hip-Hop and RnB for license to Film/TV shows which can be found at www.ineedmoremusic.com  Then, the real work starts in helping to raise a family of 5 kids with my wife.  

And in my free time… who am I kiddin’?  I have no free time!!”

 You can check out Mike’s website here

 

Graham Cohen

Graham Cohen

Graham moderated the forums, worked on getting our training program started, and represented Juice at trade shows and user groups. I had a lot of road trips with Graham, which included lot’s of donuts and beer. Here’s Graham’s update.

“Since leaving juice I’ve been working on expanding my own production company. I worked at Hard Rock International for the past 6 years working on their global learning management system and working on some global marketing videos with my friend and another ex juicer D.Eric Franks. I’m now back working full time on my own company and enjoying semi retirement. As far as where I hang my hat in the forum world I spend my time supporting Sean and the guys over at Rampant Media Design.”

 

Rick Green

Rick Green

Rick worked at Juice before I got there. He was Director of Marketing and creative, he also took over as host of “Take 5” and was the original “face” of Juice. I got to work with Rick a few times when he would come back to shoot Take 5, I also shot and edited his BTS Segments. Rick is a funny guy, full of positive energy and I always had a good time working with him when he came to town. I’ve seen pictures of him impersonating Elvis, I think he does a pretty good Fred Savage too. Here’s Rick’s update.

“Digital Juice is still one of my favorite gigs – ever. It was a wild ride – every day – my first day, last day and every day in between – wild, and incredible. We launched DJTV, DJ Magazine, the first HD products, the first Toolkit products, – we were doing stuff at NAB that nobody was doing – I went on road trips all over the country talking to users and groupies – it was pretty rad. I’m current Director of Business Development and Creative at PostHouse.tv – we specialize in capturing beautiful images – primarily in 4k or 5k – and telling compelling stories through marketing films and branding content. I’m passionate about ‘passion projects’ and try to give back by creating content with a purpose – my latest passion project can be found at SweetPrincessProject.com.

As the ‘old guy’ – and the original ‘face’ of Juice – I wasn’t at DJ at the same time as many of these talented dudes – but, we have worked together many times – and if this band gets back together, I’d definitely love to sit-in and jam – especially if there’s ping-pong, because I’m confident I can take Perry.”

You can see more of Rick’s work here
http://www.rickgreen.tv/

http://www.posthouse.tv/

 

Those are the updates I have for now. Some of the other guys you may know like JP Shook (Web master), Jeff Early (Host of Audio Buzz), Billy Allen (Host of Billie’s Blueprints) and Othon Dominguez I believe are still at Digital Juice as well as Dave Hebel (CEO, Founder,Owner) and Viv Beason (President). You can check out Digital Juices site here

http://www.digitaljuice.com

 

Matt Janowsky

Matt Janowsky

As for me, I was a Behind the Scenes guy at Juice. I shot a few seasons of Tech Know, co-shot and edited Billie’s Blueprints, produced the BTS segments for DJTV, moderated the forums, spoke to user groups, went to trade shows, worked on some video products and was the main photographer for the stock photography library. After Juice I worked as Senior Producer for a multibillion dollar internet marketing company. I’m also a freelance producer, DP, and filmmaker. I just recently started this site (Still trying to figure out what I want it to be and what direction to take it in). I’ve had the chance to work with some pretty high profile celebrities and I love what I do, and yes I also love donuts.

So that’s it. Happy 16th Birthday to Digital Juice. I hoped you enjoyed the “Where are they now” look back. I put up a gallery of some old Digital Juice production photos here.

A special thanks to everyone that gave me the updates, I consider it a privilege and honor to have worked with all of you, and I look forward to seeing what you do with your talents next.

 

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comments

  1. John Douglas

    I don’t suppose we are ever going to be privy to just why so many of these great people left DJ, are we? I realize that because it is a website and is probably visited by DJ officials, we probably wont get the real down and dirty details, if there were any, but even a “everything was great, but I just left to pursue other creative endeavors, read between the lines” kind of info would be great.

  2. Matt

    Hi John, welcome to my site and thanks for posting a comment. Now to your question, to be honest I was laid off. The company went through some tough times and had to make some tough decisions, some people left on their own, I don’t want to speak for the others.

    As far as Juice looking at this, I’m sure they did, or I hope they do. I really don’t see anything bad in it about Juice. I emailed Dave the CEO and asked him for an update and he didn’t respond. I don’t blame him, it’s best he doesn’t when former employees are involved. He probably doesn’t like parts of it and that’s fine, but who knows. That’s a tough spot to be in. Not only for him but also for everyone here that responded.

    I look at it like a great time in my life, where I got to work with some very talented people, had some pretty awesome gear to play with, made some pretty awesome videos and products and gained a lot of good friends. I could easily dwell on all the negatives and be bitter, but that doesn’t do me any good. Sh#t happens.

    This was really just meant to be an update on the crew and a nice look back, because people still ask me about it. I thought it would be fun. Plus we’ve all done some pretty cool things and I wanted to showcase some of it. And if it gets me some hits on my site and theirs then that’s great too!

  3. After leaving Juice I decided to get my MBA, become a Stockbroker, and start a band. Working on all three goals and finishIng them one by one whilev raising my two teenagers and getting remarried. Juice was a good springboard for most people who worked there and still is for others. I will never forget my time there as Sales Manager. And I will definitely never forget the friends I made. Good luck to everyone.

  4. Matt

    Hi Natalie, good to hear from you, sounds like you’re doing great! Thanks for the update, and I agree it was a good springboard.

  5. Dan Sharp

    I loved you guys at DJ. I got hooked on all the products. Then you all seemed to disappear and things changed and I became less interested. Or maybe things changed and you all left/were laid off. I am not so much a fan of the way things are going now. I guess they needed to re-tool to stay alive. Still the old DJ held my attention and got me to buy everything, in no small part due to the efforts of all of you. I miss all the tutorials and would buy more if available, so think about getting the group to do more. Glad you all had a great time, from my side it sure looked like it. Thanks for all the memories.

  6. Matt

    Hi Dan, welcome to the site and thanks for the nice words. What types of tutorials and stuff would you most like to see? I plan on doing a bunch of stuff and would really like peoples input on what they would like to see.

  7. Matt

    Update, Dave did respond. He’s doing the same thing he always has and you can go to Digital Juices site or their Facebook page for updates.

  8. Jim Hebel

    Hey Matt,
    Thanks for this wonderful update. I look over these former employees and recognize lots of wonderful friends. I am always gratified to see how well each of them has done. The Golden Days of Digital Juice to which they (we) were all privileged was a magic time. Thank you and thanks all who participated in your stroll down memory lane. Good Times.
    Jim

  9. Matt

    Thanks Jim. Glad you enjoyed it and good to hear from you.

  10. Stephanie Seek

    Thank you so much Matt for emailing me the link to “DJ Crew- Where are they now?” You did a great job rallying the crew together for updates. I enjoyed reading each and every one of them. Sure brings back great memories on the forum and the creative edge DJ products provided us.

  11. Matt

    Hi Stephanie, you’re welcome and welcome to the site. Thanks for commenting. It was a fun time back then and I had a great time doing the updates. We all still keep in touch and work with each other from time to time so it wasn’t that bad.
    Keep checking back, I plan on doing a lot of stuff here, should be fun.

  12. Stephanie Seek

    I am checking out your Website now. Great stuff. Count on me as a regular. 🙂

  13. Matt

    Cool, if there’s anything you want to see or any recommendations I’m all ears.

  14. Hi Matt, I was one of DJ’s first customers and supported DJ for many years. I own most everything you guys put out. Your stuff made our productions look so much better making me look better than I am! 😉
    Thanks for the update and I wish all of you talented people much success!

  15. Matt

    Hi Ted, welcome to the site, thanks for the comments, and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  16. Way to go Matt. Awesome site. Thanks for letting me know about it. Even though I’m 70, I still think of the “old” days as when DJ was the fun site to visit. So glad that I organized, and went on, the first (only) Juice-Fest. The tour was neat, but the best part was lunch with everyone afterwards. I still remember Chuck’s laugh when he found out that I bribed the waitress to slow down service ’cause I didn’t want it to end. LOL,

    Yes, those were great times, with great people, on a great forum. I still appreciate all the work you did for it.

    Keep on keepin’ on –
    “Pops” Channell aka “Wizard”

  17. Correction on my website – it is now:

    http://www.HeritageValleyRailroad.com
    Thanks

  18. Matt

    Thanks for stopping by Wizard. That was a fun day, I remember telling everyone that the service isn’t normally this slow 🙂
    Good to hear from you.

  19. Becki Sandifer

    Wow, thanks for the update on everyone. It certainly explains why the DJ site has had a different feel to it.
    I’m a adjunct audio and video production instructor as well as the videographer for the university and I love the products. I tried to not buy everything so others could sample the wares.
    I have used the Take 5 videos many times for classroom tutorials as well as the Tech Know videos and others.
    Thanks for sharing this news and keep on doing your voodoo!

  20. Matt

    Hi Becki, welcome to my site. Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad you enjoyed it. Good to see people are using the videos to help teach the next generation of video professionals. Keep up the good work and stop back.

  21. Matt:
    I take a look at your site from time to time and was happy to see this update on the old gang at DJ. Since the Forums disappeared over there, the Internet has become a lonelier place. Thanks for posting this update.
    Bob Perron (aka the Professor @ the old Juice forums)

    • Matt

      Thanks Bob, I’m glad you liked it. Welcome to the site 🙂
      I’m hoping to start a forum here, just having issues getting it figured out. I’m also trying to figure out ways to have daily interaction, Facebook, twitter, instagram feeds etc….

  22. Jon

    Was going through old mags the other day and ran across the one at the top of this. Made me think to look you guys up and I found your site. DJ isn’t the same without you guys and I don’t visit the site anymore. I really enjoyed cutting class and the few suite effects that were made. If you do more tutorials, I really enjoyed the ones on compositing and blending modes.

    • Matt

      Hi Jon, thanks for the kind words and welcome to my site. I’ll try and make some more tutorials soon. Things deffinately changed, I’m trying to figure out how to do a forum on here, haven’t had any luck. It’s be nice to have an online community again.

  23. Francois Blawat

    Great Site! I came across your website when I was searching what happened to all the great talent that used to be at DJ and came across this website.

    Thanks for the update and I hope that all of you do well in your future endeavors. I really really miss the DJ Mag and all of the comments on the now closed Forums over at DJ. I for one have stopped purchasing their items and really wanting more of the awesome tutorial/videos that were created.

    Thanks again for giving us the update on all of you!

    Best wishes always,
    Francois

    • Matt

      You’re Welcome Francois,
      Thanks for the kind words. It was a fun time back then.
      Welcome to my site, I’m hoping to do more tutorials soon, the 52 week challenge and my “regular” job of making videos have kept me pretty bust though, maybe once the challenge is done, I can do more.

  24. Francois Blawat

    Matt,

    Hope things are going well since I last wrote in. Is there any chance of the group getting back together again? The amazing talent is what brought me into the products. Now that you are all moved on from DJ, I no longer purchase anything from your former company. The Take 5, Production Notes, Audio Buzz, Field of View and Tech Know were great videos and I’m glad that I purchased the Physical copies when I had the chance. The Amazing thing is that the production value still holds true even Today! The Sheer amount of “Amazing” videos created back-then was incredible and is missed.

    Hopefully some kind of new company could be created by the talent from the previous Crew.

    Best Wishes,
    Francois

    • Matt

      Thanks Francois,
      I doubt the old crew will ever get back together. I work with some of them on occasion on various projects, and still keep in touch with some. Everyone has moved on and spread out all over the US and world. Glad you are still enjoying everything and thanks for the kind words.

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