Smoke and Mirrors
"Smoke and Mirrors" served as our sleeper hit and was the first step in extending our brand beyond the documentary world. Inspired by the actual life experiences of both Karyn Rose and Artemus Jenkins, "Smoke and Mirrors" represented a number of firsts for Christmas In July 1982; it was our first narrative piece, Artemus Jenkins' first time acting, KarynRose's first time directing a webseries. What wasn't a first was our approach for the story. Although narratives of black love have been prevalent since the '90s in filmmaking, we still felt there was a lot of space to present a familiar topic with a broader vision.
Rarely are black men held accountable for the roles they have in the deterioration of relationships, nor are they shown as being affected by such. A popular school of thought is black men are incapable of showing love and how it affects them. This series allowed us to examine those ideas and present them to the world for entertainment and consideration. Although not as widely visible as "P.O.P", "Smoke and Mirrors made an unmistakeable mark on the webseries genre with a level of technical execution rarely seen at the time for low budget self produced series. Along with it's relatable characters, these aspects created a cult following for the show that is very happy to find out we have a second season in the works for 2015.
Directed and Written by KarynRose Bruyning
Photgraphed and Edited by Artemus Jenkins
Too often in love, people are not straight shooters. Enough of the time people don't simply lay their cards on the table and let the other make an educated decision. With no "carfax" you are left to take people based on what's in front of you but that's not always their real selves. It's an optical illusion. "Smoke and Mirrors" centers around the life of newly single, filmmaker Sonny Richard, who must reacclimate himself to the complexities of male and female relationships, just when he thought he had it all figured out.