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9 Oct - Meet Our Friend: Josh Winkler

Freehand Friends

Meet videographer and Freehand Friend, Joshua Winkler! Joshua has over 12 years of experience working in film and marketing. After attending UC Berkeley he worked at SMUGGLER, a top tier commercial production company, where he was under the guidance of their premier director.  From there he joined the founding team of a start-up called InTheMO, a platform powered by a recommendation engine that sorted through over 8,000 HD videos from all over the world. He then oversaw the success of Mohawk Digital where he directed video projects and creative-directed technology projects. Armed with his experience building and maintaining companies he founded DarkHorse Interactive, a company focusing on telling stories. Clients include Lowe’s, Natures Valley, Global Citizen’s Project, Lenovo, Miller Lite, and JEEP. We sat down with Josh to get some inside scoop on his career: 

Freehand: What was the first video you ever shot? What camera did you use? What was it about?

Josh Winkler: In college, I shot a documentary on sculptor David Rabinowitz. He was installing an important work at an art collective in Sonoma County. It was a bit abstract, but working with another artist was formative.

FH: Tell us about your work with DarkHorse Interactive. Do you have a favorite piece of work that you’ve shot so far?

JW: DarkHorse Interactive is founded on the tenets of creativity. We aspire to produce one piece of non-client creative content a month. The projects can be a photo exploration, a short story, a short film, etc. My favorite piece of work is probably what I am working on next. As it should always be. But I was very much pleased with the final cut for “My Chicago POV” we produced with The Freehand. The goal is to expand the series beyond just one video.

FH: What was your inspiration behind the Scott Kaplan Chicago POV video?

JW: I currently live in LA and formerly resided in NYC and SF for years. Those are 3 pretty self absorbed places. Luckily I have broadened my horizons by traveling extensively for work. Every time I had to visit Chicago I returned home telling everyone how great the city was. It is hands down one of the best cities in the U.S., and for this video I really wanted to capture its essence. And I’m not talking about deep-dish pizza, The Cubs or other Windy City cliches. I’m talking about the neighborhoods and the interesting people who live there. Scott happens to be one of those people. He lives in West Town and is dialed in to the same scene that the Freehand aspires towards. It was a perfect cast.

FH: What’s your go-to camera to shoot on?

JW: It depends on the job. Most of my work requires me to be NAF (Nimble As Fuck). As such, I like cameras that offer a lot of bang for the buck, have the ability to over crank (slow motion) and have a clean work flow. Arri Amira, Sony FS7, and Panny GH4 are all work horses.

FH: Who are your favorite filmmakers?

JW: Paul Thomas Anderson, Terrance Mallick, ‎Krzysztof Kieślowski, Woody Allen, Aronofsky. There’s too many to list.

FH: Name five things on your travel bucket list.

JW: Ski Japan. Take my wife and daughter to Italy. Iceland. New Zealand. Scotland whiskey walk.

FH: Three things you never leave the house without….GO!

JW: My daughter. She’s quickly becoming my muse (she’s 2). My wife. She keeps me grounded and focused. Something that takes photos. Something to write on. Something to listen to (my Munitio headphones).

FH: What’s next for Josh Winkler?

JW: Expanding DarkHorse. We’re looking for budding digital directors. We’re relocating to the east side of LA. Enjoying the ride.

FH: Any advice for budding videographers looking to break into the field?

JW: Find your voice and hone your craft with Vimeo. No one is going to give you anything or do anything for you. Be ambitious.

Check out Josh’s video for Freehand Chicago here.