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Detailed interview with Jules Dameron

Written by Thomsen Young and you can follow him @
An award-winning film director who happens to be deaf. Directed the 7-Episode Norwegian TV series, “Møkkakaffe” (Bad Coffee) shown nationwide in Norway on the NRK1 Channel, with numerous music videos, films and PSA’s under her belt. Jules has worked with all kinds of amazing known talents, such as Sean Young, Marlee Matlin, Sean Berdy, Sean Forbes, TL Forsberg, Michael Monks, Hana Hayes, Ed Gale, Amber Zion, among many others. Also having graduated from Gallaudet University with a BA in Television/Cinema in 2003, Jules trained at the University of Southern California with an MFA degree in Film Production with a directing track in 2009. On top of all this, Jules has founded Deaf Women in Film to support deaf women in front and behind the camera, as well as Acting With Jules, which is a class that trains actors that use sign language to become professional actors. Jules continues to direct and produce films without a break.

Serious Questions:

What got you into acting/writing?

I’ve always been interested in acting, at the same time, I’ve always been a little shy, so that’s how I ended up in the director’s chair. What I’ve loved about acting is that it’s always a tremendous challenge to try to control your actions in a way that only other characters could do, and not yourself. You really need to have a knack for creating a three-dimensional character, and to develop a sense of self-awareness. And I thrive on challenges. My mother was an actress, and also a stage director, and so I grew up in the theatre.

When it came to writing, I’ve always purportedly written just so I have something to direct. However, my mother did write my first film script, “You Can’t Hear Me With Your Eyes Closed” so I directed my first film when I was 16. It was 28 minutes long. I learned a lot about writing from her, and also from my husband, who’s also a screenwriter.

What got you into directing?

As soon as I discovered how a video camera worked, I was sucked in. It happened at a family reunion, and my uncle had this video camera, and there was a function on it so that when he connected the camera to the television, you could monitor whatever was being looked at by the camera. And I saw myself, I saw the others, and it took me a little bit to realize that it was actually us, and I just had to go and find out how it worked. And so my uncle kindly let me hold on to the camera, and I was just hooked. I immediately wanted to do some kind of play with the camera with my family members. I was seven years old. After that, I’ve always wanted to make films. I think I didn’t realize I was a director until I was ten years old, while I watched Star Trek films with my dad. I’ve not stopped making films since I got my first video camera at 13 years old.

What is your best performance that you’re proud of so far?

That’s a tough question. I’m proud of many things I’ve done, but so far, I’ve been really proud of “Møkkakaffe” (Bad Coffee) TV series in Norway, since it was such a well-executed production, and I was able to pull all that off and still be able to communicate with a cast and crew that spoke in Norwegian and Norwegian Sign Language, as well as the fact that half were hearing, and the other half were deaf. Granted, a lot of them knew English, but still, I learned so much. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Another film I’m also very proud of is “Rolling in the Deep.” It was such a new experience to work with a deaf actress who had zero hearing and I developed a relationship with her to make sure that she was in tune with the timing for music, and that was so cool. I loved that experience.

What is the most rewarding experience you have had and what made it so?

Working on “Crazy Town” is also another film I’m extremely proud of, because it has nothing to do with deaf characters or deaf people, and I got to direct it. I’m a big supporter of deaf people front and behind the camera, but this was a unique situation that I would not hesitate to go through again. It was so cool to be able to direct scenes at the Kodak Theater, and in a big beautiful theater, as well as a beautifully constructed set (by Ruth Grayson, Production Designer) and working with the amazing cinematic stylings of Adam Bricker, and to work with such amazing acting talents from everywhere. I learned so much on the professional side of things, and I just thoroughly enjoyed it.

Who or what inspires you and why?

I’m always inspired by my talented deaf friends every day. I love watching them think, talk, and take action on their endeavors. My husband is also creative, and my colleagues are creative (all are deaf) and that is sincerely what keeps my drive high. I love it. They always invoke new ideas in me, and that makes my work in this business much easier. I’m never alone in my work.

What are your future plans?

I am slated to do a feature film and a series coming up. I’ve got a few projects here and there, but unfortunately, I can’t mention anything specific. My long term goals are to direct feature films and more series, hopefully. When it comes to directing more ASL music videos, all signs point to yes.

Completely Silly Random Questions:

What would I find in your refrigerator right now?

Sparkling flavored water and organic applesauce.You are invited to a large cocktail party at a country club. When you arrive, the room where the party is being held is already over half full of people. How do they react to you when you enter the room?

Depending on who’s at the country club– assuming that they’re in the deaf community, they’d smile, and if I know who they are, they’d give me a big hug. And if we’ve never met, they usually look at me curiously.You have the choice to live with a gorilla who knows sign language or a dog who sings lullabies, which do you choose? 

Gorilla who knows sign language, hands down. I gotta communicate!If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?A budget for a feature film.

If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet, what would you want?

If they had such a thing as acting on their world, I’d teach/coach acting. I’m serious.

My favorite part: The questionnaire concept was originated by French television personality Bernard Pivot on his show Apostrophes, after the Proust Questionnaire.

The ten questions Lipton asks are:

1. What is your favorite word?


2. What is your least favorite word?


3. What turns you on?


4. What turns you off?

Lack of passion.

5. What sound or noise do you love?


6. What sound or noise do you hate?

Radio shows with just talking on it, no music.

7. What is your favorite curse word?

Fuck.8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?


9. What profession would you not like to do?


10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

You’ve done well!

demo reel – http://www.vimeo.com/julesdameron/reel
www – http://julesdameron.com/
fb – https://www.facebook.com/dir.julesdameron
tw – http://www.twitter.com/julesdameron
imdb – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2832727/
li – http://www.linkedin.com/in/JulesDameron
yt – http://www.youtube.com/juliadameron
doc – http://youtu.be/9AFC72PjlY4
acting work – http://tinyurl.com/julesacting

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Thomsen Young

Founder of SG

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