MTV's New Web Series Stars Julian Yuri Rodriguez "Just Being Julian"
Julian stands on a beach in Cuba while filming Paisajes de Mi Abuela.
Courtesy of Julian Yuri Rodriguez
In the opening scene of his new web series, No Seasons, musician/filmmaker/artist/New Times MasterMind Award winner Julian Yuri Rodriguez swings on a white bench hanging from a tree. Holding his cell phone and talking into the camera, he says, “My name is Julian Yuri Rodriguez. This show is called No Seasons. It’s about my life in Miami. It’s all true stories that have happened to me here growing up.”
Directed by Lucas Leyva and Jillian Mayer of the Borsht Corp. and produced by MTV(other), No Seasons is exactly how Rodriguez describes it: an unscripted eight-episode web series that features him telling unique — and oftentimes incredible — stories about his life in Miami.
It all began in 2010 when Rodriguez and Leyva filmed a video titled Pirates, which would eventually become the first episode in this series. “I had just met Lucas at the time, and he overheard me telling a story about how some people stole my boat,” Rodriguez tells New Times over the phone. “And when Lucas heard it, he was like, 'Holy shit, I gotta record you telling that story.’”
So Leyva took a camera to Rodriguez’s house, and that footage would become the opener for the Borsht Film Festival that year.
After the success of Pirates, Leyva and Rodriguez pitched the idea of a full series to an MTV executive whom Leyva and Mayer had met at South by Southwest. The project was quickly green-lighted, and Rodriguez got to work making a list of story material.
“I made a list of any crazy thing that had happened to me in Miami that I could think of — there were over 100 things on that list — and MTV would just tell me which ones they liked, and eventually we got to the eight stories we have on the show now.”
The episodes are short and vary from about five to ten minutes in length. Each features Rodriguez telling a tale, peppered with reenactments. The Miamian spends most of his time in front of the camera for No Seasons, but as a director himself, he couldn’t stay away from directing a few shots.
“I’ve never been in any of my own movies,” Rodriguez says, "so it’s a funny thing — I still laugh when I see myself onscreen."
The filmmaker likes to keep his personal life and work life separate, so he admits that it was odd to see the two collide in this project. “[The show] is definitely my two worlds colliding, and it’s a very trippy feeling. When I watch the episodes, it's still weird for me to see myself.
“I like to think that my actual work and this series don’t really relate too much, in the same way that I feel my personal life and my work don’t relate too much. When I make movies and direct my own stuff, I try to stay away from any personal things that have happened to me. I focus on other people… but with [No Seasons], this is just strictly me being me; it’s just Julian being Julian.”
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In short, No Seasons is quintessentially Miami and depicts “only the crazy shit that happens in Miami.”
Since the series debuted online, Rodriguez says, he has heard and read nothing but positive feedback, especially from the ladies. With an audible smile, he adds, “A lot of girls have told me that I’m very cute, and I’ve had a lot of direct messages. It’s been great.”
You can catch all eight episodes of No Seasons on YouTube.
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