TV Commercial/Video Director Incorporates Feature Film Style into Yoga, Health and Fitness Genre

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Directs yoga DVD’s like big budget mini-movies. James .Wvinner, a Los Angeles, California-based television commercial director, photographer, and videographer, has taken an innovative approach to filming DVD’s for clients in the yoga, health and fitness industries. He thinks of them as “big budget mini-movies.”

In the past eight months Wvinner’s production company, YTCFilms has won recognition and numerous awards for his high-quality “feature film” style of directing videos. “My unusual technique results in exciting visuals that help inspire the viewer,” says Wvinner of his work. To view a clip:,_Health_and_Wellness.html

Awards include two Bronze Telly Awards for Gaiam’s yoga DVD titles Mama & Baby Yoga with Shiva Rea and Detox Flow Yoga with Seane Corn, and a Davey Award for the Liftmaster Garage Door Opener TV spot. Additionally, Janet Stone’s Yoga Workout was acknowledged as Apple’s “App of the Day” -- the first time a yoga app has received this recognition.

Wvinner has been practicing yoga for years, begun as part of a rehabilitation program after a near-death experience when he was badly burned in a fire in Los Angeles in 1991. A former boxer and “tough guy” athlete, his journey into yoga changed his life, and led him to actually start yoga programs in over 200 prisons, jails, inner-city continuation schools and youth camps across Los Angeles and the U.S.

After directing TV spots for 10 years for clients such as Kia Motors, NBC, HBO, and TheraFlu, Wvinner found that his deep and abiding interest in yoga inspired him to begin directing fitness videos, but he was determined to bring the top-notch production values that he used in his television commercials to the table.

He hires crews in Los Angeles who have extensive background working on Hollywood’s feature films, and are committed practitioners of yoga as well. Wvinner says, “working with a crew that shares the principles of yoga generates a deeper understanding of what we are producing, and much better results. I believe the spirit of teamwork and community on my sets allows me to deliver rewarding, as well as, amazing results which benefits my clients.”

Wvinner has also traveled to the Maldives and India to provide a richer, more authentic look to his yoga DVD’s.

By maximizing client’s budgets and adding in his years of experience, he is able to produce DVD’s that look much more expensive than they really cost. Wvinner shoots digitally using his multi-camera approach with quality production designers, skilled lighting technicians and experienced D.P.’s.

Clients such as Acacia, a lifestyle health and fitness brand, (the 4th largest in the industry) have generated almost six times their ROI from Wvinner’s DVD packages alone. In addition to such well-known brands such as Gaiam and Acacia, Wvinner has directed yoga videos for Sports Skool, Method Yoga, and Sounds True.

Nearly 14 million Americans say a doctor or therapist has recommended yoga to them. According to Los Angeles-based industry research firm IBIS World, fitness DVD production revenue jumped 12.6 percent in 2012, to $264.5 million, as referenced in The New York Times, May 9, 2012.

Wvinner is currently writing a script that he hopes to direct in the future, and is interested in doing “action movies with heart.”

Please note: September is National Yoga Month

To view director’s reel:,_Health_and_Wellness.html
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Beate Chelette
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