cold and snowyWelcome to another 8 Questions with……interview. A few weeks ago,I reviewed a movie called “Rust” which was written and directed by our next guest Joe Lujan.
When I looked at his background and read about his accomplishments,I knew I had to talk with Joe. Not only does Joe have 67 films,both short and feature length,but he owns his own production company,Carcass Studios. Where he finds time between film projects to also produce new hot musical talent Chris Ivan and do it during a pandemic is simply amazing. In looking at at what Joe has done pretty much by himself reminds me of another Texas based filmmaker who also does everything on his own and that would be Robert Rodriguez who also runs his own studio. But that is where the comparsion ends as Joe has blazed his own path in his hometown of El Paso,Texas.
“Rust” was the first film I watched of Joe’s and while I liked several aspects of the film,I knew I was going to ask him a hard question about the film and a scene that I wanted him to address. Most filmmakers would have either refused to answer or bail from the interview but as Joe has faced tough obsticles during his life and overcome them,I knew he would give me a honest and thoughtful answer and he didn’t let me down.He addressed the question as a professional and explained his thought process in writing about the scene that raised a few eyebrows.
As for his creative drive,how about creating your own comic book and then taking it a step further and making a film trilogy based on it called “The Immortal Wars” and drawing an Oscar nominated actor and superhero fan Eric Roberts in the fun? With all this going on,you think Joe would deserve a serious vacation,right? Nope,he ended up doing this interview while releasing Chris Ivan’s new music video and finishing his newest labor of love,”Billy”.
I really hope you enjoy reading Joe’s interview as much as I did in talking with Joe about himself and his fast rising career.
How have you been handling the pandemic? How have you been staying busy and creative?
What has been the most difficult part about trying to film during this time? One of the most difficult things has been going back to rewrite scenes a lot of times just so we can condense the amount of people on set at a time. Many of us have had to wear multiple hats while onset – again to keep the number of people low.
I read in a recent interview about your rough times growing up El Paso,Texas,you endured a lot of negative
incidents in your early years,it could have been easy to give up and join the crowd,what led you to stand your ground and stay creative and artistic? Was there a book or a film that you took comfort in to help you maintain that part of you?
Did or does El Paso have a film community?
I was always fascinated with filmmaking just every detail of the process of making a film was intriguing. I wasn’t set on that being my career path I was set on pursuing a career as a veterinarian. Then one day my older sister took me to watch the 1st “Resident Evil” film and that changed everything,since then I was obsessed with filmmaking. Soon after I would shoot a short film with family members and friends and then get feedback, use what I learned and input that to the next film the following weekend. I eventually learned more and more on what to do, what not to do *lol*. I did attend community college in El Paso and studied Media production Technology. When I lived in El Paso I didn’t really know if there was a film community to be honest. I’m sure there was but I never really felt like there was. Now I do know there is a fantastic film community in El Paso. There are so many talented creators in El Paso. I wish I had experienced that when I lived there.
Talk about your movie “Twisted Forest” and what it represents to you as a film director?
WOW I haven’t heard that title in a minute lol 10, 11 years to be exact . To me it represents fun. I made those films with my family during our camping trips to Ruidoso NM. lots of laughs and good times. Honestly,it just brings back so many good memories or a more simple life *lol*. As a director it brings me back to how to enjoy the creating process. To just have fun and take in every moment. Every moment of all three of those films *haha*.
What led you to start your own production company,Carcass Studios?
What have you learned about running your own studio? What three moments have made you the happiest
since you started Carcass?
I first started off creating short films as a tool to learn and work on the craft. After creating almost 100 short films it felt right to brand everything and from then on out I would add to the collection. I have learned so much but most of all I learned that nothing can keep me from creating what I want to create. Carcass Studios can tell a story however which way we want and at the same time help those who want to be a part of the creative process to give them credits for their resume. Basically give others the opportunities I never got when I was starting off. I know this might sound a bit cheesy but I feel the happiest everytime I complete a project. Just know all the hard work the blood sweat and tears that was put into each project was all worth it and now the finished product is a result of sticking to it. But the biggest and happiest moments that always stick to me would be the moment I walked into a Walmart to the entertainment section and seeing The Immortal Wars on the shelf right next to huge studio films. Inside the little dreamer from El Paso Tx was screaming with happiness. My dream of one day seeing my films on those shelves had come true.
I recently watched your horror film “Rust” and really thought you created a memorable villain in Travis
but was disappointed in seeing yet another rape scene in a horror film. Why did you feel you needed to add that scene?
Do you feel rape scenes are becoming a crutch into today’s horror films?
Rust started off as a short film I was going to shoot with friends. We shot the entire first film in less than 6 hours. I was under the impression that 6 hours was all the time we had in the location and we did it. I was soon told we could have had more time if I had asked lol. I submitted the short to film festivals and the viewers wanted to see more of “Killer” Travis so the following year we shot Rust 2. The films were actually just cut together for Distribution purposes but they are considered 2 separate chapters in the trilogy.
What is the most important aspect about making a film to you…. story,budget or cast?
Now that you have established yourself and your studio,has it become easier to attract actors like Eric Roberts
to your projects?
Where do you want to take Carcass Studios in the next 10 years??
What makes you happy?
The cheetah and I are flying out to check out your newest film’s premiere but we’re a day early and now you
have to play tour guide,what are we doing?
I would definitely have you attend an El Paso premiere and I would show you the beauty of El Paso. The culture and unity my home town has is just inspiring and the food, Chico’s Tacos, Track One, so many amazing places to eat. The view from scenic drive, the arts district, the Plaza Theater, Los Lagartos, and possibly catch a Chihuahua game. El Paso is home and any chance I can I have to go back ❤
I like to thank Joe for taking the time to chat with with us and I know he’ll inspire a LOT of future filmmakers,actors,actresses and artists to keep chasing that dream. Personally,I think anyone who inspires to create,live a good life and be an example of the possibilties that can be had with hard work,honesty and grit like Joe Lujan as done is alright with me.
The cheetah and I picked up another one of Joe’s films and we’ll be reviewing it soon….
Joe is is very active on social media and you can follow him on his various platforms.Joe’s personal website can be found by clicking here.
See what what is coming up next by following Joe’s IMDb page.
You can follow Joe on his InstaGram page.
You can see what is going and buy past releases at Carcass Studios.
You can join Joe’s Facebook page.
Check out Carcass’s YouTube channel by clicking here.
Connect with Joe via Twitter.Thank you for supporting this interview with Joe Lujan and if you are new to the blog,we have over 110 more interviews you can read as well…..feel free to leave a comment!!!