Yeah, normally, it’s 11 questions that I torture people with, but as you’re about to find out, Justin is simply far too busy to stop and answer a bunch of questions. Justin is a guy with a lot going on, including his cinematography work on Sacrament and we are super happy that we had the opportunity to speak with him.
1 Your resume has quite a varied list of talents; which one did you come to first? (i.e.) acting, directing writing.
I’m definitely not an actor but, a couple times I’ve been on a set where they needed someone to act and I did it…I’m not proud of it but I did it! But for real…for me, every aspect of filmmaking came to me at the same time….because at the beginning I had no experience….no training or schooling…just trying.
2. In Pot Zombies, you are credited as a writer, actor, director, producer and editor. Please tell us a little about this film.
It was my very first movie…I thought of it while driving and smoking a joint….then my brother and I got a camera and an editing program and started trying to make a movie. I started volunteering on other local low budget movies to try to learn stuff and got a couple of actors from those films and stuck with it for a couple years, trying to get Pot Zombies done, doing pretty much everything myself. I learned a lot from that and consider Pot Zombies, kinda, my film school.
3. Pot Zombies is not the only film where you have worn multiple hats; what other projects have you taken on a large amount of responsibility?
I also shot a couple of other peoples features. A really cool arty type horror flick called DEVOTION that just recently premiered at the Twisted Tails Film Fest here in Dallas http://vimeo.com/64896942
I also shot a comedy feature called ROCKIN REVEREND http://vimeo.com/49721094. It’s a great movie about an agnostic drunk actor that starts his own rock n roll church and starts doing blow….his tagline is DON’T BE A DOUCHE….theres a lesson there for lots of people! Seriously though, its a great movie and is available via streaming on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Rockin-Reverend-Scot-Michael-Walker/dp/B00E3E76BU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1398995840&sr=8-2&keywords=rockin+reverend
4. Do you think the fact that you had helmed so many titles on past films, was helpful when it came to Sacrament? It seems as though a few people on Sacrament took on quite a few jobs.
Yes, it was a very small crew so everyone has to do a few roles to get it done. Every bit of everyones’ experience in film was helpful on Sacrament. There were crew people of all levels working on Sacrament…..some people had very little experience on a film set and some had a lot….it took everyone working together as a team to bring it all together
5.Had you worked with Shawn before? If not, how did you find out about the film? Yes, I have known Shawn for years and I helped some on his first short film JACKS BAD DAY….and he’s helped out on other projects that I have worked on also. Shawn brought me onto SACRAMENT from, probably, pretty close to the beginning of it…..I shot and edited the first teaser for SACRAMENT that we made a couple of years ago when Shawn was first raising money for the movie. I’ve been friends with Shawn for several years, though I have no idea where I met him…i just kinda knew him all of a sudden.
6. Which area of filmmaking do you prefer?
I just love filmmaking. I just spent 3 weeks on location as key grip on DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT 2. I’ve been home for a week and it is killing me. Of course I love directing and creating my own projects, but I just as much enjoy working on other projects and learning. Every movie I work on, in any capacity, I learn and grow as a filmmaker in general.
7. What projects are you currently working on? Is anything coming out soon that you would like people to know about?
Right now I am working on a documentary about the history of Dallas punk rock; it’s called EVERYTHING IS A-OK . We’ve been shooting interviews for it all of last year. It’s been a really fun project and i’m very excited to see it come together! Everything is A-OK: A Dallas, TX Punk Documentary Promo 2
8.What are you most proud of thus far in your career?
Well, one pretty cool thing is, I was a camera op for a collaborative film about the occupy movement; they have filmmakers from all over the world shooting locally and they sent hard drives all around the country to collect the footage. They only used a few seconds of my footage but, that movie premiered at SUNDANCE! That’s really cool. It’s a really cool documentary. It’s not propaganda or anything like that; its a documentary just about what was happening. http://www.99percentfilm.com/
9. What is one thing that you would like to accomplish this year? It can be absolutely anything.
I’m looking forward to completing my documentary and if I’m lucky…shooting another feature film I am trying to get off the ground.