This week on the show we have the very talented director Joe Menendez. Joe is an award-winning filmmaker of both a successful feature film director and a prolific television director/producer as well — having moved seamlessly between both mediums his entire career.
Joe Menendez has directed over 95 hours of television (both single and multi-camera), written a handful of teleplays, produced several TV series and films, and has directed eight feature films and TV movies so far. He is a multi-genre veteran of drama, action, comedy, family entertainment, horror and rom-com. His numerous and varied credits show that he is a skilled craftsman and an accomplished, versatile storyteller.
For this reason, I had to have him on the show. Joe Menendez is currently in post-production on Nickelodeon’s LEGENDS OF THE HIDDEN TEMPLE, an action-adventure TV movie he directed for Nickelodeon, based on the popular game show of the same name, from the 1990s.
His last feature, the action/comedy, LADRONES (THIEVES), was released by Pantelion Films on October 9th, 2015, and received a CinemaScore of “A”. LADRONES is the sequel to his 2007 feature film LADRON QUE ROBA A LADRON (TO ROB A THIEF), which opened at the time to a record-grossing opening weekend at the box-office for a Spanish-language film in the U.S.
Joe Menendez has directed multiple episodes of the one-hour drama FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: The Series for Robert Rodriguez and his El Rey Network, multiples of the new Amazon Series JUST ADD MAGIC and the Prequel Series plus the “uncensored” episodes for the 2nd season of HULU’s hit drama series EAST LOS HIGH.
I also wanted to have him on the show to discuss what’s it like working with a filmmaking legend like Robert Rodriguez. He did not disappoint. His stories are AMAZING! Get ready and enjoy my conversation with Joe Menendez.
Alex Ferrari 3:35
Our guest today is Joe Menendez. Joe is a film director who's been doing this for a long, long time. He's done a lot of television. He's done a lot of feature films. His current project right now is Nickelodeon's Legends of the Hidden temple, which for people in my generation will remember that show as a Nickelodeon Kane show back in the day, which was super fun, but they actually turned it into a live action feature, which is kind of like a mixture between, I don't know probably like an Indiana Jones style, but for kids kind of film. It's really really fun, really exciting. And also another thing that Joe has been doing lately is he is a director on from dusk till dawn this series on the El Rey net Work, who if you guys don't know who owns the El Rey network and started it is the legendary Robert Rodriguez from El Mariachi fame. So I wanted to bring Joe on to not only talk about his directing career, but also what it's like to work with a legend like Robert Rodriguez, how he got his shot on from dusk till dawn. And he's worked on I mean, he's done probably hundreds, if not, over 1000 different episodes of episodic television, and shows on TV and features and all sorts of stuff. So he has a wealth of information about the craft, and also the TV working in TV in general as well. So it was just a joy to have him on. So without any further ado, enjoy my conversation with Joe Menendez. I like to welcome to the show Joe Menendez man, thank you so much, man for coming on the show, brother. I know you're really busy right now.
Joe Menendez 5:57
My pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Alex Ferrari 5:59
I really appreciate it. And I first before we even get started, I want to say thank you so much for contributing to this as mag. That's how we met. You just sent over this, you know, donation to us and I'm like, well who's this guy and I looked you up and I and I talked to Jill she's like oh yeah, he's a buddy of mine and we've worked together and then and then I you know, we reached out I reached out to you and we're like, oh man, I gotta I gotta get him on the show. This would be awesome. So thanks again for doing that man. I appreciate it.
Joe Menendez 6:25
Of course of course man. And I'm super excited for you and for Jill. I think it's uh, you know, she's hysterical and a wonderful actor and I think that this is going to really sort of showcase her talents and what she's all about and I'm looking forward to seeing what you do as a filmmaker as well. Because I've also looked up your work so I I am aware of your work as well
Alex Ferrari 6:46
Oh my god you look me up I appreciate that.
Joe Menendez 6:49
A lot of cyber trolling these days that's like the moment you're going to meet anybody you instantly go okay IMDb Google and then you get like in like five minutes you get a full background check.
Alex Ferrari 6:58
Yeah, well I I'm not hard to find that's for sure.
Joe Menendez 7:02
Alex Ferrari 7:03
I know exactly right. So um, before we get started I also want to talk about how sad it is to be a Miami Dolphins fan for the last 30 years but
Joe Menendez 7:14
I continue to be
Alex Ferrari 7:15
Oh my god it's depressing isn't it?
Joe Menendez 7:18
It really is it really is and every year I do the same thing I you know, I'm hopeful and optimistic and the year I just worked with an actor from Miami I think was Gonzalo Menendez no relation but he's a he's a Miami guy and we had this exact conversation he said that he treats the dolphins like he said like like a year or two ago that he finally it was like a bad relationship and he you know like they wouldn't you know he would they would they would be in this dysfunctional relationship and then they would break up and then they would get back together and he says that finally talking about the dolphins he finally just let it go and he's moved on. And he's like he tells me you're in a dysfunctional relationship with the Miami Dolphins dude, you've got to get out of that dysfunctional relationship. I think he's right i mean this this function I can't help it you know, I can't quit them I can't quit you
Alex Ferrari 8:07
I don't quit on me. No The thing with the dolphins every year my father who still lives in Miami every year I'm like I only know about the dolphins through them because in LA you don't get dolphin games so it's not as all over the places in Miami and I every year I go how we do and he's like a horrible and really all this stuff. And then as they win like I hear like through the grapevine they want a game or two or three and then there's that hope that's the thing they don't outright suck. Yeah, they they give you false hope every year and then you're just like, oh,
Joe Menendez 8:38
They win a couple games and then you're like hey, maybe this is Oh wait, no. Oh no,
Alex Ferrari 8:43
That's not gonna happen. Yeah, so um, we'll see we'll see what I don't follow him like every year I just always wait like if they get to the playoffs I'm turning it on. Yeah, it's
Joe Menendez 8:51
It's good. I've got I actually do watch him on direct tv in my house. And it's a it's a it's a Rudel? Yeah, yeah. I don't know why I put myself through this. No, I
Alex Ferrari 9:00
Was gonna say like, I I'm kind of like your friend. I'm, I have one foot in and one foot out. I've kind of like left them and made peace with it. But I always I'm always like, is he dating someone else? Is she dating? That's how I am i've i've dumped you. But are you dating someone else? That's the kind of relationship I have with Miami
Joe Menendez 9:17
Dolphins are my booty call. They call and I go You know?
Alex Ferrari 9:22
So um, alright, so this is a filmmaking podcast. filmmaking for now. So you are from Miami. Did you get started in the business in Miami?
Joe Menendez 9:30
I did. I did. I was born in New York City. But, but I was raised in Miami. And I was one of those growing up that you know, who made movies on Super eight film and on VHS. From a very, very young age. I got my hands on my grandmother's super eight movie camera and I was hooked. It's you know, it's hard to explain what the draw was and how that happened and how that was born. It just was and I was just naturally drawn to it. And I made films with my brother and my cousin. And my friends growing up all through elementary and junior high school in high school and into and I'm going into a Miami Dade my grades weren't good enough to get into, you know, like us or anything like that. So yeah, you feel my pain which by the way Miami Dade at the time had a fairly decent film program. Yeah. And what I liked about it at the time, this was way back in the day. They you know, as opposed to us that you would go in and they were very sort of strict there they would you know, you have to shoot on Super eight. And you know, you had to sort of start from there, you know, and I'd already done that. So to me, when I was researching colleges, I was like, kind of so frustrating going into u m and having to go back to Super I've already done super eight I've been super eight my entire life. I wanted to do 16 millimeter and Miami Dade from the beginning. Let you start like my second semester shooting a movie on 16 millimeter. You know, which, which I did. And so to me, that was exciting, you know, and I did you know, like four or five short films on 16 mil and I learned how to, you know, cut on a guillotine tape Spicer back in the day, like this was like the day before digital, right? And, and I'm still I'm trying to I'm totally dating myself here.
Alex Ferrari 11:09
Yeah, I was gonna say for the audience, there was this thing called film
Joe Menendez 11:12
films, celluloid. And I was one of those that was one of the last, you know, you know, the, you know, the last generations to shoot on film, and which I'm very thrilled about, and I'm very thrilled that I actually, you know, can now say that I've made a movie on 35, you know, which is, you know, you know, something that just is very rare these days. But, you know, and then I dropped out, I dropped out of every day, you know, much to the chagrin of my, you know, you know, my family, my family, they were all up in arms that I was dropping out and I did you know, drove out here to Los Angeles and thankfully, it's all worked out and been okay. But you know, there was, you know, the moment when you get out here that you know, it's like I showed up with you know, 200 bucks in my pocket, and you know, hardly any contacts and
Alex Ferrari 11:58
it was also a different time to what year did you get out here? 92 1992 right. So it was a it was it was a different landscape than it is in today's current world. Yeah, without question. The competition was fierce as you can imagine, but nothing like it is today. And well, you
Joe Menendez 12:14
know, what? Yeah, well, it's what's different is that nowadays, you know, with, you know, the advent of digital video is that everybody can be anybody can be a filmmaker and make high quality movies. So it's sort of the GarageBand sort of aspect of moviemaking that, you know, in, you know, you can anybody can become, you know, a, you know, can form a band, okay, you're the drummer, you're the guitarist, you're the lead singer, you're the keyboardist, and boom, you're a band and you play in your garage doesn't mean you're good. It just means you're a band.
Alex Ferrari 12:45
That's a great analogy. Oh my god. That's like the best analogy I've ever heard for that. It's
Joe Menendez 12:50
so it's GarageBand filmmaking, it's like anybody can like I've got a camera, I've got a light, I've got Final Cut Pro. I'm going to go make a movie. So doesn't mean the movie is going to be good. It just so what did i i think the cream still rises to the top. So there's a glut, what's different now is that there is a glut of movies. So like, how do you stand out? You know, how do you make your movie stand out? When YouTube and Vimeo everybody can post your movies? Like you make a six minute movie or like a shorter or 15 or even a feature? And you put it up on YouTube? Or you put it up on Vimeo? How do you stand out? And that's what's different. You know, back in those days, it was still trying to convince people to give you money, like, you know, or or raising, you know, you know, 10 $15,000, which is what I did to make my first movie on 16 millimeter
Alex Ferrari 13:36
was the barrier. The barrier of entry back then was Oh, he made one. Yeah, you made a movie, you're gonna get distribution.
Joe Menendez 13:44
And I gotta say, That's that that actually happened with my first film, which is, which is not a great movie. I'm gonna admit it right here. And, but I learned a lot. And you know, and I shot it in Miami, actually, I went back and shot it in Miami. But I think, had I made that that exact movie today. And I've been, you know, 2425 years old today and made that movie. You know, it would have been it would have got lost, it would have gotten lost. It's good. I think that's the main difference, you know, you know, and I also came up came in, during this, you know, sort of really cool time in you know, you know, where indie movies were being made by these filmmakers who went out really prominent, you know, but at Sundance that whole time was when Kevin Smith and Robert Rodriguez and Tarantino and Alexander Payne and all those guys were all making their first movies first or second movies. And it was a really fascinating time. It was also a time that I would get you know, amazingly jealous because I'm like, Oh my god, that guy's my age and he's got a to picture deal. You know,
Alex Ferrari 14:43
I stopped that when I turned 24. And I'm like, Well, I guess I'm not gonna be Orson Welles.
Joe Menendez 14:47
Yeah, we all go through that we all go through that through that moment of like, I'm going to be that guy that you know that and, and, you know, and there's a moment it's an interesting it's an interesting question, you know, You know, to sort of say like, you know, when do you stop comparing yourself to other filmmakers and just start living your own life as a filmmaker, you know?
Alex Ferrari 15:08
And it's true. That's the thing I always I always kind of preach about as well is that you just got to do you and but at the beginning you have no you don't have a solid sense of self yet. Yeah, try to grab on to like, will Spielberg did jaws when he was 27? While I gotta do something by 20? Oh, 27 just went by? Yeah, yeah. And we all go through it. Robert was the worst, Robert, and we'll talk about Robert, in a while in a little bit, but he was the worst case of that. He's like, Oh, my God, Robert, he's Latino. He's 23 he made in mariachi, like,
Joe Menendez 15:41
the thing that Robert did, and I remember that time very, very well. And I actually met him back then, you know, when he was just, you know, like, just after mariachi. Before he did road racers, you know, so I met him between mariachi and road racing, oh, how cool. This is how far back I remember him. And what I recall. And I told him this, when we work together, is that, you know, I had been making short films on 16 millimeter. For the longest time, it never occurred to me to make a feature, like I had all the same exact equipment needed to do was just get more film, you know, just get more rows of film. And that would have been a feature. And to me, it was such an obvious sort of, you know, thing, and it never occurred to me, and this guy goes off, and he does it, and he makes this movie, you know, and he's the first to tell you, you know, that he never thought that movie was going to be shown anywhere. He just thought that was going to be like, he calls it you know, like a film that he thought that he was going to do learn a little bit and then go off and make something else. He never thought that was going to be his breakthrough hit. But, you know, the thing that I found most impressive about it was, you know, you know, sort of the hutzpah of like alright I'm just gonna make a feature I'm not gonna make a short even though he had made shorts
Alex Ferrari 16:54
he'd made like 30 shorts yeah and
Joe Menendez 16:57
and but then he just said now I'm gonna make a feature like it just never occurred to me it just never occurred to me that's the thing though you know on top of being impressed by the movie itself I was really impressed by the the the initiative you know of like well this is what I'm gonna do and he did it and you know, and that sort of inspired all of us to go off in like well shit I'm gonna go do that too. You know,
Alex Ferrari 17:18
I mean, and to be honest with you, I think that kind of chutzpah or bonus or balls is I think almost half the job of being a director you just kind of say you're gonna do it. Yeah, and that's where I think a lot of that cream that you're talking about changes from the bottom of the cup to the Top of the Cup, because there's a lot of talented people out there but there's not a lot of talented people who have the kohonen or the or the bravery to do just I'm just gonna make a movie and if I fall flat on my face I fall flat on my face.
Joe Menendez 17:49
Yeah, well that's what that's the key you have to be okay with falling flat on your face. I think there's a lot of talented filmmakers out there and I've seen it I mean I've been out here a very long time and I bet a lot of filmmakers that I thought were way more talented than me and yet have gone away and have drifted off and and a lot of it has to do with rejection you know the moment they get stung by rejection you know they consider themselves geniuses you know they go well I'm a genius and when people don't recognize your genius right away they say well fuck it I'm out I you know like I'm not doing this because it's hard it's a hard it's a very especially in the indie world but it's it's it but even but even you know you know when you go into you know, you know doing bigger things and in television it's still just as hard you know it and it doesn't stop being hard you know it it's it's it it's a you know, and you know, rejection is part of it and you have to sort of you know, I know it's a cliche but you have to have thick skin and you have to let it roll off for you It hurts you know when you're rejected it really does but you just sort of go Alright, well let me move on you know, I always say talking going back to the football analogy it's like the it's like the the quarterback who gets beat on a long play you know, what do they always say to a quarterback? You got beaten a long play? You know, guess what? You know 20 seconds later they're running another place you better forget about the fact that you let that guy get past you now you've got to stop them again. So it's like the best analogy is like All right, moving on. That sucks. that play was not good. This play I'll redeem myself, you know, and so that's
Alex Ferrari 19:22
and that's a skill set that has to be that has to be learned if you're going to make it out right? Without question now. How did you get your first feature off the ground? Lords of the body? Oh,
Joe Menendez 19:33
yeah, that's the one I'm talking about. That's the one that he got like that one would not have. You know, I shot on VHS. No, man. 16 1616 I was 16. Yeah, it looks
Alex Ferrari 19:44
like VHS. Sorry, but I didn't mean it must have been the quality that I saw it on YouTube.
Joe Menendez 19:49
I looked believe me I was my own dp. That's why that's why it looks like that. And but yeah, that movie got distributed and it's out there. You can actually go I wouldn't you know, if you Want to see it let me know, I'll send you a link. But if you guys want to buy it, it's up to you guys. It's all available out there. But it's um, you know, I put together money from friends and family and you know, similar to what you're doing with this is mag. And you know, it just I put together money and, and scrounge together as much as I could and you know, I had access to a 16 millimeter camera. So that helped. And then I was just buying film and paying for processing and doing the film to tape transfer so I can edit. And, you know,
Alex Ferrari 20:30
so it was just right. Pardon? You shot that in Miami
Joe Menendez 20:33
shot that in Miami? Yeah, I mean, some parts I shot I did some pickups here in LA, but you know, but, but yeah, 98% of it was shot in Miami. And, you know, it's sort of a, it was like, right now, I wouldn't make a movie like that now, but it was very indicative of the time. And at the time, everybody was making these sort of violent indie movies, with people with guns and, you know, gangsters and all that that was sort of the trend. And, you know, I sort of fell into that. And, you know, what I realized as I've gotten older, and as the years have gone on that, that that really isn't my thing, I enjoy seeing those kind of movies. But I don't necessarily enjoy making those kinds of movies. And and, you know, and I think that, you know, the valuable lesson that I learned from that is, you know, you have to sort of figure out early on and it's hard because it's easier said than done. What kind of filmmaker are you? What kind of material Do you Yeah, and do you enjoy making that you could see through to the end and, and it took me a couple movies? I took that movie in the next movie before I realized why what am I doing? Like, I you know, these are not my things. This is not my, my personal taste.
Alex Ferrari 21:48
Right, right. And in Matthew, what was the budget on the first movie?
Joe Menendez 21:52
Oh my god, dude, it was like 10, Grand 10 grand on 16.
Alex Ferrari 21:56
On 16, he cut it
Joe Menendez 21:58
on avid, and which it wasn't. But it was not my avid I borrow that I at the time, I was working at the fox Latin American channel, which was being run out of LA. And I was a promo editor.
Alex Ferrari 22:13
To me both, but I did promo editing for many years.
Joe Menendez 22:16
Yeah. So like, I had no so like, on weekends, and you know, in the evenings, like, I would run, you know, I work all day, everybody would go home, I would stay till like one or two in the morning, anything and then go home sleep three or four hours come back to work, like my actual job, and then stay overnight. And they were very gracious. In letting me it was a it was it was being run by a woman named Nellie Golan at the time, and she was very gracious. And let me use the aven for free, and on weekends and all that. And so, you know, that was the only way to do it for that. I mean, like the 10 grand was literally just to like pay for filming processing and equipment and transfer and all that. And that was it, you know, like, like, I would have loved to have done something like it is today where I could shoot it on a seven D and you know, instantly it's in my computer and I can be cutting and be done, you know. But that wasn't the case back then. Right? Of
Alex Ferrari 23:12
course the technology was much different back then. And I'm sure it was all in standard def and you probably transferred it to be a beta SP
Joe Menendez 23:19
That's exactly right. I mean, I may have Digi beta.
Alex Ferrari 23:22
I was Did you? Oh, you went up? You did you?
Joe Menendez 23:24
Did you? Did you? Did you made it my friend. Because you had access
Alex Ferrari 23:28
to a Digi bite a deck
Joe Menendez 23:29
at Fox? That's correct. That's the only reason it was not mine. It was that's exactly.
Alex Ferrari 23:34
Because those decks used to cost like 150,000. Now you can get them for 15 bucks. But yeah, totally then. So how did you get started working in television? Because you've done? I mean, the majority of your work has been television. How did you get into that?
Joe Menendez 23:48
Well, you know, look, I you know, when you I don't think there's a director working in television, that I mean, you know, maybe maybe there's some that exists, but like, I think for the most part, you know, all directors when they sort of, you know, think about, you know, where their careers are going to be in the future. They're all like, I'm going to be making films, I'm going to make movies and, and what you end up realizing, especially in today's age, where you know, it's you know, you know, directing television shows can be just as gratifying and and you know, especially with the immediacy of it, you know, the stuff I just shot with From Dusk Till Dawn is going to be on the air in a couple of months. Whereas a movie, I could have shot it and it will be in theaters for a year and a half. And so there's an immediacy in television that's really really gratifying and exciting. But, you know, I made a you know, when I moved out to LA I made a number of short films. And what I did is you know, this was back in the day where I put everything I put my this one short film that I made called mother's little Hitman with great
Alex Ferrari 24:57
Joe Menendez 24:57
Yeah, and it's it's, you know, and it's was like, you know, it had like these sort of action elements in it but it had like comedy. You know, it was like it was basically a hitman who was out on his first job and the ghost of his mother kept nagging him and tormenting him like what are you doing? You can't do this and it's very sort of Woody Allen asked like, like, by the way, that's sort of where I started realizing like, I kind of like the comedy thing I kind of like, you know, like it's but it's all part of learning what kind of filmmaker you are. But anyway, I sent out these VHS tapes of this short film, all over town, where nowadays you would just have a link on Vimeo, right? You, you know, these days. Those days, it was like I would literally have to make dubs on VHS. And there used to be a place in Burbank called lightning dubs. Yeah. Remember lightning? Yeah. Like I you know, you know, you make whatever 25 VHS copies. And anyway, I'm the only company that called me is this place that I sent as a fluke, it was like, I had one tape left. And I was like, Where am I going to send my last tape. And it was a show called real stories of the highway patrol. And this was it was a sort of America's Most Wanted out of show shows indication that basically real stories was reenactments of actual crimes. And so the reenact super super cheesy and like, like, you know, like, like hokey and all that. But I'm like, Alright, I got one tape left, and I sent my last VHS tape. They were the only ones that called me. And I was thrilled about that. Because
based on this, like, like, when I sat down with the executive producer, he had seen the short film, the only one that saw that, like, the only one that watched it, or the least you're the one that appreciate it. And he looked at me, and I swear to God, my interview with him was like, less than five minutes. He said, Yeah, watch your film. It's not bad. So it looks like you can work fast and work for no money right now. I'm like, Yes. And he's like, great, go out and do a reenactment for us. And that was a man and I was, you know, 25 years old. Yep. And I was flying all over the country, doing reenactments. And you know, and at first what I passed off as cheesy and like, maybe some of mine were cheesy. I won't say they weren't. But talk about the greatest film school in the world. I was doing car chases, and shootouts and yeah, suspenseful things all over the country, and it was getting on TV. So it was it was wonderful. It was it was really a great, you know, sort of film school. And from that point on, there was another show that Telemundo was doing like a year later, less than a year later, the exact same show, but in Spanish, and I was hired on to that show, it was a show called blackouts. And I get 215 10 minute reenactments for that show, in the time span of about two and a half years, which I forget what the count was, but it was like the equivalent of 24 features, you know, like if you've like, added it all up. And again, everything imaginable car chases, shootouts, murders, mysteries, romances, I did all sorts of reenactments, it was all just whatever would come to mind. I'm like, let's make this reenactment. Like, because we would get actual crimes that we had to reenact and with the hire actors, and had to do it all this was all in Spanish. And but what I would do to entertain myself and challenge myself to make it interesting, is I would say, Okay, this is like the crime was always the same, like burglar breaks into the house. Yeah, murders the family. And now this guy's on the run, like, Okay, how do you make that interesting? Well, you create like a backstory for like the family so that you feel for them. And then here comes the bad guy, you create a backstory for him. So in like, it's like it was they were 10 minute shorts is how I approach them. And they all vary. Some of them were terrible. But some of them like To this day, I look at him, like, I'm not too bad. And I, you know, and I would like see a movie. And like, that was cool. How do they do that? And then like, two weeks later, I was applying the same techniques on some reenactment that I was doing just to see if I can do it, you know, and so it was a greatest film school and, and then right after that, Sony bought Telemundo. And you know, I was always into the comedy thing. I was always, you know, you know, somebody that found that appealing, and, and, you know, you know, didn't poopoo in and didn't feel like I was slumming when I when I embraced comedy. And they started doing Sony, when they bought Telemundo. They started to read they opened up their library, and all their classic sitcoms from the 70s were redone in Spanish. And they needed writers and directors that spoke Spanish, but also were American and had American sensibilities so that they can help sort of bridge the two worlds between an American sitcom and what would become a Spanish language sitcom. And I was hired on that and that's where and those were w ga and ej shows and that was in 1999. That's how I got my VGA card and like the VGA card and and from then on, it sort of opened other doors because even though it's in Spanish, it's sort of you know, made people go Okay, you can do multi camera, oh, you could do comedy. And you know, I seem you know, that sort of opened the doors into the Nickelodeon world, where I did a show called brothers Garcia for Nickelodeon, and that was a single camera show and then after that, I you know, the once I did the Nickelodeon stuff, and it was just off to the races with that it just sort of all snowballs after that because then one job begets another job and begets another one just snowballs.
Alex Ferrari 30:09
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. Right? It's kind of like the whole Goodfellas mentality like someone vouches for you.
Joe Menendez 30:23
That's exactly right. But that is exactly what this business is, you know, people, people, you know, it's like, you know, there's, there's a lot of people, you know, going back to what we were talking about earlier about filmmakers who are extremely talented and have drifted away for whatever reason, you know, some of it is, you know, they can't see rejection, you know, other you know, other times, it's like, cuz you're an asshole. And unless they were wildly successful, and like your movies make, you know, a shit ton of money. When you're an asshole, people are just looking for the moment they can reject you. And you know, that you stop, you know, so to me, I'm like, it makes no sense to be a jerk. Because it's like, what's the point? You know, because in failure, they're just going to do away with you right away, you know, people want to work for 14 hours on a set with someone who's pleasant and enjoyable and agreeable to be around
Alex Ferrari 31:11
the Ron Howard method. Well, yeah, I
Joe Menendez 31:14
mean, you know, I just think, you know, like, it's like, you know, when you read anything about JJ Abrams, you know, they always talk about his talent, but they always talk about how great he is, and what a great person is, you know, I mean, to me, that's, you know, that's sort of like I always go back to, that's the model that I've always followed my entire career is, you know, be gracious and be a good person. And, you know, on set, I'm not a yeller, you know, that someone that shouts you know, and when things go wrong, don't think I don't get frustrated and annoyed, I do. But you handle it, you handle it, and you don't berate or belittle people, you know, especially when you're the director on a on a movie. I think sometimes, you know, there are people that mistakenly get the god complex. And like, what, I'm sitting at the monitor, and everybody's doing what everybody is doing what you're saying to do, like I want Yes, I want the blue curtains Yes. Go wider on that lens and all that and it's easy to go I'm God, what you're realizing is it what you when what you should realize is that all these people are collaborators, you know, and yes, they want to take the, you know, download the images from your head, so they know what they're making and crews and cash respond better to filmmakers who are very clear about what the vision is. But what you don't want to do is be the guy that's constantly pissed off and annoyed and not approachable and is a dick and a jerk because it literally does not bring out the best in everybody. It I don't believe it does in any way, shape, or form.
Alex Ferrari 32:42
Now, what is your approach to directing a scene? in general? Like what are you more Hitchcock? Are you more Cassavetes? Or you are a combination of both?
Joe Menendez 32:52
Well, I, I would never compare myself to either one of those guys, but I get what you're saying in terms of style, like,
Alex Ferrari 32:57
like someone who's prepares everything, and someone who just flows with it.
Joe Menendez 33:01
No, I'm 100% a planner, I plan. I storyboard I shot list, I design, I think about what the scenes about I think about who's the focus of the scene who's who's the character that we should be paying attention to, I absolutely design and plan. And I am absolutely ready to throw it all out on set if I have to. And and and i think that that, you know, it's both a scary thing, but also a exhilarating thing when that happens. But the only way that I can quote unquote, add live on set or or, you know, go rogue or just like you know, like, like, is if I have it all planned out. So if I go if I go onto a set, and I have no clue what I'm doing, where I'm putting the camera, or how I'm even approaching the scene, that's where I hem and haw, and that's where I'm lost and then things don't come out as good. But if I fully plan out a scene doesn't mean I'm going to shoot it exactly the way I planned it out doesn't mean that I'm going to you know, sit there and go out people look at the storyboards and think this is the shot right here to medium shot. No, I just timed it, I do do that, especially if it's a visual effects sequence or an action scene or something like that. They're you pretty much stick to the plan, but I have to go in knowing what the point of view of the scene is. And having an idea of this is what I would do, you know, if if if you know, inspiration doesn't strike, I know that if I did this, it would work. And but leaving myself open to tossing it and I toss it all the time. You know, and I gotta tell you, I'm going back to the show blockers which is, you know, it was like it was a lame little show on on Telemundo that I did you know, you know, almost 20 years ago, but what I did on that show on those 215 reenactments is doing that many after a while like I you know I would literally as an experiment, not plan. There were times that I didn't read I'm not kidding around just to like big bites. So I got to challenge myself, I wouldn't read the script that morning, you know, and I would let people plan it. And I let everybody kind of plan and let everybody you know, like my ad planet, and then I would show up and out breakfast, how to go what to say about it, let someone else like I did that a couple times, I don't recommend doing it. I did it as an experiment like, so let me be clear, I don't recommend doing this at all. But I hit it just like what would happen if I didn't know if I showed up in the morning, and I didn't know what I was shooting, and someone handed me a script. And these are your actors. And I'm like, I want to try that. And I did that on that show. I can't ever do that on any other show in my career. And I knew that at the time, like, I'm never gonna get this chance ever again. But I gotta tell you, that really helps. Because you're sort of what it does is it prepares you in a weird way to anything now, like now in my career, no matter what happens, you know, and there are challenges on everything like on whether it's from dusk to dawn, or whether it's, you know, legends of hidden tempo, or whatever I'm doing. You know, there are things that are unexpected that come up. And, you know, you have to be ready to go with it. And if you have that sort of experience, and that sort of knowledge, if you have craft, I was telling someone yesterday, I'm editing the season finale from vessel down that I just did. And the post pa on the show, wants to be a director. She's really young, like 22 years old. And and I haven't asked like, oh, what do you want to do today? I want to be a director. And then she was like, the postepay sitting out at a desk out, like in the bullpen. And I just said, You know what, I'm sure you've been sitting in with directors, right? And like, you know, picking your brain, she's like, no, nobody's laughing. And I'm like getting here and sit down and observe. Don't say anything, just listen. And you know, and so she's been in there. And what I told her yesterday, and it's funny that we're having a conversation, I said, I think there are three keys, I think to being a director, you have to have taste, you have to have taste. So you have to know what's good and what's bad. You have to have craft. So you have to understand how to craft a scene as a director, and you have to trust the fields is what I would say you have to feel it. You have to you have to feel it. You have to let because sometimes you don't want to make a decision based on intellect you sometimes make a decision based on what it feels like the you know, my favorite story is when Spielberg was making Close Encounters, he told everybody I want the mothership to rise up from behind Devil's Tower. And everyone was like, Well, wait a minute, it's the spaceship, we're going to come down from the clouds, and it should come down. And land behind that was our knees like, no, the way I see it in my head wheels, right, is to see it rise up from behind the Devil's Tower. And that's how they shot it. And it's one of the most iconic images in the movie. Yeah. And it's all because it felt that way felt that way to him, he felt that that's the way to do it. And I think you got to trust the fields. You got to you know, have craft and you got to have taste
Alex Ferrari 37:50
without without question, man. Now what? You worked with a tremendous amount of young actors, do you have any advice about working with you know, younger actors?
Joe Menendez 38:00
Well, I mean, it you know, you know, you know what, the, what it's always worked for me is to never treat younger actors like children. You treat them like adults. When you're when you've cast this kid and hopefully you've cast you know, a kid. Normally normally, with rare exceptions, kid actors are oddly very adult, like they're still kids, and they still do things that are kids, you know, then sometimes you have to be kind of dad and you kind of have to Hey, guys, you know, and you have to kind of sculpt a little bit, but I would say for the most part, you know, a kid like Isabela Moner, who's the lead in legend and Tebow who I work with on another Nickelodeon show that she would lead on I would talk to her like I would talk to any adult and direct them and now if there was anything that was confusing, you know, and I would always ask, does that make sense and if it didn't make sense then I would reword it or rephrase it. But for the most part, I found that if I just spoke to them like adults and didn't treat them like kids, it wasn't like I was getting you know, getting down at your level and putting my hands on my knees and going, children listen, here's what we're gonna do, right? it like you just tell them that this is what the scene is and this is what I need from you, you know, and some kids need more talking to you than others. You know, Isabella was one of those for instance that got it immediately like Isabella is one of those like, of like, I there's like three or four kids that I've worked with in my career. Where I've gone this kid is remarkable. And Isabel is one of those just stunning in how she is able to process like an adult even though she's at the time she was 14, she just turned 15 and it's you know, but the you cast it right and you cast a kid and normally these kids that are doing this are usually if they want to do this, they're usually mature beyond their years, typically. Right? You know, generally speaking, yeah, the immature kids don't want to be actors, or like if they do they suck, you know, and you You can weed them out in the casting process, you kind of know who the sort of old soul kids are, you know, when they come in for casting, and then once you've cast it, right, you know, and again, it's always that it's always 80% of it is casting. Don't treat them like children, you know, and by the way, sometimes you have to make them aware that when you're doing a show with a lot of kid leads, is you kind of have to every now and then remind them, like, you know, all these adults that are standing here, all these crew members, they're all depending on you to hit your hit your marks and say, your lungs, and I think that it's okay, if you're gonna, if a kid's gonna come into sort of an adult situation like a film set, you have to kind of understand that there's a responsibility to it, and they can't just come onto the set and fuck around. And, and, you know, most of these kids understand that, you know, hey, all these people here are depending on paying their mortgages, they're all depending on you to know your lines and to, you know, and you know, you very rarely have to remind a kid of that very rarely. I mean, I've done it in my, you know, 1617 years doing stuff with kids. I think maybe once or twice, I've had to, like, scold a kid and reprimand the kid. Because for the most part, they get it and usually, you know, but I think that's the, the best way to approach a child actor is to not treat the left child.
Alex Ferrari 41:19
So now we're going to get into the question. I've been dying to ask you since since I since I discovered who you were and looked up your work. How the hell did you get the game from from dusk till dawn?
Joe Menendez 41:34
Well, um, how do you call it? Carlos Cotto, who is the showrunner on from vessel down? Who's the head writer on the show, you know, Robert, sort of, you know, it all starts and finishes with Robert, you know, it's his network. It's his show. But Carlos Cotto is the guy that's running the room. He's the guy that's writing all the scripts. And he's the, you know, he's the, the brains, if you will, behind the writing of the shows, obviously, everything always you know, like I said, starts and stops with Robert. But Carlos had seen a film I made many years ago called love it on our own, which was a movie in Spanish that I did for Lionsgate, a heist movie, and he came out to a screening of it and really enjoyed it. You know, and you know, one of the actors brought Carlos out and I met him after the screening and he shook my hand and he said like I really enjoyed it I thought was really good and you know, he talked about my winners He's like, you do a lot of winners man, you can't do that in television you can't do once in television and then you gotta you and I'm like, I know I know I do television I know I wouldn't do wonders although interestingly I got him to and Roberts to sign off on a minute and a half wonder on the season finale of from the showdown What am I gonna tell him but you gotta see it, but they they let me do like a cool minute and a half one or okay on the season finale, but anyway, uh, you know, as he's walking away, he tells me you know, you know, Carlos, you know, you know, gee Joe I'd love to work with you one day and you know people say that all the time and Yeah, all right. Well, you know, whenever thanks, I didn't really think it was you know, anything serious you know, but I was appreciative that Carlos had said that And anyway, it turned out that his kids growing up watched a lot of the shows that I had done for Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, so he'd be watching Disney Channel and Nickelodeon with his daughters. And they always seem like I know Joe, I know that guy. And he will write me it's like hey, I just saw an episode of Zika Luca you directly man it was really funny. And I'm like, oh, man, so we stay in touch. Then he emails me and he you know, I'm blue in 2013. And he's I gave him What are you doing? Uh, I'm running from dusk till dawn with Robert. Love for you to come on. And I was like, great of course that'd be that'd be amazing. He goes but you gotta interview with Robert you know obviously Robert. Robert is the one that signing off on directors essentially. You know understandably right so we set up a Skype you know, interviews because he was in Austin. Robert was and I was here and we interviewed I think I interviewed with him three or four times and he would ask a lot of questions
Alex Ferrari 44:12
like how does that how does that go like when you say interview like cuz I understand one interview but like once you've interviewed one person once, like what are the next three interviews about like different questions cific
Joe Menendez 44:21
it was specific to the episodes is that so so the first interview was you know, getting to know me like I you know, like, Who is this guy? It's a person do I like him? And you know, you know, that kind of thing and obviously he had seen my work he's seen my film and and you know, we talked a lot about the fact that I had done a number of kids shows and but you know, if there was anybody that understood, being able to go back and forth between these two sort of genres is him having done Spy Kids and Sin City, you know, he, you know, and Desperado. And all that he obviously understood all that, that a director could, could jump between worlds and still be able to tell good stories like he understood that more, more More than anybody. So, you know, I so you get past that, you know, I got through that interview and we got along really well. And then I read the outline for the episode. And he treated it basically, like a feature like I was I was interviewing for a movie. So it was even it was an episode of television. Every interview was giving him my take on how I would do it. And then I would say, Well, I would do this, and this is what I see. And I like this, and how about this? And then he's like, that's great. And then the next one was like, here's the script, read the script now like, let's come tell me what you know. And then so it was basically getting into the minutiae of, of any essentially, this one hour of television was treated like a feature film. And I had to, and because Robert was the network and the studio and, you know, I mean, although it's Miramax, you know, it all, like I said it all started and stopped with him. And he eventually got to a point that, you know, he said, clearly, you have a vision for it, clearly, you have enthusiasm for it, you're not intimidated by it, you know, and, you know, he and, you know, that was the end of that. And you know, and I got the job. And you know, the thing that he said that he that he you know, after we spoke after I had the job, and I got to know him, he said, um, you know, what I liked the most about you was that you didn't fixate on the horror aspects of the show, even though you know, those are all visceral. And that's fun to do. And it's fun to do those kind of set pieces with visual effects and, you know, scary stuff and all that I was more focused on the characters I wanted to know about Richie Gecko and about Seth Gecko and about Santana go and about, you know, the fuller family, you know, about Jacob and Kate and Scott, I wanted to know what made them tick. And, you know, because I always say that, you know, you can have all the spectacle you want, but if you don't have characters that you care about, then it won't matter, the spectacle will matter, and it will land and it won't play. And, and I think that that was sort of the the big selling point that I, I always fixate, and I do this on everything I do, whether it's dusk, or whether it's movies, or or anything I do, you always I spent a good amount of my prep, figuring out toning and characters. And then once I've got that, then it informs how you block and how you stage and how you where you put a camera like if you know what the focus of the scene is, and why our characters you always have to kind of bring it down like an actor and kind of understand it. So that it'll and it'll inform everything so i think i think that was the big selling point. But, you know, it just got into the the interview process was getting into the minutiae and getting into the weeds of how we do it. Because obviously I was I was an unknown to him. So you know, but you know, with each subsequent conversation, he got more and more comfortable and understood what I wanted to do. And I understood what he wanted because of course, he was also downloading to me things that he wanted to say. So it was a good blend of things that I do and things you know that that he wanted to see and what Carlos wants six Carlos was also getting, you know, was also very obviously instrumental in telling the stories in a certain way. And it sort of was born from there.
Alex Ferrari 48:07
So So is the show run very Robert Rodriguez style.
Joe Menendez 48:13
Well, it's it's it only in the sense, you know, you know, the thing is that, you know, you go work for a director of his caliber, and there's always a sense of like, Oh, my God, I'm working for Robert Rodriguez, you know, it's like, it's I, you know, you know, is Robert going to show up and say, do things my way do things my way. And I cannot tell you how wonderful and filmmaker friendly Robert is not just to me, but to every director, there isn't a director on the shows that wouldn't say the exact same thing. Now obviously, Robert did the movie and he did the pilot, the first two episodes were which were essentially the setup of the movie. So when you go into television, it's not your job to go in there and reinvent the stylistic choices that were set up in the pilot, you know, it's your job to look at that and study that and go, Oh, I see what you're doing. Like you can't go on to for instance, a show that is a fully handheld show that's gritty and, and you know, and sort of, you know, cinema, very pay and decide to make it all slick tactile screenshots, because you know, then you're you're reinventing the wheel, and then you got to go in there and sort of adapt to what's been set up beforehand. So you go in knowing that there are things that you want to do that are very Rodriguez esque, right? But he doesn't, but he doesn't. It's not. It's not a mandate. It's not like he's sitting here let me make sure that you have this and you have that. He's very, very good about you know, asking each director to bring in their own thing and bring in their own sort of style and your own vision. But what every director that does the show knows is like, like Robert Rodriguez is the one that set up the look of the show, we'd be stupid not to bring in Roberts, you know, stylistic choices and element to it. So oftentimes, I'll shoot things, knowing like, Oh, and by the way, working on the show has also sort of informed my own style because you kind of are always like, what would Robert do? You know, in your head, you know, you're always thinking that so like, I'll shoot things. I'm like, oh, that'd be cool. And then what if it can't help a bleed over into your own style? And what's happened having done six episodes now is that you don't even think about it anymore. It just sort of becomes like, like you just sort of do it almost naturally now, you know, because I've done so many of these now that now it's sort of instinctive you know, that I can never, you know, duplicate what Robert does. Robert is very specific and he's got a style on his own that is, you know, unmatchable, and you can't you can't you know, compete with it. So I so you still sort of come in and do your own thing. But when you see the show there are definitely moments and angles and you know, the way things are cut you know like you also know that you know give them certain elements in certain pieces and shots that can be cut in a certain way the way he likes to cut things you know and and because oftentimes Robert will go in there and the final pass on each episode will be by Robert Robert will physically take each episode. And you know, like my first episode, the first episode, I did this gunfight right on in which is supposed to be like, on the US Mexico border. And when I turned in that gunfight, and I'm, you know, having done a number of action scenes myself, I'm like, I was feeling pretty good about it. I turned it in, and I turned in my Director's Cut, and I was like, that's pretty badass. I don't know how this is gonna get taught. That dude has grabbed all my footage, and arguably not in shot something new, right? Robert grabbed my footage and cut that scene in a way that I did not see. And just made it 1000 times better. Wow, it was remarkable for me to see what that man could do with with my footage. Like, you know, I thought I knew that footage backwards and forward. And he left I'm like, oh, he took that element and he put it Wow, I was never taught to do that. And that's what's fascinating is to is to sort of, you know, you know, cuz from a from a process standpoint, he's he's like super quiet and super low key and but like, you know, you when you're when you watch him on set, you know, he sits there and he's like, super cool. He's got like a guitar and he strums but you know, that the gears are turning while he's, you know, strumming out a tune, and then all of a sudden, he's on his feet. And he's like, changing things. But he's like, you know, so quiet that you try to listen to what he's saying. I can't hear what he's saying. I just wanna get closer, but you know,
but, but he but when but when I'm in the chair, and he's in the back row. I'm, you know, completely respectful of the process. So encouraging and so you know, complimentary when when he loves something, you know, and you know, what he tells you is when he likes somebody who though that's badass when you get a that's badass from Robert Rodriguez. You're like, Alright, good, I'm good. I'm good.
Alex Ferrari 53:17
I'm good. Life is life. Life is good. You were telling me that like he texts you during short episodes that you're directing and things like that. How are you doing?
Joe Menendez 53:25
He Yeah, he does and you know, he's he's a How do you call it uh, he's very good about texting and like, you know, like, you know, encouraging you and telling you that you know, things are looking great and all that like I said, I mean, you know, he you know, obviously he has notes and comments and you know, we'll we'll we'll give you feedback and all that but you know, he's very good about like just sending out a text and telling you how cool something is you know, and you know, and and it's you because you don't know when you you know like I'm putting forward my best effort and you're in and you put it out there and you kind of wait and you're like okay good you know validation alright good. But he's he's but not just with me. He's He's very good like that with everybody. You know, that's why I say I you know, obviously I'm gushing over Robert, I can't say enough nice things about him.
Alex Ferrari 54:17
No, I mean, I mean, the guy runs his own network, and he's a director. And I mean, I can only imagine a day that just had a day in the life of Robert now just like having to deal with all of that. But I guess he's just been after 20 almost 25 years now. Since mariachi was released, he must have built up this this ability to just kind of run an empire which is what he does he just kind of and lay and he doesn't seem nervous or beat up about it. Like he's on set strumming a guitar like Okay, let's go do this.
Joe Menendez 54:51
I have never, I mean, I'm sure he gets high share. I'm sure he gets frustrated. I've never seen it. And you know, every time we seem like it's like, it's like, you know, he's always calm always, you know, sort of soft spoken and, you know, very kind and all that. And but yeah, he's, you know, this last season we were in Albuquerque, but the first two seasons, we were in Austin, and we were shooting in his building. And he's built in, you know, you know, with troublemaker studios is awesome. Because it's like, it's like a filmmakers. I mean, you would love it, dude, because you wouldn't Can you go down there? And it's like, yeah, this is set up by a filmmaker. And you can tell Yeah, he's sort of like, like, if you imagine Disneyland, where like, the castle is a center, and then everything sort of spreads out from the castle out. Yeah, that's kind of how troublemakers set up. Like his office is like, in the center of the building. And he's got a couple doors and his office and you can go out one door into editorial, one door into, like, the conference room where the writers and the directors are. And, you know, that same door takes you to the studio to the stages. And everything sort of flows around where he is. And it's just, it's just, I mean, it's just great. Like, you go in and you're like, yeah, this was set up by a filmmaker. And you can tell it was set up by, by, you know, but he's got, he's got like, you know, got to soundstage. He's got a backlog, you know, upstairs, he's got an entire art department and visual effects team. And, you know, and so, you know, there were times that my office in Austin, the directors, like the prep office was right next door to his literally right next door, like, like a like, walk out of my door, walk into his door. And, you know, oftentimes he'd be running a meeting, you know about the network and just, you know, like, nothing fazes him. I mean, he's seen it all, you know, he's been around for, you know, 20 plus years, and there's nothing he hadn't seen.
Alex Ferrari 56:40
Right? He's gone through. He's worked on major studio movies, and he's done as indie of a movie as you can. So if you see and everything in between is
Joe Menendez 56:51
a, you know, humongous movie with James Cameron. Yeah, I heard he's doing is he doing alita Battle Angel.
Alex Ferrari 56:59
He's doing Battle Angel. Yeah.
Joe Menendez 57:02
They're shooting that I think in October. So
Alex Ferrari 57:06
Battle Angel has been Cameron's baby, but he's all up on the avatar. That's right.
Joe Menendez 57:10
And he passed it off to Robert, which is is an indication that someone like James Cameron would pass off his baby to someone like Robert is sort of says it ever said it says it all.
Alex Ferrari 57:19
You know, because James Cameron is as James Cameron. That's right. I mean, there's only one guy. And that's James Cameron. No question. Just a quick a quick question. How many days is a shoot an episode, you get to shoot?
Joe Menendez 57:33
It depends. It's between seven and eight days
Alex Ferrari 57:37
for an hour before 45 minutes or
Joe Menendez 57:40
43 and change something like that. So I did. So I did the penultimate ends in finale. So I had 15 days to do two episodes. But what's great is that you know, there were there were such massive episodes that that Robert came out and did a splinter unit. And there's there's, which of course, like it's super exciting to you know, to see him grab a couple of the scenes. And he did this one scene that is completely badass with Chef Gecko that I don't want to say but it came out so cool that they're actually rushing it through special effects. And they're going to run it as a promo on the network. Because it's such a cool sequence and I can't wait for him to see what it's like. It is classic Robert Rodriguez kind of stuff. So you'll see when when, when it comes out. I'm going to totally post it on Facebook and all that because it's it's so cool.
Alex Ferrari 58:37
And you I mean, obviously Robert was a big influence on you.
Joe Menendez 58:41
Well, you know, I absolutely i mean, you know, I certainly admired his career and his trajectory and everything that he's done and accomplished and his success and you know, in his movies and his filmmaking style, you know, but my, my big influence were, you know, it was you know, Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis I mean, I grew up in that era where those guys were making like brand new movies you know, like I'm old enough to remember you know, when Star Wars was a brand new movie like I was I was seven when Star Wars came out and and you know, like to me I remember like Star Wars you know, like, like, like so I always say to people that I kind of feel like I grew up during a very cool era when Spielberg and Lucas and domestics and all these guys were making these movies Joe Dante they were all making these movies. And it was what had become classics you know, and and to have grown up in that era. So that's really been my influences. Those guys you know, that generation, the generation before me and Robert, because me and Robert are the same age, right? So really, if you want to know about influences, it's those guys and then before them, I'm actually a film enthusiast so like I you know, like I love Bible parties and and auto pevensey And William Wyler and those guys you know, Delmar gave Sturgis and those yeah yeah, I mean those those you know so Orson Welles you know obviously you know these these these are all filmmakers that you know that that I've loved and admired as well so you know the thing with filmmakers that are in your generation you know, like a Robert or like a JJ or people like that, that that, you know, you you admire them you do and you know, and obviously there's things that they do that you're like, Oh my god, that's so great. And you know, you learn things that they're doing. But I always say that the influence is, you know, for every generation as always the generation before you know, so
Alex Ferrari 1:00:41
we'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. Yeah, without question, and I'll take you back you were saying all the Joe Dante and Spielberg and Zemeckis would you have loved to work on amazing stories oh my god would have been
Joe Menendez 1:01:06
amazing stories came out man I was like 16 or 17 years old when I first came out and I was like, obviously way too young to even be considered but like you know, but like they were hiring like like they hired like Phil Joanna you know who must have been like 23 or 24 times so not that much older than me. So like I missed that window like not that I would have you know, who knows I probably wouldn't have gotten hired anyway. But you know, you you you just like say like I wasn't even, like old enough to be like, even in the conversation and like I would have loved to have done that. And I always say like, anthology series don't get there. Just do I think anthology series are kind of cool and like they don't get made enough. You know,
Alex Ferrari 1:01:46
for everybody in the audience. Look up the show amazing stories, which was Spielberg. Spielberg produced this anthology series, call ourselves he
Joe Menendez 1:01:55
directed ghost train and ghost train. Yes. And the mission,
Alex Ferrari 1:01:59
the mission with with Kevin Costner?
Joe Menendez 1:02:01
Yeah, Kevin. It was such a great Kiefer Sutherland was in that
Alex Ferrari 1:02:06
key for when he was young, like yeah, before he started kind of blowing up. Yeah, it was such a wonderful show. And the I always remember like the my favorite episode, and I'm gonna geek out for a second. My favorite episode was the episode that this dorky teenage kid found this goo that if you poured it on pictures, the pictures came to life. Oh, you remember that episode? Yeah, and he kept pouring it on. Like you know, the girlie magazines he wanted a girlfriend. But if you pour too much, they become these huge monsters. If you pour too little a woman would come out and it was just brilliant and at the very end I'll have a spoiler alert at the very end the day she finally finally gets the girl walks out but then as they close the door the goose builds on top of like a horror magazine cuts off you just like ah that's so great.
Joe Menendez 1:03:05
There was also I I also love the subjects episode goes to the head of the class. You know, Christopher Lloyd was in it and like, they they you know, spoiler alert that he's like this ruthless awful teacher and at the end like all the students they cut off his head you know and then but at the end of the episode, he's like a monster and he's managed to show his head back on and the episode ends with him unraveling like a scarf and you see the stitches around his neck and like he somehow sewn himself back to it's great it's a Robert Zemeckis well it's pretty fun to
Alex Ferrari 1:03:38
these those are things that just oh god I wish there were stuff like that around today. I hear stranger tales is pretty good that
Joe Menendez 1:03:45
show um, two episodes in and it's so far it's very good. Is it really good
Alex Ferrari 1:03:48
I haven't gotten into I haven't gotten there yet. I'm bingeing some other shows.
Joe Menendez 1:03:52
Yeah. No, it's good it's good I want to see where it goes I definitely curious to see where it goes no, but it's really well made really well then.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:01
Now you just you're going to be doing a new movie you've mentioned a little bit in the podcast Legends of the Hidden temple.
Joe Menendez 1:04:08
I shot it I shot it in Vancouver earlier this year we're in post two we're doing visual effects and all that it's um it's based on a game show from the mid 90s. What Nickelodeon decided to do is basically bring back legend to the hidden temple but as a movie and but not as a sort of, you know, cheesy kind of movie and campy they it's like to be placed strict right? And to you know, it's like it's like a kid Indiana Jones movie like Goonies kinda it's a Goonies kind of thing. You know, there's some there's humor in it for sure. But, you know, when the, you know, when I read the script, I wasn't really sure which direction we're gonna go and I didn't get any sort of indication, you know, my agent sent me the script and, and, you know, and and I was going into, similar to it with Robert I had to go pitch by tape, you know, and it's like, it's, again, it's an interview, like, but it's specific to the project. And I went in there and like, I pitched my take, and it's What I would do, and then, but I, my opening sentence was, this should feel like the movie that the for the very first time in Nickelodeon's history, they kill off a kid, like a kid's got it, like, you should feel like a kid's gonna die, you know, which will never happen. Of course he should feel that way. And like, they were like, yes, you know, there has
Alex Ferrari 1:05:22
to be, there has to be the peril
Joe Menendez 1:05:25
has to be real, it has to be real. Because, you know, the greatest Disney movies, you know, classic Disney movies and even like Disney movies, you know, that have come out in recent years. You know, when when, you know, when moments of danger happen, the moment of danger are played for real and and I mean, yes. You know, kids, kids, you know, are surprisingly resilient. I have a 10 year old and you know, she can handle you know, I mean, there's certain obviously like, like, you know, like, she watched, like all the Jurassic Park movies, right? I was fine. Like, like, didn't forgot. And then I'm like, you're ready for World worlds. And I showed her 20 minutes and she was sobbing she like turned us off. So like,
Alex Ferrari 1:06:09
Guys are being burned a lot.
Joe Menendez 1:06:12
I cannot I cannot tell you how often like during, like, That day, just my wife giving me dirty looks all day. Like what is wrong with you? But like, I thought she was like, I'm like other shows ready? But But like, there's a line, right? Jurassic Park is like, right where that line is, that's like the dinosaurs and like, you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:06:30
they can recognize, like always dinosaurs. So it's all make believe and stuff like that. But when the aliens are
Joe Menendez 1:06:36
also done stylistically, even though they're both Spielberg, Jurassic Park is done in a way that you kind of, it's scary, but you kind of know that it's like, movie scary. Whereas like, well, the world is so realistic.
Alex Ferrari 1:06:47
footage. Yeah. So so
Joe Menendez 1:06:50
you know, it's that's sort of the approach, the approach was, like, we're going to make a movie where, like, when the kids are running, and you're running from the temple guards, you know, you should, you should feel, you know, like, Oh my god, you're gonna catch them, and they're gonna do something horrible. And you know, but then like, the kids, but it's a good movie, it's being told from the family film, and it being told from the point of view of the kids, right, so they're gonna get away, they're gonna do you know, these great, heroic wish, fulfilling things. But it's, you know, like, but the way I approached this movie was, and it's the biggest movie Nickelodeon's ever done, you know, they, they're, they're just, they're super thrilled and excited about it. And I'm super thrilled and excited to be part of it. Because it's the kind of movie that I wish I was 10 years old, and seeing this movie, you know, because it's the kind of movie that I would love. But it's also got stuff for the, for the parents, because oftentimes, I watch a lot of these kids movies with my daughter, and there's times that I'm like, Oh, my God, what am I doing here? You know, watching these things. There's very few family films that my daughter watches that I could sit with her and watch him, right? Most of time. I'm like, Oh, I want to, you know, I want to be doing anything else. But sitting here right now.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:53
But trust me, I've got twins. I know.
Joe Menendez 1:07:56
Oh, you have twins. Yeah. So but but but yeah, so so this is the kind of movie that I thought about us to parents. So I there's enough of it that like, like parents appreciate. But then there's this other core audience that that we're also attracting, that are people who are about 30 years old now, who grew up on the game show, and it's sort of nostalgia for that. So there's a lot of stuff that we that we did in the movie to pay homage to the fan base that was 10 when the game show came out, we're now like, 3031 years old. 29. So it's, it was a it was a, you know, a challenging project in the sense that we have to, you know, make sure that it works for the core audience first for the kids, but also be something that that the 30 year olds appreciate and parents will appreciate so it's like literally like three audiences, you know, that we had to make the movie for?
Alex Ferrari 1:08:50
And you know, that's funny. I actually have my own Nickelodeon story. I worked as a PA on global guts. Oh my god. Back in the day I was in I was in Orlando going to film school so I got an internship and our pay actually paid a PA job. And I like years later got contacted by guys who were obsessed with like, do you know where that mountain is? Like there's a huge fan base for those old Nickelodeon game shows.
Joe Menendez 1:09:15
Totally 100% like,
Alex Ferrari 1:09:18
we're making a documentary about Gods would you be interviewing like, Dude, what what do you talk? What?
Joe Menendez 1:09:22
Yeah, yeah, it's, it's, it's, uh, it's, it really is. And, you know, it's funny, because, you know, um, you know, a few people have reached out to me and told me like, oh, why didn't they just bring back the game show? And, you know, and I'm like, if we were successful, they could bring back the game show, but, but how cool is it? Because, you know, because, I mean, I I missed I knew of the game show, but I was of a generation that I had just missed it. You know, so by the time the game show came out, I wasn't watching Nickelodeon. I wasn't anywhere, you know, but I was young enough that I was aware of it. And I remember even thinking like, Oh, that's got like an Indiana Jones vibe. You know, yeah. It was an But like, but like the idea, but like, like the idea to turn it into a movie is sort of the same concept like Robert making a feature on 16 millimeter. It's like what a cool obvious idea, like take that world and write a story and put these real characters in it. I mean, what a What a great idea and so that's what we've done and I'm super excited about it, you know, you know, visual effects are coming in hard and fast and everyday like it's great like it's like Christmas every afternoon. The visual effects company sent me shots and Christmas every morning like I mean every afternoon I open up and I'm like, Oh, yes. You know, right now like it's like the avid version
Alex Ferrari 1:10:41
which right i know i know that feeling when it's wait till it's colored and yeah, although
Joe Menendez 1:10:45
our editor this guy came in fact who did who cut the movie is actually a former visual effects editor and he and so he did actually a really great job of temping these visual effects but now that we're seeing them like really done you know, by the visual effects company it's really fun to see it and and starting next week I'm gonna start hearing the music so I'm excited about that so we're in that stage where it's imposed where you know, I'm not gonna say the hard work is done but it's the part you know what I'm talking about it's like I'm not having you we're not in pre production we're not in production and pre production you're like this it's the stress of like what's going to happen last thing and like planning and designing then shooting as you know it's got its own sort of like oh my god oh my god. And then editing is like, like, you know, am I an asshole that I didn't cover this right yeah, that dude I'm in the middle of that right now. Yeah, and then once you're done editing and it's locked This is kind of the fun part to me this is now where it's like as like now your collaborators are sending you all these cool things and like yeah
Alex Ferrari 1:11:51
up you're dressing up ready putting getting ready for the ball?
Joe Menendez 1:11:54
Yeah, this is actually my favorite part of the process although I love being on set and I love the shooting of it when people think that's crazy but I actually do like the process on set you know, but I think this is like in terms of my nerves. This is probably my favorite part you know? Because it's the part where I get to see thing and go wow that's cool All right, yeah, like give notes when something isn't quite right but you know for the most part largely you know it's been it's been fun
Alex Ferrari 1:12:20
so now of course you will be doing double there the feature soon right.
Joe Menendez 1:12:27
I can either confirm or deny
Alex Ferrari 1:12:30
that would be a very I think much more difficult movie to show um alright man so I asked my my my guests are these questions all the time these are the core questions I asked all my guests What advice would you give a filmmaker just starting out today
Joe Menendez 1:12:53
know what kind of filmmaker you want to be perceived as because and what the what does that mean? Um, you know oftentimes as filmmakers especially when we're young we're like I want to tell stories that that change the world and are riveting and all that kind of shit right? What really studios and agents and people you know or people that hire but they want to know is they want to know what kind of filmmaker you are. You know, and I think one of the challenges that I think even continues it a little bit to this day with me is that my body of work is wildly eclectic, right? So you can't really say I'm this or that you know you know I've done things in Spanish but am I a guy that does things in Spanish I've done stuff in the family world but am I a guy that this family so now I'm doing you know one hour dramas you know I've done East Los high for Hulu I didn't you know I've done obviously dusted on I've done you know, some TV movies. It's like what you know so I think what is a challenge for me is like I think now I'm at a point where people kind of understand that I'm versatile and I can jump around but i think i think you know, for someone starting out However, it's it's kind of say okay, I mean I think the mistake I made and I think I'll talk about this early on and I think it's I made these two sort of indie movies that were the flavor of the month it's what was popular at the time. And and and I enjoyed seeing them. I didn't realize I didn't like doing them like doing them but that I didn't get as much of a thrill doing them. And what what I should have done and just what I always tell people is I should have said what kind of movie do I want to go see right now like really like that I want to like that I love and for me I would have said even the what hasn't changed in 3040 years for me is that I love seeing like Spielberg kind of movies like the amblin movies from the 80s you know, you know things that have a little bit of humor but like have some mystery in some You know, Fantasy Adventure Yeah, I shouldn't have done these like dark Indian dramas that I did my two my first two movies, I thought my third movie had was a bit more mean it had a little bit more meaning that it has humor and action. And and, and I and and so people early on want to figure out like, Oh your heart, and I know that just feel free to say I want to be pigeonholed. Let yourself be pigeonholed. You can break that later. But it's good to be known as the guy that does x. Because then you work then you're employable, then you're someone that people go, Oh, yeah, that guy is good at heart. That guy's good at comedy. When you're kind of all over the place like I was early on, it's hard to kind of pinpoint you. And so you kind of, you know, I I've only what what's happened now that I've come full circle, I've done so much stuff that it's, I can I can sort of chameleon my way into any kind of genre, you know what I mean? But that's sort of what you would call a journeyman status. You know, you're you sort of become a journeyman, kind of in that sense, like, like
Alex Ferrari 1:16:08
Scorsese could do almost anything. Yeah, it could do anything. But
Joe Menendez 1:16:12
initially though, Spielberg was known as the creator of, you know, kids fantasies, Scorsese was known as doing like, Mean Streets kind of movies. But they all started off as like, they do that kind of thing. Now, in recent years, they've expanded and now they've, they do different kinds of things, but it's okay to label yourself. But when you label yourself, It better not be flavor them, they better be something that you really love doing, because it'll show in the movie. And I think when I look back on my first two movies, I think the biggest, you know, like I just briefly I'll give you the story. My second movie is a movie called hunting a man that's also available that's also that also been released. And I think that's an indie drama, right? The ending of that script. When I started shooting, it was a very dark ending, right? was like, it's like, people get killed, and it's tragic. And these two brothers, they were talking to each other again, and it was awful and tragic, and, and that's the script that we started doing. at the last second, I chickened out, and I was like, I can't end the movie like this. I hate this. This is not me. I'd rather everything be okay. And like the family come together and it's lovey dovey, and so I changed the ending. And I like I felt better about the movie me personally, right? What happened is I was depending when you make an indie movie, frankly, to get into like the prestigious festivals, like Sundance, or like, those kind of festivals don't like the happy ending movies. They want the dog so like, I didn't know what my audience was. So what happened is I shot myself in the foot had I kept the darker ending, and had I kept the more fucked up ending. The movie would have maybe gone farther. I'm not saying that movie is the most brilliant thing in the world. But I think had I been more savvy and had somebody told me dude, you're depending on that crowd to legitimize your movie you need to make the movie that that crowd the mistake was I shouldn't have been making that movie to begin with because that wasn't my movie that wasn't my kind of thing I should have been making a family film from the very beginning is what I realized now with you know something adventurous and fun with those guys always works always work I should have been doing that like I wish somebody would have told me back then that's your thing and by the way people did tell me that people did tell me you should do more like comedy family stuff early on and I remember like being like indignant like well How dare you sir? How dare you I am an artist that's right and then like and it's bullshit and and so you all you're doing by saying that is you're creating a scenario where you're not going to work so let people label you earlier but let it be a label that you want them to label us and then later on once you have success then you can break out and do other things. I've done it backwards you know, I started doing different things from the very beginning and I think that it was hard at first for people to figure it out and to a certain degree it's still like people look at my diverse credit and they're like huh okay wow done a lot of different things you know
Alex Ferrari 1:19:10
yeah it's they don't from my understanding people in Hollywood they don't like to think they just want to go you're in this box but and but my Xbox
Joe Menendez 1:19:19
but why why is it that why is it that you got to let but they're going to put you in a box regardless, right? by this will be the person building the box and putting yourself in the box like this is the box I'm in? Like, you might as well be that person. So that's my advice. Okay? No, other than learn your craft and you know, you know, learn how to make a movie, right? You know, figure out what kind of filmmaker you are. You got to know what kind of filmmaker you are. Because otherwise, you know, no one's gonna, no one's gonna want to figure it out. People are just gonna want to know.
Alex Ferrari 1:19:50
So what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in life or in the film business
Joe Menendez 1:19:57
to stop comparing myself again, In the film business, it's not comparing myself to other filmmakers like Robert or like, you know, for the longest time it was like, like what we talked about earlier, you know, coming, bringing this all back full circle, you know, looking at filmmaker x at the age that I was at and going, Oh my god, by the time this filmmaker was this age that are in them this net, as opposed to being grateful for where I was and what I was doing, I was, you know, you know, empty and agitated that I wasn't where that guy was, or that woman was like, and, and what you realize is like, but right behind me, there's somebody looking at me and going, well, gee, I wish you know, I was doing what Joe is doing. You know, so you know, what is taking me a long time I guess it's both life and in my career is realizing how good you have it. You know, because even you Alex right now, you know, I know you're making your movie and you're like, I'm gonna make my movie and I'm not gonna wait for somebody to make it. You're making your movie do you know your you know, and that's something to be grateful for, you know, Jeff spoke people came, people from out of the woodwork came and they, they, they donated and they funded and you're making your movie, you're out there doing it, dude. And so, you know, as opposed to lamenting, like, why am I not making the romantic comedy for universal, as opposed to you know, instead, you should say, I am so grateful that I'm making this as mag with Joe mashanda Leon and and that's sort of what I've done. Now with my life. I'm grateful that I'm doing from dusk till dawn and legend, the hidden temple and, you know, stuck in the middle, and that I did love it all it is and love it. And I've done all the TV movies that I've done, I'm grateful. I'm grateful. And I think that that's the hardest thing to like to just be good with, where your life isn't accepted.
Alex Ferrari 1:21:42
And also enjoy the journey, I guess, as opposed to the destination, which I know is cliche as hell, but it's a lesson that took me that really long time to learn.
Joe Menendez 1:21:49
That's right. And because it's not over, it's not like, I'm like, I'm done. You know, like, the journey continues. You know,
Alex Ferrari 1:21:56
it's not like, well, I worked with Robert I'm, I'm I'm over. It's, it's,
Joe Menendez 1:21:59
it's it's okay, to have ambition and to have goals and, and, you know, desires and like, Oh, I want to be there. And I want to get to that point that I want to do that. And you know, we all have that. But there has to be a moment that you have to go, you know, shit I've done, I've done this, and this and this man, and I'm grateful. And I'm happy for that, you know, and, and I'm gonna continue to do X, Y, and Z. And where it takes me, you know, it, that's the other thing is that. And I think it's all connected, that I would make something and then I would set myself up for expectations. I'm like, Well, I'm going to do this, and it's going to do this. And I'm going to go there. Yep, yeah, yeah. And, and the movie comes out, and it lives the life that it's going to live. And you kind of look around afterward. And you're like, Well, that didn't turn out the way I thought was gonna turn out. So you can either be angry and bitter about it. Or you can evaluate and examine why it turned out the way it did, and then move on and don't make those same mistakes, you know, or don't go down that same path on the next one.
Alex Ferrari 1:23:01
Can you imagine someone like James Cameron, who worked all his life and he gets up to Titanic and has the biggest movie of all time? What do you do at that? Like that's, that's a goal. A lot of filmmakers want to be
Joe Menendez 1:23:13
that. You do avatar? No,
Alex Ferrari 1:23:16
no, no, no, but he did. He went off like, you know what? I'm going to become one of the biggest explorers, underwater explorers in the world. And I got the money to go do it. I'm gonna go take eight years off. Yeah. And then oh, by the way, I'm going to come back and make avatar.
Joe Menendez 1:23:31
Yeah. Which will be, which will exceed Titanic and make even more money. You know,
Alex Ferrari 1:23:35
like, like I was saying earlier. There's one, James. That's right. That's right. No, no.
Joe Menendez 1:23:40
And, and, you know, so it's, but I'm sure that you know, when James Cameron was working at Roger Corman, yep. He was looking around and going Why am I not Steven Spielberg? And or maybe he didn't, maybe he's like, I'm good. I'm working for Roger Corman for Christ's sake. I mean, this is awesome. You know, so I and I think that's the key I think is to sort of be grateful as you know, as to where you are because you know, you may you may not be where you want to be just yet but you're but you're at a place where other people aren't and so you have to kind of take it all you know, it's all relative, it really is. And then you know, I you know, what I'm trying to do you know, now with my career going forward is is not go in with any specific expectations on any given project. So, you know, when I'm doing a movie, like legend, the hidden temple, I of course, want it to be wildly successful, and I want people to see it, I want people to really enjoy it and all that. But beyond that, I don't have any specific thoughts in my head, like I used to wear like, okay, so it's gonna come out, and then I'm going to get a phone call from so and so and so and so's gonna invite me out to his house. I'm not doing that anymore, because I would make myself crazy with scenarios.
Alex Ferrari 1:24:53
And like, I mean, I already have a scenario for you like I'm gonna make lizard example then. Then Lucas Someone's gonna see it they're going to call me in for an interview for the next Indiana Jones and then I'm going to like
Joe Menendez 1:25:05
but that's that's how you drive yourself crazy Yes. Obviously if Lucasfilm call you know calls anybody anything? I don't care who you are yes because film Kathleen Kennedy calls you and says hey you know what I want to talk to you yes it's gonna be it's a defining moment for any filmmaker I don't care who you are and if you say it isn't your liar it's like everybody's gonna take that meeting. Everyone's gonna take that call. You don't I mean
Alex Ferrari 1:25:31
he calls you he's like yeah, like to have coffee. Yes, you're gonna
Joe Menendez 1:25:33
you're gonna take that call you're gonna take that meeting and you're going to really be like, holy crap you know I don't care who you are. You're a liar if you say that you don't care. And but uh, but you can't drive yourself crazy because you know when afterward the phone doesn't ring and Spielberg or Kathleen Kennedy doesn't call you can't drive yourself crazy You just got to move on to the next thing.
Alex Ferrari 1:25:52
Exactly. Now this is the toughest question I'll ask you the entire entire interview. What are your three favorite films of all time?
Joe Menendez 1:26:00
Well that's not tough at all. I actually my number one in to fluctuate depending on the day but right now but today being being the 28th of July when we're recording this is a it's et Okay, and Raiders and then and then die hard.
Alex Ferrari 1:26:21
diehard the best Christmas movie of all time. best Christmas
Joe Menendez 1:26:25
movie of all time I still play Run DMC you know holiday and Christmas as like that's all by rotation during Christmas when I put my playlist and I have all the Dean Martin and all the other Christmas going on on incomes Run DMC with Christmas and Hollis and you know it's like bam bam, bam, bam, bam, you know, it's like of course and I think I've got it going this is Christmas music you know it
Alex Ferrari 1:26:51
is Christmas music but it's not Christmas until Hans is falling off the side of a building
Joe Menendez 1:26:57
that's right yeah, so those are my three i think you know you know it's what that list and I used to be kind of embarrassed by that right a lot of y'all may be like oh my god like I'm not like you know you don't have
Alex Ferrari 1:27:11
Seven Samurai or a movie or something like that right?
Joe Menendez 1:27:15
Yeah that's I that's the other thing that no you know as you get older you just don't give a fuck you know? What's perceiving you just like that's what I like fuck you you know you don't care you want to cite three movies you like I don't care you don't like these I don't care these are the three movies I like these are the ones that I will watch and I will enjoy and I will study you know I think those three movies sort of sum up my tastes and my likes and you know the kind of filmmaker I'd like to be I mean, and and you know, and so
Alex Ferrari 1:27:48
nothing wrong is Wanda Sykes comedian Wanda Sykes says like as you get older, you just give less of a shit and it's true like Do you ever see an 85 year old out there? really caring? No Yeah,
Joe Menendez 1:27:59
I was driving down Ventura Boulevard the other day and this like he must have been like 85 years old there's all man like wheeling a grocery cart like I felt bad for me like really slow like there was a Ralph's and he was crossing the street and you have to cross the street just right in the middle of the street might even trouble there are no light he's just I'm crossing right here and like guess what we all start
Alex Ferrari 1:28:22
he's like either you either it's time for me to go or it's not I'm just gonna cross here and so we
Joe Menendez 1:28:26
all like everybody we all like I look over at the other cars and we all like shrug but like he's a he's 85 or you don't get away with that 2525 year old that'd be like come on.
Alex Ferrari 1:28:37
Can you get out of the car probably beat him I mean, like like Dude, seriously? I want Um, can people find you online?
Joe Menendez 1:28:46
I am on Facebook. So you know jumping in news and or my website jumping into comm all sorts of crap that about me that you know like I'm even like, that's a lot of crap about me. Come but there it is if you want to see
Alex Ferrari 1:29:06
Joe man I thank you so much man. This has been a wonderful interview and you've dropped a lot of knowledge bombs to the indie film hustle tribe man so I really appreciate it brother.
Joe Menendez 1:29:15
No Thank you very very much this has been a pleasure it's a it's been fun and it's been good talking to you and getting to know you.
Alex Ferrari 1:29:20
Alright man, thanks.
Joe Menendez 1:29:22
Alex Ferrari 1:29:24
I hope you like that one man that was that was so much fun sorry about all that Miami dolphin talk at the beginning of the interview but you know you get to Miami boys together this is what happened. So I hope you got some information out of that man. I was fascinated about how he worked with Robert and I'm a huge fan of the from dusk till dawn series. I really love what Robert has done with the mythology that him and Quentin kind of came up with on the feature. And I if you guys haven't seen it, I'm gonna put links in the in the show notes, which the show notes of course will be at indie film hustle.com forward slash zero 94. I'll put links to to the series as well. If you guys want to check that out, it's a fun, fun Fun show. And Joe's done a ton of episodes for it already. So it's definitely check it out. So Joe, thank you again for being on the show Hope you guys got a ton of information and knowledge bombs out of that interview. So don't forget to head over to free film book calm, that's free film book.com to download your free film, audio book from audible. It's awesome. I've downloaded a few books from there, actually a handful of books there, and I listened to them while I work out. And it's really really good. Always furthering your education is is key to being a successful filmmaker. And if you want to keep updated on all stuff, indie film hustle, definitely join our Facebook group, which is now getting close to 6000 members. It's growing like crazy. So all you have to do is head over to indie film hustle.com forward slash Facebook, it's free to join, just jump on in and you'll get access to a lot of cool indie film, hustle, knowledge, information, articles, podcasts, things like that. So definitely check that out as well. And I want to give a big shout out to all the the tribe members who have been emailing me over the course of the last few weeks about Meg about how the podcast is really helped them and grow and I got a wonderful opportunity to meet a handful of the tribe at that Holly shorts event that I spoke at. And I really you know from the bottom of my heart guys, thank you so so much for all the kind words and I'm so glad that this podcast and everything I'm doing on indie film hustle and at the indie film syndicate is of service to you guys and first and foremost regardless of anything else I do I want to be of service to my fellow filmmakers and my my fellow artists and if anything I can do in my small way can inspire or help you guys it just fills my heart up with with joy it's wonderful but no seriously guys I'm really I'm really humbled by all the the well wishes and also just the the the emails and the messages and things like that you guys send me so please keep those stories coming. You know, I really love reading about about what you're doing. And if you're starting a new feature, or you just finished a short or things like that, you know write me an email, let me know what's going on. If you join the Facebook group, please you can post in there and share it with the rest of the tribe. So thank you again so much from the bottom of my heart. Appreciate it guys. As always keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.
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- Joe Menendez – Official Site
- Joe Menendez – IMDB
- From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series
- Legends of the Hidden Temple
Where Hollywood Comes to Talk
Oscar® Winning Writer/Director
(Platoon, Wall Street, JFK)
(Brothers McMullin, She's the One)
Oscar® Nominated Writer/Director
(Boyhood, School of Rock)
Emmy® Winning Writer/Director/Actor
(City Slickers, Analyze This)
(Smokin' Aces, The Grey, Narc)