5 questions with Israel Luna
Israel Luna is a Dallas filmmaker. His most recent project, “Fade to Drag: Short Films on Movie Making,” will be screened at Out Takes Dallas, the city’s LGBT film festival, at the Magnolia Theater in the West Village on Nov. 21. Luna, who was born in Las Vegas and grew up in Wellington, Texas, moved to Dallas in 1993 intent upon becoming a filmmaker. In addition to his creative efforts, he films stage plays and produces corporate and industrial videos.
Why did you have such a strong desire to be a filmmaker?
I knew since the age of 5 after I saw the movie “The Exorcist” that I wanted to make movies. I was at a drive-in with double screens. We were in front of “Superman,” but on the screen to our right ” The Exorcist” was playing. I was sneaking over watching it. I was scared to death, and I loved it. And I thought, “Oh, I want to make movies.”
How did you get your start in filmmaking?
I joined Dallas Community Cable Television because they would let you use the equipment for free, and then they would show it on their channels in Dallas. My first project was a gay soap opera that I wrote myself with local actors called, “Boys, Boobs and High Heels.” When I was shooting that the Dallas Voice interviewed me. That was my first interview ever. I saved the paper.
What is your next project?
I am in post production of my horror movie called, “Fright Flick.” Chad Allen from “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman” is the lead. It was filmed just an hour west of Dallas near Bridgeport at Runaway Bay. We shot it for 18 days this summer. I should be done with it by November. It’s not necessarily a gay horror movie, but it’s got lots of gay characters. We have lots of blood and guts and nudity. It’s going to be kind of campy, but it’s also going to be scary.
How do you think it’s going to be received?
We’ll have to have a big screening and fly Chad in, and all that good stuff. I think this is the one that’s going to take us to the next level because we have Chad Allen a big name and we had a pretty big budget. It will be a national release. I’m not sure if it will be DVD or theatrical, but we’re pushing for theatrical.
What is your long-term goal?
I think I’m already doing it. I’m supporting myself with my filmmaking and little projects on the side. I guess I just want to make lots and lots more money. I want to help support my family. I don’t have any plans to move because I like it here in Dallas. It’s easier shooting here than in Los Angeles.
Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the LGBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, email@example.com.