Skip to main content

Filmmaker Spotlight: Joe Talbot Hall of DAMASCUS ROAD

Name/Position: Joe Talbot Hall (Writer, Director, Producer)
Film: Damascus Road

With help from Kickstarter, Writer/Director/Producer Joe Talbot Hall set out to make a film, which has been chosen by NewFilmmakers Los Angeles for a screening at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood. Get to know Hall and his latest project: 
Tell us a little bit about your project and how long you've been working on it. 
At first, I had set out to make a film that would showcase my skills as a director.  To me, it seemed the best way to help jumpstart my career.  But, as I began to imagine what story I wanted to tell, it became much more than an exercise in directing.  “Damascus Road” soon became a story that I believed was important to tell – a story that explored the fragile nature of our rights and freedoms in the United States.
Set in a dystopian Washington, D.C., “Damascus Road” tells the story of a shadowy agency that is enlisting young soldiers to carry out “mercy killings” of the incurable. When Finch, a recent recruit, is called up, he is given strict orders to murder a “religious dissenter” named Petra. Over the short span of the manhunt, Finch becomes less and less sure of his orders. At the edge of execution, it is his very target that turns the tables on him. In the end, Finch himself becomes a dissenter of the State. What lies ahead for him is a mystery.
I finished the first draft of “Damascus Road” back in March 2010.  After a successful Kickstarter campaign, we geared up for two months of pre-production and then began shooting in March 2011. The film was finally completed this past April.
Is there anyone you'd like to thank for helping out with this film?
Firstly, I’d like to thank my talented wife Grace, whose efforts as producer were essential to getting the film made.  I’d also like to thank my Kickstarter investors who believed in the film and in me, especially my parents Steve and Peggy and my siblings, Steve, Jessie and Dave.

How does it feel to have your film part of the NewFilmmakers Screening at Sunset Gower Studios?
I was so excited when I got the call from NewFilmmakers.  I had already gotten several rejections from other festivals by that point and disappointment was setting in.  Thank God NewFilmmakers Los Angeles took notice of the film and chose to screen it at their distinguished festival.  I believe they see the potential that I see in “Damascus Road.”

Writer/Director/Producer Joe Talbot Hall
What inspires you?
Ultimately, it is God that inspires me and moves me to create.  But, it is also other artists who inspire me in my work – from painters, to novelist, to filmmakers.  I believe all works of art are in some way derivative of the great art that has come before them.  I try to learn as much as I can from past and present artists and in turn create my own art that is personal and unique.
Who are your influences and who do you admire?
Terrence Malick has been very influential in my filmmaking style.  His lyrical and philosophical vision and attention to detail are sensibilities that I connect with and try to achieve in my own art.  Other filmmakers such as Disney, Capra, Kubrick, Lynch, Tarantino and Fincher have also been influential in helping shape my style and vision.  Since my childhood, my admiration has gone to Disney for his unwavering dedication and uncompromising imagination.
What lessons have you learned from the industry so far?
I’ve learned that this industry is for the hardnosed.  If you’re not willing to spend long hours working toward success in this industry, chances are you will fail.  I’ve learned that my success is mostly dependent on my attitude, my work ethic and my skills.  Hard work pays off and there’s still more hard work to do.
If you could collaborate with anybody, who would it be?
It’s tough to pick one.  But, I’ve always wanted to work with Gene Hackman.  He’s an extremely talented actor who carries such strong presence on camera.  His performances in “Mississippi Burning” and “The French Connection” are two of the best ever to be captured on film.  I think he’d work well within the stories I enjoy telling.
What is the toughest experience you've ever had to overcome?
I can’t say I’ve led a very tough life – Thank God.  If I had to pick an experience that was the toughest, I would have to say it was moving to Los Angeles.  Right after film school, I moved to Los Angeles from the small farm town of Damascus.  Without family or friends, I had to set up a new life.  It took about a year to get used to the idea that LA was my new home and I wasn’t leaving.

What is the best piece of advice someone has given to you?
The best piece of advice came from my Mom.  Since I was a kid she has been a champion of my dream to be a filmmaker.  What she always tried to instill in me was that no one but myself was going to make that dream come true.  I had to put in the hard work before anyone was going to take a chance on me.
What advice would you give to new filmmakers starting out in the industry?
My advice to new filmmakers is to keep creating.  It’s important to always be shaping your vision and practicing the craft.  For people to take notice, you need to prove yourself.  Also, be vocal about what your end goal is.  No one can help you achieve your goal unless they know what it is.
Where can we expect to see you next?
Hopefully you’ll be seeing me at other screenings of “Damascus Road.”  I’m also currently working with a producer friend of mine, Vincent Ueber, to get my first feature, “Black and White,” into production.  It is the true story of an incredible event that my father experienced as a rookie cop in DC.  In the spring of 1975, his life’s path changed dramatically when he was faced with a young Army vet’s killing spree.  It’s a gritty tale that involves multiple individuals from all walks of life—and which culminates in an intense chase/gunfight.  This event shaped my father’s life and altered the fates of many.  The story explores the conflict between the haze of our daily routine and the fragility of our humanity.  The initial response to this story has been incredibly positive.  We're hoping “Damascus Road” will help instill confidence in potential investors.  
Let our readers know where they can find more information about you and your projects: 
My website is:
Want more info?
Visit the NewFilmmakers LA Official Website at for more information on screenings, tickets and more. 

About the Author

Formerly an editor at Demand Media, writer at Citysearch, The Examiner, LA Youth Newspaper and proofreader at The Los Angeles Daily News, Christy Buena decided to start Disarray Magazine because she missed writing what she wanted. From hiring writers, to contacting publicists and making assignments, Christy is responsible for the editorial strategy of Disarray Magazine. Get to know the team of talented contributors.
Questions, comments or suggestions?

Popular posts from this blog

2017 EXXXOTICA Expo Dates and Locations Announced

Riding high off its most successful event to date in Edison, New Jersey, the EXXXOTICA Expo presented by MyFreeCams is already looking forward to 2017 with a trio of events planned around the country. In addition to its longstanding shows in Chicago and New Jersey, the show’s producers are pinning a new city on its map — Denver, Colorado for EXXXOTICA Mile High.

EXXXOTICA’s debut in the Rocky Mountains has been in the works for years, and event organizers couldn’t be more excited to bring the show to Denver. The 2017 show schedule kicks off in grand style with EXXXOTICA Mile High, March 31 through April 2, 2017. The show will be taking place as a full hotel takeover at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center.
With nearly 100,000 square feet of exhibition and breakout space, EXXXOTICA Mile High will not only feature hundreds of exhibitors and the top stars in adult, as well as seminars and performers, but the hotel will be transformed into the hottest hotel in the country wi…

CAM4 To Sponsor The Ms. EXXXOTICA 2017 Competition

EXXXOTICA, the nation’s largest event dedicated to love and sex, just announced that webcam portal CAM4 has signed on as a show sponsor for 2017. CAM4 will be sponsoring and presenting one of the expo’s most popular events, as well as one of its newest initiatives for EXXXOTICA Chicago in June and EXXXOTICA New Jersey in November.
Developed as a community with a focus on social networking, CAM4 is much more than a traditional webcam site, and they are now the presenting sponsor of SW!TCH, EXXXOTICA’s LGBT showcase. SW!TCH made its debut at EXXXOTICA New Jersey in 2016 as the show continued its efforts to be completely inclusive. SW!TCH was created as a means for LGBT vendors, talent, and performers to become part of the EXXXOTICA family. SW!TCH will continue to grow in 2017, and with CAM4 as the presenting sponsor, their booth will be the anchor of the showcase that will feature seminars, events, vendors, talent, and broadcasters catering to LGBT attendees.
“CAM4 is extremely excited…

EXXXOTICA 2-17 Hits Chicago June 23rd

EXXXOTICA Chicago, the largest event in the USA dedicated to love and sex, opens its doors for the seventh straight year at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont this weekend and thousands of attendees will be treated to a virtual playground for adults, with over 150 adult stars, a convention floor packed with over 100 exhibitors, and over 20 hours of entertainment on the main stage and in the seminar rooms scheduled.

EXXXOTICA, presented by MyFreeCams, will feature the biggest names in the adult world. Legends, stars on the rise and the hottest cam girls will be appearing. Superstars such as Ron Jeremy, Lisa Ann, Tori Black, Katie Morgan, Alexis Texas, Lexi Belle, Allie Haze, Tanya Tate, Evan Stone, Adriana Chechik, Phoenix Marie, Joanna Angel, Rubberdoll, Briana Banks, Teagan Presley, Alexis Monroe, Adria Rae, Mr. Marcus, Misty Stone, Stoya, Kendra Sunderland, Vicki Chase, Mia Malkova, Jillian Janson, Darcie Dolce, Eva Lovia, Harley Dean, Dani Jensen, Natalia Starr, …

Summer Survival: Pick the Most Breathable Fabrics

Summer is inching closer, and while we're all psyched for the perpetually warm weather ahead after a tough winter, pretty soon it's inevitable that the heat, humidity and summer sun will leave us feeling, well, less than fresh.

Chrissy Volk, wardrobe consultant for Adahlia Volk has put together a cheat-sheet for navigating through the best, most breatheable fabrics for the season. Who ever looks at clothing "ingredient" listings on the tag - well, this season think of it as your guide to "cool."


COTTON + STRETCH = CUTE BUTT: Cotton jeans are the lightest for summer because they are airy and breathable, however, jeans with a small content of stretch are the most flattering. They will move with your body and it’s movements.BEST DENIM BLENDS: Chrissy suggests denim with a high cotton content, and small synthetic content. A jean with either a 98% cotton/2% lycra or 96 % cotton/4% Lycra fabric, is a good combination. J…

Exxxotica Los Angeles 2011 - Day 2 Gallery


Exxxotica, "the largest event in the U.S.A. dedicated to love and sex," took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on August 26th-28th drawing hundreds of fans of all various ages. From middle aged men to college kids, fans got to meet their favorite adult stars, attend seminars, watch go go dancers on stripper poles and ask their favorite stars questions during the on stage panel. Even, Youtube sensation, the "Sexy Sax Man" made a cameo. If you missed out on the event, don’t fret. We’ve got you covered with our photo gallery.

If you're wondering how Exxxotica measures up to Adultcon, let's just say that this event was like the E3 of adult expos, with an emphasis on females, relationships and love. Let's not forget that bigger celebrities were in attendance here including the legendary Ron Jeremy, Rockstar Phil Varone and Wicked Pictures stars Stormy Daniels, Kirsten Price, Jessica Drake, Alekt…