"The Origin Story: How Joe Was Born" by Justin Warren / by Justin Warren

The most beautiful thing about making your first feature film is that you’re armed with perhaps the most incredible asset you only get once:

Full-on, unadulterated stupidity. 

Sure, I’d been to film school. But clearly wasn’t prepared for this grueling marathon of cinema sausage-making, designed to slowly eat away and crush naive souls.

I shudder now, but at one point I actually muttered these words in the presence of other living, breathing humans:

“Nah, Bruh. It can’t be that hard.

If I could have coffee with my twenty-eight-year-old self, I’d wrap a warm arm around his neck, gently caress his face, and volunteer to google affordable neurosurgeons due to either deep, hidden brain damage or demonic possession.

The origins of Then There Was Joe began with a simple wish: To make a dramedy based on my turbulent relationship with my middle brother.

You see, my brother is a rather gifted individual. The Warren boys were instilled with strong, timeless values to be high-achieving individuals. 

I decided go to film school to become the best film director I could be. My oldest brother decided to attend law school to be the best lawyer he could be. My middle brother decided to study the artistry of thug living to be the best criminal he could be. And he has truly mastered his craft. Our family has learned to laugh at that last part, because if we don’t, we’ll ugly cry and not stop for many, many moons.

Watch for my extremely handsome fang-teeth I was rocking in college before I got those suckers capped.

With his blessing, I wrote a comedic speculation of what our life might have looked like if we spent more than a few minutes together. In 2015, we raised over $35,000 on kickstarter to shoot the film. You can look back at our pitch video here:

Here’s a news story that aired just after we wrapped principle photography.

We finally finished editing earlier this month. I'm thrilled with how it's turning out, and I can't wait to share it with you. To receive free behind the scenes videos, please put your name on our list.

And now we are beginning to craft the sound design, do the visual effects, line up a colorist to make it look all purdy. We’ll be finished with the film this summer.


-Justin Warren (Writer/Director)