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Yara Estrada Lowe talks about writing and directing the thriller ‘Demise’

Yara Estrada Lowe
Yara Estrada Lowe. Photo Credit: Tomi Bell
Yara Estrada Lowe. Photo Credit: Tomi Bell

Yara Estrada Lowe chatted about writing and directing the new movie “Demise,” starring Carlo Mendez as Caleb.

Aside from Mendez, it stars Liz Fenning and Crystal Hernandez with supporting performances from Morris Jude Martinez, Richard Rivera, Lucy Serrano, Caitlin Rose Williams and Lamar Alexander.

The synopsis is: One lie destroys the lives of many, while one’s obsession leads to the demise of a rising star in the fashion world.

Inspiration behind ‘Demise’

On her inspiration to write and direct “Demise,” she said, “It was the summer of 2020 and I was out of work. With the world shut down, it was a perfect time to focus on creating a new screenplay without any distractions.”

“I wanted to write a thriller that was dark and edgy. I was always a big fan of the romantic thrillers of the 80’s and 90’s, and I was inspired by those types of stories. ‘Demise’ is a modern day version of that genre featuring a Latin-centric cast,” she said.

She noted that it took her three months to complete the first draft of the screenplay, which is an unusually short period of time to write a two-hour movie. “At first, I was going to play the Fiona character and find someone to direct,” she said.

“Then I realized that with my directing experience, I would actually be the best person to direct the movie and bring my vision to the screen. After that, the next important step was for me to find a talented cinematographer,” she elaborated.

“So, I partnered with the brilliant Justin Aguirre who I’ve known for many years. Together we were a dynamic duo in bringing this story to life, and I can’t wait to work with him again,” she added.

Working with Carlo Mendez and her lead females

On working with Carlo Mendez, Liz Fenning, and Crystal Hernandez, she said, “I loved working with them and our supporting cast. They all brought their A-Game, and were completely devoted to making sure that they did the characters justice.”

“The stars truly aligned with this cast. Directing them, in all the facets and details that we had to work through to get their best performances, was a labor of love. We only had seventeen days to shoot the movie and that is no easy feat,” she elaborated.

Yara Estrada Lowe
Yara Estrada Lowe. Photo Credit: Easton Schirra

Lessons learned from this film

When asked what this movie taught her about herself, she said, “That I can literally do anything that I put my mind to. It also taught me to stick to my intuition at all costs.”

“There were a lot of ‘firsts’ for me while making this film, and although it was my first time throughout many stages of this, it is important to trust your intuition both in all business and creative situations,” she added.

The digital age

On being a filmmaker in the digital age, she said, “It feels fantastic to have the film accessible to so many people on so many different platforms.”

“Just last night my husband and I were looking for a movie to watch on Spectrum On Demand, and we came across ‘Demise’ as it was featured under indie films. Seeing your film on all these platforms never gets old,” she acknowledged.

Yara Estrada Lowe directing on set
Yara Estrada Lowe directing on set. Photo Credit: Tomi Bell

Advice for young and aspiring filmmakers

For young and aspiring filmmakers, she said, “Build relationships with other reputable people who love making movies as much as you do. Try to learn all aspects of filmmaking both in front of and behind the camera.”

“Figure out what you are good at,” she noted. “You have to have a strong will to succeed, and by the same token, you have to be willing to put in the work it takes to become really good at something.”

“The other piece of advice I would give is that although this is a career of the arts, being knowledgeable in the business aspect of things is helpful,” she added.

Success

On her definition of the word success, she said, “From a professional standpoint, I would love to direct at least one movie a year. And I would hope to be ultimately recognized for my work.”

“From a personal standpoint, success means keeping what is important in the forefront namely family, love, marriage, and God,” she acknowledged.

Closing thoughts on ‘Demise’

She concluded about “Demise,” “I hope that everyone can forget about their troubles for a couple of hours and just be entertained by this movie. It offers suspense, drama, fun, and a whole lot of twists and turns!” 

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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