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Joe Aragon The Cinematic Journey Of 'Cinema Joe'

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Joe Aragon: The Cinematic Journey Of ‘Cinema Joe’

Joe Aragon, the voice behind the popular “House of Cinema” podcast, brings the quintessential Los Angeles spirit to the airwaves. As a lifelong Angeleno, his upbringing in the shadow of Hollywood’s storied studios has deeply ingrained in him a love for the movie industry—a passion that is palpable in every episode he hosts.

“I am born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Have been here ever since the beginning,” Joe remarks, suggesting that his enviable location may be the catalyst for his infatuation with all things cinematic. His identity as ‘Cinema Joe’ is not just a handle, but a testament to his commitment to exploring every facet of the entertainment world.

Delving into the heart of pop culture, Joe’s affection for the medium extends beyond the cinema to television and shows, embracing the entirety of the visual storytelling spectrum. “I love movies a lot. I love everything kind of,” he says, capturing the essence of what it means to be a true aficionado. It’s this broad enthusiasm that resonates with his listeners, making ‘House of Cinema’ more than just a podcast—it’s a gathering place for those who share his zeal.

What sets Joe apart in the thriving creator economy is his candid admission of his own unexpected journey. “I really have a passion for everything involved with the industry, and I kind of never really thought I’d be here, but here I am,” he confesses. It’s a narrative familiar to many creators: the serendipitous twist of fate that turns a hobby into a vocation.

“For a long time, ever since I was young, I watched a lot of movies,” Joe shares, reminiscing about the roots of his fascination with Hollywood. Although his college years didn’t formally align with film studies, the allure of the silver screen remained a constant. It’s this unbridled love for cinematic storytelling that spurred him to create content that resonates with fellow movie buffs.

Joe’s organic transition into a content creator is a narrative that mirrors the transformative nature of the creator economy—where formal education often takes a backseat to authenticity and genuine engagement. His experience underscores a universal truth within the realm of digital content creation: passion can be the strongest precursor to innovation and community-building.

Joe Aragon: The Cinematic Journey Of ‘Cinema Joe’

On Becoming a Full Time Content Creator

“That was never a thought that went in my head,” he admits. His compass was always directed by his love for film and the desire to share his fervor. It was this genuine passion that inadvertently steered him onto the path of podcasting in early 2019, a casual endeavor he embarked on with a friend, sharing their movie dialogues with just friends and family.

Life’s ebb and flow momentarily halted this creative outlet, as it often does. Then, as the world grappled with the pandemic in 2020, Joe faced a moment of introspection—a wake-up call that is familiar to many. “Am I doing what I want with my life? Am I actually pursuing what I love?” he questioned, echoing a sentiment that became a collective reflection during the global standstill. It was amidst this uncertainty that Joe’s content creation journey took a definitive turn.

Pivoting to social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, Joe began sharing his musings on all things cinematic, from hot new releases to timeless classics, and his candid reviews struck a chord with an audience that was growing by the day. “It kind of got popular and then it kind of snowballed after that,” he recounts, expressing a modest surprise at the burgeoning popularity of his content.

At the same time Joe asserts “It’s not easy,” dismantling the myth that success in the digital comes without its trials.

One of the most formidable challenges Joe encountered was the sting of disappointment. He describes the labor of love involved in crafting a video, only to be met with a lack of engagement: “You pour your heart into making some, you know, some really interesting video topics… And all of a sudden no one’s watching it.” This experience, as Joe explains, can be disheartening, sowing seeds of doubt and discouragement. It’s a test of resolve that many in his field face, and one that has nearly halted his journey before it truly began.

However, persistence in the face of such setbacks is what Joe identifies as a critical factor for those who continue versus those who capitulate. “That’s the biggest hurdle because many people just give up after that point,” he admits. It’s a hurdle he’s familiar with and one that still presents itself regularly, challenging the resolve of even the most seasoned creators.

Cinema Joe’s first taste of Viral Success

It was probably something in October, around Halloween time,” he recalls, pinpointing the period when his videos on scary movies began to capture more attention than usual.

Joe’s foray into the genre of horror coincided with the public’s heightened appetite for thrills and chills, leading to a surge in visibility for his content. It was a natural alignment of his interests with that of the audience’s, showcasing his knack for tapping into the cultural pulse. This viral surge was not just a spike in views; it marked the beginning of a consistent growth in engagement across his platforms.

However, even with this initial taste of viral success, the idea of pursuing content creation as a full-time career didn’t immediately seem feasible to Joe. “In the beginning, I didn’t think I could do it full time,” he explains. It was only after a few months of sustained growth and reflection that the possibility began to appear more concrete.

Eventually, Joe made the leap, transitioning to treat his content creation not just as a passionate hobby but as a professional endeavor. This shift to full-time content creation marks a significant milestone in his journey, one that many creators aspire to but only some achieve. It underscores a commitment not only to his craft but also to his belief in the potential of his work to entertain, engage, and perhaps even inspire.

The focus on Hollywood

 “Film can be incredibly, incredibly intimidating.” His mission, however, is to demystify the world of movies and to encourage exploration beyond the familiar terrain.

His content serves as a beacon to those who may feel overwhelmed by the choices: “There’s so much of it, you know, there’s so many movies out there.” Despite being a seasoned viewer himself, Joe is the first to admit that he’s only scratched the surface. It’s a humbling confession that serves to comfort and inspire his audience.

Joe’s ambition is to expand horizons and to cultivate a more global perspective on film. He emphasizes the rich diversity of cinema beyond American borders, urging his audience to venture into the stories that span continents—from Asia to Europe to South America. “There’s a whole world of film out there,” he reminds us, highlighting the importance of experiencing the myriad voices that form the global narrative.

His approach is rooted in open-mindedness and a thirst for continuous learning, which he shares with his audience: “I love the art myself because I’m constantly learning as well.” This perpetual journey of discovery is not a solitary one; he learns alongside his audience, drawing from a community of creators who introduce him to new films and perspectives.

 “In the beginning, it can be really scary,” he admits, recalling the initial trepidation of placing oneself in the digital spotlight for potentially millions to see—and to critique.

But with time, Joe has found his stride, gaining not just a following but also a sense of self-assurance that shines through in his work. “I think over the months, I’ve gotten more confident with who I am, my opinions, and my audience,” he shares. This confidence has allowed him to create content that is deeply personal, reflecting a maturation that resonates with his viewers.

Choosing the right brands to collaborate with

When offers come knocking, he prioritizes immediate recognition and respect for the brand. “The first thing I do is do I recognize this brand immediately,” Joe explains, setting a standard for familiarity and credibility right from the outset.

However, recognition alone isn’t the deciding factor. Joe delves deeper, ensuring that the brand’s values align with his own. “Is it a brand whose viewpoints and actions I agree with?” This question is crucial to his selection process, reflecting a desire to maintain integrity in his partnerships.

As his creator profile has grown, so too has the volume of offers, but Joe maintains a judicious approach. He emphasizes the importance of belief in the product or title he’s asked to promote, saying, “I’ve always been very picky on who I work with because I want to make sure that if I’m going to promote something, ideally most of the time I believe in it.”

For Joe, integrity as a critic is paramount. He draws a clear line when it comes to reviews, stating emphatically, “I have never and I never will accept any offers to write a review and then post that review.” His stance on preserving his credibility as a critic guides his decisions, ensuring that his reviews remain untouched by sponsorship.

When considering promoting a film, Joe’s process involves thorough research, from the people involved in its creation to the film’s own merits. “If it’s a movie that I feel like I believe in that I may love, they may like a lot that resonate with me at some level,” he says, he’s more inclined to collaborate. This careful vetting process ensures that any brand he partners with meets his high standards for authenticity.

Cinema Joe’s careful selection of brand collaborations reflects his overarching goal: to be a source of truth and honesty for his audience. His commitment to his personal beliefs and the trust of his followers stands as a beacon in an industry where integrity is the most valued currency.

Advice to aspiring content creators

Reflecting on the early days of his journey into content creation, Cinema Joe shares a piece of advice he wishes he had been given: “Expect disappointment. Expect frustration.” It’s a candid insight that peels back the curtain on the often-glamorized world of social media influencers. Joe emphasizes that even those with large followings experience setbacks and videos that don’t perform as hoped. “You’re not alone in that feeling at all,” he reassures aspiring creators.

Joe encourages newcomers to the field to brace themselves for failure, but not to let it deter them from their passion. “But if you’re doing something that you love,” he advises, “you will be able to pick it up the next day and do it again because you truly love it.” His own resilience is evident as he talks about the initial phase where his content went largely unnoticed, a time that tested his resolve.

The key, according to Joe, is to keep pushing forward, especially when the path to recognition seems steep. “It’s hard to break in sometimes,” he acknowledges, “but, you know, keep on pushing forward.” He holds onto the belief that if one is dedicated to their passion, whether it be movies, food, or travel, their efforts will eventually bear fruit in some form.

Joe’s advice is rooted in the reality of his experiences, serving as both a warning and a word of encouragement to those starting their own creative endeavors. The underlying message is clear: persistence in the face of adversity, coupled with a love for one’s craft, is the formula for eventual success in the unpredictable world of content creation.

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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