Theatre Alums Tapped to Work on Documentary About Local Murder from 1983

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Two Theatre graduates got the opportunity to apply the skills and experience they gained via campus theatre productions when they were hired to work on an upcoming documentary based on a 1983 homicide case in Corpus Christi and the subsequent trial, sentencing, and eventual execution of the lone suspect.

Fall ’18 alumna Macy Brown and Spring ’19 graduate Eden Goodwin spent three days in April working as makeup artists on the “Phantom” documentary film set in Corpus Christi. The Oxford Films Production Company documentary is based on the 2014 book, “The Wrong Carlos,” subtitled “Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution” by Columbia University Law School Professor James S. Liebman and the Columbia DeLuna Project, which consisted of five Columbia Law students.     

“During our time at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Macy and I worked as teacher’s assistants for the Stage Makeup course under Associate Professor Rosa Lazaro,” Goodwin said. “We were recommended to Oxford Films by professors in the theatre department as they had seen our work on previous productions.”

Brown was a makeup designer for campus productions including “Good for Otto,” “Heathers The Musical,” Colossal,” and “Hands on a Hardbody.” Her film credits include student films “Retired Them Lonely” and “Vinyl.” Goodwin served as a member of the wardrobe crew for “Rent” and “Cloud 9,” as costume designer for “Closer” and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” as assistant stage manager for “Hand to God” and “Body Awareness,” and as stage manager of “Colossal.”

Brown and Goodwin also served as makeup designers for the Spring 2019 Crime Scene Demonstration (see photos), an annual collaborative event presented by the Criminal Justice and Theatre departments.

“Our classes taught us how things are done in the real world, and one of our classes collaborated with the Media Production department to produce a short film, which helped me prepare for this film shoot,” said Goodwin.

Coming up with just the right look for each re-enactment actor in “Phantom” required research into the 36-year-old case, in which twice-convicted felon Carlos DeLuna was convicted of capital murder in the killing of Wanda Lopez, a Corpus Christi gas station clerk. Liebman’s book presents an exhaustive analysis of the case and brought to light compelling evidence that supported DeLuna’s claim that he was innocent, and the actual killer was Carlos Hernandez, a parolee with a history of violent crimes. 

“For the documentary, the makeup we did was very minimalistic. It was mostly shade matching, color correcting, and trimming the hair, all of which were topics we learned about in Professor Lazaro’s course and throughout my time working on shows with her,” Brown said. “Above all, I took what I learned about professionalism and hygiene and applied it to the shoot. We made sure to sanitize our equipment every night and took the measures necessary to keep things clean and orderly while on set.”

Lazaro said both Brown and Goodwin were outstanding TAs for her class and exercised a great deal of patience as student leaders.

“Both students are focused and know what they’re doing as far as their career path, and I am sure that they will have continued success in the future,” Lazaro said.