Travis Legge was born in Mauston, Wisconsin in 1979. An academic achiever throughout most of his early childhood, Travis was a member of the Gifted Student program at West Side Elementary and Gordon Olson Middle school. At age 14 Travis moved to Rockford, Illinois to live with his father. Still pursuing a hobby as a musician, Travis discovered his love for comic books at this time, and soon began writing. Several years later Travis began attending Rock Valley College to pursue a career in journalism. While at RVC, Travis discovered the Mass Communication department, and tried the Basic Video production class. He immediately fell in love, abandoning his aspirations to become a journalist and dedicating himself to a film career. In the intervening years, Travis has made numerous short films, and written several feature length screenplays. His first feature film, Raymond Did It, was released in February of 2011.
Travis lives in Rockford, Illinois with his lovely wife Sarah.
CHRISTA: With all the many things you do and have done in film production, what’s your favorite thing to do and what’s your least favorite thing to do?
TRAVIS: My favorite aspect of filmmaking is definitely directing. I love telling stories with my friends, and directing is when I get to do that. My least favorite aspect is scheduling. Scheduling a film is like trying to wrangle ten flaming cats into a bag. Working with budgets, travel times, locations. It’s truly a herculean feat to schedule a film.
CHRISTA: What are some of the most challenging issues you come across as a filmmaker?
TRAVIS: My biggest constraint at this stage of my career is money. I tend to be in the driver’s seat in most aspects of my production, as I don’t really have a ton of executives to answer. I could, in theory, take all the time I need on a shot. But money gets in the way. It always gets in the way, and I never have enough, but I find a way to manage. The other big challenge is promotion. The internet is a great tool, because everyone can create and use the web to spread the word about their art. The downside is that there is a whole lot of noise to try and get your signal through. It is very challenging to get eyes on your work, because everyone is out there doing the same thing. You have to find ways to set yourself apart.
CHRISTA: How do you feel about the use of CGI?
TRAVIS: If it is done right and it serves the purposes of the story, I am all for it. The tools are there now for even very low budget filmmakers to use CGI effectively. There is absolutely no reason not to use it as far as I am concerned.
CHRISTA: What can you tell us about your film “Dry Spell” and where can someone see it?
TRAVIS: Dry Spell is a romantic comedy about a woman who is going through a divorce and preparing to enter the dating world. One night she discovers that her ability to become aroused has left her. In short, she’s dried up. Believing that this is caused by guilt about moving on before her ex-husband has, she embarks on a quest to get him laid. Dry Spell stars Suzi Lorraine (Captured Hearts, Wrath of the Crows) as Sasha, Amanda-Elizabeth Sawyer (Injun) as Lacey, Heather Dorff (Truth or Dare), Kyle Hoskins Raymond Did It) as Kyle and Rachael Robbins (Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn, Scavenger Killers) as Mary. Dry Spell will be available on iTunes, Amazon, Xbox, Playstation, and pretty much every major VOD outlet on February 11, 2014. Links will be posted on the Dry Spell Facebook page as they go live. http://www.facebook.com/DrySpellMovie.
CHRISTA: You have an upcoming production called “Bloom”. What’s that about?
TRAVIS: Bloom is a body/psychological horror film in which we follow Lily, who is played by the incredibly talented Deann Baker, as she undergoes a transformation into something inhuman. The film opens with Lily on the floor of a blood-spattered hotel bathroom. The audience pieces together the events that brought Lily to that place as she tries to figure out what has happened to her. There is no firm release date set for Bloom yet, but we do have a live Facebook fan page at https://www.facebook.com/BloomTheFilm
CHRISTA: Who have been some of your biggest influences in film and why?
TRAVIS: That is such a hard question. I think I’d have to say that some of my biggest influences have been Kevin Smith, John Carpenter and Gregg Araki. Kevin Smith, I would say inspired me in terms of the indie, any means necessary filmmaking and the approach to dialogue. It is probably due to being of a particular age, but a whole lot of my friends tend to talk in a similar fashion to Smith’s dialogue, and you write what you know, so there’s probably a huge influence from Smith in how I approach dialogue. John Carpenter is just a master storyteller. I love how he uses space and time in presenting a film and that has resonated with me in the editing room more than any other filmmaker’s work. I have always loved the joyful nihilism of Gregg Araki. I’ve never made a story where I’ve felt I could really go balls to the walls like he has in his films, but I do pepper elements of his style in when I can. Maybe one day I’ll be able to make my own Nowhere, but so far, it hasn’t happened.
CHRISTA: Who would you someday like to get the opportunity to work with?
TRAVIS: Man, lots of people. I would love to work with Kane Hodder. He is such a cool guy. I’d love to work with Mark Sheppard. He’s one of those actors that is just incredible in everything he does. I’d like to work with Bruce Campbell because he’s such a huge talent, and he has an understanding of indie film that few other people in his position can match. I’d live to just sit around and talk shop with that guy between takes. I could go on all day. Virtually everybody.
CHRISTA: You also are involved in the gaming world with Contagion. How would you describe the game?
TRAVIS: Contagion is a tabletop roleplaying game, which is kind of like a cross between a board game and improvisational theater. Players create characters who they portray in the story and the Gamemaster tells the central story and adjudicates rules, using the Contagion Second Edition rulebook s supplements as a guide. Contagion is set in a dark, urban fantasy version of the world we live in.
On the surface, the world of Contagion looks very much like the world outside your window. In the shadows, there are various supernatural beings engaged in a war over the faith and belief of humanity. For ages, Yahweh has been the dominant god, as he and his angels had locked the other gods away in a prison realm called Oblitus. After taking control of the world, Yahweh wiped the minds of the angelic host and arranged the fall of Lucifer and the demons. This led to centuries of war between Heaven and Hell. In recent years, Lucifer has discovered the truth and abandoned Hell. With a small band of associates, she managed to open Oblitus on the Winter Solstice of 2012, freeing the imprisoned gods and making the war much more complicated.
Contagion Second Edition is available at DriveThruRPG in electronic and print versions at http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/117625/Contagion-Second-Edition
CHRISTA: Do you intend to work further on gaming in future projects?
TRAVIS: Absolutely. I’ve been publishing games for coming up on ten years and I have no intention to stop. At the end of the day, I love telling stories, by any means I can. Since I started working on roleplaying games, I have published dozens of products, which can be found at http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.php?manufacturers_id=338We plan to continue expanding our catalogue as long as the fans keep buying the books. I also have plans to branch out into mobile apps and video games, but things are still in a pretty early stage there. It will probably be a couple of years before I have anything worth actually discussing on that front, but you never know. That may change.
CHRISTA: You have overcome quite a bit to get where you are with no signs of slowing down. What advice would you give to struggling filmmakers with dreams of a career in the business?
TRAVIS: If you think you could be happy doing anything else, do that. This way lies madness. If there is nothing else you can see yourself doing, then study and practice. Google is your best friend. Study cameras. Study techniques. Make shorts. Practice. Watch tutorials and then watch them again. Learn, do and don’t quit. Never be afraid to ask anyone for anything. The worst they can say is “no.”
To learn more about Travis check out his biography here ~~> Travis Legge Biography
Some of Travis’ prior credits include:
Legacy of the Masque | Editor/Cinematographer | 2012
Matthew Cichella’s Poetic | Editor | 2012
Raymond Did It | Director | 2011
It’s Complicated | Director/Editor | 2011
Holiday Carvings | Editor/Cinematographer | 2010
Jimmy’s Basement | Editor/Cinematographer | 2009
To see more of Travis’ filmography check out his IMDB page, here!