This week’s episode of The Road to Cinema Podcast features a conversation with independent filmmaker Travis Mills, founder of Phoenix, Arizona based production company Running Wild Films. Mills has amassed an incredible array of work featured on his YouTube channel. Among his projects featured on YouTube include: music videos, interviews, low budget feature films, which also include a director’s commentary on his process, and his ambitious and skillfully executed 52 Short Films in 52 Weeks. That’s right, Mills and his Running Wild Films team made one short film a week every week in a year’s time as he simultaneously prepped, shot, and edited. The pieces were adapted from the work of literary titans such as James Joyce and Edgar Allan Poe while being set in present day Phoenix, Arizona. We will immerse you in the process on the podcast as well as discuss how Mills learned his greatest filmmaking lessons outside of film school.
Take a look at one of my favorite shorts in the series “A Day in the Committee Room.”
After making several low budget feature films utilizing local Phoenix talent, Mills and his team embarked on their most ambitious project “Durant’s Never Closes.” The feature film stars Tom Sizemore as real life restaurateur and impresario Jack Durant who ran an infamous Phoenix restaurant for decades while juggling mysterious ties with the mafia underworld. The film features a tremendous lead performance by Tom Sizemore who has a legacy of brilliant work in such films as Michael Mann’s “Heat” and Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan.” Mills shares with us how he and his Running Wild team created a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised over $200,000. He shares his keys to venturing into a larger scale production as well as his process for working with seasoned and established acting talent. For those looking to understand how to navigate the independent film world and self start projects, this is the episode for you. Watch below as director/screenwriter Travis Mills discusses his inspiration for making “Durant’s Never Closes” which also features a performance by Oscar nominated filmmaker and actor Peter Bogdanovich.
Take a look at this behind the scenes piece on “Durant’s Never Closes” featuring Director/Screenwriter Travis Mills and the film’s lead actor Tom Sizemore.
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Watch the trailer for “Durant’s Never Closes” which is aiming for a release in early 2016. Subscribe to Running Wild Films on YouTube and follow their Facebook pages and websites for the latest updates.