Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.
Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Travis Mills. After growing up in Ecuador and the Comoro Islands near Africa, he settled in Phoenix, AZ. His youthful interest in film turned into a lifelong passion and he has pursued directing through school and outside of it in his adult years. Travis has made more than 30 short films in Arizona and two full length movies. Travis is a storyteller. Travis Mills is the Director/Co-Founder of Running Wild Films.
D is for Dream. What is your dream?
My dream is to develop a local cinema here in Arizona that is supported by the community and also has an international audience online. These would be self-sustaining films, produced and released outside of Hollywood, and featuring local actors/crews, highlighting local businesses, and telling local stories. In the last two years, I believe that with Running Wild Films, my team and I have started to lay the foundation for a true local cinema in Arizona.
R is for Resource. What resource do you have that makes you stand out or unique?
Our resource to this community is that we are committed to staying here. In film, most everyone wants to leave for L.A. at some point. We are not interested in that; we are committed to this place. So we are a consistent and dedicated business for the community to rely on and support, and we offer experience to all ages and skill levels interested in working on movies.
R is for Ready. When did you know you were ready for what you are doing now?
After seeing the direction most filmmakers took out of film school and being somewhat disillusioned with the limitations of being a filmmaker, my partner Gus and I realized the potential for a different kind of movie-making and that we had the freedom to create something new and vital here. That was a little more than two years ago and our passion has grown more and more.
I is for Individual. Can you name at least one person that we should learn more about and why?
Gus Edwards is a person anyone would be lucky and honored to know. He is an incredible source of knowledge about film, but also a great voice of liberation. He sees what film could be and encourages his peers/students to break new ground.
C is for Continue. When things look bleak what makes you want to continue?
When we fail, and we value our failures as much as our successes, it is our passion for storytelling that keeps us going. I am not doing this because it is “fun”. I am making films because I have to, it’s an undeniable part of me that I am not willing to ignore. When things get tough, I remember that I have no choice, I must continue.
K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for others?
Dive in without any hesitation. My favorite filmmaker Werner Herzog said that making a movie is like jumping off a skyscraper. You must take the leap and then embrace the fall. It’s a disturbing image on the surface, but an inspiring one beneath it. I think you must fully embrace your vision in any creative effort and not look back.
Is there anything that we did not touch on that you would like to inspire others with?
To anyone, I encourage you to stay where you are. Look at the place around you, value its people, its places, its stories. As the world gets bigger with the internet, I believe that we can and should focus more on the places, people and things around us more.
Visit Travis Mills for more information.