Film Courage: You also have an interrogation process for writers with The Travis Technique and it’s entitled Meet Your Characters?
Mark W. Travis, Director/Author/Writer/Instructor: That’s part of it. You started out saying interrogation process for writers which with a lot of techniques within that and the interrogation process just to be clear about what it is is actually interrogating a character who lives inside an actor or an individual.
This interrogation process which can ignite characters inside the actors we use this with writers and we show writers how to do this to actually meet their characters either after they’ve written, while they are writing the screenplay, often we have done it even if we have an idea for a screenplay and we get a call and say “I’d like to meet your character. Can you help me meet the characters that I have?” The writer will then describe to us (Elsha and I) here is the story, here are the characters. We say fine, we gather together some actors who are very skilled actors who we have worked with before.
What we will do with these actors is we will give them (along with the writer’s understanding of what we are doing) a certain amount of information about these characters. Sometimes it is very little information, sometimes it’s a lot of information. It all depends on how well the writer has gone, how far they have gone in the development of the characters. We will interrogate these actors as these characters. So we will turn these actors into these characters (that’s the intent) and then we will put these characters together…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
CONNECT WITH MARK W. TRAVIS
MARK W. TRAVIS is regarded by Hollywood and independent film professionals internationally as the world’s leading teacher and consultant on the art and craft of film directing. He is known as “the director’s director.”
Fueled by the desire to generate organic and authentic performances in an instant, Mark developed his revolutionary Travis Technique™ over a span of 40 years. Not limited to filmmakers, The Travis Technique™ has proven to be an essential set of tools for all storytellers, writers, directors and actors.
Mark Travis has taught at many internationally acclaimed film schools and institutions, including Pixar University, American Film Institute, UCLA Film School, FAS Screen Training Ireland, NISS – Nordisk Institutt for Scene og Studio (Norway), Odessa International Film Festival (Ukraine), CILECT – The International Association of Film and Television Schools, and the Asia Pacific Screen Lab (hosted by Griffith University Film School, Brisbane, Australia).
Productions directed by Mark W. Travis have garnered over 30 major awards, including: an Emmy, Drama-Logue, L.A. Weekly, Drama Critics’ Circle, A.D.A, and Ovation awards.
His film and television directing credits include: The Facts of Life, Family Ties, Capitol, Hillers, and the Emmy Award-winning PBS dramatic special, Blind Tom: The Thomas Bethune Story. Also the feature films Going Under (for Warner Bros. starring Bill Pullman and Ned Beatty), Earlet (documentary), The Baritones, and The 636.
On-stage, over the past 20 years, Mark has directed over 60 theatre productions in Los Angeles and New York, including: A Bronx Tale, Verdigris, The Lion in Winter, Mornings At Seven, Equus, Café 50s, And A Nightingale Sang, Wings, Linke vs. Redfield, The Coming of Stork and others.
Mark is the author of the Number-One Best Seller (L.A. Times), THE DIRECTOR’S JOURNEY: the Creative Collaboration between Directors, Writers and Actors. His second book on directing,
DIRECTING FEATURE FILMS (published in April of 2002) is currently used as required text in film schools worldwide. His third book, THE FILM DIRECTOR’S BAG OF TRICKS: Get What You Want from Writers and Actors was published in 2011. Mark’s popular DVD, HOLLYWOOD FILM DIRECTING, is available now.
MARK TRAVIS and ELSHA BOHNERT offer workshops and consultations on all aspects of storytelling for writers, directors and actors.
MARK TRAVIS and ELSHA BOHNERT offer workshops and consultations on all aspects of storytelling for writers, directors and actors. ELSHA BOHNERT is Chief of Staff of Boyden Road Productions and the director of The Travis Story Center in Los Angeles, California. She is the author of DON’T TRIP OVER THE GARDEN HOSE (Deuxmers 2013). Her stories and poems have been published in literary journals and she is an award-winning visual artist as well, with works in public and private collections throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. Elsha teaches workshops in “Art & Writing for Healing” and is the only teacher authorized by Mark W. Travis to teach the “Write Your Life” Travis Technique™.
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