Date: May 6, 2010
About: Travis Yates - Class of 1994
If they didnt love it, Travis Yates and Chris Kelley wouldnt make movies.
If they didn't love it, Travis Yates and Chris Kelley wouldn't make movies.
Both Quincy residents have films featured in this week's Big Dam Film Festival in Quincy. Kelley's film "Hampshire" will be screened tonight at Quincy University's McHugh Theater, while Yates debuts his documentary about Woodland Cemetery Friday night at the State Room in Quincy.
Being an independent film maker isn't easy.
"I do it for the art. I'm not making any money off of it," says Yates, 34, who works at Quincy University as a communications instructor. "I do it because I enjoy it and for the love of the art."
Kelley, 32, owns his own production company with wife Victoria called Table 16 Productions. He does a lot of freelance and commercial video jobs, but making movies is his passion.
"It's telling stories, creating a world within what you are doing and producing," Kelley says. "I love being creative and I love taking the camera and trying different things."
Yates and Kelley both started dabbling in film while in college. Yates says a lot of work goes into making a film, even though his documentary is only about 20 minutes. It chronicles a group of Quincy University students going to Woodland Cemetery in Quincy and the strange things they experience.
"Events like this make it worth it, to have an audience for the film," Yates said of Friday's screening. "All I want to do is entertain. We want them to see the film and spark something inside of them they didn't know before or feel before."
Like Kelley, Yates hopes his film gets noticed when it gets entered in film festival contests. Kelley's "Hampshire" was filmed mainly inside an old building in the 600 block of Hampshire and is about characters reacting inside a haunted building.
The crew and local actors shot much of the film on Sundays when the restaurant was closed. On one particular night, Kelley says they filmed while the restaurant was still open and he was afraid the screaming on the set would be heard by customers.
"When they said they couldn't hear it, I thought, 'Great. Now we can scream louder,'" he said.
"Hampshire" has already done well at several film festivals, and Kelley financed it and is self-distributing it. There's a ton of work that goes into making a movie, from getting actors and locations arranged to editing the film after it's been shot.
The beauty of being an independent film maker is getting to use your own style and not be trapped by traditional film-making barriers, both men say.
"People around here are so new to it, if you have your own style, they aren't saying that this is the way to do it," Kelley said.
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