TRAVIS BETZ: My New Religion, Sample His Kool-Aid…

Posted in Diary of a Directrix, Friends of trippin'
April 4th, 2010 by Devi Snively (The Directrix)

easter2 Usually on Easter, Agustin and I cook a rabbit and watch zombie films – just seems fitting somehow.  After all, Jesus was like the ultimate re-animated dude and the bunny, well that should be self-explanatory.

Alas, A’s on the other side of the country and I’m steeped in work up to my eyeballs , so no rabbit/zombie soup for me.

However, this evening I get to take a brief respite as a guest on the podcast of filmmaking fest buddy Travis Betz, flickfights .  Which reminds me, I’ve been horribly remiss with our FRIENDS OF tRIPPIN’ section on the blog.  So, without further ado, I give you TRAVIS BETZ, friend of trippin’ and so much more…

travis_betz-1I’m often asked at film festivals, “Are you a fan of the Dairy Queen in Mishawaka, Indiana?” To which I generally respond, “Admittedly, I’m more of a Ritter’s Custard Stand kind of girl.”  This usually makes me quite popular with the boys, but little did I know when I met Travis at Shriekfest this past fall, that his father owns the aforementioned Dairy Queen.  D’oh!

e96678d667a95e8c02b003ddde312ac9Nonetheless, he forgave me and I had the divine pleasure of meeting one of my new heroes.  After enjoying his truly stunning, and wonderfully original 4th feature, Lo (a little “I Heart Huckabees” / Wristcutters – A Love Story, a touch of Buffy (TV series, that is), a  dash of early Peter Jackson, and a whole lotta Travis) we had a splendid chat in the parking lot about filmmaking in Indiana and the joy of watching horror films, comparing notes on some of our faves.  More importantly, we became Facebook friends which prompted me to follow his super awesome blog and check out his weekly online series The Receptionist (on which he will elaborate shortly.)

travisTravis is what I want to be if I ever grow up (and even if i don’t.)  He is a TRUE filmmaker.  He does it for the love of it, he does it constantly, he does it well, and he does it his way (which totally rocks.)  Don’t believe me?  Check out THIS LINK (Lo trailer) and THIS LINK (zombie sexual frustration short he shot one afternoon just for kicks) and THIS LINK (from new friends at Cinemeh) to get a sample, and read THIS BLOG ENTRY.  Then stop whining about how hard and miserable it is to be an independent filmmaker and just be one already (and have fun with it, dammit!).   Only then will you be worthy to become  a Travis disciple.  Hallelujah, Travis, now bestow upon us your wisdom…

Please introduce yourself.

Howdy! I’m Travis Betz and I am a dangerously unhinged bastard.

How did we happen to meet?

I met Devi at the 2009 Shriekfest Film Festival in Los Angeles. She was at the screening of my Demon love story, LO. Afterwards we struck up a conversation and found out we are both spent a good amount of time in the same Indiana town. Hoosier pride leaked from our pores…and that was that.

What were you doing then?

When? When I met Devi? Like I said above, I was screening my feature comedic love story with demons type horror-romp at the festival. We won the audience choice award! How fun is that? Well, maybe you had to be there, but it was fun. At least I had fun. Yes. Fun. Lo had a successful run in 2009 on the festival circuit and was picked up by Synkronized distribution for a 2010 DVD release!

What are you doing now?

Thanks for asking! Currently I am knee-deep in two projects. One is a web series I run called THE RECEPTIONIST. A new short film each week made entirely out of construction paper and using myself as the only actor. The other is my latest feature film. I am currently in pre-production for THE DEAD INSIDE, a ghost possession musical. (note:  Travis wrote this months ago, he has since wrapped on The Dead Inside and is currently editing.  So, in the time it takes some of us to post a blog, others complete entire feature films AND post regular blog entries!)
Check out The Receptionist here:;
Follow The Dead Inside here:;

How would you describe your work?

If David Lynch put an ad on Craig’s List seeking a gang bang, and the cast of Sesame Street answered it. Whatever strange child is produced from the mess of fabric and flesh would most likely be the poster child of my work. I try with each project to do something very different from my last. Something people haven’t seen before. The things that interest me most are love and death…so there’s usually those themes dripping in fun!

Who/what are your artistic influences?

Hmmm…this question always produces a boring laundry list of filmmakers I love and admire. It’s best to say that all movies influence me to some degree. Even really bad movies have their merit in shaping the way I might approach a subject or a particular shot. There’s a good amount to learn from both auteurs and amateurs.

What is your major goal in life? How are you planning to achieve it?

Wow! Do people actually have MAJOR goals? Sounds so important. I think that at the end of my life, if I’m able to look back on all that I created and feel a sense of satisfaction then I’ll be good. To achieve that feeling I will simply continue to make the kind of movies that interest me, and hire the casts and crews of people I consider both artists and friends. Really to just have a damn good time.

What do you think of film festivals – what are the benefits? Drawbacks?

2009 was my first year on the circuit. I really enjoyed myself. If nothing else, film festivals are great opportunities to meet like-minded people and talk about film. I think that even the smallest of exposure for your film is something good. Maybe your film only ever touches one of the twelve people that came to your screening…but damn it, you just touched one person! Not physically…unless they are attractive…and it’s consenting….of course.

What else should people know about you?

Ummm….I put peanut butter on my pancakes, I love to sing, I have zero athletic skills and I can’t be trusted with a credit card.

One Response to “TRAVIS BETZ: My New Religion, Sample His Kool-Aid…”

  1. [...] of trippin‘ TRAVIS BETZ, continues to make waves with his wonderfully, whimsical, dark, funny and utterly original [...]

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