100 Creatives 2012: Travis Ammons, Filmmaker
What He Does: Travis Ammons is a filmmaker whose upcoming film, Suicide Notes, is a dark comedy of the most macabre bent. In it, a struggling playwright writes a show that culminates with the main character's suicide. A money-hungry producer decides to go for broke and do a three-show run starring legitimately suicidal leads who will agree to actually end their own lives in the climax. When the first night goes off without a hitch, the show becomes a YouTube sensation, selling out the remaining two performances and landing the producer a cushy television job.
Ammons himself started out as a playwright. His show Manhood Is Dead was produced in Houston in 2000. The show was successful enough that he was approached to craft a screenplay for a film adaptation. The project never materialized, but Ammons was motivated enough by the experience to try his hand at moviemaking. He commuted from Houston to Austin every weekend in 2001 until the production was finally completed. A string of not-so-good final products nonetheless gained Ammons enough practice and notoriety to secure funding for Suicide Notes.
Why He Likes It: "It allows me the ultimate artistic expression. I'm a writer first, but also an actor and a director. I'm also many other things, most importantly a collaborator and a musician. I'm also a pretty good editor. I'm pretty good at keeping 20 or 30 balls in the air at the same time. I'm writing my second novel right now, which I think may be my greatest movie yet when it's done, but it'll be more than a movie...it'll be like a mobile American sculpture that is alive and online and adaptable by every viewer and therefore alive and ever evolving. Filmmaking allowed me to expand my thoughts and creations exponentially. That is something I never could have conceptualized a decade ago."
What Inspires Him: "Words."
If Not This, Then What: "A sociologist."
If Not Here, Then Where: The Caribbean Islands
What's Next: Ammons seems to never sleep. He's already planning his next movie, The Chosen Ones, to start in 2013. The film is a religious thriller about a hip-hop artist named Sean n. Sane who meets a priest who tells him that he is next in a long lineage of Chosen Ones who have been selected by God to prevent the Antichrist from being born. At first, he thinks the priest is merely mad, but soon he begins having supernatural visions that prompt him to try and smother the supposed Antichrist in his crib. He is locked away in an asylum after being caught in the act.
Ammons is also beginning a novel about the survivor of a deranged serial killer called Broken Roses, as well as two more scripts.
More Creatives for 2012 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Florence Garvey, actress Julia Gabriel, artist, designer and backpack maker Rebecca French, choreographer and FrenetiCore co-founder Kiki Neumann, found object folk artist Flynn Prejean, Poster Artist JoDee Engle, dancer David Rainey, actor, artistic director and teacher Geoff Hippenstiel, painter, art instructor Jessica Janes, actress and musician Dennis Draper, actor and director Mat Johnson, novelist and tweeter Orna Feinstein, printmaker and installation artist Adriana Soto, jewelry designer Domokos Benczédi, Noise and Collage Artist Robert Boswell, Book Author, UH Prof Patrick Turk, visual artist Elizabeth Keel, playwright Bob Martin, designer Mary Lampe, short film promoter and developer Nisha Gosar, Indian classical dancer Jeremy Wells, painter George Brock, theater teacher Radu Runcanu, painter Ariane Roesch, Mixed-Media Sandie Zilker, art jewelry maker Philip Hayes, actor Patrick Palmer, painter Ana Mae Holmes, Jewelry Designer John Tyson, actor Jerry Ochoa, violinist and filmmaker Raul Gonzalez, painter, sculptor, photographer Roy Williams, DJ of medieval music Laura Burlton, photographer David Peck, fashion designer Rebecca Udden, theater director Donae Cangelosi Chramosta, vintage designer handbag dealer Paul Fredric, author John Sparagana, photographer Damon Smith, musician and visual artist Geoff Winningham, photographer Johnathon Michael Espinoza, visual artist Jaemi Blair Loeb, conductor Katya Horner, photographer Johnathan Felton, artist Nicoletta Maranos, cosplayer Carol Simmons, hair stylist Joseph "JoeP" Palmore, actor, poet Greg Carter, director Kenn McLaughlin, theater director Justin Whitney, musician Antone Pham, tattoo artist Susie Silbert, crafts Lauralee Capelo, hair designer Marisol Monasterio, flamenco dancer Carmina Bell, promoter and DJ ReShonda Tate Billingsley, writer Kiki Lucas, choreographer and director J.J. Johnston, theater director Mary Margaret Hansen, artist Richard Tallent, photographer Viswa Subbaraman, opera director Emily Sloan, sculptor and performance artist Sonja Roesch, gallery owner Enrique Carreón-Robledo, conductor Sandy Ewen, musician Camella Clements, puppeteer Wade Wilson, gallery owner Magid Salmi, photographer Carl Williams, playwright
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