So what got you into film?
Film has always been an interest of mine since I have learned to open my eyes and understand images on screen. As technology progressed throughout my adolescence, more advanced consumer cameras became more available. Something inside of me always wanted to capture those moments in life that are seen from the perspective of one’s eye. I began holding cameras at the age of 2 and then started conceptualizing ideas when I learned to read and write.
When I was young, like around the age of 7, I started writing my own versions of several popular book series’ making a sort of spin-off to Goosebumps, Animorphs and other children’s books. When I became a teen, I began snapping photos with disposable cameras and using our family camcorder to film skits, At the age of 13, I filmed my cousin’s wedding – being the camera-passionate one in the family. I also wrote my first script that year using the format of a screenplay, the “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer” script book, My first screenplay was based off of a 500 word English class assignment story I wrote, I’ll reveal as “TCP”. (A movie I plan on still making in my lifetime.)
By the age of 16, I went to a vocational school for Digital Television Production where I attempted my first feature, a parody called “The Dumbest Horror Flick Ever” based on a YMCA camp skit I made when I was 15, the first scene being called “Scream Again Yo” and filmed and edited over 10 different scenes when I was 16-18. I even directed and filmed a cover video to MSI’s “Prom” before my actual junior prom for the end-of-the-year a music video assignment.
I went to college when I was 19 and went on to making my first independent short films starting with “InPersonNation” which I made when I was 20 in 2008 (which is funny you are interviewing me, Shawnna, because you helped run camera and did grip work for it) wrapping my first completed full movie release.
From there is history. Now 7 short films down the road, we’re now in postproduction for my first feature film debut, “Obliquity: Imagery of the Unknown” which I can’t wait to release with the world.
Do you see yourself as a screenwriter also?
When I was 13, my 7th grade English teacher, Mr. Garrison, gave us a 500 word writing assignment for Halloween. I really got into it, I brought index cards to my step-father’s basketball matches and began writing a story that then became over 1500 words. After the assignment was over, I was so passionate, I began turning it into a script in my own free time which became the first extension to making “TCP”, as it became a two-part screenplay.
Also, I want to mention, I really had a 7th grade teacher named Mr. Garrison and yes South Park was in its third or fourth season with a character of the same name. South Park is really funny to me as I am an advocate of parody and appreciate pop culture references which were showcased in most of their season
Do you plan on writing a book?
When I wrote “TCP” as a script, I noticed it was limiting and there were some errors in the work, being young and new to the process. I also noticed lack of development from trying to fit the details into that script format. I wanted to expand the story and truly tell the lives of these characters. A year later at the age of 14, I began turning the “TCP” script into a novel, providing a lot more depth that wasn’t presented in the original screenplay.When I was 15, a sequel was in the works, but never fully completed, but was planned for a 2 book series with a possible third one to follow.
As far as writing another book right now after it being double my life since then (I’m 27 now) I mean, yes, I would love to write a book or ten. The question is: when will be the right time to soak myself into it? I want to express my art through film at this stage in my life and though I do see myself writing books in my future, but life is very hectic when you become an adult. Also, having the right backing and commitment to something that may or may not help jump-start a career can be a risky endeavor, and right now, I feel the many aspects of film and music is my calling, including script-writing and directing.
Do you like the director position better or the writing part?
I wrote a lot of Trippy Tran Films’ movies including “Wreckfest”, “Coexist” and “InPersonNation” as the official screenwriter with the awesome input from our writing team. I also co-wrote our films “Duality” and “My Vacation In Cincinnati”. The debut feature “Obliquity: Imagery of the Unknown” I did write entirely myself. I have also helped conceptualize and bring ideas to the table of several projects in the Greater Cincinnati Area community when I had the chance to give my input including the film I co-produced, the supernatural horror “Devil’s Point”. I just love being a part of it all, especially bouncing ideas off each other while making the great ones come to life.
Being adverse in different aspects and spectrums of the creative process, I find myself a screenwriter, a director, a producer, a camera operator, an editor, a singer/songwriter and rapper, an actor, an assistant and a community collaborative individual that enjoys making connects through it all. I even enjoy hearing from viewers who would just give our work a chance but not be involved with our projects directly.
I thrive on originality, which seems to be lacking in the mainstream and more available in the underground. With remakes and films that focus primarily on visual effects, what we really need is people to come together to tell amazing stories. People are living and doing amazing things right now and it seems as though the industry has become more limiting than helpful these days.
In order to make a difference and do what I enjoy doing, I identify with being a jack-of-all trades in the film making process both behind and in front of the camera, to simply answer your question.
What projects are you working on now?
Our latest project is the Official Trippy Tran Films Short Collection 2008-2015, which is a multi-genre inspired and entertaining “trippy” set of adventures which will include director’s cuts to all 7 short films that range from 10-16 minutes a piece. I have 2 albums under Trippy T that I’m working on, an EP called “Centerpiece” and an LP to include the “Shimmer of Longing” single.
Recently, I’ve also programmed a game through the app Episode giving the “Wreckfest” movie an interactive story game where people can change the outcomes per play, select alternate endings, change outfits, play a photo shoot game and can upload their favorite options to our website called ‘Wreckfest – An Interactive Story’. It’s free and only requires a smart device (coming to computers soon) to play. The first run through takes around 30-45 minutes of playtime, but once you play, you’ll want to change the outcomes and play over and over again! You can find the app download link for the game at facebook.com/wreckfestgame or at our Trippy Tran Films website.
What can we expect from the Official Trippy Tran Films Short Collection 2008-2015?
Being the second released DVD from Trippy Tran Films, LLC (the first being the “Duality and Other Movie Challenge Films), this is the ultimate collection to allude to our feature debut “Obliquity: Imagery of the Unknown” and will even include a sneak peek from the film exclusively with the the release before its premier.
The collection highlights all 7 films including our smash comedy “Wreckfest”, the psych thriller/horrors “Duality” and “Coexist”, the touching drama “His Name Is Walter”, the quirky vacation about a couple who wins a radio contest in “My Vacation In Cincinnati”, plus the celebrity impersonators comedy “InPersonNation” and the alien gangsta sci-fi “Universal Intelligence” – which won Best Choreography for the fight scene in the 48 Hour Film Project. (“Coexist” won an Audience Choice Award in the College Move Festival in 2009, which was my last film in college. and Ren Hick’s “His Name Is Walter” that I produced was the Official Selection of the Hamilton Film Festival in Cincinnati, OH.)
All the films will be here with tons – like around 40 Special Features which will only be available on this collection and we’re hoping to release it on DVD and Digital Download (DD) later this year as well as enter several film festivals. To donate via PayPal send to TrippyTran@gmail.com
Busy! What else do you have coming up?
Right now, there are only a few more bonus features to complete to finalize the DVD collection and once that’s complete, I will be getting back to postproduction on the theatrical cut of “Obliquity: Imagery of the Unknown” – our debut feature film project that is at a 2 1/12 hour runtime for the director’s cut and is being planned for an 1hr 40min film festival and theatrical release. I’m looking to get back to editing that near mid-summer.
Fans and prospects awaiting the arrival of the feature, which began filming in 2010, can wet their appetite with the “Wreckfest – An Interactive Story” game by picking my artist name, Trippy T in several encounters on the game and seeing an ‘Obliquity’ segment in a few of the bonuses.
In 2011, I also co-produced a feature film for Sovereign Entertainment’s “Devil’s Point”, which should be releasing soon also. SE helped us with completing “Obliquity: Imagery of the Unknown” when cameras weren’t as accessible by the time I graduated college or by the several students who filmed with us (who then also graduated and continued with the project).
From 2009-2013 is when I attempted and completed this thought-provoking independent feature and there’s been some hardships in postproduction being alone during the editing process. Any investors or postproduction people who want to help me finish the project can contact me at TrippyTranFilms@gmail.com or donate above.
Other than that, I have been auditioning for a couple projects since I moved to Los Angeles, California in spring 2014. I’m doing my best to meet more people in the film and music community here. I want to get my EP out soon and film a music video once the track is mastered.
Also, I am always willing to offer my assistance to projects if the time and fitting seems to mesh well, even throughout managing all of Trippy Tran Films’ projects. I just love film and music.
What do you see yourself working on in the near future?
In the future, I see myself working on a lot of other people’s projects for the gift of experience and to make it my career. Living in Los Angeles has opened up a world of opportunity for me and I want to get involved with industry projects as much as possible because I want to continue to build my craft and expertise all while humbling myself for any position – all for the experience and love for the art of filmmaking.
I am stretching my open hand to the not-so-distant stars in the sky and on this planet to make more inspiring and entertaining works that have a solid ratio between good story-telling and VFX, which I think the FX is outweighing the story-telling in most Hollywood stories. I know I’m not alone when I say this, but I honestly can’t say I’ve been really much on TV or movies lately besides maybe “The Hunger Games” and some Netflix series’. I do enjoy superhero movies and all the classics – which are being remade as stagnant better-looking reflections of its predecessors – but thrive on wanting to be more entertained by something that sparks creativity as a whole, as I’m sure many other indie filmmakers and audience members wish would too.
I want to bring our ideas and art to the industry and the world. That is why we are named Trippy Tran Films – not because we are about drugs and ‘trippin’’ as one might think, but because we want to take you on trips that will invoke people’s minds and hopefully inspire and entertain them by bringing surreal, sometimes abstract, work that can put you in a ‘trippy’ state-of-mind.
I remember showing “Duality” to a group of people and one of them screamed so loud, it scared everyone in the room. If you can move people and “trip” them out with cinema, you have done your job as a film maker and that is what my company and I plan on creating in the future as well as premiering our feature debut “Obliquity: Imagery of the Unknown”.
Besides having strong passion, for income, I’m currently making minimum wage serving and bar tending in rural LA. and really would love to be making income off of the many talents I possess. If anything, I hope people go out and support our releases and projects as they become available at www.trippytranfilms.com and YouTube.com/TrippyTranFilms
We also have a sub channel for VLOGS and skits at YouTube.com/TrippyTran
Speaking of, where can interested viewers find your work?
Our main website is www.trippytranfilms.com which includes several articles, updates on projects, bands and artists we’ve collaborated with and promoted, info on the ‘Wreckfest – An Interactive Story’ with cheats and walkthroughs, plus the update on all 7 short films and the DVD collection as well as news on our feature film release of “Obliquity: Imagery of Unknown”.
All our pages have a facebook. If you type in Trippy Tran Films, or any of our movie titles with Trippy Tran Films after it, you can ‘like’ those pages including our feature at fb.com/obliquitymovie
Our Twitter and Instagram is @TrippyTranFilms and my personal one is @TrippyTran
YouTube.com/TrippyTranFilms and YouTube.com/TrippyTranFilms
My music page is reverbnation.com/TrippyT and soundcloud.com/anthony-rory-tran
You can find articles and more on our projects scattered throughout the inter web if you type in the name or movie titles. Go support our work! We love our fans and take constructive criticism to the fullest as we progress and make better projects. We accept reviews for any of our films. In fact, we encourage it!
If you see what you like, I can guarantee you are really going to dig it when we debut our feature “Obliquity: Imagery of the Unknown”, which is composed of elements from all of the Official Trippy Tran Films Short Collection 2008-2015 and even has returning actors.
You are very much welcome! Thank you for taking the time out for this interview! I wish you the best of luck on all of your upcoming projects!!! #StayShining!!