We had the good fortune of connecting with Travis Prow and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Travis, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I drew a lot as a kid. Mostly dinosaurs, Ninja Turtles, and big monsters with the sharpest teeth. I found myself in art classes at 8 or 9 years old; watercolor and pastel chalk and so on. So, when I got to pick my classes in junior high and high school I guess I kept following that lead. I enjoyed drawing still life and recreating images from magazines and anime.

I remember the very first camera that was put in my hands, it was 97 or 98 or something. I took this old Hi8 camcorder all over shooting the weirdest moments like the swirling in the bowl as the toilet flushes, or the family dog Brutus lapping water in his bowl.

There was this hard left turn though when I was in my sophomore year in high school. I had argued so many times with my Art Teacher that I was invited to not return to her class. In need of another elective, I took a chance on a Film and TV course we had. That course, and the teacher who taught it, changed my life. I immediately gravitated towards the camera equipment, and couldn’t get enough of the simple bliss of framing and composing shots. I traded services with classmates; I was happy to shoot for them if they would do the reel-to-reel editing for me.

Looking back on some of these events it feels clear as day that I was always a filmmaker. I had no idea what the skills or terms were, but I had been storytelling with visuals from the start. There wasn’t a lot of frontal lobe thought about it, I just kind of kept following the storytelling thread day after day.

After high school, things started speeding up. Junior College was followed by University, and then I just needed to finish my thesis and get to Los Angeles as soon as possible. It truly seemed like there wasn’t a moment to waste, and I never really stopped and asked if I was gonna be able to make a living.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think my ability to create a safe and collaborative work environment is my greatest strength.

I am wholly serious about creating a workplace that feels physically, emotionally, and creatively safe for everyone involved. I want to earn the trust of my cast and crew, because in doing so I know they will reward my efforts with their very best selves. There can be these concentric circles of protection and trust on a job. The cast needs to know and trust that the crew has created a safe setting for them to tap into deep places, and the crew needs to know and trust that the preproduction and logistics have been handled to keep the real world at bay while they practice their craft. When done right you can feel an electricity ripple through the set.

Inspiration and Epiphany simply don’t care about your position on the call sheet. Time and Time again I have witnessed the film benefitting from a galvanized and collaborative workplace where problems arise and are promptly bested by a unified effort. I can easily get lost in the details and I am so thankful when a simple solution is shared, no matter whose idea it may be.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had some Out-of-Towners coming through I would make sure to take them to one of LA’s best museums. The Broad and MOCA are a great combo due to location, and The Getty would be an incredible option as well.

For lunch, we’d have Shin-Sen-Gumi Ramen in Little Tokyo or perhaps Din Tai Fung in Glendale, or if we were pressed for time we could get Onigiri at Gam Tu Bop in Glendale.

Next, I’d make sure we can catch a film at Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema. The schedule is packed with incredible films and the best part is it’s all 35mm prints!

Lastly, we’d head to one of my fav watering holes to wind down. Maybe The Glendale Tap or The San Fernando since they both have a wonderful mellow atmosphere.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to recognize Robert Garcia as a mentor and guide. He was my high school Film Teacher, he recommended CSU Monterey Bay as an affordable college to look into, and to this day he still guides me and many others even as he steps into retirement.

Daniel Farnam continues to be one of the most influential mentors I have met in Los Angeles. He may or may not understand how much he has guided me, often with probing questions and observations. Being led to answers can be so much more powerful than being told.

Rick Pendleton taught me a ton in the few years I got to work under him. He opened my eyes to a whole new approach to management that prioritized positivity and optimism. He was also the first boss I saw who stepped off set to have his weekly therapy session, and that lesson has been paying dividends for years.

For a few years, I attended a weekly writing and production group called Writeous Group. To Victoria, Nic, and the rest of the team: Thank you so much for that accountability. This group kicked my ass and helped me chew through a pair of golden handcuffs.

Back in Junior College, I recall getting a copy of Bruce Campbell’s “If Chins Could Kill”. This book blew me away! It sounded like making Evil Dead was simply a bunch of friends who were not going to give up. These people weren’t special, they were jerks like the rest of us. That message knocked my socks off and still inspires me today.

Website: https://www.travisprow.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/travisprow_cinematographer/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/travisprow/

Image Credits
Daniel Orona
Joey Skaggs
Justin Lennox Williams
Nick Jarry

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.