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Travis Fine

Travis-Fine

Writer, director, producer, actor and pilot Travis Fine has a lot of arrows in his quiver. With the release of his latest film Any Day Now, we managed to talk to him about the project, and how his varied skillsets help.

The idea for Any Day Now arose from a 30-year old-script by George Bloom (best known for his writing work on many ‘80s cartoons, including the first Transformers) inspired by meeting the actual Rudy (a drag performer played in the movie by Alan Cumming). After coming close to filming many times through the decades, Fine was able to rework the script by adding the character of Paul (Garret Dillahunt) and finally bring the project to the screen.

Fine was lucky enough to draw the attention of Alan Cumming’s agent when casting, who suggested Cumming would be ideal for the role. As an out gay actor with cabaret experience, Cummings was a perfect fit. “It is all Alan’s voice in the film. The Back Story Blues is live. The rest is recorded in a studio and lip-synced on set, but it’s all Alan’s voice.”

Another stroke of luck came in the casting of Isaac Leyva. It was his smile that drew Fine to him after seeing an audition tape. Although different to the initial envisioning of Marco, Fine was able to rewrite the script to take advantage of Leyva’s silence, allowing him “…to show the emotion of the piece rather than telling it.”

With the period setting of Any Day Now, Fine was able to show off his love of the gritty, character-driven dramas of ‘70s cinema. Care was taken to evoke the period but never to push it to parody levels. In part, the production benefited in setting it in the later ‘70s, allowing it to be evocative of the era without falling victim to its excesses.

As director, writer and producer Fine was certainly busy with this project. “The hardest part was when all three disagreed,” said Fine. He often found himself balancing the writer’s intent against the director’s vision, all within the producer’s budget. Of the three, though, Fine’s finds writing the hardest. He writes so he has a project to produce and direct, considering directing a reward for the hard work of writing. He also found his early experience in acting (Fine has been on TV since the age of 12, but is probably best remembered as the mute Ike on The Young Riders) has given him an understanding of the differing languages actors speak in terms of school or method they prescribe to. As such he is a good judge of what an actor needs in terms of a performance and is willing to give them that.

As for what is in the future? Fine has already written a script (about an ‘almost there’ ‘90s girl band getting back together) and is starting on the enjoyable task of putting together another movie.

 

DAVID O’CONNELL