Heed Chats With Filmmaker Keith Purvis on New Project “Travis & Tabitha”
Keith Purvis is a well-traveled independent filmmaker with a passion for creating artful, realistic story lines and concepts. Born in the Southside of Chicago, Keith Purvis came from an artistic background as his father introduced him to foreign and independent film. “At the time, I didn’t really care… (I was) on path to be a graphic designer”, even paying his way through the prestigious program at Columbia College of Chicago. However, one day while attempting to garnish support for his student organization, Purvis bumped into George Tillman, creator of the movie, Soul Food. “I knew from that moment… I had to make a transition. I started taking film technique 101 and fell in love with it, but I also realized, I had seen all of those movies (we were studying) because of what my father exposed us to. I mean, I was also taking the classes so I could get my hands on the equipment!”
Purvis began initial projects in film, including a hip-hop documentary, toting his camera around with him to concerts and live events. “Everybody knew me as the dude with the camera… so eventually, I decided I was going to build this thing up. It was scary though. Everyone thought ‘No one makes money doing film”.
Purvis initially went into graphic design and artistic directing for thirteen years. He became the Interactive Design Director for a Fortune 500 company and while he excelled within the field, he knew that making films was something that would always be a part of him. “I had a friend in connection with a network producer in Harlem and I went out to stay with him for two and a half years… I guess you could say that’s where I got my Master’s degree – sleeping on the floor in Harlem, working on action reels, becoming a cinematographer and creating art that could go into the film festival circuit… I moved back to Chicago for a job as an art director, and I went full time into film 4-5 years ago”.
Purvis’ current film project, entitled Travis & Tabitha, was conceptualized during his time in New York. “I started writing it there. I was working on editing other people’s films and then I thought, you know, ‘Writing is free and writing is easy’. So, I learned how to write films. That’s when I started the drafts for Travis & Tabitha.”
When asked for a synopsis, you could almost hear Purvis smiling from the other end of the phone line. His response? “Two broke people become room-mates and their lives change in the process. These are two 20-somethings, who think they know what they want to do in life… but they needed someone to ‘bump up against’ to help them move forward and clarify their goals”. Purvis drew his inspiration from the various people that he has come across, who have influenced the course and direction of his life. He cites one such example from his time living in New York. “I frequently noticed this actress on the train I took and she was always wearing various unique outfits… I began thinking about this concept: people that you meet in public spaces and converse with can sometimes shoot you in a different direction in life”.
Thus, he wrote Travis & Tabitha as two relatable, down to earth characters, figuring out life, purpose, and even fashion philosophy together! “Kelly Mosley, our stylist and jewelry designer has been doing a phenomenal job of creating the look of these two characters. Tabitha is pursuing a career in fashion design… so this is definitely a fashion film, as well.” Currently, this film is in process as Purvis writes, directs, and produces this film using the resources that he has. “But the best thing about shooting this film is that I’m working with real artists who care about the project. I want these characters to have a voice in film. And I want the people that I work with to be known for their art.”
To learn more and follow the film’s progress, check out Travis & Tabitha via social media at https://www.facebook.com/TravisAndTabitha and be on the lookout for the upcoming website, as well!