Travis Hamilton and making films go hand in hand.
The director often writes and directs films with a Native American element.
And his second film, “Blue Gap Boy’z” is no different.
The film hit theaters in 2008, though it’s getting a broadcast date at 7 tonight on KNME channel 5.3.
“Having the opportunity for more people to see this film is an important step,” he says. “It’s one that we wouldn’t have otherwise if it wasn’t for FNX and New Mexico PBS.”
“Blue Gap Boy’z” was filmed on the Navajo Nation over the course of 18 days.
It takes place in the small town of Blue Gap, Ariz. on the Navajo Reservation. Brothers – James, played by Ernest David Tsosie III, Jessie, played by Vincent Craig, and Jodie, played by James Bilagody – combine their talents to form the greatest band – because it’s the only one – Blue Gap has ever known. The trio hear of an international competition that, if they won, would have them touring the world. It is a chance to make it big and get out of Blue Gap.
The youngest of the three, James, a full-time custodian at the local school, has the responsibility of being the band’s manager.
James got the job as manager because he can’t play any instruments and/or sing and they didn’t have any other choices. The other two brothers, Jessie and Jodie, are the semi-talented driving force behind the struggling band.
In 2007, Hamilton released his first Navajo film, “Turquoise Rose.” Since then, he’s released “Blue Gap Boy’z,” “Pete & Cleo” and “More than Frybread” and “Legends from the Sky.”
Hamilton says with “Blue Gap Boy’z,” he remembers coming off his first film, “Turquoise Rose,” which had a number of problems.
“I ended up being the director of photography on that one,” he says. “I learned so much from that experience and brought it to the next film. We’re always working to get to the next level with each film.”
Being an independent filmmaker, Hamilton says it’s important to build relationships with networks like New Mexico PBS.
And with the addition of First Nations Experience airing in New Mexico, Hamilton is enjoying the opportunity of another outlet.
“Being a filmmaker is difficult to begin with,” he says. “Some movies aren’t seen by too many people. I’ve had to do the marketing behind all my films. It takes a lot of work to compete with the bigger movies.”
SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.