Talking Pictures #2: Mark W. Travis, Director of GOING UNDER

Podcast / Talking Pictures / 9. August 2016

TALKING PICTURES is an interview series in which I talk to the people behind some of my favorite movies. From cult movie directors to character actors, from seasoned veterans to brilliant newcomers, from celebrated artists to filmmakers who haven’t received the recognition they deserve – these folks have made some great movies and have lots of fascinating stories to tell.

Back in the Nineties, I came across a comedy on German television starring Bill Pullman that was called U-BOOT ACADEMY – a film that seemed to be in the same vein as the POLICE ACADEMY movies, with lovably goofy characters and a delightfully silly kind of humor. Even though Michael Winslow had a small part in it, the film actually didn’t have anything to do with the ACADEMY series, as I later found out – its original title was GOING UNDER. Regardless of its connection or lack thereof to the ACADEMY movies, I loved the film – its visual gags, its crazy ideas, its Zucker-style absurdity. Pullman was in his wonderful early comedy mode, and the film (which I’ve always seen in its dubbed version, which adds quite a lot of puns) remains endlessly quotable.

Over the years, I’ve always kept an eye out for other films made by GOING UNDER’s director, Mark W. Travis. While Mark has worked extensively in television and theatre, GOING UNDER remains his only feature film. However, Mark went on to become a well-regarded teacher, doing acting and directing workshops all over the world, and releasing several books on directing, e.g. THE FILM DIRECTOR’S BAG OF TRICKS. You can find out more about him on his website.

After revisiting the film and writing about it (here – a German-language review, though, like most entries in this blog), I decided to contact Mark and interview him about the film. I was
surprised to hear that there was a lot of behind-the-scenes drama in post-production, and the finished film isn’t what Mark wanted at all …

The mp3 file can be downloaded HERE.
The Talking Pictures podcast can be found on iTunes: HERE.

Photo of Mark W. Travis (C) Mark W. Travis.
Special thanks to Dr. Wily, my Lichtspielplatz podcasting partner for audio editing. The music was created by Clark Kent.

Christian Genzel
Christian Genzel
Christian Genzel arbeitet als freier Autor und Filmschaffender. Sein erster Spielfilm DIE MUSE, ein Psychothriller mit Thomas Limpinsel und Henriette Müller, handelte von einem Schriftsteller, der eine junge Frau entführt, weil er sie als Inspiration für sein Buch braucht. Außerdem drehte Genzel mehrere Kurzfilme, darunter SCHLAFLOS, eine 40-minütige Liebeserklärung an die Musik mit Maximilian Simonischek und Stefan Murr, und den 2017 für den Shocking Short Award nominierten CINEMA DELL' OSCURITÀ. Derzeit arbeitet er an einer Dokumentation über den Filmemacher Howard Ziehm. Christian Genzel schreibt außerdem in den Bereichen Film, TV und Musik, unter anderem für Film & TV Kamera, Celluloid, GMX, den All-Music Guide, 35 Millimeter, Neon Zombie und Salzburger Nachrichten. Er hält Vorträge zu Filmthemen und kuratierte 2014 an der Universität Salzburg eine Filmreihe zum Thema "Erster Weltkrieg".

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