Posted - 11/11/2008 : 11:29:47 PM
‘Blue Gap Boy’z’ film opens today
Copyright © 2008
By Bill Donovan
GALLUP — It took Travis Hamilton more than six years to find the money and film his first feature, “Turquoise Rose.”
His second feature, which will premier in Gallup, Farmington, Kayenta and Tempe on Friday, was financed and made in a short 10 months.
And “Blue Gap Boy’z” has another major difference from his first movie — it’s a comedy.
“Turquoise Rose” had several funny moments but it was basically a drama, and Hamilton said in a phone interview Wednesday that he felt with the times being the way they are, it was time for people to laugh.
“There have been a lot of serious dramas come out to the reservations over
the last few years,” he said. “A lot of them seemed to make the audiences
leave the theater feeling more depressed and discouraged with life then
when they went in.”
Hamilton said he wanted to change this and have his audience leave the
theater with smiles instead of frowns.
“I wanted to make a film that was fun, full of giggles and that would leave
people walking out of the theaters with spilled popcorn and sodas all over
them from laughing so loud and long,” he said.
Hamilton said that Friday’s premieres will be the first time that anyone
other than his staff has seen the movie.
The premise of the movie is simple. A European entertainment producer comes
to America in search of a Native American band he can take back with him to
entertain the folks back home, and the film centers around three bands,
including the one in the title, that compete for the spot.
It stars three Navajo actors — Ernest David Tsosie III, who is part of the
James and Ernie comedy duo — Beau Benally and Vincent Craig, Navajo
comedian and creator of the “Muttonman” comic strip.
Hamilton said that while it took him over a year to find the right cast for
his first movie, “this time it took only a matter of a few weeks.”
Filmed in Phoenix and on the reservation in Blue Gap in early 2008,
Hamilton said he hopes those who see it get a view of real reservation
“It was great filming in Blue Gap,” he said. “At times we would have a
crowd watching us shoot a few of the scenes. It made us feel that the
people really are supporting us with these endeavors.”
He added that Blue Gap was such a beautiful place to shoot. “I hope the
people from there are pleased with how we portrayed it.”
Hamilton said “Turquoise Rose,” which is out on DVD, eventually went into
the black and he was able to use the profits from it to finance “Blue Gap
Benally, who lives in Kayenta, plans to be in Gallup for Friday’s premier,
Hamilton said. Hamilton said he plans to be in Tempe since he has some film
to shoot on Saturday.
He added that he is looking at several proposals for his next film but
hasn’t made any definite ideas on plot, cast or when he will begin filming.
The film opens today for multiweek runs at the following sites (check
theaters for running times): Gallup: Red Rock 6 (2:50 p.m.; 4:55 p.m.; 7:20
p.m.; 9:30 p.m.); Farmington: Allen 8 (2:40 p.m.; 5:10 p.m.; 7:20 p.m.;
9:25 p.m.); Kayenta: Black Mesa Twin Cinema; Tempe: Harkin’s Valley Art
“I have not much to tell you except to help understand this earth on which you live. If a man is to succeed in the hunt or the warpath, he must not be governed by his inclination, but by understanding the ways of animals and of his natural surroundings, gained through close observation.”
Tatanka Ohitika—Brave Buffalo,