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Studio Visit - Travis Schneider

Studio Visit

Studio Visit with Travis Schneider by Birdee and the Beat

If you happened to catch a glimpse of filmmaker Travis Schneider from across a packed Hollywood venue, your initial thought process would probably go something like “James Dean incarnate, actor, model, beautiful face in the sea of angels” In which case you might be more than just a little surprised to learn that Travis Schneider spends more of his time behind a camera than in front of one. Check out my Q & A with the extremely sought after film director whose cutting edge style & uncommon eye for story telling has him not only directing the latest Maroon 5 music videos but also thoroughly rooted in the coveted Hollywood’s Most Wanted listings.


Golf with Brian Setzer or Air Hockey with James Dean?


This is actually a tough one.. While I’ve met Brian Setzer and would love to meet him again, I’m not much of a golfer and would probably make a complete fool of myself. I had an air hockey table growing up so I’m fairly convinced I could crush anyone that I play, but then do I really want to make a fool of James Dean?? My guess is that Setzer would smack me for NOT saying James Dean, so I’ll go with James Dean. I’ll let him win a couple rounds…



Best Make Out song Ever written?


The first thing that pops into my mind is “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” by The Righteous Brothers… Or anything Diane Warren has ever written.. The couples that got to make out during prom while “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith was playing are probably married now.. She also wrote a great song for The Cult called “Painted On My Heart” that hits me hard every time I hear it… HOWEVER, with all of that said, I think my real answer is Harry Nilsson’s “Save The Last Dance For Me”.


Travis Schneider says

In our digital age with too much control and ease, losing control and being surprised by the result of an artistic and chemical process feels like Christmas morning to me.”


Jean-Luc Godard or George Stevens?


more Godard films, so I’d go with him. As a young director, I’ve always felt more inspired by his style to go out and make my own things. A lot of that “grab & go” kind of film making just made making movies seem a little more attainable and made me believe it was something I could do too.



When I’m not behind the camera or the microphone you can find me ____________.


Eating… It’s probably the only thing I actually spend money on.



DYING to hear all about your latest video with MAROON 5 & Lady Antebellum “OUT OF GOODBYES” starring Dwight Yoakam. Tell us a bit about the shoot & why it’s our new favorite vid


I was equal parts excited and equal parts nervous for this video to come out. It’s such a departure from anything Maroon 5 has ever done, I knew there would be a majority of their fans that would tear it apart solely for the fact that Adam was not in it, but I also knew that the video might reach a whole new group of fans that may or may not have ever given the band a chance, and THAT is who I made the video for.


Maroon 5 putting a country song on their album was a bold thing to do, so I wanted to make an equally bold decision with the video. Also, Sergio Leone is one of my biggest inspirations, so it was a chance to make some sort of attempt at creating a western and tipping my hat to his style.


It really felt like it on the set too. We were on a ranch in the middle of nowhere and even though you can’t see most of it, the entire room was covered with things (furs, guns, traps, etc.) that really put us right there. Dwight Yoakam is the man, and he sang along loud to every word. Hearing his voice boom in that cabin gave me chills, and also made me wish they’d re-record the song with him.


You are not only a phenomenally creative film maker but also a very cutting edge photographer of the famous & beyond. Who are your greatest inspirations & where did your love for all things cinematic begin?


I’ve been surrounded by extremely talented artists my whole life, so growing up it always seemed like something I wanted to step into as well. My dad is an amazing film editor and I remember seeing him cut film on a flatbed in our house. So early on, it already seemed like an exciting and appealing thing to do. I tell him that he taught me everything I know but he hasn’t taught me everything HE knows.


Every time I’m cutting I’m thinking “what would Dad do?”.My brother Chapman Baehler is an incredible photographer and got his start taking pictures of surfers, but it wasn’t til he started showing me photos he was taking of my favorite bands that I knew I wanted to do something similar. I would visit him and he would show me photos of Sonic Youth and Pearl Jam that he took after sneaking his camera into the venue and it seemed like the coolest job anyone could ever have.


He would tell me stories about working with Frank Black and Porno For Pyros, and my 7th grade mind was thinking “why would anyone want to do anything else??”



Anything else you want to share about this series or what is up next for you?


Heading towards the future, a lot of the work from Alaska is going to end up being a part of a much bigger series I’m working on. It’s a very extensive project, definitely the most ambitious thing I have ever attempted. Stay tuned…





As told by Birdee and the Beat

About Travis Schneider

Without classical training and with a few vintage cameras in hand, Schneider has refined his craft and grown into a sought out photographer.


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