His new project: A film titled #1 Party School
Chico State graduate Travis Kurtz grew up in Pleasanton before his family moved to Oroville when he was 8 years old. Since his graduation in 1993, Kurtz has lived and worked in Hollywood as a screen- and comedy writer, and is currently in pre-production of multiple scripts, including a film called #1 Party School, which he hopes to shoot on the Chico State campus. Most recently, Kurtz produced a live stand-up DVD for Last Comic Standing winner Dat Phan. He also wrote a film called Ready or Not, which will be shown at the Pageant Theatre on Sept. 24.
What made you want to write comedy and films?
I was living in Spain after college and wrote a script for fun and sent it to my buddy Perry Jenkins, who worked at Videomaker magazine for a long time. He liked the script, so we decided to shoot it in the late ’90s on 16mm. We screened it one night at the Pageant Theatre.
What is the plot of Ready or Not? What kind of audience will enjoy it?
The morning after their Las Vegas bachelor party, four friends find themselves in Central Mexico with no money, no ID and 72 hours to make it back across the border in time for the wedding. It’s more of an independent film, but I think it’s more geared for guys. It’s rated R, but mostly because of the language.
I also hear you want to film some scenes for a 22-minute sketch comedy you wrote here in Chico and on Lake Oroville.
Ha. Oroville Tourism Board is going to love this—one of the sketches I’m going to shoot is about two meth cookers. It’s a comedy TV pilot I’m shooting with an up-and-coming comedian named Mike E. Winfield, who is out of Sacramento. He is a very funny comedian who I think has a great chance of blowing up. Check him out. Oroville actually has some very beautiful locales to shoot, like the lake, rivers, etc.
How did your time in Chico influence your decision to write a script called #1 Party School ?
I spent a lot of time doing stupid things while going to Chico State. If I can get #1 Party School made, it will have all paid off!
Will #1 Party School be a full-length feature or a sketch?
Feature. I actually want to shoot it at Chico State, but I have to find the investors or go through the studio system, which is no easy task. I’m sure the president of Chico State would love to have a film titled that shooting here, right? … Right?