Filmmaker Focus: Trevor Hawkins

09 09 2015

If you’ve got a sense of adventure, you’ll love the work from Trevor Hawkins, one of STALKR’s incredibly talented shooters.

We’ve licensed his work in full and pieces in the LURKR library, drawn to the kinetic appeal of his raw filmmaking sensibilities. It combines a certain amount of wanderlust for natural environments with a renegade spirit, while keeping all of the tip-top techniques of good shooting.

Out of his Missouri-based outfit, Mammoth Media, Trevor produces many a video for creative and branding (and creative branding) purposes, as well as a feature film currently in development. We talked to Trevor about capturing the moments of adventure and what we can expect to see from him next.

What is your filmmaking background? Can you talk a bit about Mammoth Media? Why did you create the company, what work are you focusing on and what work are you aspiring to do?

I officially started Mammoth January 1st, 2010, but those weren’t my first paid projects. It really all started about ten years ago, back in high school filming my friends skateboarding and wakeboarding. I just did it all for fun because I loved it so much. Something just clicked for me. I remember growing up mostly outside at the lake and never really being too attached to films or movies in any special way. They were mostly just mild entertainment for the times when there was nothing else to do (I’ve actually seen an embarrassingly few number of movies in my lifetime, especially classic cinema). But then two events coincided in high school, I started watching creatively-made wakeboarding videos from the pros, and in one week, my buddy Brian Freeborn and I watched Requiem for a Dream, Donnie Darko and A Clockwork Orange down in his parent’s basement. And it changed my life. I felt things I’ve never felt before and remember thinking, “movies can be like this?” And from then on I was hooked. I became enamored with trying to capture and relay intimate feelings and experiences. Eventually people started asking me to do it for them too. And after I got a couple of my first bigger clients via word-of-mouth, AMC Theatres and the TV show Heartland Bowhunter, I was able to start doing it full time. The rest is history. Now I’ve built a team and we’re about to bring on our seventh guy. I had no big great plan, no formal education and absolutely no business skills. It all just evolved serendipitously I guess. I’m very lucky that it all worked out and I owe a lot to the people who helped and believed in me along the way.

Let’s go through a couple of pieces of your work – starting with Midnight Skitchin’. Per its description, it’s an impromptu piece that seems like a lot of fun and captures a very visceral vibe. What was that shoot like and how was it filmed (what was it filmed on?)?

Midnight Skitchin’ was honestly just another night hanging out with our friends. We’d done this all before many times, but this particular time our friend, Ren Coker, was there with a Canon 5D and shot some footage hanging out of the car. I had no plans to do anything with it all. But then a week later, during a sleepless night, I started cruising through some of the footage for fun and threw a little edit together. That’s it. And a few hours later this video was born and sent out into the world.

Lotawana On Ice, which was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick, portrays a very different environment. Can you talk about that shoot? What did you film on and what compelled you to tell this story? What are the plans for the feature film around it?

Lotawana On Ice sort of has a similar story. The lake was beautiful that day and the ice boats were out, so I just went out and started filming everything on my skates with a 5D. We’re actually making a feature film titled Lotawana, and while I was filming, I was just thinking all the footage would be great B-Roll for the movie. And then again, a few days later I started piecing some footage together for fun, and Lotawana On Ice was born. I had no plans for making shorts while filming either of them. In the purest sense of the word, they just “happened.” haha. It’s cool the film got some buzz online, it can only help for our feature. We’re actually in the middle of filming for it right now. Our current working synopsis for Lotawana is:

Our current way of life isn’t the only way it could be. Empty materialism compounded by the constraints of modern culture has pushed the unfulfilled Forrest (Todd Blubaugh) to a voyage of discovery. This resolute young man escapes to nature by living aboard a sailboat on a rural Missouri lake. He is seeking something more, something beautiful, something real. After setting sail on his journey, he promptly catches wind of the rebellious and free-spirited Everly (Mercedes Daugherty), and their idealistic dreams align. As they let go, they fall head first into the ambitious and unprepared idea of leaving the old world far behind. Soon reality hits, and it hits hard. Can they survive and rewrite their own rules of modern existence or will they discover society operates its way for a reason?

We’ve already gotten a good amount of distributor interest and we’re hoping for a 2016 release. It’s been a crazy ride as well as a huge emotional experience. And after it’s all over, I’m hoping it will serve as a business card to the rest of the world, showing what Mammoth is capable of in the feature film game.