Keith Purvis has worked as a film editor and motion designer for various videos and short films, including Peep Game (2003), a film featured at the Black Hollywood Film Festival, and Reversal of Fortune (2004), one of the films picked for the Russell Simmons Def Filmmaker Competition. ONLINE, another short film Purvis wrote, directed and produced, went on to be featured on ABFF Independent on AspireTV and was chosen as one of seven finalists for the BET Lens on Talent Competition in 2010.
In addition to juggling his time working on films, Purvis is a sought after art director having worked with several high-profile clients, including YRB magazine, Whirlpool, Nike and the American Institute of Graphic Arts, among others.
In 2008, the Columbia College Chicago graduate founded The Junction Group LLC., a new media production company that creates films and distributes them offline, online and through mobile technology. Currently, Purvis is devoting his time to finishing his first feature film, a dramedy titled Travis & Tabitha, that he looks to release this year and take on a festival run.
How did you get your start in filmmaking?
I was the kid in school that drew all the time. Drawing turned into drawing and writing stories all through grade school and high school. I went to Columbia College Chicago as a Graphic Design major. While there I crashed an alumni party for George Tillman who had just directed Soul Food a year or two prior. While talking with him at the event, he mentioned that Columbia College Chicago had one of the largest film schools in the country and if I was interested in film I should take a class or two. That next semester, I took a film tech 1 class, which is like Columbia’s bootcamp for film students. I loved it ever since that first day in class. My father exposed us to art and foreign film at an early age. I already loved film, but talking with Tillman and taking that class taught me that I could actually make film.
Name three directors, past or present, that you’d love to have dinner with?
John Cassavetes, Akira Kurosawa, and Oscar Micheaux.
Tell us about The Junction Group.
The Junction Group is a film production company specializing in feature, short, documentary and commercial productions. Junction Group Films works with film and video in nontraditional ways to find new audiences for films. Whether it’s a nonprofit saving the world, or a for-profit trying to cut through the media clutter; we find your story. We work with you to increase brand engagement and leave viewers wanting more.
What can you tell us about your latest film, Travis & Tabitha?
It is an independently financed dramedy about a black 26-year-old failed fashion designer (Tabitha), and a black 28-year-old aspiring cook (Travis), who out of necessity become reluctant roommates on the South Side of Chicago. Their makeshift relationship forces Tabitha to rekindle her passion and Travis to confront his past.
In addition to the story of the relationship of the characters, what role does Ffashion play in the film?
I collaborated with well-known wardrobe stylist and jewelry designer Kelley Moseley aka Kfleye. Tabitha is a fashion designer and fashionista. The fashion became an additional character in the film. Kelley helped create a wardrobe for all of the characters that not only reflects each of their personalities but changes based on what’s happening in the story.
Talk about the underlying theme the film carries about life decisions and dealing with the ramifications of the choices we make?
The film is about two people at a crossroads. Both characters are at an age and point in life where they have to make a decision on what they want the rest of their lives to be. They meet, bumping into each other and the relationship knocks them both in different directions. Its the real way any relationship changes who you are and where you’re going in life.The characters are also making the choice to not do what’s expected of them and to have atypical lives. These are people with passion outside of a 9-to-5.
What can you tell us about your festival plans for the film and the overall labor of love making and promoting a project of this caliber can be?
We plan to submit the film to festivals in the early part of 2015 and see where it goes. This film has been a wonderful experience to make. Working with some of the most talented and passionate people in the industry made our small project and all the struggles to get the film made a worthwhile and enjoyable experience. While filming, my sister-in-law passed away from cancer. Myself, along with my wife Erika Jones, the producer of the film, had to stop production and become caretakers. We’re now raising money to finish a few of the final scenes, pay for music licensing and getting the movie ready to make the festival circuit.
What’s next for The Junction Group?
We’ll keep making movies. The Junction Group creates everything from Short films, to commercials to documentaries. We’re always looking for new stories to tell.
For more information about Travis & Tabitha or to donate please visit: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/travis-and-tabitha-feature-film-by-keith-purvis
To learn more about The Junction Group, please visit www.the-junc-tion.com