One of the first things future Snowfort Pictures founder Travis Stevens did after arriving in Los Angeles was hit Tom Cruise in the head. “I moved to L.A. with a degree in filmmaking and I thought I would be hired to make films,” he recalls. “Within a couple of months I realized ‘No’. So I started doing work as an extra just to be on a set.” One of the movies Stevens worked on was 1996’s Cruise-starring Jerry Maguire. “There’s this scene where Tom Cruise gets out of a limo and there’s all these reporters,” continues Stevens. “For some reason they gave me this big telephoto lense on my camera and in one of the early takes I smacked him him right in the head. I almost crapped my pants. I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’ve just killed my career.'”
As it happens, Stevens’ career would turn out just fine. In 2010, the now seasoned film exec founded Snowfort Pictures, a boutique production company specializing in smarter-than-average — or so-called “elevated” — genre movies, and immediately impressed horror fans with A Horrible Way To Die from director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett (the pair responsible for this summer’s much-tipped You’re Next). Stevens now has two films debuting at this month’s SXSW — the rather self-explanatory Big Ass Spider and the black comedy-thriller Cheap Thrills — and a number of other projects in the pipeline, including the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune and the revenge movie American Muscle.
We asked Travis to walk us through his upcoming slate of movie mayhem. READ FULL STORY