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Captured: Q&A with Phoenix Filmmaker Trevvor Riley

In Phoenix, there’s a seemingly endless supply of up-and-coming musicians, writers, actors, and directors, and Trevvor Riley is among them. Riley has been pushing into his artistic persona for more than two decades. He’s submerged himself into his craft and created a handful of short films and music videos.

Riley’s passion for art is undeniable.

Take a ride with us as we talk music, dinosaurs and movies with Mr. Trevvor Riley…

Tell us a little about yourself. Where’d you grow up? What was your favorite movie as a child? What’s your favorite dinosaur? Any cool useless skills?

I grew up in Phoenix. I’ve lived here my whole life. I would like to think I won’t live here for the rest of my whole life, but I guess that depends on a lot of stuff.

A movie I watched as a kid and am constantly returning to, is an animated Japanese movie called “My Neighbor Totoro” I think it is one of the best things I’ve ever seen and has had an incredibly profound affect on me.

My favorite dinosaur? I remember it was Winter. I was at the library and I had just started driving and it was overcast and it smelled of rain. The library was closed or closing because everyone was leaving and actually now, thinking back, it was probably October because all the employees had masks on. The woman behind the help desk had on a huge mask covered in sharp edges that was made out of metal or aluminum. I was standing with an enormous pile of books in my arms to check out and I passed by a very little boy looking through a long green book. He had blonde hair and had two different colored shoes on and his face seemed to be glowing. His mother came out from behind a bookcase and she sort of pulled him away saying, “let’s go, now,” or something like that. As he was pulled away toward the exit, the books fell from his hands and he kept saying, “Mom, my favorite dinosaur is in that book. Therizinosaurus. Therizinosaurus, Mom. Therizinosaurus.” I liked that the boy knew how to pronounce the dinosaur and also that I’d never heard of it. I picked the book up and added it to my stack. When I stepped outside, rain was lightly falling. Thunder boomed across the sky, crossing from right to left and then back again. I have a favorite dinosaur, I thought, looking up at the sky, the rain starting to ruin the books I had in my arms.

No, no skills.

Do you also make music? If so, what’s your instrument of choice?

No. I can’t play any instruments at all.

How’d you get connected to the local music scene in Phoenix?

I was doing a lot of nothing and hadn’t made anything in too long and was sort of depressed and I had wanted to start doing stuff with music videos but didn’t know where to start and didn’t have the motivation to start, but then my girlfriend at the time pretty much introduced me to the entire local music scene. So, I guess it’s her fault I’m doing this.

If you could work with one local band, who would it be?

I’m working with them now. Emby Alexander.

If you could work with any muscian in the world, who would it be?

Kanye West.

After watching the clay-mation video you did with Dry River Yacht Club, we were intrigued. Do you have any projects that will be using original music? Any other future projects you want to do? Say, animation or CGI?

I really want to do another stop motion. I will eventually. I have an idea for one, but I’m going to need a lot to do it. It’s just so time consuming, it almost has to be the only project I’m working on.

Other than that, I’ve got a music video I’m doing now with Emby Alexander. I’ll be doing Sam Means‘ video for a song off the EP he released and then I’m doing a short film as well. Something kind of small and personal. Also, I’m still working on raising money for my short Harry Houdini biopic, “Rosabelle Believe.” I guess I’d like to mention, too, an installation piece I’ll be doing on First Friday next month downtown at the Monorchid called “15 Steps.” I’ve got a lot of things going on right now.

What is currently playing on your stereo?

Last thing I listened to, it just ended, was “Sister Ray” by The Velvet Underground.

Anything else you want people to know about your music, inspirations or aspirations?

I want people to know that if they make any art at all, I want to make art with them. So call me or email me or Facebook or Twitter, even if I don’t know you. Whatever you’re doing, I want to be part of it, and whatever I’m doing, I want you to be part of it.


One Comment

  1. Brilliant.


  1. Videos: Trevvor Riley Directs Decker., Emby Alexander, Vial of Sound - The Spec Blog - [...] artist Trevvor Riley has been busy helping Arizona musicians visualize their songs. So far this year, the filmmaker has [...]

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