Travis International Film Institute

Home of The Travis Technique

Developed by director Mark W. Travis, the director-centric Travis Technique is a transformational approach to cinematic storytelling.

If you’re a DIRECTOR

And wish to go beyond traditional directing and venture into inspired and impactful collaboration with writers, actors and crew… and if you long to be the kind of director you’ve always dreamed of…

The Travis Technique offers you innovative ways of working with actors to elicit instantaneous and authentic performances that translate brilliantly onto the screen.

The Travis Technique will embolden you in the art of fearless storytelling and creating powerful, imaginative, character-driven films.

If you’re an ACTOR

And are working with a director who is trained and certified in The Travis Technique, you’ll enjoy the rare pleasure of stepping back and allowing your character to fully emerge from within.

If you’re a WRITER

And are consulting with Mark Travis, you’ll get to pluck your characters out of your head and engage with them up-close, live and in person.

“Mark Travis sure can teach. Don’t know why he’s not running the TV directing world”

Paris Barclay

Emmy Award winner, Writer/Director/Producer of over 155 TV episodes

“Mark understands that the director is quintessentially a storyteller. He knows what it takes to shape a compelling film.”

George Tillman, Jr.

Director, Producer, The Hate You Give, Soul Food, Men of Honor, Barbershop

“I’ve been an actor for almost 60 years, worked with many directors: Josh Logan, Sidney Pollack, Robert Altman, Stuart Rosenberg, Sidney Fury, and many others. Mark Travis has directed me in several projects and he is far and away my favorite director.”

Cal Bartlett


Training in The Travis Technique is offered through

The Three Components of



Autobiographical Storytelling is the foundation of The Travis Technique

Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, you must understand your characters well, especially your protagonist. But when telling an autobiographical story, the protagonist is you. It is your own chaos and complexity that you have to reveal. This is much more challenging and riskier than other forms of storytelling. “Write Your Life” offers incisive Travis Techniques to help you reveal your truth – scene-by-scene, moment-to-moment. Mining the depths of your own life stories will help you master the art of shaping any story into a compelling and emotionally engaging journey.

“I made a common mistake thinking I knew my own script simply because I wrote it. Working with Mark forces you to go much deeper than the simple text on the page. Without this sort of work, you’re winging it without even knowing it.”

Brad Gann

Writer/Director, Static, Invincible, Black Irish, Once Was Lost


Often the Director/Actor relationship is hampered by the discomfort and tension of result directing. The Interrogation Process opens the door for actors and directors to ignite the Character together, turning tension and discomfort into curiosity and adventure. With the Interrogation Process, directors can achieve instantaneous and deeply-felt performances consistently, even on tight schedules and tiny budgets.

The Interrogation Process is about how to get the performance you want without ever asking for the performance you want; it’s about how to get the performance you want even if you don’t know what performance you want, and then getting floored by a performance beyond your wildest dreams.

Interrogation process

“Mark Travis’ Interrogation Technique is not only the finest gift ever given to me by another director, it’s one of the finest gifts anyone has given me – ever!”

Jon Amiel

Director, nominated for BAFTA Award, The Singing Detective, Sommersby, Copycat, Entrapment

“Mark Travis’ brilliant insight into how the director can draw great, natural performances from his or her actors, widely known as the Travis Technique, is an absolute must for every professional and up-and-coming director, actor, and writer. I highly recommend it.”

James Bonnet

Author of Stealing Fire from the Gods: The Complete Guide to Story for Writers and Filmmakers.


Staging (also called blocking) may be the most powerful, non-invasive, non-improvisational directing tool available. Unfortunately, it is also one of the least understood and frequently misused tools. The Travis Technique of Staging offers powerful ways to inject scenes with the obstacles and tensions that will generate the range of emotions you want your characters to experience.

“These classes have been eye-openers for me and have ignited a new spark. Mark’s technique along with the (at times) ‘scary’ exercises from Elsha – are allowing me to dig the scalpel deeper and move on past the surface of Directing & Storytelling.”

Carl Flood

Writer/Director, The Unspoken Badge

“Every minute of that tremendous week was enlightening, exciting, enthralling! Mark taught us, challenged, praised. Stretched and inspired us. His expertise added greater depth and beauty to my scenes. I left that training room more confident, more empowered and more in love with filmmaking than ever!”

Fiona Ashe

Film/Television Director and Screenwriter, Cracks in the Ice

Patience & Humanity


Nothing has resonated with me as much as Mark’s method to obtaining organic, authentic performances that truly grab audiences. My expectations for the course were deeply surpassed. The clarity, emotional intelligence and passion with which Mark and Elsha taught the course made this workshop one of the most enlightening academic experiences of my life. Beyond the technical aspects of it all, Mark and Elsha’s patience and humanity is what makes this a unique learning experience. Nothing is more fulfilling as a director than to see how Mark’s techniques affect and alter a character’s reaction, an actor’s ‘performance.’ I will make sure to continue practicing and perfecting his method in the years to come.

David Bertran (Spain)

Director/Writer/Producer, Synapse, Coming to Terms, Helen, Blue Sorrow, A Manly Craft, Athymia, Snapshot, The Hustler


Honolulu, Hawaii
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