By Aaron Blevins, 9/06/2012
Young director plans feature film in exotic locales
A Miracle Mile teenager has secured a distribution deal from a company in the Philippines to shoot his first feature film, a crime thriller about a former U.S. felon who joins a drug ring to win back the woman of his dreams.
Izzy Traub, 19, signed the deal with Empire Multimedia Corporation to make “T-Town” in August. The deal includes a second film, “Esmeralda”, which was written by his partner in crime thrillers, Ace Salvador.
“We were totally psyched,” Traub said of his initial reaction to the news, adding that he got a bit light-headed. “We’d been working at it for quite a while, and it was just the littlest breakthrough.”
Originally from Canada, he said he has been in Los Angeles for the last year, studying directing at UCLA. Traub said he has wanted to make movies since he was 8 years old, when he caught his father watching the scene in “The Matrix” in which Agent Smith dodges bullets.
“Up until that point, all I’d seen was Winnie the Pooh,” he said. “I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.”
Since then, Traub has created 20 short films, one of which, “Claret”, is on YouTube. That film is about a police officer who goes undercover to break up a gang involved in human trafficking.
The Park La Brea resident completed film studies at the Gulf Island Film and Television School in Canada at the age of 14, and wrote his first feature film screenplay at 16. He’s now written six.
“The next level is doing a feature,” Traub added.
He’s looking to accomplish this alongside his roommate, Salvador, who he “randomly met” two years ago. Salvador is a New York native, and he produced “T-Town”. Traub, in turn, produced “Esmeralda”.
The two are looking to shoot the films in Talisay, Philippines, where Salvador’s uncle is the mayor. Traub said the films were set in the Philippines for that reason, and their goal is to shoot both movies in the same trip.
“The films can be made for such a low amount of money there,” he said.
While he is still working out the details for financing, Traub said he hopes to begin filming in January. His contract with Empire will take effect after the film is made, he said. He’s never been to the Philippines, but is anticipating the journey.
“It’s going to be very exciting,” Traub said. “After that, of course, I’d like to do another feature and continue my career as a director.”
He’ll finish his coursework in the Director’s Certificate Program at UCLA next week, though he’s not sure what film he will pursue next. Traub’s visa expires in about one year, though he hopes to stay in Los Angeles to continue his career.