Youtube Spotlight: Poolboyinla / Travis Kraft

Saturday, May 05, 2012Traveliztera

He has been known for his "American Adobo" video, that led to people copying his accent ( "Adowbowng Manahk" ), as well as parodies springing out all over the place. An American, he has been seen on Philippine TV for the past few years doing interviews and guesting, not only due to his viral video, but also because of his passion for the Filipino culture and filmmaking. Aside from these, he is also a model, and has been seen alongside Katrina Halili and Lindsay Lohan. He is currently making videos on Youtube, with the recent themes revolving around the Filipino people, and this amazed Filipinos, especially seeing how he has been fitting in the country. 

Personally, I knew about Travis before I even became a Youtuber, and this was through Greenpinoy. He shared his video to all of us in 2008, and eventually, I stumbled upon Travis again last 2010, and got the chance to talk to him about his videos. In this post, he was able to answer some of the questions that made all of us curious, and he was able to share his stories that led him to where he is now. Once again, Travis Kraft!

NAME: Travis Kraft

LOCATION: Philippines & USA

Photo by Mark Francis Photography

I first saw your ADOBO video a few years ago when it first came out, what got you into starting it?
- How my famous adobo video came about is a bit of a long story. Basically, in 2006 I had a meeting with GMA 7 network about possibly doing some shows with them and while in the waiting room, I saw a poster on the wall for a cooking show they had. During the meeting I suggested having me as a guest on it, but I think they thought I was kidding and it never happened. Then in 2007, back in America, I decided I wanted to buy some video equipment for fun. I got some basic stuff and decided to test but I needed something to shoot. I remembered that I never appeared on that show so I decided to shoot my own little cooking segment just for fun. I shot the video real quick and then uploaded, not expecting anyone to ever watch it. To my surprise it became a viral hit.

"American Adobo" by Travis Kraft

When did you start Youtube?
- I think I actually started uploading to Youtube back in 2006. I was uploading clips from TV shows I was on. ABS-CBN got the whole account deleted because they filed a copyright claim against me, because I uploaded a clip from one of their TV shows I was on. I ended up creating a new account in 2007 after buying my own equipment,  and the adobo video was one of the first I uploaded. I thought, "Wow, that is easy to get a lot of views!", and I thought that's just the way it worked. I later found out with other videos that getting masses of people to watch them would not be so easy.

Why did you decide to finally share your videos online? 
- When I started sharing videos online, Youtube was in its infancy and I never gave it much thought. I never imagined it would evolve into something so important, not only to my life, but to the whole world and the way information is shared.

How did you come up with your username?
- My username on Youtube is poolboyinla and I think that is a stupid name. I chose that name because when I started uploading videos, I wasn't sure if I wanted people to know it was me uploading that stuff. Like I said, I didn't know how important Youtube would become. I wish I would have just chosen my real name. As for the poolboy part, I used to work as a poolboy as a summer job while going to college. I later named my video production company Poolboy Films.

What kind of videos do you do?
-The videos I do are very diverse. I don't like to stick to one theme or format because it is more interesting and challenging to explore different themes and genres. I have done short films, music videos, instructional, documentary, comedy, and more.

I have done 2 cooking videos, American Adobo and the sequel, Salo-Salo. I get a lot of requests to do more cooking videos but I really don't want to because I have done that and want to move on to other things. Also, I think people would get tired of it after awhile. The joke would grow old quick.

Another reason I don't want to do more is because I don't think I could make one better than Salo-Salo. I was very green as a filmmaker back then, but even though I am much more technical and sophisticated now, the concept was very creative and the emotions and motives behind it was very sincere and that comes across onscreen.

Where do you get your inspiration when it comes to making these videos?
- Inspiration and coming up with good ideas are probably my biggest problem. I am only one man and I can only come up with so many good ideas. I find inspiration in a number of ways. One is going for walks. This gets my blood flowing and my brain working. Also, it helps being outside because many of my videos are ultimately about showing the beauty of nature or the outside world, even if that isn't obvious because of the stories going on. Often though, inspiration just hits me out of the blue. Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of the night and an idea just comes to me. Inspiration is just one of those things that is hard to force. Some days you have it, some days you don't.

What is your BEST VIDEO that will summarize what you can offer ? 
- It's really hard for me to pick my favorite video because they are all so diverse and have different meanings to me. Salo-Salo is very special to me because it was sort of like my birth as a filmmaker.

I guess the one that would show someone that is not familiar with me the best example of what I do is called Fight. It is a short film with no dialogue that is perhaps more like a music video. To me, films are usually better the less that is said, so speaking should be kept to a minimum, and in fact, many of my videos contain no dialogue. Basically, the story of Fight is that in the beginning it shows me and a female counterpart separately but both messed up. It then plays in reverse to get to the point that shows how we got that way.

"Fight" by Travis Kraft

What is your overall goal in terms of video production? Do you want to fully pursue this career?
- Right now, my only goal in terms of production is to entertain people. I don't need to be the most famous person on the planet or the most popular. I just want to have my audience and create things they enjoy.

Aside from FILM PRODUCTION, what else do you do?
Aside from producing and directing, I had a pretty good career as a model and done other things in entertainment, mainly some acting. At the end of 2010, I decided to take a break from those things, especially modeling, to focus on videomaking. The other thing is that I had been modeling for several years and had a good run. I figured being on more billboards or doing another major campaign would not make me any happier as a person. Also, getting older, it is harder to diet all the time and always keep my weight down for shoots. I want to enjoy life and enjoy food.

You've been featured plenty of times and you've done many projects, which among struck you the most? Why?
- I didn't achieve all my goals in the entertainment industry, but it doesn't matter to me anymore. I realize I did a lot and a lot of other people would kill to do some of the things I got to do. Probably the most notable of of things I have done, at least to other people, is the photo shoot I did with Lindsay Lohan for Harper's Bazaar magazine. 

Travis Kraft with Lindsay Lohan
CREDITS to Bazaar Magazine and for the screenshots.

That is not my favorite job I have done out of everything, but it's probably the one I get asked about the most. I am not sure which one would be my favorite offhand because I did so many jobs but I think while I was doing them, I took the time to appreciate and enjoy them.

Any message for the viewers?
- My message for the viewers is that I am very appreciative that people are watching my videos. It is an honor and privilege that they are welcoming me into their homes and minds with my work.

Thank you Travis for the time! Keep it up with your goals, and thank you for embracing the Filipino culture! Like the comment you left on my channel, you also spread Filipino craziness like me! Keep spreading the love and inspiration through your creative work! =)

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3 Travelers with Comments. Click to comment!

  1. i love you're travis a lot travis, your a motivation to my inspirations. Please make videos more so that i can make laughter on it. great blogposting

  2. mapakapanood nga nito...

  3. Never heard about Travis until now O.o LOL at the American Adobo video, or should I say, Adowbowng Manahk! :D


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