Waste of Film – Travis Young

These are the most intimate words Kansas City photographer Travis Young will ever share with the world:

I am a suicide survivor of a failed attempt on my own life when I was 16. Then again, when I was 25 which was a little under four years ago…
Instagram, @travislikesfilm

Direct and honest, Young’s words move into passages that read like poetry, a confession of sorts to friends and fans detailing both his pain and process. Tucked in toward the end like grace note, he mentions Waste of Film, a deeply moving documentary by Barkley Films director Josh Dubois that turns his 28 years into a 9-minute “conversation of hope in grim realities.”

Through intimate close-ups and stutter-cut styling, Dubois captures Young three years after second suicide attempt. In the same straight-forward manner as he presents on social media, Young recounts the brutal childhood that led him to two suicide attempts — and how he ultimately found a way to heal.

“Whenever I felt something that felt like an emotion, I would take a photo…that’s all I needed to do. I couldn’t see the photo, and that felt more appropriate, because I didn’t really know what I was feeling to begin with,” Young explains.

It wasn’t until Young would go to develop his film that he discovered he was producing more than pictures — he was processing emotions.

“I realized the significance of that internal movement, what made me feel to begin with — trying to translate that process into simply feeling, simply being alive, simply being here, simply participating in this thing that I’ve come to understand as my own life.”

Timed to debut during National Suicide Prevention week, the award-winning short documentary is part of KC Loves, a film series directed by Dubois and produced by Barkley that celebrates creativity and the community that practices it in Kansas City.

“I think most photographers consider 90 percent of what they shoot to be a waste of film and 10 percent to be where a simple image becomes something powerful,” says Dubois. “But it’s in that margin where Travis lives daily.”

While the film ends with the phone number to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, Young ends his post with a call to action:

I love you, dudes.
Find your quiet moments.
Hold your friends close.
Stay hydrated.
Respect women.
Eat tacos on Tuesdays.

And above all, waste film.


On Instagram: @travislikesfilm @kcloves

Selected as AdAge’s Top 5 Most Creative Brand Ideas-

Featured as an Editor’s Pick on AdAge’s Creativity –

Winner – Award of Excellence – IndieFEST Film Awards 2018

Read more on “Waste of Film” here: