Saturday, November 26, 2011

Exclusive Interview with Director Alvin Gray!

TCW Reviews’ Administrator and Editor in chief, Clifford Kiyabu, sits down with Writer and Director Alvin Gray for an exclusive interview! Over the last few years we at The Critic’s Word have made it our priority to notice and invest time in the new up and comers in the independent scene. From writers and directors, to producers and actors, we’ve had the pleasure of sitting down with some pretty talented folks in the independent film industry or as we like to call it, your day in our chair. Today is no exception as we have a very special guest taking a seat in our virtual chair! He’s a rising new comer based in Baltimore and gaining some serious notary in the indie film scene with his new exciting project. So without further ado sit back in your chair and get nice and comfy as Alvin and I have a nice chitchat talking about topics that range from his upcoming movie, to topics regarding the mainstream industry and its current course taking by those in charge with 3D films.

Clifford: First off, I’d like to thank you for dropping by our little neck of the web. It’s always a pleasure having a talent such as you drop by.

Clifford: For my readers, who have yet to see some of your work, tell us little bit about yourself?

Alvin: I am movie/music video director. I’m 25 years old, and I’m from Baltimore MD, born and raised here.

Clifford: How long have you been behind the camera, Alvin?

Alvin: Since the age of 15 I've been making movies, so looking back now, I guess you would say over a decade [Laughs,] I've been doing this for a long time, but it seems like each movie is a whole new experience.

Clifford: As a filmmaker, do you think you’ll ever lose that “new experience” feeling?
Alvin: I don't think I'll ever lose that new experience feeling because, i never repeat myself, that makes each experience new to me. I mean, now I more comfortable when it comes to directing a scene, I'm not on edge anymore, but it’s still new every time.

Clifford: As a filmmaker, what influenced you into wanting to pursue filmmaking?
Alvin: I never was a big fan of my life, I always wanted to escape, even as a child I always played with action figures, making up my own scenarios for them. Finally when I got to high school I was introduced to multimedia class which let me explore my creativity with cameras, writing, speaking, and becoming a better director.

Clifford: Were there any specific genre in general were eyeing when you first got into filmmaking?

Alvin: Funny story, I always LOVED scary movies, my grandmother and I would always watch different scary movies, Childs Play, Poltergeist, Children of corn, etc... But my first movie was called Senior Cut Day "02" which was gonna be an adaptation of Ferris Bulers Day Off, but somewhere along the lines, I found this creepy mask on set, and decided from that mask, that I wanted to make my movie a thriller and not a comedy .

Clifford: What was the initial reaction to the changes by those involved with the project?

Alvin: The cast/friends that were a part of the movie, just went with the flow, nobody knew what they were doing, we all just wanted to be a part of something. And we kept moving forward.

Clifford: The Indie genre seems to be the main hub for original ideas these days, as a filmmaker do you foresee the mainstream industry openly embracing the indie genre in the near future?

Alvin: Right now I feel like the mainstream industry is threatened by the indie genre as well as they should be, I mean......for years, they had the power of deciding who was the star, who’s story should be seen, and what worlds did they want to show. But now, it's not about what Hollywood thinks, it's about the people and how well the director can connect with them. Mainstream will always try to avoid us, because they want the money to themselves; take note, as soon as EVERYBODY started making HD quality movies, the mainstream started to push 3D heavily on people, to set themselves aside from indie film makers. And when we adapt to 3D, they'll put out "smell a vision"

Clifford: Speaking of 3D, do you believe 3D is here to stay, or will be just another fad to fade within the coming years?

Alvin: 3D is just a new way to re-invent the wheel, to let all the indie film makers know who's boss, [Laughs,] but I don't think 3D will disappear but maybe upgrade to 4D, smell, touch, feel, and see movies.

Clifford: When you’re in the process of making a film, do you have a routine that you run through in order to get yourself into the moment, so to speak, and if so, would you like to share it with us?

Alvin: I honestly don’t have a process; I just close my eyes and jump in.

Clifford: Alright, you’ve got a film called “Senior Cut Day.” coming out soon. Care to tell us a little bit about it?

Alvin: Senior Cut Day (2011) is about a group of kids that car breaks down in the woods, on their way to the cabins for senior cut day. Not paying attention to their surroundings, they decided to camp out and have fun in the woods that night, Getting drunk and partying all night, they find themselves separated in the morning, and one by one being killed off by homeless scavengers that live in the woods.

Clifford: SCD sounds like it pays homage to classic horror films of the 80‘s, was that the intended goal?

Alvin: My intended goal for SCD is to be a thriller that teens will follow every year for their senior cut day. When I was younger and even now, on EVERY Halloween, I make sure I watch at least one Michael Myers movie. It's just tradition. I want kids around the world to say "let’s cut school on senior cut day and watch Senior Cut Day" [Laughs].

Clifford: Where did principle filming take place?

Alvin: Mostly on a private farm which is a haunted hay ride in the fall, called Legends of the Fog.
Clifford: How long did the filming process last?

Alvin: all together, I would say 5 months.

Clifford: During filming, did you run into any unscheduled problems or conflicts?

Alvin: Man, this whole production was an unscheduled conflict smh :/

Clifford: Okay now this next question is TCWreviews’ signature question so don’t feel alarmed, you’re not the only one [Laughter]

Clifford: The term ‘For The Sake of Art’ has always been coined in the entertainment industry for how far an actor/actress would be willing to go for, well… the sake of art. So my question to you is; How far are you willing to go for the sake of art in this industry?

Alvin: A true artist never has a line, we shouldn't be afraid to push the envelope to explore all options, that’s what makes us different, that’s what helps us discover new things to share.

Clifford: As part of a recently established tradition here at TCWreviews, we allow one anonymous reader a chance to ask our celebrity guests a question, but don’t worry we’ve filtered out any nasty obscenities [Laughs]. A reader asks “What are the most stressful aspects of directing, and what are the most rewarding?”

Alvin: The most stressful part of the aspect of directing working with ACTORS AND ACTRESSES, they're just weird and turn into babies on the set. But like all parents, i love my babies........I guess. But the most rewarding part is the fans with benefits ;) "If you know what I mean" hahahahaha

And that concludes my interview with Alvin Gray the director of Senior Cut Day: The Movie (2011). Interviewing Alvin was as insightful as it was a pleasure. Though he’s just starting to get his feet wet in this industry, from my personal opinion on him, Alvin has a bright chip on his shoulder, and as long as he stays the course he’s on I can see him achieving great things in the film industry. Alvin Gray is defiantly one to watch. Keep a look out for his upcoming film Senior Cut Day, which is scheduled to make its official premiere on Thursday December 8, 2011. To learn more about the premiere visit GoldenTiger Productions to find out where to see it and how the buy tickets. Also learn more about the film by visiting the official website at and its official Facebook Page