film

One of my favorite things I’ve learned over the years in multi-media is color palettes. It may seem, so simple, but based on the message or vibe you want to translate, it can make your film or any form of media go so much further than the basis of the story.

For example, if you want a dark and moody story-line delivered, you may want to focus on the blues and grays:

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or if you want a comedy or light-hearted driven story-line, you might go for a more vibrant and contrasting palette or even a warmer color palette like oranges, reds, and yellows:

A lot of film and television references are played into this blog. Films like Her, The Fifth Element, Revenant, Vikings, The Lion King, Alice in Wonderland, Mute, The Shape of Water, Blade Runner, Game of Thrones, and Edward Scissorhands are just a few examples that come to mind. So, for some more film studying for those filmmakers, next time you find a preferable film to study, see if you can pin point a color palette and evaluate if it matches the message or story-line being portrayed in the film or television show.

Also a handy tool I have discovered over the years to create and practice your color palette skills is the site, https://coolors.co. Also, it’s FREE to register and create collections for your future films.

MV5BMjIwMjE1Nzc4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDg4OTA1NzM@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_.jpgFirst and foremost, if you are expecting the new rendition of The Lion King to be parallel to the 1994 edition, don’t.

I went into watching it, making that mistake. To the expectations of James Earl Jones going word for word in his 1994 role of Mufasa, and the uneasy role of Scar being replicated to Jeremy Irons role. I had to erase those expectations after I started getting disappointed left and right.

After stopping the film, mentally erasing those expectations, taking a day or two, and hit restart, it became very clear. Director Jon Favreau made sure to make this version its own identity and on that level, he succeeded.

The realistic animation of the animals involved in the film and the color palette hit it on the head for the production crew. So, congratulations for the production department for executing that aspect of the film successfully.

Again, I had to adjust to the acting and dialogue of this film, and I think a lot of critics would agree. As for the music, I personally enjoyed the renditions of the songs, but that’s just my forte, since even Elton John would differ in that department. Who knows, he is more of a professional musician than I am, so I won’t bark up that tree, myself.

Overall, even though I did enjoy the remake, and would use this film as a reference for a color palette lesson, I also would still prefer the original animation in itself, unlike that of the predecessor of the newly live-action films under Jon Favreau’s brand, The Jungle Book.

TYLD horizontal widerI’ve became friends and a supporter for producer and filmmaker, Jim Cirile, when I discovered his project Liberator, which featured heavy hitters like Lou Ferrigno (Hulk), Michael Dorn (Star Trek), Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Bloodfist), and last, but certainly not least in my book, one of my favorite actresses, Peta Wilson (La Femme Nikita).

A few years down the road, the creation for To Your Last Death would come to life, and I would again, support this project for Jim and his wife and business partner, Tanya Klein. Two projects later, I am confident to say that this won’t be the last project that these two amazing human beings will create that I will support and promote for.

Y’all have an astounding cast including William Shatner (Star Trek), Morena Baccarin (Gotham, Deadpool), Ray Wise (Robocop, Twin Peaks). Did you already have these actors envisioned in your mind for your characters when creating the project, or was there an audition for these actors and actress?

Tanya Klein: No, we didn’t write those parts with anyone in mind. During the pre-production process, we sat around with our producers and director and made lists of actors who would be great for these parts. Our producers called their agents and then it hinged on their interest and availability and cost.

To Your Last Death, formally known as Malevolent, has been in production for a few years now. How does it feel to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for this project for the both of you?

Jim Cirile: I guess the best way to describe it is simply “wow.” There were times during the production process when we weren’t sure we’d be able to finish it. Animated movies are pricey and sometimes there are unforeseen hiccups. So at times it was pretty stressful. Getting it done felt great. We recently had our first cast/crew/friends/family screening to celebrate the fact that we had climbed the mountain. To show it on a big screen in front of many people was, of course, nerve-wrecking and we were thrilled to discover that it went over really well. Everyone got it. They laughed at the right places and they were scared at the right places. It was awesome. So “wow.”

How long have y’all been working in the film industry?

TK: I have been in the entertainment industry for all of my adult life starting out in theater as a playwright, director, actor and producer in New York as well as Artistic Director of a theater company before switching over to film about 15 years ago.

JC: I started out as an assistant at a small production company in New York right after college. After that, I worked my way up to writer/producer at that company before coming out to Los Angeles. All in all, I have been working in the industry for 30 years.

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Actor William Shatner and the To Your Last Death crew. Jim & Tanya to your far left. 🙂

Producing isn’t the only expertise you both have on your resumes, is it? Can you give the readers an outline of your accomplishments over the years in the industry?

TK: We’re both writers, as well as, story analysts. I am also an actor/director.  I has a slew of NY stage productions, as well as, several short films under my belt.

JC: I am an artist/musician. I also have written on many features including having a three-movie deal with Lionsgate.

Y’all are just co-producers for film projects, you both are married to each other. 😊 When did you two decide to take your relationship to the next level, as not just husband and wife, but as business partners?

JC: That happened quite organically because when you’re around someone a lot you naturally get involved in their projects. So I’d say pretty much from the start.

What’s the best thing about working together?

TK: Firstly, it’s efficient. If you need to discuss something you can simply walk into the other room. Secondly, you know each other well and can develop a kind of shorthand.

TYLD 11You’re been behind two successful crowd funding projects with Liberator and now To Your Last Death. What are some of the advice can you can share with other aspiring filmmakers to accomplish this aspect of success for raising money to budget your film projects?

JC: Oh, many! First of all, if you can avoid crowdfunding your movie AVOID IT! This might sound flippant, but I’m absolutely serious. Crowdfunding isn’t a walk in the park. A few things to keep in mind: 1. you need a strong online presence months before you start your crowdfund (so plan accordingly). 2. When deciding how much money to ask for you must keep fulfillment of perks (which costs money) as well as taxes in mind. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you lose money or barely break even when you do a crowdfund 3.  On average one crowdfund team member can raise $6K (some a bit less and some a bit more depending on their social media footprint, but that’s what it averages out to). So if you want to raise $60K, you’ll need 10 committed team members.

What inspired to bring To Your Last Death to life? How was the story created?

TK: Often horror films end up in the same place: Final Girl, exhausted and blood-smeared, claws her way out of the wreckage after a time of absolute horror where she had to watch everyone else die only to finally best the bad guy. We thought: “what if that was our starting point? Final Girl crawls out into the light… and then we send her back to do it all again. Wouldn’t that be cool… and cruel? ”

Are any of the characters based on anyone you know in real life? How much did the TYLD 8actors end up relating to the characters they played in the film?

TK: No, thankfully not! (laughs) However, we do like to call Cyrus our Dick Cheney character. Similar bio and similar personality. (Yeah, he’s the bad guy.) The actors seemed to enjoy themselves a lot especially since some of them got to play against type.

How does this film stand out from the rest of the anime films? How does this film stand out from the rest of the films in America?

JC: Animation is only now in the process of “growing up” in the US. For many, many years animation was something for kids (and on the feature film front it still very much is). TV has led the march towards adult-themed animation and, slowly, this is opening up the feature film sphere. An animated horror film was pretty much unheard of when we first started this project and still is in many ways. It differs from anime films in the sense that we’re going for more gritty realism in character design and color-work as well as animation.

This is the very first American Anime here in the states, so that’s an accomplishment. Do you see yourself trendsetting for future anime films in this country, or even worldwide?

TK: That’d be cool! However, an animated movie is very difficult to produce when one has to do it on a small budget. Hence, the next animated movie we make has to be with a deep-pocketed investor or studio on board.

Are there any other projects in the works from Coverage, Ink you two can hint at for the near future?

JC: We actually have several scripts we’d like to make…

TK: …However, the first step is selling To Your Last Death and possibly a vacation. (Smiles!)

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I’ve connected with this artist for the past five years, at least, and I have the largest amount of respect for his craft and artistry as an actor, a hip-hop artist, and a motivational speaker.

Even as today’s hip-hop industry can’t seem to draw away from negative terms and swear words, Tray Chaney has formatted his craft of not using such words in his messages.

Even as a combat veteran who swears like a sailor, I can respect him for infinite miles on his direction for his powerful stories and positive messages, because what it comes down to for the both of us is providing a positive life and changing the world for the better from our own visions. This is why I stand with his purpose and mission in his artistry in today’s day and age.

Thank you Tray for taking your time with me to answer my questions and promote Chaney Vision while collaborating with GautschVision. Let’s dive right into the interview, shall we? 

You’ve been diving into the music career for 6+ years, and ever since I discovered your music, thanks to Twitter for connecting us years ago (laughs), I’ve noticed how your lyrical messages are strong across the bored from anti-bullying, to dedicated fathers, love to women, and an AIDS anthem for the world to listen on. Of all messages, what influenced you to promote such powerful messages in the hip-hop community?

Tray Chaney: I just felt there was a void in the hip-hop industry when it came to these kind of messages, so I wanted to go against the grain and really push more positive storytelling. It’s really been a blessing with the recognition that comes from it.

Do you ever feel you are taking a risk in the hip-hop community by promoting these topics?

TC: I don’t really feel like there is a risk, because there is an audience that I’ve tapped into pursing this kind of music. I’ve been getting booked with some of the biggest acts in the hip-hop industry, because they respect the route I took. Plus, as much as I’m entertaining, I’m also educating, so it’s been a win for me as an independent artist. It is a lot of hard work, but most importantly, I enjoy the whole process.

477F9EEB-CE21-4BC8-847D-A2DF2963F0EFYour last music album, S.A.M. (Strictly About Music), came out in 2017. Are there any other music projects in production that your fans can look forward to in the near future? Any you can tell us about? 

TC: I’m working on an untitled album right now, as we speak. In the meantime, I’m staying consistent with the music by dropping singles. Just dropped my new Single MOMENTUM today. It’s available on all digital streaming platforms including Spotify, iTunes, etc.

 

A few of my favorite songs from you over the years are “Be Yourself”, “Self Made Star”, & “Mike Bully.” What are some of your favorite songs you’ve made and are most proud of to this date?

TC: That’s a hard question (laughs). All of the songs hold a special place in my heart, because I tell the truth with the lyrics. I do not have a favorite, I love all of them.

You’ve been in the film industry for a good 15+ years as an actor, but now you are starting to dive into the producer role for a few projects including your upcoming autobiography. Care to share some details on that a little bit? 

TC: Yes undeniable The Tray Chaney Story Documentary is my first major project that I’m  executive producing & I’ve partnered with a Washington DC film crew, Anthony Commodore (Commodore Independent Filmworks), & Mitch Credle (Safe House Films DC).

It’s my story about how I came into the entertainment industry and how I had to overcome trials and tribulations in my personal life. Bottom line, no matter what I went through in life, I never gave up. Features some awesome testimonials from Clifton Powell, Kenny Lattimore, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Russ Parr, Big Daddy Kane, Anwan Glover, Keith Robinson, J.D. Williams, and Blackchild! I’m very proud of it and it’s coming out very soon.

 

What influenced your decision to allow yourself to dive into the producer role?

TC: It’s about ownership & having creative control/freedom to give you all my art plus I’ve always wanted to step behind the camera & be involved with everything that goes on behind the scenes & everything it takes to put a great project together! I absolutely love what Anthony Commodore & Mitch Credle are teaching me.

Which role brings more challenges for you, a producer for film or bringing a character to life for the film, and why?

TC: I love the word Challenge & I love being able to face my challenges head on so I would say a producer for a film but the only reason why it doesn’t feel like a challenge is because I actually love learning the processe. With me being an actor having a job of bringing the character to life is pretty easy once I start diving into the backstory of who the character is.

You seem to be attracted musically and film-wise on stories with true and genuine substance. What are some stories that haven’t been brought to life yet, that you would love to see in the movie theater or in another art form?

TC: I would love to see the life story of how Def Jam records was put together. Everything Russell  Simmons had to go thru building such a dynamite brand of artist that still have a huge impact on the industry.

Are there any directors/producers/actors you would love to work with that you haven’t worked with yet in the film industry? Any artists in the hip-hop or music community in general you’d like to work with?

TC: I’d love to work with Ryan Coogler (Director Of Black Panther , Creed & Fruitvale Station), as well as, Spike Lee, Denzel Washington, and Will Smith. I’m speaking that into existence. It’s going to happen.

You’ve worked in various spots around the country for different film projects. What is the environment like in Atlanta, Georgia, compared to the Baltimore, Maryland and Washington D.C. area? Any similarities? Any differences?

TC:  The difference is Atlanta has so many projects going at one time from film, television, music , fashion, and so much more. This is definitely a location where you can come and either get on, or you will be inspired to come here and create your own. I’m from Forestville, Maryland/Washington DC area, and I see my city is improving on the music and film side of things as well, but not quite on the same level that Atlanta is at.

What seems to be the biggest challenge you’ve come across over the years as an artist? What has been the biggest reward for yourself as an artist?

TC: It’s been nothing, but rewards to be honest. I’ve been able to really build great relationships in the industry. I’m fortunate, because The Wire was such an impacted show that opportunities even on an independent level come across my desk all the time.

So, a crazy small-world story, I must share. I was looking through your IMdB page to spruce up some questions for you, and I discovered a connection we both share now, since it involves a credit of yours. Click on This! with my good friend, Johnny Alonso, and creator, Elena Moscatt. I also recently just interviewed Johnny Alonso, as well as, working on an interview currently with Elena Moscatt. How crazy is that?! (Laughs). Talk about a small world! And, with that in factor, you were one of the hosts in 2011 along with Alonso. What was your favorite memory from that whole experience?

TC: I loved connecting with the people! Such a wonderful experience!

What’s next for the brand, Chaney Vision? Where do you see yourself in the next year? In five years?

TC: Chaney Vision is producing more projects in television, film, and music. In the next five years my company will be a household name giving other artist platforms and opportunities.

Thank you so much, Tray, for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down for this interview.  It was such a pleasure! Make sure you all go to his web site, www.trayscurriculum.com/store, and check his merchandise out, and if you enjoy hip-hop music, swing over to iTunes to give Tray Chaney a listen at http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1324851443?ls=1&app=itunes

This is a total subjective list of my own favorite films that I can enjoy over and over again without it getting old. Whether if the cult following helped the film do super well or it basically shitted down the tube of finances and reviews… I give you MY top ten favorite cult classic films that I can honestly watch over and over again without any guilt. Are any of your favorites on my list as well? Which cult films are your favorites?

 

10. BEETLEJUICE

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9. V for Vendetta

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8. Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

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7. Con Air

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6. The Evil Dead

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5. Interview With a Vampire

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4. GREASE

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3. WATERWORLD

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2. The Fifth Element

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1. The Crow

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Honorary mentions and other cult favorite include Overboard, Cry-Baby, Dirty Dancing, Edward Scissorhands, Shakespeare In Love, and Scream.