Seven Questions with Vivian Gray

Vivian Gray is the director of Tape 23. In the film, a son and his father film what will be the last episode of their home movie series.

1. Who are your film influencers?

Director and editor teams like Céline Sciamma and Julien Lacheray, Robert Eggers and Louise Ford, and Ari Aster, Lucian Johnston, and Jennifer Lame. I love how they use more provocative, confusing, or abstract images in between the chronological order, it really draws attention to the subtext or what your personal subconscious is feeling.

2. What are the toughest aspects of making a film today?

This is not a new problem but fundraising unfortunately.

3. Best advice you’ve received as a filmmaker?

Listen, keep it simple, and don’t run away from the things that scare you.

4. What does it mean to you to be a Black filmmaker?

This was an incredibly personal story for me. I made it to express a lot of things I couldn’t say directly. All of us carry parts of ourselves that come with our identity, so for me, creating a film with black characters inherently means more audiences can see parts of themselves in my story that I could not. That is such a gift as a filmmaker.

5. What does it mean to you that your film is on Aspire TV and other platforms?

It means everything! It is truly an honor to have my film shown by Aspire TV. It means that a story that I thought just meant something to me also means something to other people. Thank you!

6. Advice you would give the next gen following you?

Let your subconscious flow, do your thing, and whenever you feel comfortable, share your work with others. Collaborate. Learn how to pitch yourself. Advocate for yourself and your ideas. But the first priority is to have fun.

7.Are there any inspirational films, articles or books that you would recommend to go deeper into the topics and themes in your film?

I found a poem I think that explores the themes pretty well: By the Lake by Richard O Moore.