WCW: Che Grayson: Storyteller

I said it a few times and I’ll say it again: I am so grateful to have found the Geek Girl Brunch Community. I have met so many amazing women through it and wonderful friends. 

 Che Grayson is one of the women I met along the way!

Che is a Brooklyn based filmmaker, writer and TED speaker from Long Island, New York. Che grew up with her mothers, little brother; spending most of her time watching black-and-white films and 80s horror flicks.  Her award-winning films have been shown internationally and her writing has been featured in Teen Vogue and Image Comics.

Photo credit: Chegrayson.com

Photo credit: Chegrayson.com

I had the opportunity to connect with Che and discuss her recent project Magic Hour! A new online horror/sci fi story that puts LGBTQ people and people of color as leads!  

For the pilot episode, titled “Soul-Search,” model, activist, and Pose actor Indya Moore stars as a modern Frankenstein looking for a soul and purpose in life.

Che recently debuted the trailer for episode one as the Kickstarter for episode 2 launched in July:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chegrayson/magic-hours-pilot-episode-starring-indya-moore 

Written/Directed by Che Grayson Starring & Executive Produced by Indya Moore Kickstarter: http://kck.st/2Nr3dKZ

O.C.O: Why do you consider yourself a “nerd activist"? 

C.G: I thought of the term as a way to combine my greatest passions: fandoms and social justice. I feel like they're not mutually exclusive and a some of the greatest stories (i.e. X-men, Black Panther and Steven Universe) have an amazing way of highlighting the experiences of marginalized communities and those who have felt "bothered." All of these heroes and fictional character believe in justice so in a way a nerd or geek is also someone aligned with that same belief in justice and equality (at least the compassionate ones)  

O.C.O: Why is Dumbledore your favorite wizard based on your 2016 Ted Talk?

C.G: I think Dumbledore is one of the most thoughtfully complex characters in children's literature. He galvanized an entire generation of witches and wizards and ultimately led to the defeat of one of the most nefarious characters in history. And it's not just what he does that I love and respect so much, it's what he says. J.K. Rowling gave him some of the dopest lines in seven books. Constantly dropping knowledge and truth when Harry needed it most and I honestly needed it too as a reader. Honestly what's not to love about Dumbledore? 

O.C.O: What’s harder: Getting started or being able to keep going?

C.G: I love getting started on things. I have new ideas in my mind all the time, when I'm walking the dog or when I'm trying to sleep. But by far, the hardest thing to do is to keep going. Sometimes finishing something can seem nearly impossible and the only way to keep going is just to keep going. It sounds weird but it's true. As a storyteller I've realized that the only way for me to be able to call myself such is if I keep writing and directing and telling stories. But I have to keep telling myself, I can't really call myself a writer if all my stories are stuck in my head and not on the page and that's one of the things that keeps me going.

O.C.O: Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking was not just a hobby, but that it would be your life and your living?

C.G: I started making films in college. So I never really saw it as a hobby it felt more like a calling the moment I finished my first script. It's why I went to film school because I felt it was so much more than just a passion or hobby of mine but it was a destiny I had to work toward. The hardest part has been making a living of it after film school. I'm still working on that part but I get closer every day and with every project that I finish. 

O.C.O: When inspiration is waning, when do you feel creatively sapped, what do you do, how do you overcome it?

C.G: When things get hard I always search for inspiration, whether it's making a playlist on Spotify, a mood board on Pinterest or just having a writing session with a friend to keep me going. I also just take my writing one-day at a time. I make myself write two pages a day even when it's 10 at night and everyone is sleeping. That's actually the best time for me to get writing done. And sometimes when I'm working on a film I just need to watch a good more or when I'm writing my novel I just need to pick up a good book to remind me that what I'm striving for is possible.

O.C.O: What’s your superpower or spirit animal?

C.G: For my super power I would want to be just like Jean Grey she is both the strongest and most compassionate of superheroes and I've always been fascinated by the true power of the mind. 

O.C.O: What advice would you give aspiring artists who want to use their platform as a way to resist and give back during these weird times?

C.G: I think is this digital age it's more important than ever to stand up for yourself and for others who are on the right side of history. Art can be a cathartic and empowering way to tackle real-life issues on a personal, national and even global scale. If you feel you have a story to tell, tell it. Make a kickstarter, start a blog, get the word out. There is an audience for you who is hungry for the stories you're bursting to tell. 

Support Magic Hour y’all: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chegrayson/magic-hours-pilot-episode-starring-indya-moore the Kickstarter campaign ends in six days! 

Artwork by  Sashko Danylenko

Artwork by Sashko Danylenko

You can follow Che on Instagram and Twitter as well as Magic Hour TV on Instagram!

xo

Kos

 

The Shape of Water: A modern yet magical tale

Guillermo del Toro (best known for Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim)  shines as a storyteller in the movie, The Shape of Water. The story, set in the 60s, during a time when the USA was in the mist of the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War era, a mute cleaning lady, Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins) befriends and falls in love with an amphibian, played by, imprisoned in a government building where Elisa is employed. She is one of several women who clean the government facility. When she learns of the horrific experiments and treatment that her new friend is undergoing, and will undergo, she realizes that she must risk everything to help him escape.  

It’s definitely a sci-fi take on Beauty and the Beast and The Creature of the Black Lagoon. The movie also shows how Elisa struggles to make her voice heard as she considers herself somewhat of a “beast” as well. The creature at first is frightening; some may say grotesque. Then, as the bond between him and Elisa blossoms that initial reaction is forgotten (not to spoil the movie but trust me) you begin to soften up to the creature.

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Del Toro pushes the phrase “Love has no bounds” by showcasing how jarring and endearing the bond that develops between Elisa and Amphibious Man. The manner in which they communicate with each other was beautiful to watch.  Neither speaks, they just depend on their physicality to communicate many emotions: love, hope, fear, anger, loneliness and forgiveness.  They were able to push through impossible odds and making the effort to show they care. Their story shows we are more than capable of doing that as well, with all our technology and gadgets.  The bond that forms between Elisa and the creature is jarring and endearing. Their relationship may push bounds for some, but also may strengthen what you define as love.

Sally Hawkins’ performance, is charming and graceful. The joy she expresses is contagious! Doug Jones as Amphibious man is tender and believable.

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The Shape of Water is truly a wonderful movie it combined a lot of my favorites genres: sci-fi, period films, and fairy tales.  Del Toro fans will not be disappointed with his story, his visual styling, his attention to colors, set design, costumes, and of course his monster. The soundtrack is memorable with wonderful period tune choices.  

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I loved this movie! I think you get that?! Go see it!

Happy Holidays!

Kos

Touchdown: The new Star Wars Trailer is here!

If you have been living under a rock the past two days you were bound to hear about the new Star Wars trailer debuting during Monday night football.  To commence the countdown for the trailer’s launch, Disney released the sequel’s official theatrical poster on Sunday, and the new artwork immediately became a trending topic on Twitter: 


I was planning on watching Monday night football because the Giants were playing ha ha! The new trailer is glorious, for those who haven't seen in take a look:

All the old characters are in the trailer: Han, Leia, Chewbacca, and Luke. I had a few debates about this, you have to watch the trailer a second time to catch him with R2. A lot of people forget he lost a hand and had a bionic hand in Return of the Jedi. LOL proud I know something like that ;)

This trailer made up for the fact that my Giants lost, December 18th can't come fast enough.

xo

Kosi

New York Comic Con 2014

Hey everyone!

I can't believe it's mid-October already! I had a busy few days at NY Comic Con 2014, a time to band with fellow geeks, Cosplay, and leave reality for at least a few days. It is great to see so many different people from different backgrounds, occupations have the same joy I have in attending. New York Comic Con’s attendance surpassed San Diego’s this year! Well done NYC!

Anyone that knows me knows I dress up every year along with my niece Akua and our friend Kimani. This year, I dressed up as Rogue from X-Men, Daenerys from Game of Thrones, and Retro Catwoman:

Apologies for the Catwoman picture, I forgot to take one actually, Sunday was way too busy since I was taking my nephews to comic con.  What is also great about NY Comic Con is the exercise you get! There is so much to cover all over the Javits Center, heck even walking to the Javits Center lol Here are a few of my favorites:

                                                             My goodies, yes that is an Optimus Prime helmut :)

                                                             My goodies, yes that is an Optimus Prime helmut :)

Check out Fashionedits.com and read my NY Comic Con article, I spoke to a few veterans about the astonishing popularity over the last few years!

Also an outfit post is coming soon, adjusting to going back to being Bruce Wayne lol, until next year!

xo

Kosi