Monday, December 4, 2017

Mark Revell: The Composer behind the Music of LG’s Signature astounding Commercial Q&A

 Mark Revell: The Composer behind the Music of LG’s Signature astounding Commercial Q&A
By Quanda R. Graves

Hello Mark:
As you know I’m Quanda R. Graves with the California Crusader Newspaper
In conjunction with Until TV and EIN.  I want to thank you for allowing me to interview you today.
Shall we begin?

                QRG: I became quite fascinated with the new 2017 LG signature Commercial’s music, as well as others, that I just had to find out who created that beautiful “forever has you suspended” in time, masterpiece. So I looked it up and found that the piece is called “Into the New” by Mark Revell. I must ask, what was the inspiration behind this piece? And share with me your composing process for it?

MR: Hi Quanda, and first of all thank you for asking me about myself and my music. “Into the New” has actually had quite a long evolution. I first started playing around with the chord sequence over 10 years ago and at that point it was a rock sound, a little like a Pink Floyd song or something! Then a few years later I was scoring a documentary and borrowed it from myself, re-wrote it for strings and used it for a climactic point in that film. Then when I was asked by West One music to write classy powerful string pieces for one of their albums, I changed the arrangement around a bit, speeded it up and added the soaring violin melody over the top.

              QRG: “Into the New” is such a resonating piece that to hear it every time, it just feels new. You catch our attention from the beginning, you take us on a ride, you peek us, cliff hang us and journey us through streams and bring us right back to the beginning. This is all of two minutes or less. Was
QRG & Mark Revell Composer-LG
Commercial page 2 CCN
that your intent? Or do you even see it that way?

MR: It was always my intention to create an exciting piece with a fresh, uplifting feel. I love the textures of composers like Phillip Glass and Michael Nyman, but wanted to write something that evolved much quicker and in a more surprising way. I find the churning interlocking cellos overlaid with expressive violins can convey emotion like very little else.

        QRG: Mark, tell me how you began in music and landed here?
MR: I have been interested in music from a very young age, about 5 or 6, and learnt recorder, violin, piano, oboe and guitar throughout my school years. I went to a music college and then began playing in bands soon after I graduated, as I have always loved rock, pop and funk as well as having a good grounding in classical stuff. I was the guitarist in a band called The Egg for years and then moved in composing for TV and other media after writing a TV theme tune with them.

              QRG: Are you aware of the impact that music have on people? If so, how strong is it for you?
MR: Of course, I think music has the ability to move people emotionally in ways that other art forms don’t come close to. It’s a very primal thing, the need to make noise with your voice or hitting a log-drum! And the need to organize those sounds to mean something. Music communicates feelings like nothing else. “All art constantly aspires to the condition of music”-Walter Pater

            QRG: “Into the New” brought me to you and I am now an admirer. How do you feel about your music having the ability to do that? And what are your thoughts?

MR: I feel extremely pleased and was overwhelmed by the number of emails and messages I received from people hearing it on the LG Signature in the City commercial. I’m sure all composers ultimately want their music to touch people in this way. My thoughts were “I must be doing something right here, how can I do it again!”

              QRG: You have a range of bespoke composition, classical and studio electronics. What other kind of music do you like?

MR: I like music of all sorts in a large variety of different genres, but I think my favorite area is orchestral music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly the French tradition of Faure, Ravel and especially Debussy, and also the piano music of Debussy and Ravel.

                  QRG: The music that you create, do they stem from how your brain work, or is it created from a feel or it just has to be an inspiration? Or all of the above?

MR: I think all of the above really. An idea for a piece can come from many sources, obviously hearing someone else’s music can often inspire you, but also films, books, paintings, the weather....!

                QRG: Do you have a favorite score by someone else? Also, what is your favorite piece of your own music? And how do you feel about people wanting to sample your music?

MR: My favorite score is probably The Planet Suite by Gustav Holst, it really is a pinnacle of human artistic endeavor, in my humble opinion. Fantastic melodies, incredible orchestration and a sense of wonderful timelessness. The opening violin figures of the 4th movement, Jupiter, were definitely an inspiration for the strings on “Into the New”, which is also one of my favorites of my own music. I am also very happy with an orchestral piece of mine called Enchanted Forest (Big Screen Music, Nocturnes), very much inspired by the music of Debussy. I’m quite happy for people to sample my music, provided it’s done legally and I receive my fair share of royalties!

    QRG: When you’re not doing music, what is your favorite pass time?

MR: Reading, walking the dogs, making things out of wood with my 10 year old son....I recently discovered skiing is my absolute favorite thing to do, but that is limited to once a year at the most, as we don’t have too much snow in the south of England these days!

     QRG: Last but not at all least. What is next for Mark Revell?

MR: Always to improve my musical knowledge, ability and breadth of work. I would really love to compose for more feature length films or documentaries.

QRG: Mark, it was truly an honor and thank you so much for allowing this interview. I wish you continued success and please do keep me in mind for any exclusives. Warmly, Quanda R. Graves.

Check out Mark Revell's musical piece below called "Into the New":


Quanda R. Graves
Journalist & Literary Columnist
Author, Poet and CEO of QS Simple Treasures GC
California Crusader Newspaper
Until TV/EIN

www.qrgu.blogspot.com

Friday, December 1, 2017

UMR: Thor Ragnarok

UMR
THOR RAGNAROK

Hey everyone! It's Until's Movie Review.

So, I finally tore myself away from work and my husband and I went to see Thor Ragnarok.
I will start off by saying, what a great movie!
The story line, the setting, the graphics, the characters and my God the humor.
Please tell me there were others excited to finally see that the Hulk could talk. Yes! I know I was.
Thor Ragnarok was action packed, excitingly fun and hilariously funny.

I have to say though I'm always rooting for the good guys, on this hand I truly enjoyed the villain. Cate Blanchett came in strong, aggressive and sexy. Loved it, loved her.

Some of my favorite sayings "I've been falling for 30 minutes"
"Yes! Now you know how it feels" "Please don't cut my hair fine sir" and many more. But those lines had me crying laughing. Tessa Thompson did such a great job I see she beefed up for the part. Honestly she never dissappoints.

I love Chris Hemsworth as Thor and while he carries his own, his brother in character Tom Hiddleston as Loki does to and their chemistry makes this movie what it is. Mark Ruffalo has always been like the underdog to me and now it's nice to see through out Avengers and Thor journey he is blossoming nicely.

There is more to discuss but I'm done. Go see it.

THOR RAGNAROK
Gets:

UMR: Gridlock



“An Irish spin on an American style thriller”

Completely stopped, horrific traffic jam and frustration is setting in. You and your daughter just sitting in your car and waiting for this hot mess to move.

Well, how does your daughter disappear from a car that was only seating you and her?
That’s the mystery to this exciting thriller. Everyone is a suspect. Will he find her? Will he find out who did it? Will he get his daughter back is the bigger question?


Gridlock is a must see.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Lost Face Movie Review


October 6, 2017


The Lost Face Film Review
By Quanda R. Graves

Sometimes we start off with a clear focus on a vision and somewhere along the way we allow someone to blur our vision and before we you know it, the intended mission was not met, all because we gave someone our power to complete our mission without our preferred ending.

With “Lost Face” I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if he walked away completely disgusted or the guy he was going to kill placed a spell on himself that was easily transferrable once he went through the action of completing his death. Either way, what I do know and can tell you is that “Lost Face” lost in the end because he didn’t continue on his original plan. Even with many warnings from his tribe people. You know that term curiosity killed the cat? Well the desperate man led with being intriguing first.

The film “Lost Face” will teach you a few things: 1. Stay the coarse. 2. Listen to those around you who started with you and know what the mission is about. 3. Build mind control because if you don’t, you’ll be easy to manipulate which is so beneficial to those who want to use you. Lost Face the film was intriguing, blunt and cold. It draws you in, keeps your attention until the very end and leaves you cliff hanged in a good way.



QRG
Movie Reviewer
Until TV
California Crusader Newspaper

***This movie review can be found in Arts Muse Magazine.
https://artsmusemagazine.com/2017/10/25/lost-face/














Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Introducing Damone's Music Review

September 1, 2015

“COMPTON” – Music Review

By Damone

So, I've been listening to "COMPTON" and when I tell you Dr. Dre did that. HE DID THAT. Beginning from Kendrick Lamar, King Mez to Eminem, Ice Cube, Candice Pillay Snoop Dogg, Jill Scott, and Anderson Paak and many more. "COMPTON'' is CERTIFIED.

 It is: Electrifying. Chaotically beautiful. Consciously Raw. Feel Good Music at its best. Nostalgic, tempered. Flaringly GANGSTA...  What you get from that album is that “COMPTON” never left, ain't gone leave and here to stay.

And while I don't condone his past or his macho bravado as untouchable when it comes to women. One thing about Dr. Dre., which you can never take away. HE KNOWS MUSIC. In conclusion "COMPTON" Knocks, goes, Bangs, Rocks, Subs and all of thee, above. That is all.


D-Damone

Straight Outta Compton - The Movie

September 1, 2015

Straight Outta Compton – Movie Review:
By Quanda R. Graves

Where do I begin? People have been waiting for this movie, including myself. Highly anticipated, it was, as you can tell by the box office, three weeks in a row, “Straight Outta Compton” the #1 Movie. Congratulations are in order!!!! The writers, the producers, the director, the entire cast and everyone else involved. History has been made. You should be proud. As it was once said that black movies are not a good investment.  I bet that has changed, now. Though it may have changed with Tyler Perry or before that. But I digress.

Who wouldn’t want to see this movie? To hear “Cruising down the street in my 6’4” or “Gimme that beat fool it’s a fulltime jack move!” and many other lines to our favorite songs. So when I saw the movie, I was in awe. The cast of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, and Yella, was eye catching. Though, Jason Mitchell as Eazy E, left me, floored, overall, everyone did an amazing job. Moreover, all of their back stories, made it even more special. However, I am not blind to the missing of many things; JJ Fad, the transition from one record label to another, the collaborations with other artists, Dr. Dre’s run in with Dee Barnes, and domestic violence history with his ex-finance, Michel’e. I also wondered why they didn’t show why Dr. Dre had so much anger inside of him toward women or just period. Furthermore, I was also looking for the parent figures in this movie, that’s important when you’re sharing a story of men.

The movie was geared so much around men that it was almost like the women had no significant place in their history. It seems as though Ice Cube was the only one with a parent cameo, outside of Dre, a girlfriend and a loyalty to value a person’s word and friendship (overall good guy) and I even question that. Also, the transition of Eazy E, he went from being a hard gangsta in the beginning but then as the movie progressed, his character softened. Though I didn’t know him, from what was always projected from him and of him, he just didn’t seem like the person to be soft in the areas they made him. For instance, he took a gun on tour, but wouldn’t take one to go see Suge Knight? Doesn’t seem believable. 

We all know gangsta’s in our lives and while they are surely not invincible, the whole point of a gangsta is to not take anything lying down, right? So that part needed a little work. However, In conclusion though. My opinion of the movie is this; it was nostalgic, naturally funny and evoked so many memories good and bad. I liked the fact that it was classically raw and chaotically sweet, with the music that made your feet remember those old school beats. N.W.A, has one of many soundtracks to our lives. I enjoyed it for its entertainment purposes and I’m happy that it has had such great success.


Unfortunately, everyone one did not benefit from this movie in a good way, and for some, it stirred up a great sorrow, pain and discomfort, so I want to say this. Now, I don’t condone domestic violence and I do have softness for the women that were hurt in this history of this movie that was not displayed. Please know that I will pray for you and hope that the Lord will heal you of the pain and memories to the point you end up having an overwhelm of bliss. Often we don’t realize that one person’s joy can be another person’s pain. I’m never oblivious in understanding that. While I enjoyed the movie, I did think about many others that were affected in many ways. Hope you did too.  QRG

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The New Parent Company and more. . .

The creator of Until TV has now created a new parent company called Quanda' Significance, llc (QS) and the first extended branch of the tree is listed below:

QS: Simple Treasures Greetings and Collections

Bringing to You
Our New

Seasonal
Dreams "Are Meant to be Lived" Oolong Tea
and
  "Tea Party Packages"
Get it before it's gone!
Paypal or email us at qssimpletreasures@gmail.com

Remember the first to purchase two Tea Party Elite Packages will receive a special gift.

Tell your family and friends
Enjoy this aromatic blend
again and again
We appreciate it!
😉
QS Simple Treasures
Post Office Box 1656
Bellflower, California 90706
E:qssimpletreasures@gmail.com
website coming soon
. . .




Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Queen Boss Winner - Nailah Ellis-Brown

Good afternoon Nailah:

My name is Quanda R. Graves, a journalist for the California Crusader Newspaper in conjunction with Until TV and EIN and I want to thank you for allowing me to interview you.

    How did you know you wanted to become an entrepreneur? I have known I wanted to be an entrepreneur since I was in elementary school, when they taught us the meaning of the word. There is something so incredible about being in charge of your own path, your own business. I didn’t know then that along with the title of “entrepreneur” comes a lot of responsibility. Only other entrepreneurs truly understand what it takes to build a business from nothing, to have employees and families depend on you. As your business grows that responsibility increases. Still, I wouldn’t trade what I do for any job I have ever had. There is a freedom that comes with entrepreneurship. I get to decide how I live, how I devote my time, where I invest my energy.

     I'm so happy to know that you won Queen Boss, I was rooting for you all but when you won; it was simply amazing. When you won you expressed that you did it, you made it and you didn't have a degree. Why did you feel the need to express that? Thank you! It was so gratifying to have so many people rooting for me to win Queen Boss. The other contestants were amazing women with great businesses so winning was a real accomplishment.  We are still in contact months after the show ended, which is a testament to the power of women supporting each other in business. It was more than a “competition.”  Why did I mention that I didn’t have my degree? That’s a good question. I was raised to value education. I planned to get a degree, but while I was at Howard University, I had an “aha moment” as Oprah would describe it. I realized that instead of spending money I didn’t have to pay for an education I wasn’t enjoying, I could be investing in my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Why wait? But that decision was hard for my family to accept – at least at first. They all came around eventually and have been very supportive. Still, somewhere deep down, I must have felt the desire to justify leaving college. Winning a major competition felt like validation.

     You expressing that, sparked more of a fire inside of me as well as others and I'm without a degree but people often look down on those who don't have one. Now, that you've gotten this far without one, do you think it's needed for the long run or if it ain't broke don't fix it? I believe that we all have our purpose, mine is to run my family tea business. Others need to search their own hearts for that purpose. I understand that I don’t possess all the answers, that I don’t know everything I need to know to run my business to its fullest potential. That is why I seek answers and input from a wide array of mentors. I have a really good support network of people who know things that I do not. I ask advice and then weigh the information against what I know about my company and where I want it to be in the future. A college degree may not be for me, but I am always learning and seeking knowledge. To me that is essential in business and in life.
CCN - Nailah Ellis Brown Queen Boss Winner pg. 3

    How did you get started in the research of knowing where to begin, how to begin and get started for your business?That’s a great question! I jumped in and started my business without really knowing what was needed. That has worked for me, but it hasn’t been easy. Fortunately, I have had great mentors along the way. In the beginning, I connected with Michigan State University’s Product Center and got some great support that enabled me to take my product from one brewed in my mom’s kitchen to one that could be commercialized and sold in stores anywhere. Always look for resources that can make your journey easier and offer expert advice.

    Was getting on Queen Boss a strategy to raise more awareness to Ellis Island Ice Tea considering you were already on the Forbes 30 under 30 list to watch?Yes, the appeal of the show was that it was nationally televised – and there was a monetary prize for the winner. Every business can benefit from the exposure offered by television. What I got from the show that I didn’t expect was a network of sister entrepreneurs whose support I still count on. The other contestants were there for me even after the show aired.

   What was your biggest challenge on Queen Boss and why?  The social media competition was one I was really nervous about.  Managing social media for my business is the last thing I want to do and have handed over to others whenever possible. So when they gave me that as a challenge, I was really nervous. But for me a challenge is a challenge and I have to do my best. I always want to win. When I have to, I can think outside the box and be creative, which ended up being the case with the Serena Williams jewelry line Instagram competition. I imagined myself as someone who would be viewing the post and came up with something I thought they would find beautiful. I guess it worked!

    How does your father feel about what you've done so far in regard to his recipe? I’m sure he is proud of me, but the recipe was actually my Great-Grandfather Cyril Byron’s. My father just shared the information with me. I know my whole family is happy that I’ve had the level of success that I’ve had and they are behind me as I try to make Ellis Island Tea into a beverage national brand.

    You've accomplished so much and I'm pretty sure you have not even begun to meet all of your feats just yet. But at this time, what do you do to relax, regroup and start your day?I try to start every morning with my daughter Aaliyah, keeping things as normal as possible. I bring her to school then try to spend some time at the gym before heading into the office. Finding a balance while raising a child and maintaining a marriage hasn’t been easy, especially lately as we’ve begun expanding into airports and are about to launch in Midwest Sam’s Club locations. There is a lot of work and travel involved in building this company. But, at the end of the day, I am doing it for my family and I try to make sure they get my attention too. Curling up on the couch next to Rob and reading to Aaliyah is what I live for, but don’t always have time to spend doing. Making my family tea is about making a better life for my family. I try to always remember that.

    What is the next step for you and Ellis Island Ice Tea? We’re about to launch in airports around the country, which is so exciting. HMSHost, one of the country’s largest airport concessionaires, has agreed to put Ellis Island Tea in 14 airports from coast to coast, and in a major New Jersey shopping mall. That opportunity is huge and has unbelievable potential for Ellis Island Tea. Our target customer is an adventurer, someone who seeks new experiences and loves the exotic – which is everything Ellis Island Tea has to offer.  Airports are full of explorers! We’re also about to launch in Sam’s Club locations in the Midwest, which is an amazing opportunity as well. Sam’s Club representatives have been great about helping position us for success even before we hit he cooler shelves. We just need to seize the opportunity.

    Could you share with us your favorite quote or something like your wise words of wisdom? My favorite saying is “Pray like everything depends on God, Work like everything depends on you.” I live a faith-based life. With God, anything is possible. But God expects us to do our own work, not sit and hope. Every decision I make for my company, my family, my future is made after praying for God’s wisdom and guidance. He has never let me down. 

Nailah, congratulations on being the QUEEN BOSS WINNER!!!!! CCN and I would like to congratulate you on your accomplishments for Ellis Island Ice Tea and we wish you much success in the near future. May you keep us in mind for future exclusives. This is has been Quanda R. Graves with California Crusader Newspaper, Until TV and EIN and I thank you for this interview. 


Thank you!!!


#FunFact: After this interview, I found that Nailah Ellis-Brown's deal with Sam's Club went through in the Midwest. Wonderful! CCN Salutes you! 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Fare: A True Story of Human Trafficking

August 21, 17


“The struggle between what’s right or wrong and the battle within oneself after being stuck between a hard rock and a hard place; can be very eye opening. When you don’t know who you are and you’ve been searching.  Sometimes things happen or are allowed to happen to awaken who you really are, sometimes to solidify whom you think you may be.” ~ Author and Poet Until…

Santiago, my name is Quanda R. Graves and I am a journalist with the California Crusader Newspaper in conjunction with Until TV and EIN. I want to thank you for allowing me to interview you. Let’s begin with my first question below:

1. I watched the screener and needless to say, it really evoked many emotions within; anger, sadness, disgust, compassion and it made me see vulnerability in a whole other light. I suppose that is what human trafficking is right? I understand that “The Fare” is based on a true story, but what inspired you to want to do this narrative?
Santiago Paladine Page 3 Quanda R. Graves 

Years ago I witnessed a moment when a group of people, that had crossed the border, reunited with their families after many years of being apart. Something at that moment touched my heart deeply. It took me a long time to realize that what had actually moved me was the fear of thinking of the possibility of that family never getting to their destination. I decided then that I wanted to explore that. Through a very extensive research I found out that Ecuador has the highest rate of children that travel alone to the US. That got me curious but it wasn’t until I found the idea for the characters that I decided to write the script. 

2. I love the words “Affecting Drama”. In keeping with that, do you consider your art your activism? Do you consider yourself to be an activist at all in regard to sharing a story like this?

I tell stories out of a personal need to let things out.  Things that move me are the things that I feel I can see clearly and understand. I don’t consider myself an activist nor have a social or political agenda when I make movies, but I do feel a responsibility to tell things with honesty and truth. Most of the time, honesty is not a sweet thing. It can hurt people and be hard to accept, but still, is necessary to establish truth full relationships with others.  I like to tell human stories and I like to think that characters that love and hate, laugh and cry and sometimes act in contradiction to their beliefs are human characters.  This is the case for captor and captive in The Fare.  If people are able to see a human side in these characters it might probably help us act more humanly towards them, which by definition, could be a way of activism. 

3. The Fare shows what happened to a young girl and you boy in two very different ways hints my beginning quote. Though you’ve put the story in perspective for us, would you mind sharing exactly how you feel about “The Fare” from both points of views in regard to the two characters?

Both Characters share many aspects of each other, which in a way, is what gets them together through out the story. Both of them have lost everything in life and were forced to grow up alone and become adults prematurely. Cristina’s decision to travel alone and Javier’s decision to be part o a gang come from a need to survive and find something they can hold on to for the first time in their lives. The feature version of the fare will explore both points of view in full, but because of production limitations I had to make a decision in this short, so I chose Javier’s narrative point of view. 

4. I understand that “The Fare” has officially been selected for more than fifteen (15) worldwide festivals and has won six (6) and counting. What are your thoughts on that? Was that ever your intention when you first started this film?

It was not our intention. In fact, when we found the direction for the story we knew we were stepping into something that was going to be challenging to shoot and to show to people. The developing process has tough because we had a lot of reactions in our circle of friends.  Some people warned us that doing something of this nature could cause rejection by the audience because nobody wants to see people being trafficked and abused on screen. I completely disagree with that. I think cinema is meant to touch people and make you feel things regardless of what this feeling might be.  I knew that I had to tell this story and I was lucky enough to have complete support from the team.  When we screened the movie for the first time I was mentally preparing myself for the rejection. It was a big surprise when we found out it had obtained and excellent score.  One month after the screening, we were awarded with the Hispanic Heritage Short Film Award in Washington DC.  Everything after that has been a blessing. 

5. Congratulations on all of your success. This has to feel great, people appreciating your work. But I also know, you’ve put in a lot of hard work. So what is Santiago’s favorite pass time?

Thank you. Years ago I decided to quit my job so I can start making films. In a way; every day is pass time for me. Right now, I spend most of the time writing and taking care of my 6 months old daughter, Isabel.  


6. If Santiago weren’t doing film; what other profession would be doing _________________________.

Music is a very important part of my life so if I couldn’t make films for any reason, I’ll be making music. 


7. You’ve tackled so much and I’m pretty sure you haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. Tell me, what’s next for Santiago Paladines?

I wrote the script for the feature version of The Fare almost at the same time we were editing the short. We are pushing hard to get that off the ground. I have other scripts that have been optioned and I really hope one of them happens soon. Until then, I’ve been traveling constantly to my home country Ecuador to direct some episodes for a local television show. 

Well, Santiago I want to thank you for allowing me to interview you and I also want to thank you for bring “The Fare” to the light, may you always have the spirit to carry that torch. Congratulations again and on behalf of California Crusader Newspaper, Until TV, EIN and myself, Quanda R. Graves, we salute you and wish you continued success.

Thanks for the interview and your words of support.  It means a lot to us.. I enjoyed answering every question and I’m looking forward to meet you personally in a near future. 

Best!
Santiago

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Voice in the Head "short film"

Hello Mr. Trafford:

My name is Quanda R. Graves and I am a journalist for the California Crusader Newspaper in conjunction with Until TV and Exclusive Information Network. Thank you for allowing me to interview you.

QRG: I viewed your short film “The Voice in the Head” and I found it to be a little shocking due to the question that is posed in the beginning. Why that question? “If sanity and insanity exist, how shall we know them” Why lead with that?

CT: Because I think it’s an extremely fascinating question that can help us directly confront whether these labels that we put on people who suffer from mental health issues are a) correct and b) fair. Should we not assess the people who are assessing and labeling people as having mental health issues to make sure they are not suffering from them themselves? And if it turns out that they are suffering from mental health issues but only differ in degrees only, how comes they’re mental health issues are normalized whereas the ‘crazy woman’s’ mental health issues on the train are not… That’s why.

QRG: Is it in your own belief that insanity and sanity go hand in hand? Or that we are sane but if you’re not careful insanity can become our reality? Just wanted to know your thoughts on this.

CT: What is Sanity? How do you define Sanity? Personally speaking I think 99.9% of us are ‘insane’ and have a constant monologue running through our heads on a day to day basis. The only difference is that a lot of us don’t verbalize it out loud. Really that’s the only difference. I honestly think you would be in for a big shock if someone close to you who by normal conventions isn’t classified as suffering from mental health issues, but was told for one day that they had to verbalize all their thoughts verbatim. That person would go from being clinically sane to clinically insane in one day, and then back to being sane the next day after the experiment is finished. Is that sanity?

QRG: It is said that 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem, what do you think contributes to this statistic?

CT: It’s a shocking statistic, but I suspect it’s probably even more than that… I think there a multitude of reasons that contribute to making up that statistic (1 in 4), but with the advent of social media playing a more prominent role than ever in our day to day lives, lets tackle this reason for this question. Social Media is a perfect example of ‘A Gift and the Curse’. In one respect it allows you to easily connect with people in foreign countries, stay in touch at the click of a button, call people, find beneficial groups to join, etc. the list is endless.

However, at the same time, if not monitored your social media can start to use you rather than you using it as a tool. You start checking your Facebook Timeline when you have a spare moment even if you didn’t have a specific reason to check, you start “quasi-stalking” people by looking at their profiles, you start to compare yourself to other people, etc. again the list of negatives are endless. 

So I would implore people to view Social Media as merely a tool, to use it for a specific task and then put it down. Otherwise, it can take you over, and eventually contribute to the increasing Mental Health Issues that arise within people.

QRG: I understand that your short film was based on the true story from the book called A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. What inspired you to do this film?

CT: Well at the time I went to hospital as my asthma was up and I didn’t have my pump with me. And I was scared that I would be anxious while I was waiting to be seen, so I took out my copy of ‘A New Earth’ and landed at the story of ‘The Voice in the Head’ in the book. Once I read it, I turned to my friend Kassidy Chaplin (Co-Founder of Moment 2 Moment Pictures) and said that this would make a great short film and the rest is history.

QRG: Now to the feedback on this film. Do you feel great about tackling such a subject that is quite sensitive and in some cases taboo to speak about?

CT: At the very inception of making a film, I only ever enter it from one of two ways. First way, I hear/read a great story, come up with a great idea, and as a result want to make the film purely because the story has inspired me to. The second way and this is the approach I am naturally gravitating more to as I get older is the first question I ask myself at the inception of making a film: how can I make my audience more conscious? And I am not merely talking about making people conscious of this issue or that issue, because humans as a species have evolved over the last century to becoming more conscious this issue and that issue. So what am I talking about then? I am actually talking about making audiences more conscious, in other words more PRESENT through watching the film. So the first question I try to ask myself now is what story (and how can I tell the story in a way that) can help push audiences into a state of pure consciousness, i.e. make them present. So to answer your question, I never set out to make films to tackle sensitive subjects, it just so happens that tackling sensitive subjects become part of the story in order to help achieve the bigger goal of making audiences more present (conscious).

QRG: What’s in the future for Cyrus Trafford?

CT: Three things if I’m lucky, one for sure. I am currently in production on a short film called ‘Lost to Rhythm’ that is a hybrid of animation and live action. At a ‘surface level' the film is about ‘Freedom of Expression’ but for me it’s deeper than that, for me it’s about how to accept one’s own death in an extreme limit situation, and again how that can make you feel at peace. Since I had the idea for the film, and by the time it will have finished will have been 3 years (I hope not longer). Because I don’t have the budget to hire more animators as I am self-funding this, my hero of an animator Chandra Sekhar Poudyal is hand-drawing it frame by frame. This is the one for sure that will happen.

Then I have two Feature Films that I am looking to get off the ground. One is called ‘Amare’ which is ‘a coming of age’ story set in a U.S Prison, coincidentally enough in California, and the other is called ‘Mujō’ which means impermanence in Japanese. In respect to ‘Mujō’ we are actually casting the film at the moment so I will talk about this a bit more as it’s a bit further along than ‘Amare’. The idea behind the film originated in that most people intellectually understand impermanence in that we live and we die, but nearly nobody has actually realized that. What do I mean? Well there is a difference between reading how to drive a car and driving a car, a difference between knowing the path and walking it. Intellectually understanding something in most scenarios is not liberating, but realizing something is. So I wanted to make a film that through watching it, you REALISE impermanence. 

So again this was the first question I asked myself as per answer to question 5. Then the next step was to find the right story to help facilitate the overall objective and that’s where my brilliant screenwriter John Hörnschemeyer came in. The film is set in Japan, and we are hoping to shoot next Spring in 2018. 

QRGWhat is your favorite pastime?

CT: This is going to sound incredibly lazy, but at the moment my favorite past-time is probably talking to my friends over the phone as I really don’t have much time. I do like a bit of tennis mind you, but not very good!

QRG: Mr. Trafford, thank you for allowing me this interview and now that it is done I thought I’d share my views on your short film. Please see below:

“The Voice in the Head” was very interesting and intriguing to say the least because I think most of us battle with that question. What I love about the film is how you showed how the young lady was basically between both worlds on opposite ends of the spectrum. She was normal but in her own thoughts while the insane was also in her own thoughts. Ye the normal found herself at one time or another unaware of surroundings as well; dwelling in her thoughts and speaking out loud. Most of us live this way and you captured it perfectly.

Quanda R. Graves

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*A note from Mr. Trafford.
Dear Quanda,
Thank you very much for your lovely thoughts and I am really grateful for the great questions you have asked.
Look forward to seeing the interview when it’s published.
Best Wishes
Cyrus x