While creator Gray Agent has taken to calling it a “musical feature” the truth is that there is no obvious category in which to classify his new project, Gun Metal Gray. Set to run about 20 minutes, the finished project will approximate a 20-minute music video mixtape, as a number of custom-mixed electronica songs provide the basis of a long-form narrative music video. Of what interest is all this to chewers? Well keep reading to learn a little bit of history of Gray Agent’s work, and see an exclusive interview and trailer for the new project. Mark my words: this is unusual stuff that’s going to affect the film industry in a big way one day, even if it develops in its own little world and then slams Hollywood from the side…
Shot in true guerrilla fashion with a piecemeal cast and crew, GMG is the evolution of a form that Gray Agent has developed largely on his own and that is already being replicated by dozens of other artists. It started when Agent transformed his high-fashion Euro mag-styled photography into video and starting shooting beautiful women in various states of undress that range from magazine-ad-risque to fully sexually explicit scenes. The kind of artist that is perpetually generating content with or without a goal, Gray ultimately assembled a year’s worth of these video shoots into a trailer of sorts called Ode To 2011… very NSFW, the video mixes eroticism with high style and aggressively cuts it all to a melodic, dubsteppy remix of Massive Attack’s Paradise Circus.
Many million of views later (across several uploads and platforms), Ode To 2011 had garnered Gray Agent a massive following, corporate interest in his services, and a mandate to keep blazing trails in this new sphere of adult pop art created by internet. Unshackled by censors or past ideas of what a photoshoot or a music video should be, Gray’s work feels like an inevitability in online art. Beautiful, good-sounding, a little porny but still classy… how could there not be a market for that?
After all this Gray moved on to his dream project, which has shoved him headlong into the world of actual filmmaking while still allowing him to keep the eccentricities of music videos as the DNA. I met Gray shortly after the success of Ode, and have gotten to know him over the course of this project, so I’m happy to debut his trailer here. This is something not all Chewers will be into, but many will recognize that projects like this could play large roles in the future of media. It’s also pretty undeniable that the trailer is full of gorgeous imagery, with the rough and tumble guerrilla filmmaking detectable while giving it a unique energy.
This video is — in terms of actual content — pretty much SFW, but the song to which it is cut is not, so be careful if you’ve got your speakers on…
I was also able to ask Gray a few questions. The answers are brief, but you’ll get an impression of who he is and why he’s doing this. I think you’ll also pick up on the kind of tenacious personality it takes to put something like this together your damn self.
CHUD: Tell me about the genesis of this idea, and how you currently describe the project. Would you call it a long-form, narrative music video, or something else?
Gray: The project began as an extended music video in a “mixtape” format. I wanted to challenge myself by making things harder. I wanted to challenge the art community for their exploitation and usage of firearms only when it looked pretty and cool and denouncing them when it gets too political. FUCK PUSSY ARTISTS anyhow. The project has gained momentum due to everyone involved and is now more of an actual short feature which includes music and dialog.
CHUD: What role has the music played in determining your story and aesthetic?
Gray: Music is the basis of this feature. I went into the lab and worked backwards. I dreamt, shot, and edited according to the melodies, hi hats, snares, and baselines.
CHUD: A lot of your online following derives from your Ode To 2011 video, which is a preview of sorts of a batch of filmmking sessions you conducted. You’ve followed up with further teases of shoots and sets, but for the most part you’ve just kept moving, generating more and more teases with few of them manifesting as full pieces. As an artist, are you still discovering where to draw lines and when to finish projects?
Gray: I see many people mimic Ode to 2011 and I am happy that they are at least getting off of their asses after being inspired. I am doing GMG because it inspires me. I have no lines drawn. My next few projects will be what most will not expect… like GMG. No one expected this. No one thought I would make the transition from Ode 2011 to a full on gun-action flick.
CHUD: You moved into video as a sort of natural extension of photography, but how has moving further into full-on filmmaking challenged you?
Gray: Making a longer feature with a huge team and lots of production value has taught me to not take shit from any actors, extras, or anyone on set because time is money and I ain’t got a lot of it. If you are preventing me from getting my scene, get the FUCK out.
CHUD: What do you see as the ideal model for your film? In a perfect world, how and where are people going to see this? Can we expect to see this at film festivals, or are personal downloads the focus?
Gray: People will first watch this online because I want it to be free. People may end up buying it as a download or dvd. Either way, I was heard. To be honest the trailer alone blows the shit out of most Hollywood trailers. (and I did it with an independent budget) I’m a movie watcher. I’m not blind.
CHUD: Do you feel like the next step will be pushing this format/concept into feature-length, or continuing to explore other, less-exploited formats?
Gray: I’m just gonna do me. Push out independent films as a means of creating, and hopefully it pays the bills.
CHUD: Your popular work has revolved around sexuality and beauty, but now you’re now integrating violence and gun fetishry into that vision. What is it about merging these two that interests you, and how do you expect people to react to you tying titillation with gun-play?
Gray: I aim to marry my fans into a melting pot whether they like it or not. If you don’t like guns, you like music, chicks, or drama and vice versa… I win. I just made you sit and listen to 15 minutes of underground music : ). The original concept of the feature.
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