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Celebrity Spotlight: Tory Devon Smith

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How would you describe the Baldwin Archives?

The Baldwin Archive is a short film that re-enacts a 1963 interview with author James Baldwin. Baldwin talks with journalist Peter Duvall Smith in London to discuss his thoughts on America’s racist dilemma and beliefs about your compassion. fellow human beings.

What was the biggest challenge in making a short film?

Creating an independent film, be it a feature or a short, presents many challenges. The stress of getting funding, the stress of arranging the entire production process from rehearsals, fittings, makeup tryouts to filming days. However, the creative team that co-produced the film had tremendous passion and dedication to get it done. When every collaborator believes in the value of work, for me, it overwhelms the challenge. It just makes it all worth it.

What were your favorite moments from this project?

My first impromptu meeting with director Laura Seay and our cinematographer John Orphan, that meeting at the restaurant really made me feel like the project was real. Every actor and production crew agreed that day. Our makeup artist Kevin Haney and Julie Hassett (makeup artist) did wonders on my face that day, seeing me in full James Baldwin cosplay, Tears flowed down my face. That day, my post-production team members Corece Smith, Alex Splice Jones and Temesgen Gebremeskel sent their final cut of music, color and film editing. Every class from my dialect coach Andrea Odinov. Had a lively Zoom meeting with my producers Lamont Lamar and Briauna Draper; there were so many wonderful moments on this journey that I will cherish forever.

What did you learn while creating this film?

Creating a movie in the best possible way is very exhausting, and that’s because I love the process so much. Specifically, the process of making a movie indie, having that freedom where you can focus on the job and not the optics of making money and all that stuff because making money is not the goal at the level that this film is on. We got together Create a movie art. I learned that I like working this way. This inspired me to look for projects where I was involved and made the creative process crucial.

What do you want the audience to take away after watching it?

It’s not my responsibility for what the audience might take with them after watching this film, and I don’t necessarily want them to feel how this film has to say. Once the movie is out, it’s up to them to make what they want. But I do want people to recognize the level of sophistication that each collaborator brings to this piece. Everyone involved in this film put in a tremendous amount of effort and I find that their work should be respected.

How did you feel when you found out it was coming to OutFest?

I literally jumped! This was my first foray into film festivals. Outfest is a festival that I knew before I even knew what a film festival was. My first film was accepted into this prolific LGBTQIA+ film festival as a benchmark for personal achievement. I was ecstatic and still am.

What’s your next step?

My next gig was actually a unique life transition for me. Starting this fall, I will be an adjunct professor of performance at my alma mater, Loyola Marymount University. I will teach aspiring young actors to start acting and scene studies. I am looking forward to this opportunity to start and am very honored that this will become a reality for me. There’s no denying that my professors at LMU have had an undeniable impact on my life as a person, so it’s really special to have this full moment and be in the position of someone who inspires me.

Tell me a fun fact about yourself.

I can name every president from memory; however, when I do, I’ll skip repeating Trump’s name.

What are you looking at these days?

I’m currently watching The Old Man on FX and Hulu. One of the stars of the series is my friend Pej Vahdat, who is literally God. This is one of the best series I’ve seen in a long time. It feels unique. You can’t go wrong when a show is led by greats like Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow.

Is there anything else you want to share?

These are unprecedented times for us humans. It feels as if the world is ending almost every day. I think it’s important that we all find peace and solace as much as possible. Stick to it. Find those happy moments and cherish them. Give yourself some grace. None of us can run.

About the post author

Sami Turano

Sammi has been a journalist for over a decade, focusing on entertainment, lifestyle, sports and celebrity news. She is the owner of TV Grapevine and Football in High Heels and host of Grapevine in High Heels With Sammi.

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