We had the good fortune of connecting with Khiray Richards and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Khiray, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
It is in me. Growing up, some people just know what they want/will do in life. Others only get hints. I was a part of the hint party. I’ve always loved watching movies. Believe it or not, I did acting back in the days. I acted in church and did drama for school. When I transitioned to college, I worked more behind the camera. I’ve also done mime ministry since 2011, which involves creating and telling stories to music. All hints. I made my first official short film in 2017, Short Changed. For so long, I kept film as a plan B because it could not pay the bills immediately. I went as far as to enroll into a Masters’ Program for Marriage & Family Therapy. It was easy, but it wasn’t what I ultimately wanted. I’ll never forget, November 29, 2017, the Avengers Infinity War Trailer was released. There are moments in life where people have to make a decision. This is not any ordinary decision. This decision consumes you and you know it is a defining moment. After the trailer finished, I felt that decision. I stepped out of my office at work and called my then girlfriend, now wife, and told her I was dropping out of my program. I had spent so much money on plan B and gave little to plan A. No more.. I pursued it because it is in me. It is in me when I’m always thinking of the next idea. It is in me when I don’t have the money and still work to get it done. It is in me when I see something and say I could’ve done that and done it better. If it’s in you and you don’t let it out, if you don’t live it, then you suffocate and rob the world and yourself of the greatness that could’ve been.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is interesting. It’s tough doing wedding videos showing love and then creating films where someone is dealing with depression. For this very reason, I have to separate the two. My website features my more lighthearted work. My Instagram showcases my filmmaking work. What sets me apart is that I navigate in many arenas and I feel the work. Since I do mime ministry, it requires that I feel the emotion that someone put into a song when I minister. Every word matters. Every beat matter. Every small tone. All of this is required to tell the story. I transition that to my videos and films. Every piece matters. The music, the look, the words, everything. My goal is to make sure people watching feel each moment because that will make the difference in experience. Do I hit everytime? No. But it’s a learning process. I’m excited about where I am going. I am grateful to have such great filmmakers around me. They push me to improve my quality of work. I’m proud of the reach I’ve gained. In 2017, no one knew who I was and I didn’t know who anyone was either. In 2020, I’ve worked with so many faces I see on other people’s sets. I’ve gained connections and moved outside of my comfort zone to build with these people and this community. Am I famous? No. I think I’m more of the guy people would come to if they need help on something. I don’t mind doing helping where I can. This journey isn’t easy. Even after three solid years of growth, I still don’t believe I’ve made a significant impact yet. It’s difficult when you have a family and bills to pay. It’s hard when you have a stressful job and just want to quit and do film, but there are other obligations to think about. I love knowing my wife and child support me. While not ideal, I like that I have to figure a way out to make my next film because I don’t have the finances. It challenges me to see if I have what it takes to get it done despite my circumstances. It challenges me to see if I really believe in myself and this project. Despise not the days of small beginnings. It’s best to get the kinks out now before getting to the next level and mishandle it. Make it. Watch it. Hate it or Love it. Learn from it. Keep creating. Through my story, I’ve learned and want everyone to know that you must be proud of where you are. Enjoy the process. I don’t think I’m the best. I know where I’ve come from and I know I have so far to go, but I also realized that I’m where a lot of people want to be too. You may not be there yet, but you are further along than where you began.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am the worst person to ask this question. I am a very simple person. I watch my movies, drink my coffee & tea (alcohol every now and then) and enjoy relaxing. You tell me what you want to do, I’ll connect with the person that can get us there (if it’s doable).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve met many people in this journey, but my shoutout always stands, my wife. Many people see the success, the films, the wedding videos, etc. What they didn’t see what this kid that would only sit in his dorm room watching Disney movies and just daydreaming about ideas that he never intended to create. My wife was the one that influenced me to do more. She was so involved in photography at the time that I would become frustrated (and internally jealous). One day, she asked why didn’t I begin acting on those ideas that I had. I didn’t know the first thing about it. I got a Toshiba handheld camera. She taught me how to use it; Shutter speed, ISO, Fstop, angles, etc. Everything you see now is simply what I built upon that knowledge.
Facebook: Khiray Richards