Young Atlas: What was your motivation to get into film and entertainment?
Tyrel Hunt: College, was a big part of that. When I was in high school and even before that, I was so focused on basketball. I wanted to go division 1 that was my goal. After I got there I started to think, what happens after this? What’s next? My grandfather passed when I was a sophomore in college, he gave me and his other grandchildren inheritance money, which I used to buy my first camera. I started making documentaries and started getting more creative. I tapped into my creative side a lot more. By the time I graduated I was writing screen plays.
Young Atlas: What made you want to start Gritty Vibes?
Tyrel Hunt: I started that in 2017, I had just graduated college in 2016. I started working at this place called fancy.com , I was looking for a creative outlet. I was kind of just going to work and coming home. I wanted to create my own lane to be a professional writer, but I needed some experience. Gritty Vibes was me creating my own experience. I started doing that by reaching out to all the local artists and asking them to be interviewed. After doing about 20 interviews, people started coming to me to do interviews and I have been doing that ever since.
Young Atlas: What is the goal with Gritty Vibes? I see there are a lot of creatives and not a lot of people like yourself trying to organize. Whats your vision for the company overall?
Tyrel Hunt: It seems like everyone is competing against each other and with my platform, I don’t even know if there is an end goal, its just something I really like doing! I monetize the site with ads and merchandise but I definitely want to keep growing. Right now its something I genuinely enjoy doing. I like working with artists! I like expanding my network and Gritty Vibes is an outlet where I get to explore that. For my own career when I am doing job interviews I always pitch my own platform and it creates more opportunities. Continuing to expand would be my vision long term.
Young Atlas: Congrats on putting out your first movie! What was it like filming your own project titled, “April Again”?
Tyrel Hunt: It was everything I thought it was going to be. It was a great time everyday on set. I would say, the hardest part is bringing everyone together. I didn’t have a big budget, unfortunately I wasn’t able to pay actors. What I was able to offer them was hopefully a good film at the end of it all. We went on a film festival run, we got a number of awards and it took us around the country. It was a great experience!
Young Atlas: Without a big budget what were some key resources you used that made producing the film possible?
Tyrel Hunt: My platform helped a lot, because I created so many genuine relationships. So when it was time to actually make the film a number of the actors and musicians for the film were already relationships I made. The person who made the music for the film I covered on my platform. It wasn’t me reaching out to strangers it was a very organic experience. Everyone trusted the vision, and most people I already built relationships with.
Young Atlas: So many people today aspire to be actors and musicians, what are some tips you would offer them in order for their dream to become a reality?
Tyrel Hunt: My biggest tip would be don’t wait for anyone else to give you your shot! Little by little start creating your own work. In this day and age all you need is a smartphone and wifi to start making your own content. If your an actor I would advise to connect yourself with other like minded people. There are so many other people directing films. You might be working for free in the beginning, but don’t worry about that start building yourself up.
Young Atlas: In a hypothetical situation if you had a major budget to produce your dream film what type of project would you want to create?
Tyrel Hunt: I have two to three scripts that if I had the major budget, I know the type of stories I would want to tell. I wouldn’t necessarily want to work with Hollywood A-Listers right away. I would want to build with people that I came up with when I had nothing.
Young Atlas: Since you are a native New Yorker, what are some things you love about New York?
Tyrel Hunt: I love that there is always something to do. I love the fact that no matter what your into there are a lot of other people that are into the same thing. I just love the backdrop of New York, as a film maker. The amount of creatives and opportunities in New York are limitless.
Young Atlas: I know your working on a new project can you tell me a little more about it?
Tyrel Hunt: It is an immigrant story about an actor who comes to the states looking for the American Dream. It is a light comedy. Its going to be bigger and better then my last film since I have more access to locations and more experience.
Young Atlas: Any creatives and film makers that have inspired you?
Tyrel Hunt: I definitely look up to Ryan Coogler, around the time he dropped Fruitvale Station when he first started making his early films, that’s when I was getting into films. I just loved how he kept it 100 in all of his interviews, he sounded like somebody from around the way, but he was still educated and didn’t switch up. I have always followed his career from Creed to Black Panther. In terms of creatives, definitely Tyler The Creator.
Young Atlas: Any tips for film makers?
Tyrel Hunt: You shouldn’t write anything you can’t execute. Everything that I write is based on locations I have access too. Also align with the right people. Be realistic !
Young Atlas: The industry is changing rapidly with all the new streaming platforms coming out. What are your thoughts on the rapidly changing industry?
Tyrel Hunt: I think as a film maker that presents a lot of opportunities to get your work shown. Before, you couldn’t get your work shown unless you had certain connections or a major budget.
Young Atlas: Any TV Shows you recommend?
Tyrel Hunt: Little Fires on Hulu, Dave on FX, Twenties on BET, Ozark, Westworld and High Fidelity.