Director James Gray discusses Armageddon Time

November 8, 2022 DGA Membership Screening Q&As in LA & NY

A family deals with friendship, loyalty, bigotry and racial tension in Director James Gray’s coming-of-age drama, Armageddon Time.

Gray’s film tells the story of a young Jewish-American boy who is disillusioned by society’s treatment of his African-American classmate and the high expectations put on him by his own family.

On November 5, after the DGA membership screening in Los Angeles, Gray discussed the making of the film during a Q&A moderated by Director Matt Reeves (The Batman). He also spoke about the film during a conversation moderated by Director Derek Cianfrance (The Light Between Oceans) following the New York DGA screening on November 8.

During the Los Angeles conversation, Gray spoke about making decisions on the fly while operating under limited time.

“When we took over the subway, we shot in an unused station in Bleecker Street in New York. We only had a two-minute run and we got this vintage 1976 subway train and it was absolutely immaculate and clean. So, I was like, ‘Well, this is crap.’ And the MTA guy was like, “What do you mean?” I told him in my era this would be all covered with graffiti. The MTA guy said they don’t condone graffiti and the train should not be demarcated. I don’t even think demarcate is the right word and I was like, ‘No, you don’t understand. We will use trace paper.’ And of course, they didn’t allow that, I am sitting there, and I run to our visual effects guy and we eventually add everything in post. I ‘demarcated’ everything in post.”

Gray’s other directorial credits include the feature films Ad Astra, The Lost City of Z, The Immigrant, Two Lovers, We Own the Night, The Yards and Little Odessa. Gray has been a DGA member since 2001.

You can listen to Gray's Q&A by clicking the podcast episode embedded below. You can find more DGA podcast episodes here.


Q&A photos by Elisa Haber (Los Angeles) and Marcie Revens (New York) – Print courtesy of Focus Features

< >
Log in as a Member to see upcoming events, screenings, and meetings.