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In The Gray

It takes real courage to stand inside your truth


In The Gray is a thought-provoking short film that follows Kasey Reynolds, a non-binary college student and climate activist, as they transport us through their day in first person point of view, revealing what it means to endure life between two genders inside a binary world. Shot on the iPhone 12 Pro, In The Gray aesthetically fuses black & white and color imagery within the same frame while stylistically integrating real time color saturation and desaturation as a part of its visually captivating narrative devices.


Hello! My name is Yolanda Buggs. I am the writer/director of the short, “In The Gray,” a film that spotlights gender diversity. Being an independent filmmaker that strives to push cinematic boundaries, I wanted to explore a dynamic and compelling storytelling approach to the making of “In The Gray.” My artistic stance places an emphasis on humanity’s fixed ideals of what is supposedly “normal.” In society, generally speaking, we see things as “good or bad,” the answer is either, “yes or no,” a person is either “gay or straight,” and the world must be either, “black or white.” There are no gray areas; but that is not reality. The truth is: Most of life is lived in the gray. 

As a director, I sought to express these traditional views via the integration of black & white and color imagery within the same frame. Our color palette is accentuated using real time color saturation and desaturation. This visual mergence illustrates the dissimilarity of how Kasey, our main character, views themselves versus the binary world around them. Most of the film’s visual execution is shown through Kasey’s first-person perspective as way to emphasize the harsh treatments that they feel the world has inflicted on them for being “different.” Glimpses of Kasey’s emotional states are captured through their voice-overs, reflections in mirrors and objects, FaceTime calls, selfies, and vlogs. Further access into Kasey’s vulnerabilities is granted when they feel judged by others. When this happens, our cinematic rules allow us to see Kasey through the lens of the judger. 

I have always been a person to take risks, and certainly making this film has been no exception. In a lot of ways, “In The Gray,” is experimental in nature; and while taking this risk as a director has been both scary and uncomfortable, I felt it was appropriate to take a bold and daring artistic approach to a narrative that addresses a critical yet often misunderstood topic, such as gender diversity. For those courageous individuals living in the gray area of gender expression and facing ridicule and judgment every day, I hope this story not only sheds light on their journey but also ignites a much-needed conversation on the subject. If either of these things happen, my job as a storyteller has been successfully accomplished. A secondary goal is to use this short as a marketing tool to pitch as a dramatic episodic series to streaming platforms.

Yolanda Buggs, writer/director
IG & Twitter: @therealbuggsy