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Studio 5: Beale Street & Gray

Recording artist Jason Gray shares his song and story in Studio 5. Oscar winning director Barry Jenkins embarks on a new cinematic experience and brings a James Baldwin novel to the big screen for the first time. He takes Studio 5 behind-the-scenes. Read Transcript

(upbeat horn music)

- And welcome to Studio 5.

Singer Jason Gray is here this week.

He's sitting down with us for a chat

and bringing us a Studio5 Sessions Performance.

As he gets ready, let'sfire up the countdown clock

and begin our weekly look

at what's new in uplifting entertainment.


At number five.

- We have watched andlistened from the mountains.

- [Efrem] Winston Duke was a breakout star

in the role of M'Baku inMarvel's Black Panther.

He's now using his platform

to teach the community about diabetes,

and the more than 30 million Americans

living with the disease.

The new advocate for theAmerican Diabetes Association's

Everyday Life campaign posted:

"I've seen firsthand thepainful mark diabetes can leave

"on families and I'mdoing everything I can

"to change this for my family

"and to prevent it from being

"the #EverydayReality for millions more."

- We will not have it.


- [Efrem] At number four.

- [Woman] Perhaps in the heavens,

there are greater things at work

from what we think we may know.

- [Efrem] Buttons is a musical movie

made for the holiday season,

and this is your Studio 5 first look

at a journey to discover

sometimes believing isthe greatest adventure.

- Love carries over oceans and time.

Do you believe me, Annabelle?

- Yes.

- Then we are inseparable.

- [Efrem] It stars DickVan Dyke, Angela Lansbury,

Roma Downey, and many more.

- Believe Annabelle,

and take heart, you're never alone.

Promise me, you'llremember what I have said.

- Your mother was a sillygirl with ridiculous notions.

Sorry if she filled your headwith fairy tales and nonsense,

but that's not how the real world works.

- [Efrem] It's in theatersfor one night, December 8th.


- That begins our countdown and brings us

to singer Jason Gray,he's got an amazing story

as well as an amazing voice.

He's this week's Studio 5 Sit Down.


♪ Heard they broke your heart ♪

♪ Left you tremblin' in the dark ♪

♪ Feeling lost and alone ♪

- [Efrem] You're ofcourse a singer, producer,

but you struggle withspeech, what happened?

- Yeah, well, I have a stuttering,

I've had it since I was a little boy.

It showed up in the midstof my parents' divorce.

♪ Nothing's wasted ♪

It was complicated as I wasgrowing up especially as I began

to be aware of God's calling on my life.

I used to argue with Him about it.

Saying, 'Lord, you can'tmake me your spokesperson,

'until you make it so I can speak.'

And I don't know if you'vehad this experience or not,

but when you tell God thatHe can't do something,

it's kinda like a darethat he can't resist.

♪ What's lost, will be found again ♪

Very early on then I believedthat the story would be

if I stepped out in faith and belief,

that he'd heal me of my speech handicap

and that would be my testimony,

and when that didn't happen,it was very confusing.

♪ Hope is more than you can bear, ♪

♪ And it's too hard tobelieve it could be true ♪

I would do a show and peoplewould come up to me afterwards

and say how moved theywere that even though I had

a speech issue that I wasstill doing this thing.

And that was when I began

to recognize that it might be a gift.

'Cause our weaknesses make usa safe place for each other.

Like when you are open and transparent

about your imperfection,it makes me feel like,

'Ah, he's not perfecteither' that means I can

stop pretending and I can actually

bring my heart to a moment like that.

- One of the things yousay about your project,

Where the Light Gets In,is that the previous three

recordings were written insome of your hardest times.

- Yeah.

- And this is a different type of project.

- The current record yeah.- Yeah, how so?

- Well, went through a divorce

that I didn't want.

When you're in the midst ofsomething very chaotic like that

your mind wants to pin the blame,

and so most people pin the blame

either on the otherperson or on themselves.

- Absolutely.

- The albums I wrote in thatseason had a lot of pain

and a lot of grief on it, you know.

There's a quote I love thatsays, "Wisdom is healed pain."

- Mmm.

- And the current record, andthe next one I'm working on,

I hope that they are reflections of that,

that it is the wisdom- Yeah.

that is coming out ofhealed pain, so yeah.

- Looking to the future you're working

on a project with your son.

- Living in the future.

We just completed one, an EP called,

The Kipper Gray Sessions, that's his name.

So he's 22 years old, and he's a producer,

and he's making his ownwaves in the industry,

and doing great work andgetting attention for it.

So I came to him, I said, 'DudeI paid your room and board

'for 18 years, you owe me, you owe me.'

(Efrem laughs)

And so, we agreed to

collaborate on an EP.

- You have a favoritesong on that project?

- Hmm, yeah, personally it'sthe song that closes it out,

it's called Becoming, and it's about how

we are on a journey that is about progress

more than it's about perfection.

- Doing that with yourson, that project is out,

and then we've got some new music coming?

- Yep yeah, I'm working on a new record.

On this new album, I've beencombing through my story

and looking for thingsthat my pastor or my mentor

or a friend has spoke tome, moments when a certain

combination of words changed everything.

Looking for little phraseslike that that have helped me

that hopefully will help others too.


- And Jason is back withus in just a little bit

for a Studio 5 Sessions Performance.

Stay with us.

Still ahead.

- You ready for this?

- I never been more ready foranything in my whole life.

- [Efrem] It's a cinematic first.

- I feel so, so very blessedbecause I think a lot of people

are unaware that he evenwrote something like this.

- [Efrem] We're behind the scenes of

If Beale Street Could Talk.


- And welcome back to Studio5, let's continue the countdown

of the best headlines inuplifting entertainment.


- [Efrem] At number three.

- [Narrator] Everything the light touches.

- [Efrem] Disney's live-actionversion of the Lion King

stars Beyonce, Seth Rogan,Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor,

and many more, and here's asneak peek from the studio.

- [Narrator] But a king's time as ruler,

rises and falls like the sun.

One day, the sun will set on my time here.

- [Efrem] It's in theaters Summer 2019.

- [Narrator] Remember. (lion roars)


- [Efrem] At number two.

♪ There's power in the name of Jesus ♪

- [Efrem] NBC's The Voice sounds more like

a worship meeting, at least lately.

♪ You say I am held whenI am falling short ♪

- [Efrem] From this ReaganStrange take on Lauren Daigle's

You Say to thirteenyear old Kennedy Holmes.

♪ Find your strength ♪

♪ In love ♪

- [Efrem] And then there's Kimberly Joy.

♪ I hear the change that's falling ♪

♪ [Choir] I hear the change falling ♪

♪ Right here, right now ♪


- That leaves only one moreheadline in this week's

countdown, we'll get tothat in just a moment.

If Beale Street CouldTalk is a romantic drama.

It's written and directed by Barry Jenkins

and based on a novel of the same name.

Here's your Studio 5 First Look.


- There's a mistake; Moonlight,you guys won Best Picture.

- Moonlight wins.

- This is not a joke.

- [Efrem] It's an unforgettable Oscar win.

- Very clearly, even in mydreams this could not be true.

- [Efrem] For director BarryJenkins who took home the award

for Best Picture that night in 2017.

- There was a time when I thoughtthis movie was impossible.

- [Efrem] Jenkins now embarkson another cinematic first.

Bringing the first everJames Baldwin novel

to the big screen, IfBeale Street Could Talk.

- You ready for this?

- I never been more ready foranything in my whole life.

- [Barry] Part of Baldwin'spower is his reach.

He had all these different sort of pockets

of experience that he drew from

and he was someone whojust told the truth.

I first read Beale Street around 2009.

What grabbed me was the love story

between Tish and Fonny, was just so pure.

- [Tish Voiceover] Itwas no surprise to me

when I finally understood that he was

the most beautiful personI had seen in all my life.

- [Barry] Baldwin's legacyis very important, very rich.

I wanted to bring thisbook into the world intact.

- How you gonna sit here andact like can't nothing be done?

These are our children,and we gotta set them free.

- [Barry] This book waswritten between '68 and '73.

I felt there was a powerin the movie taking place

in a period 45 years ago and yet still

being very relevant today.

- Hmm, I'm taking you down.

- No!

- [Tish Voiceover] I hopethat nobody has ever had to

look at anybody they love through glass.

- [Barry] The condition of black life

that Baldwin was writing,was to illustrate

how Tish and Fonny's love is threatened

simply by them being alive in America

at the time the film is set.

(dramatic orchestral music)

I love it when intellectualideas can be pursued through

characters and I think in thisbook, and now in the film,

these ideas about America,particularly black life

and black love, are givenlife through the characters.

- We are drinking to new life.

Tish gonna have Fonny's baby.

- Un-bow your head, sister.

- I feel so, so very blessedbecause I think a lot of people

are unaware that he evenwrote something like this.

When you read it's thisbeautiful love story,

but still so very much James Baldwin,

the way that he describeswhat's going on in the community

and how he interweavesthat into this story

but is still a love story.

- I called this meeting,Fonny's gonna be a father.

We're gonna have a baby.

- And who's gonna beresponsible for this baby?

- [Tish] The father and the mother.

- To be able to beentrusted with a story like

If Beale Street Could Talk

is such a humbling, humbling thing.

To be able to tell a storylike this with Barry Jenkins

is really something I havenot taken for granted.

- I got two things in my life, man.

Got my whetting stone and I got Tish.

Without them, I'm lost.

- You wanna get it right, sayit exactly the way he wrote it

because it scans out perfectly.

You get into the soul of whythey speak the way they speak.

- You're a good girl and I'm proud of you,

don't you ever forget it.

- To be a part of the firstJames Baldwin adaptation

for the theater is a little bit terrifying

because he's a national treasure.

- Remember love is what brought you here

and if you've trusted lovethis far, don't panic now.

Trust it all the way.

- I love you, you know that.

- I do, and I understandwhat you're going through

because I'm with you.

(somber piano music)

- What I love about theprocess of making this film is

from the cast to the departmentheads, the producers,

everybody, we had the sameshared love for Baldwin

that we used the sourcematerial as this bedrock

and that writing isalways, always eloquent,

and it's always, always lush.

- [Baldwin Voiceover] The thingsthat tormented me the most

were the very things that connected me

with all the people who are alive.

(train roars)

(baby cries)

(gate rattles)


- If Beale Street CouldTalk is in American theaters

November 30th, and speakingof If Beale Street Could Talk,

as we prepared this show, Iwas thinking of Nat King Cole.

Take a look and listen.


♪ If Beale Street could talk,Beale Street could talk ♪

♪ Married men would have totake their beds and walk ♪

♪ Except one or two,who never drink booze ♪

♪ And the blind man onthe corner who sings ♪

♪ the Beale Street blues ♪

(Horn music)

- [Efrem] And still tocome, you know the voice.

♪ I know somehow ♪

- [Efrem] Jason Gray now sets up

for a Studio 5 Sessions Performance.


- And welcome back toStudio 5, we have made it

to the final headlinein this week's countdown

of the best in uplifting entertainment.


- [Efrem] At number one.

- Ah, he's sweet.

- [Efrem] That's DuckDynasty's Sadie Robertson

helping to bring thepages of World Vision's

annual gift catalog tolife in New York City.

- This is for women in the U.S. who are

coming out of really hard situations.

- [Efrem] At this pop-up shop

inside Bryant Park'siconic Winter Village.

We caught up with her encouragingher many fans to give back

and support the work of thehumanitarian organization.

What makes you wanna be a part of this?

- Oh man, I love it, WorldVision is so great because

there's so many organizationsout there but this one

gives to over a hundredcountries and including this one,

and also it's likeacross the board, I mean,

they don't just sponsorchildren, they give animals,

they give water, like they do it all.

And so, for me to be hereand people in America

to actually get to see whatthey do, I mean that's awesome.


- That wraps this week's countdown.

We now turn our attentionback to Jason Gray.

He's standing by for thisStudio 5 Sessions Performance.

(guitar picking)

♪ I was halfway up the mountain ♪

♪ When the rocks I held gave way ♪

♪ I came tumblin' like an avalanche ♪

♪ To the bottom where I lay ♪

♪ And with the taste ofblood and twist of bone ♪

♪ My healing could begin ♪

♪ 'Cause the wound is where the light ♪

♪ The wound is where the light ♪

♪ The wound is where the light gets in ♪

(guitar picking)

♪ I've stood there like a hostage ♪

♪ With a knife held to my vein ♪

♪ Captive to the poison thatI took to numb the pain ♪

♪ 'Cause everybody wishes theywere born with thicker skin ♪

♪ But the wound is where the light ♪

♪ The wound is where the light ♪

♪ The wound is where the light gets in ♪

♪ It's tricky how the heart works ♪

♪ When the breakups and the big jerks ♪

♪ Make us never wannahurt that way again ♪

♪ Maybe I'm naive butin every scar I see ♪

♪ The place where loveis trying to break in ♪

♪ 'Cause the wound iswhere the light gets in ♪

♪ You can recognize a saint bythe scars they don't disguise ♪

♪ You can pick out a real sinner ♪

♪ By the kindness in their eyes ♪

♪ So if you're stumblin' in the dark ♪

♪ And bleeding at the shin ♪

♪ Just remember the woundis where the light ♪

♪ The wound is where the light ♪

♪ The wound is where thelight gets in, yeah ♪

♪ The wound is where the light ♪

♪ The wound is where the light ♪

♪ The wound is where the light gets in ♪


- What a voice; you canget more from Jason Gray

wherever you purchase your music.

And still to come,

- I heard this is where the party is.

- [Efrem] Sending up prayers for Oprah,

during this time of loss.


- And welcome back to Studio 5.

Time now for this editionof the Studio 5 Snap Shot.


- [Photographer] Thankyou, Oprah right here.

- [Efrem] We're sendingup prayers of comfort

for Oprah Winfrey who ismourning the loss of her mother.

Vernita Lee diedThanksgiving Day at her home

in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she was 83.

And these Winfrey family photos

are this week's Studio 5 Snap Shot.

And with that Snap Shot, weare almost out of time for this

episode so let's look aheadright now to next week.


We're working to bringyou more from our visit

with Sadie Robertson here inNew York City's Bryant Park.

- [Willie] So Sadie how didyour dad impact your life?

- [Efrem] Including some questions

from the older man in her life.

- So Sadie what's up withyou and the boyfriend?

(Efrem laughs)

She gonna love that one.

- [Efrem] We're gettingthe answers to questions

only her Duck Dynasty dad could ask.


Certainly hope you'll joinus for that story next week.

It is time now for the finalword in this week's show.

So we're gonna give that to eye doctor

and film director, David Evans.

- When you're fighting hard every day

for something like this, theenemy fights even harder.

And so, we have to protectourselves every day on set

to make sure that everyoneis sync, everyone's in step

with everything that has to be done.

Because the slightestattack from the enemy

can affect your entire day.

So when everything isfinished in a few days,

I know that God's instructionto us is to take a deep breath

go again to prayer, go againin prayer to God and just say,

God give us peace inpost-production (sniffs)

and most of all I need youto protect me and my wife

and my family so that we canwork hard to do everything

we can so when the timecomes and we're ready

to put this movie into theatersand God opens the doors

to those theaters that we're ready,

that we're ready to invitepeople in to share this story

and then step back and just see

how God uses it to change lives.


- A great final word forthis edition of Studio 5

and this week's look atuplifting entertainment.

Until next time, you maketime to uplift someone else.

Bye-bye everybody.



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