In Celebration of Paul Thomas Gray from Terry Katz

January 13, 2018

In Celebration of Paul Thomas Gray

There is a huge ache in my heart today. Paul Thomas Gray has died. He was my mentor and friend, and he inspired me.

I met Paul over thirty years ago in 1976 at The Gray Film Atelier in Hoosick Falls, N.Y., and over the years have had the privilege to witness him in many roles - as a father, husband, artist, writer, mentor, collaborator, and friend. He lived each role to the fullest, with much love, and in good faith. Paul was far from being a saint. He was “a little rough around the edges”. Paul was, (as my mother would say), a “character”, and a talker. He could talk with the best of them, and that was part of his charm. He loved to share his wisdom, in the form of bad jokes, and timely anecdotes, and stories. I can never thank Paul enough for his support of my film projects, and my teaching, and his priceless film critiques that helped me shape my first feature documentary into a uniquely entertaining, and inspiring story.

When last we spoke, Paul was excited about moving forward on a film project that he had been developing for years, and that I was to edit for him. He was looking forward to experiencing a new way of producing his film by drawing on talent and production resources from around the country, collaborating via the Internet. This was so like Paul, experimenting with new ideas and ways to capture the essence of a story by using changing cinematic technology, and techniques. It would have been quite an adventure for the both of us, and our first collaboration since those days as an apprentice at The Gray Film Atelier.

Paul Thomas Gray was a great human being that profoundly changed my life in a most wonderful way. The keys to the kingdom I received from Paul not only made me a better filmmaker, but a better person. For that I will always be grateful.

Safe travels my friend, and may your spirit continue to inspire us all.

Love, Terry