Tamara Bass Discusses IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

AuthorJanuary 23, 2021

Hey associates, Barbarella right here.  A short time in the past, I had the pleasure of talking with Tamara Bass about her new film, IF NOT NOW, WHEN? Resonating with me excess of I had anticipated, the story about 4 associates who reunite when one suffers a disaster avoids a few of the tropes one would possibly count on. Rather, the relationships and conditions are plausible and relatable for girls no matter background and race.  For the interview, I needed to begin out asking Tamara the obvious, albeit a bit odd, query.
You most likely have not been requested this earlier than as a result of it’s form of a foolish query, however motion pictures like SEX AND THE CITY, WAITING TO EXHALE, GIRL’S TRIP, and IF NOT NOW, WHEN? are all about 4 girls who’re associates.  Why is 4 the fortunate quantity in terms of most of these tales?
“You know what? It’s crazy because I asked myself the same thing. I don’t know if it’s this perfect balance, or if it’s a square. I have no idea, but when I sat down to write, I think it was just subconscious in my mind that, “Nope, it’s four. It’s automatically four women.” I think from a writing standpoint, it allowed me to have a little more balance than three. It was like, “Okay, I haven’t visited this character, let me visit over here, and then let me visit over here.” It just gave a nice balance. it’s weird. I don’t know why, but you’re absolutely correct; four must be the lucky number. Not three, not five, four.  I’m going to have to ask my other writer friends, “Why do we pick four?“”
When writing, do you do outlines? Note playing cards? What’s your writing course of like?
“I giggle as a result of for the longest [time], I refused to name myself a author. Mind you, I’ve a complete diploma on this, and I might simply refuse. My finest buddy since I used to be sixteen-years outdated is a author, and he or she was a workers author on a TV present that made it one season. She’s a writer-writer, like an actual author, like somebody who does all of the steps. I’m somebody who each time I sit down to write down one thing, she’s like, “Well did you write the outline?” I’m like, “Huh? Why do I got to write the steps? Can’t I just start writing?” She’s like, “If you do the steps, it makes it easier.” I might say on the final couple of issues I’ve written, I’ve truly taken her recommendation. I sit down. I make a top level view, after which I’m going in from the define, and sometimes, I’ve an concept of what the arcs are going to be. If I’m writing a TV present, which that is what I’ve been within the strategy of doing, I do know what the storyline goes to be. I’m like, “Okay, I know the beginning, middle, and end, now how do I get there?”
“Then I do a top level view, and sometimes, my define is I simply write out every scene heading (inside, lounge, day), and I describe what is going on to occur within the scene. I do this from the highest of the movie or TV present till the very finish, after which I’m going in, and I tweak issues, after which I’m going in for the dialogue. I have a tendency to write down during to the tip earlier than I begin rewriting.

“Sometimes I’ll get to the end and be like, “Ooh, I got to make a note, I made something that is contradictory in the top to this, so I got to fix that.” I got my rewrite, but I try to get all of the story out first and then go back in. Recently, I was hired to write something for Lifetime, and it was my first time being hired by someone else to write.  In my contract, I had all of these steps I had to do, and I’m like, “I don’t even know what this means.” So I had to consult my best friend like, “Okay, they want me to do this.” She’s like, “Okay, this is what that is.” I was like, “Oh, maybe I should follow the steps more often.””
Well, it is good to have associates that will help you out with that stuff, although. 
“Oh my gosh. Yes, they’re invaluable. I would not have made it this far in my life without them, which was why I wrote this movie, to just say thank you for loving me through the most difficult of times and being the people I want to celebrate with, the people I want to cry with. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here. I can’t thank my core group of friends enough.”
The dialogue on this feels so genuine.  What is your methodology or trick for writing dialogue that is real?
“You know what’s loopy is after I went to varsity, I studied each theater and comm. arts with this emphasis in screenwriting. My very first screenwriting class, the very first thing my professor instructed me once we handed in our first little project was like, “You have a knack for dialogue. That’s not something someone can teach.  Everything else I can teach you.  Dialogue you can’t teach.” And I used to be like, “That’s interesting.”  I believe in truth, it comes from the truth that I’m an enormous introvert, so I’m all the time being attentive to every thing round me, and I’m an actor, so after I go to write down one thing, I’m sometimes taking part in all of the characters, and I’m like, “Hmm, that doesn’t sound like it’s going to come off the tongue right. … Nope, let’s try this again.”
“And I’m in my room, or in my lounge or wherever I’m writing, strolling round saying these scenes. When we did our desk learn for this, the very first thing I instructed them on the desk learn was, “Hey guys, I’m not Shonda Rhimes so if anything does not sound right, you have my full permission to tweak the dialogue, as long as what we’re saying in the scene still comes across. Don’t go off page too much.” I’m proud to say that what you see within the film is about 95% of my phrases verbatim.  The largest praise is when somebody says, “Oh, it feels improvised,” and I’m like, “Thank you, thank you. It wasn’t, but thank you.”
“So, I pride myself on dialogue. Everything else, I’m like, “Ooh, I don’t know. My scene description might not be that pretty.” But my best friend tells me, “You write like a director.  You write like you see things.” I’m like, “Okay, I receive that.””

So, what character do you determine with probably the most? 
“I’m a mix truly of Suzanne, Patrice, and Deidre. I put items of me in all of them. I’m very a lot Suzanne within the sense like I lived my life extraordinarily regimented. Everything was, I graduated highschool, I went to varsity. I did da da da da da… And you then search for, and you are like, “But what has that really gotten me?” And then with Deidre, I’m very very similar to life will get in the best way of our desires, and the way do you retain that piece of you continue to? And then with Patrice, I’m the fighter in my group. I’m the protector. I’m the one which when there’s an issue, let’s remedy it.  The one I’m least like is Tyra, however I do know so many Tyras. Tyra places every thing off, she does not need to take care of her stuff. I take care of every thing head on. I take accountability for stuff that has completely nothing to do with me. You might be hit by a automobile, and I’ll be like, “I’m so sorry that I did not warn you that the car was coming!” That’s me.
You talked about Tyra, who’s performed by Meagan Good. Would you discuss in regards to the first time you met her?
“Oh my gosh. We had been sixteen and nineteen, and we met at a industrial audition.  I bear in mind us going into this audition, and it was again within the day once we’re supposed to inform our age. I assume now it is a regulation that claims you are not imagined to ask them how outdated they’re. Who is aware of? But we go in, and it was me, her and her sister. And you sit down, they usually say, “How old are you? Blah, blah, blah.” And Meagan was like, “I’m sixteen.” And her sister was like, “I’m eighteen.” And I’m like over eighteen, and everybody turns to look, they usually’re like, “Wait, you’re what?!  We thought you were twelve!” I’m like, “Nope, I’m in college.”
“It became like we would just constantly see each other at auditions, and then one day, we were at this audition, and we had already exchanged numbers, and we’re like, “Do you want to go to the movies?” Her mom had to drive her everywhere. So her mom was like, “You’re going to bring her home?” And I’m like, “Yeah.” From there, the rest is history. Now twenty-three years later…yeah.”
Wow, How did co-directing along with her enhance your personal directing means or did it?
“Oh, it definitely did. Actually, it made me more confident. I’m very, very creative, but I’m also very logical, analytical. I use both sides of my brain equally, and it’s weird. I am an artist who loves math. So it’s those kind of weird idiosyncrasies. She’s much more of the creative brain. There were things that I knew I was good at, and then going in with her, it was like, ” I had this idea too.” So, I am confident because we both have the same idea. Things that I necessarily wouldn’t have trusted about myself, I learned to trust doing that process. So when it was time for me to go and direct my first solo thing that I did over the summer, it was like I could fully walk into that and know what I was talking about and know what I wanted, and I could execute that vision. And then from there, everyone responded so well so I was like, “Okay, I’m good at this.” I did pick up some things.”

When co-directing, how does one go about resolving disagreements?
“It is dependent upon what the character of it’s. If it is one thing on set like if it is she thought this specific scene must be this fashion or I assumed it, generally due to the great thing about taking pictures digital, you may shoot it each methods. And then when it got here all the way down to the edit, we had an incredible editor. So most instances we had been on the identical web page, however once we weren’t on the identical web page, we had been sometimes on reverse ends. So our editor can be like, “Okay, here’s a solution. I’m going to edit it Tamara’s way.  I’m going to edit it Meagan’s way, and then I’m going to have a compromised version and see what you guys think.” Nine instances out of ten, it might be like, you recognize what? It’s the compromised model. You know the editor is true. Then if we actually could not agree, we’d seek the advice of folks that we trusted within the course of, somebody who had no pores and skin within the recreation, so it felt good. Obviously, I’m not going to seek the advice of my mother who’s going to aspect with me, and he or she’s not going to seek the advice of her husband who’s going to aspect along with her. Let’s discover the impartial occasion who will be capable to see what it must be.”
Right. So would you discuss just a little bit about the way you selected the music for the movie?
“I am a music junkie. I can’t sing a lick – I sound like a wounded puppy – but I love music. I love music that makes me feel things. I can honestly say 90% of the music was me. I would present it to her like, “What do you think about this?” And she’s like, “How did you find this? This is absolutely perfect.” Because typically when I’m writing, I will write to a playlist of whatever emotions I’m feeling.  I will have a playlist to correlate with that project, so when it came to picking the music for this, I was able to go back to my playlist, but I was also able to just tap in. We knew that we wanted all female artists so it was a matter of saying, “All right, here’s who we have relationships with. Here’s people that we don’t have relationships with, but we can try to get them to say yes for no money.”  It was all of these issues, and it labored out. It’s simply my love of music coming by means of.”
Nice. So if folks got here with warning labels, what would yours say?
“Mine would say strongly opinionated, but very loving…and I’m not judgmental in the least.”
Nice.  How do you deal with stress on set?

“Oh, for me, I have to take a moment. Let me have a moment. Let me walk away. Let me assess the situation. And it’s usually a matter of I’m not a big yeller or screamer at people just because I’m too respectful of other people to be the tyrant that I’ve seen others become. I typically just need a moment of quiet. It’s like let me figure it out, and then I come back with the solution.”
Did y’all have a wrap occasion for this?
“We did not. When we wrapped, Meghan had to go out of town the next day. I was going on a much-needed vacation where I slept for thirteen hours the first day I got there. I went to Cabo, and I literally went to bed at about 7:00 PM and woke up 8:30 the next morning. Didn’t miss a beat.”
Okay, my final query. If you may do a Freaky Friday sort swap with anyone for like every week, who would you need to swap with?
“Ooh, ooh, that’s a good one. Honestly, it would be Regina King. I am in awe of Regina King; I always have been. She also happens to be one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever encountered in my life. I would just like to be her for a week because she’s everything that I aspire to be. So yeah, it would be Regina King.”
Well, I wouldn’t thoughts swapping with Tamara Bass for every week.  She’s simply pleasant.  In reality, I got here actually near inviting her to hang around in Austin with me throughout SXSW to take a look at some reside music, however I didn’t need to freak her out.  It’s simply generally there are folks you meet with whom you simply know you’d be good associates in actual life if given the chance, and he or she struck me as a kind of.  Her film IF NOT NOW, WHEN? is presently On Demand and Digital.  Check out the trailer. 

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Tamara Bass Discusses IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

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