TNC Interview 2019
In the last days of her mother's life, 19-year-old Tiffany crashes with five family members in a Las Vegas studio apartment.
Hi Numa, it's great to talk to you, how's everything going?
Thank you. Everything is working out and going really well!
What was the experience like premiering your debut feature at SXSW?
SXSW was great in every way. So many film lovers were there to digest and engage in the movies. It's also a huge party and celebration. It was the perfect place to launch Jezebel. Our whole team had a blast and it really put us on the map.
How much had your previous work prepared you for helming Jezebel?
All of my previous work set me up and lead me to it. Every short film, every play, every web series, all of my acting studies and my life experiences. It all added up. And now the Jezebel experience is added to all of that.
Can you tell me a little bit about Jezebel, how did the film come about?
Jezebel is my true story that I shared with my sister about how we lived and survived in Las Vegas after our mother died and we barely had two cents to rub together. She was a phone sex girl and she encouraged me to give "internet modelling" a try - which was the early days of virtual online peep shows --which are now known as cam girls. It's a coming of age story with a focal point on sexuality and how sex work formed parts of my identity.
"I love acting and transforming into characters and the honesty that's involved."
With your screenplay being semi-autobiographical did you have any apprehensions about drawing from your own experiences for this film?
I had every apprehension. I had a false notion of shame that I carried with me a long time and stood in the way of my work. As I shed that I was able to make the film and now enjoy its impact.
Will your own experiences continue to play a part in future projects?
Absolutely. My life is a big adventure and I have so much to mine there. I've always worked from a deeply personal space and will continue to do so.
What was the most challenging part of bringing Jezebel?
I feel happy because I understand so much better how easy it can all be and that every challenge only pushed me into a better space as a filmmaker.
What was the hardest scene for you to film?
Shooting late at night with a tired cast and crew was hard but the performances still came through.
Now that you can be reflective is there anything you would do differently on this film?
I wouldn't change anything about Jezebel. It's exactly the film I wanted to create and exactly the film it was meant to be.
Does your background as an actress help you forge a tighter connect with your actors?
I'm definitely an actors director. I love acting and transforming into characters and the honesty that's involved. It excites me and brings me joy.
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
Yes, as soon as I started experimenting with it I fell in love with it. It brings together acting writing art - there's a form of sculpture involved. Psychology and pathology are explored. It's all of my interests being explored and stimulated.
Since your debut film how much has your approach to your films changed?
I have the same approach which is to follow my instincts and emotions and move swiftly.
What are you currently working on?
I'm acting in a feature film that is very provocative with a director whom I love and felt instantly connected to. Will be announced soon.
Is there any advice you've been given that's stuck with you?
Shoot the rehearsal!
Do you have any advice you would offer a fellow filmmaker?
Start with whatever you have and make your film. Film. Maker.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Jezebel?
I like letting myself be surprised by what people take away from it.