“Self,” is Tiffany Silver-Tucker’s latest endeavor, a nine minute dramatic short film, that depicts the struggle of a 15-year-old African American male, who attempts to commit suicide to escape the pressures of bullying from his peers and neglect at home. The short film premiered on www.selfthemovie.com, on October 30th 2011.
Tiffany is a producer, director, post-production editor, and designer in the Communications/New Media industry for the past decade. She graduated from Howard University in 2001, with a bachelor’s degree in Communications, and is now attending graduate school at the Academy of Art University. She is expected to receive an MFA degree in Web/New Media in 2014.
Tiffany directed her first theater play in 2001, entitled: “The Process,” at the Lincoln Theater in Washington DC. In 2007, she designed a t-shirt line, Adonai Branded Eternal, (abeclothing.com) as a way to express spirituality. In 2009, she released a web comedy series, “The Allen Luu Show.”
Understanding ones wounds of war comes with a journey into their life. Tiffany is a survivor, and “SELF” is just her first step into short film, but by no means her last attempt to communicate to the world about neglect. If you have ever been in a position of power to help someone who was hurting but walked away, or forgot to ask your child how was his or her day; go to www.selfthemovie.comand become selfless. During my interview with Tiffany Silver-Tucker you will discover she’s on a mission to help others by turning her negative childhood of abuse, neglect, and bullying into a positive testimony to comfort people of all races and spiritual backgrounds.
Why did you make this movie?
I made this movie to play a role in educating the youth on the seriousness of bullying. When I was in middle school I became a victim of bullying; I remember waking up everyday in sadness and terrified about going to school. I remember that feeling of wanting to disappear.
What is this movie about?
SELF, is a short story about 15-year-old, Jezreel Self, who is struggling with abandonment from his parents and torment from other teenagers in his community. As a result, Jezreel pursues an alternative for his unendurable life; he attempts to commit suicide.
How did you choose the actors?
I actually prayed and asked God to show me who would be the best fit for each character. It just so happened to be majority were family and co-workers.
What are some of the emotions the cast went through when shooting some of the scenes?
Some of the emotions that the cast encountered throughout the production were feelings of sadness, anger, guilt and depression. On a positive note, they all learned how traumatic selfishness can be, and that each day we must strive to be selfless.
How will this movie inspire the youth?
My prayer is that this movie inspires the youth not to judge or look down on others because of social, economical, spiritual or sexual differences. I want them to love and respect everyone, despite their differences. For those being bullied, I would suggest they connect with someone who will be a positive force in their lives. When I was a teenager, I remember being fortunate to have people in my life that encouraged me to continue pressing forward, even in the midst of turmoil.
Can you tell us something unique about each cast member?
Each and everyone of them are very special to me. Van Wilson, Jr., (Jezreel Self) is my cousin. He is a talented musician. He writes music and wants to pursue a career in music/acting. He has a glowing personality and loves to help others. Stacy Johnson, (Faith Self) “Mom” is my mother-in-law. She has an amazing drive; currently she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Business Administration and is also working on her first novel. Mom has a bubbly personality and she also enjoys family and traveling. Linwood Moore, (David Self) is my co-worker and friend. He is an independent filmmaker, who also loves acting. He was so instrumental during production, assisting us with lighting scenes, as well as loaning us his personal equipment for production. Kendall Frost, is also a close friend to my husband and I. He has so many talents. Aside from being an excellent cinematographer, he also writes and directs comedy sketches, and is a great post-production editor. He too has a very thoughtful spirit. Andrew Wilson, is Van’s younger brother. He wants to pursue a career in Electrical Engineering. Andrew is a humorous, fun-loving teenager. He enjoys playing in a jazz band at his high school.
The lead actor has never done this before how did you prepare him to take on such a role?
This is Van Wilson’s film debut; he is also my cousin. Everyone who was apart of this production encouraged and motivated him during rehearsals and production. His mother also did a great job encouraging and helping him learn his lines before we started production.
You are a designer, wife, student, director and friend to many how do you juggle all of these roles?
I have a great support system. First, my husband is very supportive and loving. The great thing about friends and family members is they don’t have a problem making me rest (She laughs). I work on schoolwork a little per day, and I set aside days where I shut off business and school to devote to my husband, family, and relaxation. I try to pray daily, or show reverence to God for waking me up each and everyday, but sometimes I will forget to devote time to communicating with God, and He most certainly reminds me that He comes first! It is a process, but I believe I am growing.
Is there a scene in the movie that you think will move people?
I believe the entire movie is uplifting, because each scene is closely knitted together. I am hoping that everyone continues to watch after the closing credit, because there is a surprise, which I believe everyone will appreciate!
What techniques did you use to prepare the case for emotional scenes?
We used extreme close ups (video shots) for the emotional scene. I wanted the audience to really empathize with the main characters. The emotional scenes took hours and a few weekends to capture, but both the crew and the cast did a really good job executing these them.
How do you think parents and families will react to this film?
I believe they will react in a positive way. I am hoping that teenagers will open up to their parents more, and in turn parents will be more patient and supportive, instead of being resistant and judgmental towards their children. We as adults need to be more encouraging and supportive, and less demanding to children; if we are not careful we may fall victim to bullying our children into rebellion.
What makes this independent film different?
This movie is different, because each of us involved in this production can relate to the story in some way. Both the cast and the crew want to be a blessing to someone who is hurting out there, and our mission is to use film as a vehicle to change lives. We work as a family, and our message is more important than individual recognition. We are creatively sowing seeds!
SELF can mean a lot of things what does the movie title mean to you?
Self is a person’s sole interests and welfare of themselves, and not of others.
Do you think this movie will change the way people think and if so how?
Yes, I definitely think this movie will change the way people think. We all have selfish ways, some more than others. It is always a good idea for all of us to do self-evaluations or seek God to reveal our shortcomings, so that we can strive to change. It is also good to pour into others, even when we are in the midst of hardship. While we are sowing into others lives, God will pour back into us.
What does the letters of your movie company stand for?
AIWIJ is the acronym for “All I Want Is Jesus!”
Why do you want to create these movies?
I want to create movies that inspire those who are watching and to provide an opportunity for those who dream of acting/filming, but just don’t know how to pursue it or can’t afford to migrate to California.
When did you start working in entertainment or the arts?
I started working in the arts when I was a child as an actress in various community plays. By the time I started Howard University, I became more intrigued by the technical aspect of film production, so now I enjoy working behind the camera.
What inspires you?
The things that inspire me are God, Family & Friends, and Life in general. Everyone has a story, and I admire those who have overcome some serious challenges, and are now sharing and pouring into those people who are going through now, what they went through then.
Are there any other movies in the works?
Yes, I will begin directing part two of the movie SELF, and I have a few projects in the works for 2012 that I will keep quiet for now.
What’s the future for the movie company?
I want to continue to be lead by God as to what He wants me to do. I am in love with producing and directing, so I will continue pursuing this endeavor until I am lead to do something totally different.
What you would you like to tell other women who are inspiring to direct movies?
To confidently go forth in it! Do not be intimidated by the male dominance in the industry; all they need are faith, ambition, and an idea and they can accomplish anything. I am most certainly learning, but I enjoy what I do, which is so important!
Tiffany wants to continue spreading the message to stop bullying by conducting a speaking tour on the impact of bullying with her film company AIWIJ (All I Want is Jesus). The tour is from December to the end of January. For booking e-mail the crew at email@example.com. Tiffany encourages everyone to watch the movie at www.selfthemovie.comand to learn why selflessness is the key to inner and outer beauty. If you would like to join the Facebook page and get updates on what is happening nationally and internationally when it comes to bullying go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Self/176245185789817?ref=ts.
To get the latest updates on SELF-promotional outings follow Tiffany on Twitter: @silvertucker. Tiffany hopes students, wives, mothers, daughters; sons, grandmothers, grandfathers and fathers understand they play an important role in the non-bully movement, when they become a person of action.