Interview with Tash Ann [ Director of 24/7 & Winner of the Best Female Filmmaker Award at the LA Independent Film Festival ]
February 7, 2019
Recently we sat with the director of our movie project 24/7 and the winner of the Best Female Filmmaker Award at the LA Independent Film Festival (2017), Tash Ann , for an interview about her beginnings, her future projects, and most importantly what is she up to right now!
Describe for us the beginning of your career. What made you fall in love with directing?
I originally studied to be an actor. I was always drawn to visual storytelling, but as a child, it only occurred to me that was an option through acting. It wasn’t until my early 20s, when I was trying to create my own material for my acting reel that there was actually a lot more I liked about directing than acting. I loved the idea that I could build a whole world around the thoughts in my head and use this world to make statements about the issues that stand out to me. There is an interesting and addicting sensation to directing, like being an orchestra conductor for that particular story and those particular lives.
What is it about this specific story of 24/7 that drew you to the project?
I love thrillers, and I especially love female driven film. I think the thing that stands out to me as the most appealing aspect of 24/7
is that we don’t utilize the typical protagonist/antagonist structure of characters. The world is a grayer place than that and so is this story. Every character in the story is simply doing what they have to do to survive in their own narrow perception and it just so happens that their own survival is threatening the existence of the other characters. I see in this film a chance for people to see themselves in the vulnerability of each of the characters and feel empathy for each of them at varying times. I think that to me is the most important take away you can have from any film, the chance to empathize with people who you may have just ignored in your day to day life.
What is it like working with Mitch Smith Media? Can you describe with a few words the experience with us?
It has been a very good experience. I am very appreciative that we were able to work so extensively on the story. I think we all have open lines of honest communication and that allows us to be very proactive about getting the film made.
You’ve worked very closely with our own writer/producer and founder (Mitch Smith) on the story for 24/7 and on the lead character of Daisy – can you describe that experience and how that has helped you start to visualize shots, cast, etc.?
I think that just in the story edits, we really worked to nail down what made Daisy herself. It was very important to me that she have multiple dimensions and be able to find joy in her world as well as pain. I think with every edit of the script with Mitch and our other producer Ryan Weaver, the story became a clearer and clearer mental picture for me. Once we brought Alison on and she and I got to go over everything in the script and do an edit together, the character of Daisy was really solidified. She brings so much humanity and realism into a character that could easily just slip into the darkness and I am so excited for all of us to bring Daisy and the whole story to life.
You were awarded Best Woman Filmmaker at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival in 2017 for your short Glass Ceiling. Can you describe what that experience was like (filming the short and winning at the festival) and if that has led to more opportunities for you to direct?
Filming Glass Ceiling
was an incredible experience. We got to make an over the top literal punch in the face commentary on equal pay in one of the most fun ways possible. The whole cast and crew really brought everything they had to it. The film did relatively well in the festival circuit and though I made it to as many festivals as possible, the LAIFF was not one I could attend. I was so incredibly jazzed though for the awards that we won and have some of the statues displayed in my home. It’s an awesome honor.
I would say it has opened up opportunities for me, such as 24/7 and I have a few other things in talks that I can’t say too much about yet. It has allowed myself and Ryan (my producer from Glass Ceiling and producer on 24/7) to be able to continue making shorts that we feel passionate about for higher budgets and better quality crew than are afforded to many young filmmakers. I feel very fortunate.
What other projects do you have coming up that we can look forward to?
I just finished shooting a comedy short called The Escape that I am very excited for. I think it will do well in the festival circuit. I am also in very tentative talks to do a project with an Asian company, but I cannot say anything until more is finalized.
Where does Tash Ann see herself in the industry in 10 years?
I hope to be a working director that focuses attention on stories about women and on stories that have an important message about our society.
What is that dream project you would always say ‘yes’ to?
Anything set in a dystopian society. I eat that stuff up.
What would you tell to young artists struggling to achieve goals in the film industry right now?
Make your own stuff and PA on bigger stuff. The more film sets you are on the more you learn. Every single set contains so much valuable knowledge, whether it is what to do or what not to do that you cant go wrong by immersing yourself in the world you want to be a part of.
We at Mitch Smith Media wish Tash good luck with her current & future projects!