Ryan's Story (March 17 2006)
In an email I got from Ryan...
I'm Ryan....a fan of Tiffani's who visits your website quite often. I'm from San Diego, California, and I just like to say thank you for informing me that Tiffani Thiessen was to appear at the 20th Annual Women's History Month at Cerritos College. Since you did so, I got the opportunity to see her in person and even got to see her film Just Pray. It was a real touching film, very sad toward the end, overall a good light-hearted film.
After the movie she discussed what Women's History Month meant to her, and she even went on by saying that there weren't a lot of women directors out there. When we were in the conference room she was joined alongside her partner for her production company, R. Dean Johnson, and her uncle Roger Ernest even made an appearance. When I attended there were a lot of people wanting to see Tiffani, it was so packed that I had to wait in line just to get into the conference room. Anyway the conference was mainly a question and answer session and she got to hear questions that had to do with the movie and questions that were related to her past work on Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills, 90210.
Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to ask her my question which was, "How you see yourself, doing directing and acting and how your setting a standard for women today." Too many people asked a lot of the questions so I didn't get the chance to say anything.
She even told us that R. Dean Johnson was actually a personal assistant of Tiffani's since 1996 while she was on 90210 and after she left 90210, she eventually got scripts from high budget films, but declined to take them because the scripts were so bad. She even wondered who they were from and R. Dean Johnson said they were from male producers, and she decided that when she did her movie that she would be the producer in her own film, which would be her first film Just Pray.
She even went on by saying that statistically there weren't enough Women Directors out there..and that the rise of Women Directors has fallen since 2000. She also said that no woman director has ever won an Academy Award alone in any of the categories for film. She even mentions that lately it's been hard to find acting jobs because most of what the media bombards us with is reality television shows, and she says that basically she's out of a job because of it.
Going back to what she said about men running the industry she said that most networks on television are actually always been run by men and that no women has rarely been able to run a network because men are the ones who profit on the money which was a fact.
Tiffani also mentioned that she was up for the role on Walk the Line, for Reese Witherspoon's role before she directed the film Just Pray. However she declined for the role due to scheduling conflicts with her work with her production company. She was originally cast as playing Constance Zimmer's character in Just Pray but when she found out that the director working with R. Dean Johnson who was from London backed out of the project due to other commitments, he suggested that Tiffani take on the role as director.
So far, there was so many things I found out in the conference about Tiffani that I didn't even know, but I'll get more into that on a later e-mail.
After the conference was over, I got the chance to take a picture with Tiffani and even meet her in person. From what I can tell she's lost a lot of weight and in person she seems very young and almost looks to still be in her early 20's. She was all smiles the whole time I met her. She really articulate, and has a lot of experience when it comes to being in front of the camera.
The email later that day...
I also forgot to mention that during the conference she said something about men getting paid more for small parts than women who get paid for bigger roles on film. She used the example of John Travolta having a bit part in a film, and then she used the example of Sharon Stone having a bigger role in a movie. She said that male directors tend to pay male actors more for parts even if they were in a movie for about 5 minutes than an actress who's the star of the whole movie.
Tiffani goes on to say that the economy is rather slow and that Hollywood these days aren't making more money than it used to in the past. That's why people aren't seeing movies as much now and not enough money is circulating to pay more women actresses.
Someone asked a question where the movie Just Pray would be available, and Tiffani responded by saying that its available and you could download it and pay for it online on a website like Hallmark.
According to Tiffani she said that during the production of the movie only two people auditioned for roles while the rest of the cast didn't have to audition like Brady Smith, Constance Zimmer, etc.
Someone asked a question how do you feel about being a director on set since people recognize you from your shows. She said that people got used to it and R. Dean Johnson made a quip about her wearing the "She's the Director" shirt. I'm sure you've seen the shirt in some of her pictures.
She said that while she was directing Just Pray, she turned to director McG from Fastlane and asked for his advice on how to direct the movie.
Then another question came up about sending scripts to her production company. Tiffani gave an example of Drew Barrymore's Flower Productions and said that before she would get a script and read it that it would have to be signed from a release form before reaching any production company. This is because people rarely even read scripts at all because studios get tons of them. She said that if they were to use a person's script that someone wrote without any authorization or release form that they would get sued big time, that's why Tiffani's production company rarely even looks at scripts from anyone for a movie.
Someone asked a question if Just Pray would be a feature film and if it would ever reach the Academy circuit. She answered by using the example Billy Bob Thorton in the movie Slingblade, which was a short that turned into a full length feature film and won an academy award, She that Just Pray was 22 minutes long and far too long for a short film. She said the chances of it ever being a feature film is quite slim but there could be a chance, since it's currently reaching the festival circuit.
Someone made a comment about her work as squeaky clean Kelly on Saved by the Bell and bad girl vixen on Beverly Hills, 90210 and she replied by saying that through the years she feels the popularity of those shows was her biggest accomplishment, she even made a funny remark about her being old now....and that people still recognize her to this day and that people will continue to do that until she loses all her baby fat cheeks heheh. yeah I know...
She mentioned about Stroller Wars and said she filmed the pilot last year and that it didn't get picked up with the network this time.
Well a lot of people asked her questions but I'm trying to remember some more but when I do I'll let you know. As for taking pictures with Tiffani my brother and I stood in the stairway leading to the stage to try to get a picture with her. The lady coordinating the event gave her a boquet of flowers as a gift for their time here. She was mugged getting pictures with some fans and I stood next to her. Yeah she's pretty much my height 5'5". Although I was excited to meet her, I was very nervous, and was sorta quiet. I didn't know what to say to her because so many people answered most of my questions.
In the beginning of the conference she stood in the back and I almost didn't recognize her until she walked on stage. People kept gawking at her, and taking pictures while she was talking. Yeah that's pretty much it and then she left with her uncle Roger Ernest and R. Dean Johnson and that was it. I hate to watch her go, but I love watching her leave...heheh....yeah very beautiful person..inside and out...would love to meet her again what a wonderful experience.