Interview with Filmmaker Tessie McCoy (CRACKS IN THE FOUNDATION)

Directed by Tessie McCoy, Tajianna Okechukwu
Cracks in the Foundation is a short drama that explores generational trauma through the lens of a Black woman as she strives to prevent toxic cycles from happening within in her family.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I was motivated to make this film by my own journey with metal health and healing my inner child. Growing up mental health and therapy were topics that we didn’t speak about in my household and it is still that way in many Black households today. Having done the work myself and experiencing the ways that my life positively changed with the help of therapy I wanted to make a film that helped to open people’s minds and hearts to the idea of trying it for themselves.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

The idea for the film came from a poem I wrote in early 2020 detailing my journey with going to therapy. At the end of that same year I decided to use the poem as the framework for the script. All in all it took about 1.5 years to make the film.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Mental Health

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The biggest obstacle I faced in completing my film was me stepping in as co-director. This was my first endeavor in the world of filmmaking and I had no intention of being involved in the directing. But at the last minute we needed a director and I had no choice but to step up. Tajianna, my co-director, gave me a crash course and the next day we started shooting. Although it was a challenge I think it was the best thing for me. I didn’t know that I had it in me to direct and now that I’ve done it, I know that it is in my future to grow my skills and direct more projects.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was blown away by the feedback. To hear that people resonated with the message of my film so much was special. It’s a moment that I won’t soon, if ever, forget.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I was a little girl with big dreams. I knew that I wanted to be a filmmaker as a child. I lived in a constant daydream. I would watch tv shows and plan out how I thought the next episode should go. And if I didn’t like the way a movie played out, I would come up with my own idea and play my version in my head.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

The Lion King. My family and I used to draw the characters name from a hat and then recite the entire movie as we watched. 99% sure I could still do this today.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I think more opportunities to network across with other creatives in similar career positions as well as opportunities for networking up with those who already have a seat at the table or at least a foot in the door would be very helpful.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

Film Freeway made submitting to festivals seamless and easy to keep track of. I love the confetti that falls when you receive an official selection.

10. What is your favorite meal?

I love seafood and pasta. So any combination of those two are always a fav!

11. What is next for you? A new film?

Cracks in the Foundation was my first step into the world of filmmaking. I have spent most of this year working as a PA on various productions so that I could get more of an education in filmmaking (I didn’t go to film school). In between projects, I have also been working on scripts (tv pilots, shorts, and features). I hope to be up and running in production of one of my scripts in 2023.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: