“All That Matters”–or as I like to call it “when beautiful people are placed in ugly situations”– is a new web series written, created and directed by Tamara Bass and Meagan Good. Some of you may remember Bass as the well-meaning “Peanut” from John Singleton’s 2001 flick Baby Boy. But now she is all grown up as Joy, a professional woman living in L.A. who is newly engaged to her man Kevin, played by Tracey Dukes.
Things are going fine for Joy until one day her sister Rochelle (played by Candice Renee) turns her world upside down.
Produced by Sway Calloway and Lee “Q” O ’Denat of Worldstarhiphop, the first episode of “All That Matters” premieres today and WatchLOUD caught up with Tamara and Meagan to talk about the motivations for the series and importance of the independent voice in film and TV.
WL: Peanut done came up! What was the inspiration for creating “All That Matters”?
Tamara: The inspiration was I want to explore that question of what happens when your life changes in 24 hours and it’s not the way you planned for it to be. As a woman life has thrown me many curve balls and detours from the past and I wanted to explore that. As someone who is an auntie I looked at my nieces and nephews and I wondered what would happen if tomorrow you guys are under my care 100 percent of the time.
We shot the pilot in May of 2014, I started throwing around the concepts at the end of 2013, just throwing around ideas, looking at my life, my siblings, my family. I submitted a draft to Meagan and she loved it, we collaborated and showed Q from Worldstar the pilot episode and he loved it. Then we shot the next four episodes. We shoot the remaining five in April.
WL: Meagan, what made you want to get involved with this series?
Meagan: Several different things. Having the perspective as a creative person and Black woman wanting to create projects that represented as a whole and also represent the story less told. A lot of time in movies or TV shows we’re one dimensional. If we are complicated we’re also very damaged, not always true to who we are as people. So we wanted to change the narrative and show us in a way that’s a lot more relatable to the reality of our lives. Tam and I are very passionate about projects that show men and women that way. I loved the characters, what the story was about and we wanted to start putting our voice as filmmakers and producers out there. We want to be on the front lines of telling a different version of the story.
WL: Will you be making any guest appearances?
Meagan: (Giggles mischievously) The viewers will have to tune in to see.
WL: Let’s talk about how good looking this cast is. Y’all really said no ugly people at the casting call. Tell the truth.
Tamara: (laughs) I receive that compliment on so many levels. The cast is made up of people who have been told time and time again by this industry that they weren’t beautiful enough, they weren’t whatever enough. So that compliment really hits home. There was no clause. The only character this was specifically written for was Alexis Fields, playing my best friend. Throughout the series her character goes on this pretty amazing journey from what you see in the pilot and I knew what Alexis was capable of as an actress and I wanted the world to see that. We just wanted to bring in the best actors we can and had chemistry with. The fact that (Kevin) is not hard on the eyes is just a bonus. The little girl happens to be Meagan’s god daughter. We just happened to luck out in that regard.