Writer/Director Liz Tuccillo Talks “Take Care”, Writing, and More
Acclaimed writer Liz Tuccillo (Sex and the City, How to be Single) makes her directorial debut with Take Care, a smart comedy centered around a woman (Leslie Bibb) who asks her ex-boyfriend to care for after she is injured in a car accident. Fresh off a successful SXSW premiere, Tuccillo spoke with The Script Lab at SXSW about her new film, writing, and the future of distribution.
TSL: How do you feel about debuting Take Care at SXSW?
Tuccillo: SXSW is really exciting and the energy is amazing. Getting to be around so many artists is thrilling. It is a lot larger than I expected it to be. I had no idea how massive it was, but getting to see films and talk to filmmakers is really wonderful. Everybody’s here to like film. You feel very supportive and you’re here to be supportive.
TSL: What was your inspiration for writing this film?
Tuccillo: I was really looking for a script to write that was cheap enough for me to do it and direct. Then my friend Nadia, who happens to be in the film, she had rotator cuff surgery and many of her friends were coming over to take care of her and I sort of started thinking of things from there.
TSL: What do you hope the audience gets from this film?
Tuccillo: I hope that the audience leaves with the feeling that they were able to be flies on the wall of this very intimate relationship where they get to see two people very authentically fall in love. And they have some laughs along the way.
TSL: What’s your take on the new digital distribution methods for film?
Tuccillo: I’m grateful that there are so many platforms that this can be seen on. I hope that we can get Take Care into the theatre for a little bit and then get it into peoples’ homes. First thing is to get a buyer.
We talk about releasing on the digital platform and my friends and I agree to not be hypocrites. If I had to pick between seeing Gravity in the movie theatre or my film, I’d choose to see Gravity on the big screen and my film on TV because it doesn’t actually need a big screen. But, when I got to see my work on the big screen, it was really filling. It really made the film come alive on the big screen. It’s great to have that option to have films beamed into peoples’ homes now.
TSL: That’s valid. It will be interesting to see which way smaller budget films decide to go regarding distribution. TV is really gaining more popularity than film-mostly because of all the platforms. Do you think you’ll return to writing for TV?
Tuccillo: I think that TV is so exciting right now that I’d love to throw my hat into the ring with one of those. I do have some feature film ideas and outlines that I’m working on.
TSL: As a woman who’s really specialized in writing relationships and great women characters, how do you feel about the roles for women in film?
Tuccillo: I feel like film is almost lagging behind TV, which didn’t use to be the case. We have to catch up with TV that has really great lead female characters. Women are getting great roles in TV, but there aren’t a lot of great roles for actresses in film. And the roles they get are very often one dimensional.
TSL: What’s your writing process?
Tuccillo: Normally my process is that I have to start writing right when I wake up. It’s a habit I formed and now I’m trying to get over that because you know you can’t be that rigid. As I’m thinking of new things to write, I’m wrestling with –if it’s difficult to start writing something, does that mean it’s ultimately an idea that’s not for you? Or you shouldn’t force it or sometimes does it need to be forced? That’s where I’m at right now. The Take Care script flowed out of me; it was so easy to write. There are things I try to write everyday and nothing happens. So I’m just wondering what the deal is!
TSL: What is your advice to writers?
Tuccillo: There is nothing out there stopping you from writing or stopping you from creating a film, in terms of how inexpensive things are to do. It was exciting for me, especially for someone who’s been doing this for a while, to know that there are so many opportunities now. In this day and age you can really just go out and do it.