From Smgfan.comSMGFAN.com’s Exclusive Interview - Tamara Becher (Script Coord)
Thursday 1 May 2003, by Webmaster
SMGFAN.com recently had the privilege of interviewing Tamara Becher, Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s Script Coordinator. She’s one of the people behind the camera that the fans seldom hear about. So as the series comes to an end, we thought that it would be a fitting tribute to these unsung heroes to hear one of them talk about her job, what it’s like to work on the show and what Buffy has taught her.
JPM: You’re the script coordinator. What exactly does that job entail?
Tamara: My main duty is to read through the various writer’s drafts of a Buffy script and check for spelling, format, and continuity issues. If there are any specific brand name props used in the script (i.e. Andrew’s Boba Fett figure) I have to contact whoever controls the rights of that object and obtain legal clearance. I’ve found most companies are thrilled to have their products on the show. I am also responsible for foreign language translations. And let me tell you finding Swahili speakers in L.A. is a lot more difficult than you might think (for Shadow Men). My less obvious duties include writing the show bible, which is a summary of each episode, and tracks the introduction of any new characters or important story points.
JPM: Did you watch Buffy before you started working for the show?
Tamara: I wasn’t hip to Buffy before I worked here. My first job on the show was in the post production department as a [production assistant] and the first thing I had to do was make dubs of all the previous episodes. Over the next few weeks I watched every episode, but I became a big fan by the end of "Welcome to the Hellmouth." I was really taken with the intelligence and consistency of the humor of Buffy. Plus. Vampires, cool.
JPM: How did you end up working on Buffy and was Script Coordinator your first position?
Tamara: I got my job on Buffy the old fashioned way: nepotism. I have a relative who works for Fox TV production and she introduced me to David Solomon when I first moved out here. A year later John King was promoted from post p.a. to Music Supervisor and filled his slot.
JPM: What [was] it like working with Joss Whedon and the ME Team?
Tamara: Working here has been incredible and we get free lunch. Joss is one of the funniest people I’ve ever been in the presence of. I am constantly amazed how he can change a line or two in a script and have me laughing hysterically or tearing up. Everyone here is equally as talented and wonderful to work with. The work environment can be a lot of fun.
JPM: What’s a typical day like on the set?
Tamara: The only time I trek downstairs to the set is if there’s no good craft service in the kitchen. All the good stuff’s down on the set.
JPM: Do you have a favorite episode? If so, why do you favor it more than the rest?
Tamara: My favorite episode has always been Restless. I love the colliding of all the characters’ worlds and the different genres. How can you not love Principal Snyder as Kurtz and the Giles song? It was terrific surrealism. I also love "The Gift," because I appear as a minion standing next to Glory when Dawn is dragged off to the tower.
JPM: What [was] it like working with Sarah?
Tamara: I never really work directly with Sarah. The few times I’ve spoken with her she’s been great to me. Always really nice. A few years ago there was a tragic situation in the office and Sarah hung out with a bunch of us and really kept our spirits up. She even let me use her cell phone. She’ll always be coolio to me.
JPM: Do you have any special memories/stories about working on Buffy that you’d like to share with us?
Tamara: Watching the Season Five gag reel really made me feel like I was a part of something truly amazing. Instead of showing gags from the season we cut together a montage of all 100 episodes. It was amazing. (Note: Joss should make this a part of the Season 5 DVD box set)
JPM: What [was] it like on the set during [the] last few days?
Tamara: A little tense. Everyone’s looking for work.
JPM: Any advice for people who are aspiring to work in the industry?
Tamara: Be tenacious in any job you take. People like to see others being proactive and able to manage themselves. Keep a thick skin and no matter what you personally feel about people always keep it friendly and professional.
JPM: You’re the lead singer for ’Yank’, which is comprised of Buffy staff and crew. How did the band come to be?
Tamara: John King (music supervisor) and I met on Buffy. We took a trip to England together and got to be really good friends. We both have similar tastes in music and decided to start a band. Anyone interested in hearing us can check out our mp3s at Yank’s Official Site.
JPM: The show is ending. (*bawl*) What are your plans after Buffy?
Tamara: Lots and lots of Tony Hawk 3. I have a few options, but nothing is really solid until I know what shows are being picked up for the fall season.
JPM: Is there anything you can share about the grand series finale?
Tamara: It’s on May 20, 8pm, UPN. (Note: Darn, she’s too smart for me)
JPM: Complete this sentence: ’Buffy has taught me...’
Tamara: Boy, that’s a good one. Buffy has taught me that it is possible to love what you do and love who you do it with. Is it just me, or does that sound completely sexual? (Note: Nope, not just you. I had a mental image of Fury, DeKnight and Goddard...nah, I won’t go there.)