It all started back when Tebza was just thirteen years old accidentally stumbling onto a film set in Melville and seeing his idol Spike Lee in the director’s chair. Most of us would languish in the opportunity to take a secret-selfie or blast out a Tweet, but without skipping a beat Tebza ran over and formally introduced himself. Lee pulled up a chair for him and the two co-directed for the next 10 minutes or so. Tebza still thinks of that day ‘When I left I turned and said to him ‘One day I’m gonna be doing what you’re doing.’
iDidTht: What exactly was it in that moment that made you decide you wanted to pursue directing?
Tebza: Honestly, I had never seen a black man with so much power. When he said ‘action’ they listened and when he said ‘cut’ they stopped. I was just a little kid thinking ‘Wow, so much authority, I want that one day.’ I loved the idea of feeling that I can be in control.
Seeing a part of himself represented by someone like Spike Lee in that director’s chair sparked a burning ambition and a dream that has now become a career. Tebza’s work is often described as ‘authentic’ or ‘un-adland’ and at the core he still wants to see that thirteen year old represented, but now on-screen.