As a young child in the 1960s, Mohawk Valley native Kim Bass watched her first movie on the big screen at Utica’s Uptown Theater, a riveting experience that launched her dream of becoming one of the “magical people who make movies.
Today, the award-winning and Emmy-nominated independent Hollywood filmmaker has dozens of movie and TV show credits to his name, including “In Living Color”; “Sister, Sister;” “Kenan & Kel;” and “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate”.
Bass said he’s especially excited about “Tyson’s Run,” his first nationwide movie release that hits theaters exclusively on March 4. Bass – who wrote and directed the inspirational family drama – made sure the film was screened at the Marquee Cinema in New Hartford for his family, friends and everyone who lives where he grew up to see it.
“With a national opening in my own hometown where my dream really started, it’s really special,” said Bass, a 1974 graduate of Notre Dame Jr.-Sr. High School in Utica, who was born and raised in Utica and Frankfort in Herkimer County. “I have come full circle. I would be honored if people in this field would support my filmmaking endeavor and find it worthy of their time.
Rated PG, “Tyson’s Run” is the inspirational story of a homeschooled 15-year-old boy who doesn’t let autism hold him back. He attends public school for the first time and, to mend a rift between his parents and reconcile his family, aspires to become a marathon champion. Throughout the process, he learns that with faith, self-belief, perseverance and the support of those who understand him, anything is possible.
If a parent’s reaction after a viewership test screen is any indication, Bass’ story will resonate with his audience. The man approached Bass to say the film inspired him to be a better father to his teenage daughter with Down syndrome. He started crying and hugged Bass before wrapping his arm around his daughter and walking out of the theater.
“That’s exactly what I was hoping to accomplish,” Bass said. “I wanted to make it clear that people shouldn’t have preconceived ideas about other people or put them in a box. No one should sell someone short.
The film stars Major Dodson (“The Walking Dead”)in the lead role of Tyson Hollerman, alongside Amy Smart (“Stargirl”), Rory Cochrane (“Antlers”), Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips”), Reno Wilson (“Mike & Molly”), Claudia Zevallos (“day of days”), and Layla Felder (“The Sinner”).
In his personal life, Dodson parallels his character in several ways. He’s on the autism spectrum, was home-schooled, and overcame his own challenges to become a successful actor.
“He first started acting as a therapy medium to open up and express himself,” Bass said. “Until this film, Major had never set foot in a public school. He was also not a runner before taking on this role and did all of his running in the film.
Bass said the inspiration for the story came from a little boy who had lost his joy of running and wanted to give it up because he couldn’t keep up with the other boys.
“Sometimes winning a race is more than speed,” he said. “It’s a matter of heart, determination and self-belief.”
Bass — the third of six children born to Juanita (Holmes) Bass of Frankfort and the late Clarence Bass, Jr. — likened his own journey to the arc of transition that Tyson goes through.
“There I was, a young boy in Utica in the early ’60s with no reason to believe I could do any of this,” he said, referring to his film career. “It was an unrealistic dream, but my mum always encouraged me to go. She said, ‘Not only do you want to do it, but you’re going to do it!’ – and I absolutely believed it.
He said, “It didn’t matter what other people said. I’ve always believed that with enough effort and self-belief and the support of those who care about you, you can accomplish anything. With the love and support of my family and friends and with confidence in myself, I have a career in a field that I love.
About the bass
Bass is an Emmy-nominated and NAACP Image Award-winning screenwriter and television playwriter who became a member of the Writers Guild of America West in 1989, after selling comedy sketch material to HBO’s news parody show , “Not Necessarily the News” and optionally its own script.
Also in 1989, Bass was selected as a participant in the prestigious Warner Brothers Studio Sitcom Writers’ Workshop. Over the past 25 years, Bass has worked as a writer for most if not all of Hollywood’s television studios and networks, as well as several major independent film and television production companies, including: Warner Brothers Studios; Sony Pictures Studios; the twentieth century Fox studios; Disney Studios; Paramount Studios; Dream Works Studios; New online cinema; Roman film productions; Act III Productions; Entertainment of images; HBO; ABC; WB; UPN; Fox television network; and Nickelodeon.
Bass has sold over two dozen screenplays. He was also hired to rewrite several screenplays, including “A Thin Line Between Love & Hate”, starring Martin Lawrence. Bass was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Writing and received an NAACP Image Award for Writer in a “Best Comedy Series” for the FOX network’s sketch comedy series, “In Living Color.” He was also the creator of the Cable Ace Award-winning Nickelodeon series, “Kenan & Kel,” and engineered the hit ABC/WB syndicated sitcom, “Sister, Sister.” Bass also served as executive creative consultant for two seasons on the WB network’s animated series, “Men in Black – The Series.”
Currently, Bass is in post-production on her latest film, “Headshop,” an urban comedy drama, and is in pre-production on a faith-based Christmas film, “Mother Johnson’s Miracle Christmas,” which is set to begin filming. in spring .
For more information on Tyson’s Run, visit https://tysonsrun.com.