HEY ALEXA, 10min., USA, Fantasy
Written and Produced by Xochi Blymyer
Alexa is helpful, she's funny, she's kind, she's a friend, who is she? A day in her life...with us.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I had always been curious when Alexa and all the other AI helpers were created - what would she look like and how does she actually get all this information. From the first time we all discovered she would tell you where to bury the dead body (that changed later!) to telling us good night like a friend.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
I wrote Hey Alexa a few years ago. But April 2022 is when it was shot. One day of shooting. One day we shot a couple hours of inserts and the rest of the year was editing when editor had time. So final cut was done at the beginning of 2023.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Two words?? Fantastic Teamwork. Or did you mean the actual theme of the movie? People are Amazing (this is a hard question!)
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Time. I funded it myself. Gathered an amazing group of people who gave their time to me. We turned my story into a reality - I had tears I couldn't stop when we rolled for the first time. But making a zero to low budget short leans on the kindness of people with the skills one needs and so Time is what they can give when they have it.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
Watching the audience reviews for the first time? Those tears again. The audience was so thoughtful and kind and gave such great details on why and what they liked. I loved that they smiled and were happy about the movie. Not sure if there were bad reviews but You were very kind not to send those!
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
Oh, I have been in the movie business since I was little. Both my mom and dad were in this business working on mainly big features. My dad a Gaffer and my mom a Hairdresser (for 17 years with Natalie Wood). Both worked for over 40 years - so as a kid we traveled to locations and went on many adventures depending on the movie. Then when I graduated from college with a mathematics degree I ended up in Boston for 2 years with a 9-5 job...I realized that was NOT what I wanted, definitely wanted to go back to California and figure out how to get into the movies. So I did...beginning as a stand-in, then a Production Assistant on many big features and in 1991 was able to join the DGA.
But as Assistant director has been the most of my experience.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Interesting, what film have I seen the most? I don't necessarily watch movies over and over BUT the old classics would be the ones I've seen the most - Sound of Music, Music Man, Young Frankenstein, Kingpin, Airplane...I'm sure there's more that I can't think of right now.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
Your Film Festival is the first one I've had such a great back and forth with and all the other things you offer to help promote really makes a person feel like a partner with you. You are helping us move forward. You caught my eye especially when you wrote your goal was to not be around in 5 years. I understand why you wrote it but if you keep up these kind of help, don't stop! Obviously, an in person screening would be amazing and I hope I get to do some of those.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
Film Freeway is such a great platform. All the notifications are great. All of my stats are in one place. They helped when I couldn't figure out how to make my video downloadable for you.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Favorite meal - I can tell you what I don't want...a meal with peas and garbanzo beans. haha. But otherwise, I love a lot of different food. From sushi to Grilled Cheeses and Chocolate Malts (no tomato, just cheese and a nice grill to the bread).
11. What is next for you? A new film?
Well, Hey Alexa was my first short, first real producing. But In 2015 I began directing and producing on a documentary about a trip these 2 men took, walking from Los Angeles to Mexico City in 1958...this is still in the works, in post production. Once again, that is something I'm funding on my own so it's taking time! vimeo.com/xochi/reddogandbatestrailer
It has been a long and winding road but I've come to the part that requires more funding that I can provide to make it right. I also don't want to short change the story so once we have it, I'd always thought it would be a feature but who know, maybe could be like a 3 part mini series? I also think it would be an amazing scripted film. Was a crew of 4 when we shot in Mexico and now a crew of 2 - my editor and I!
Otherwise, I have a few scripts that would be great to get out there. Perhaps I will get this little push with your help!
In the meantime, my day job is working at a 1st AD. It's a great job but if I could make the jump, that would be the best thing ever!