"WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL AND STARTED MAKING VIDEOS AS PART OF A CLASS I TOOK OUT OF CURIOSITY AND THAT MADE ME WANT TO PURSUE A CAREER IN FILMMAKING."
Screening Session: BLOCK 2
3rd Papaya Rocks Film Festival Online
22-28 Feb 2021 | Tickets £5 / £10 Full 7-Day Pass: bit.ly/PRFF-Tickets
A comedic and reflective documentary expressing the struggles of being named Alexa in a society where the Amazon Echo has come into existence.
Hi Alexa thank you for talking to TNC, how are you holding up during these very strange times?
I have been holding up alright despite the rough year it has been and have been freelance video editing for small businesses from the comfort of my home.
Has this time offered you any creative inspiration?
Yes, I have been working on a few scripts for some future projects.
Congratulations on having your film selected for the 3rd Papaya Rocks Film Festival, what does it mean to you to be part of such an amazing lineup of short films?
It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to share my film with new people and have the chance to experience the wonderful content put out by my fellow filmmakers! Films are meant to be seen and enjoyed by others and I truly appreciate every opportunity I’m able to screen what I’ve worked on.
Can you tell me a little bit about Alexa, how did this film come about?
My film, Alexa, is a comedic and reflective documentary expressing the struggles of being named Alexa in a society where the Amazon Echo has come into existence. This film came about because ever since the creation of the Amazon Echo, the name Alexa has been fully ingrained into society and people’s minds as a technological entity that will serve one’s needs and answer questions. It has grown to the point that jokes, memes, commercials, advertisements, videos, and radio stations all use the name Alexa, and the known association of that name to the Amazon Echo, in order to deliver their message or punchline. As someone who has existed with the name Alexa for twenty-three years, dealing with the existence of the Amazon Echo is increasingly irritating. After years of experiencing various situations and hearing certain remarks pertaining to the Amazon Echo, I decided to showcase my perspective through a humorous recount and reenactments of real situations that have affected my life because of the Amazon Echo’s creation.
What were the biggest challenges you faced bringing your film to life?
My biggest challenges was developing a script that expressed my thoughts in a concise manner and directing while being the subject of my film. I had to do quite a few takes of everything because for the most part I was using camera assistants and wasn’t able to see if I needed to do anything differently until I was watching the playback.
Looking back is there anything you would have done differently on this film?
Yes, there are a couple scenes that I think I should have changed slightly.
Describe your film in three words?
Humorous, honest, unique.
Where did your passion for filmmaking come from?
I’ve always been fascinated with how movies and videos were created and loved behind the scenes content when I was young. When I was in high school and started making videos as part of a class I took out of curiosity and that made me want to pursue a career in filmmaking.
What has been some of the best advice you’ve been given?
The best advice I was ever given was to always be open to criticism and get the perspective of others with anything you make because sometimes we don’t notice certain things until we are able to take a step back and see how our content is perceived by others.
Should filmmakers continue to push the boundaries of the films and stories they want to tell?
Absolutely! Filmmakers should always try to push the boundaries and continue to develop the stories that they’re passionate about.
Do you have any tips or advice you would offer a fellow filmmaker?
Never stop developing your craft and make content that you’re passionate about.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Alexa?
I hope people take away an understanding of how the existence of the Amazon Echo has affected not only me, but every woman with the name Alexa. I also hope people develop an understanding that as we continue to move into a world with artificial intelligence and other responsive electronic devices that we should try to consider names for the devices that aren’t currently shared by millions of people.