You Eat What You Are.
Interview with Writer/Director Alexis Makepeace
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I knew I wanted to make a horror film with a strong female lead. As a huge fan of the genre I often find myself frustrated with how women can be represented, or rather, misrepresented within it.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
It comments on a relevant issue in a satirical and fun way. In light of some recent events, sexism is still very prevalent in modern society, and it is important that media is displaying strong, powerful women.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
As a proud feminist, I am often dismayed by so many circumstances of everyday sexism that happen to myself, and women around me. I am truly lucky in the sense that most of my life I am surrounded by wonderful and thoughtful men, but of course, some circumstances are inevitable. These reoccurring nuances can feel so normal, we become desensitized to feeling uncomfortable or even unsafe. Lude comments and gestures just wash over us, and are quickly forgotten about or just repressed altogether. This film brings these issues to light, and hopefully, will leave some lasting images that will stay with you long after the film has ended.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
For me, the project has evolved in a very natural, organic way. Because this all started with my (slightly demented) main character, Charlotte, everything always came back to; what would Charlotte do?
It almost felt as if I was experiencing all of this with her, so with every new line, or circumstance, it was; “and then what about this”, or, “what would she say to that?”
Initially, my story had more characters, more dialogue, more locations, but my producer and I ultimately decided that it was taking away from the core message and decided to scale it back – working as minimally as possible.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The positive feedback has been both encouraging and sincerely humbling. I was a little nervous certain elements wouldn’t translate well on screen, but audiences really seem to be understanding and enjoying it. I have also received a lot of incredibly helpful constructive criticisms and suggestions that have brought the short to the level it is at right now, and will help me on future projects.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The overwhelming positive feedback has definitely been a surprise, as a very new filmmaker, displaying my work is nerve-wracking and I was mentally prepared for people to not like it at all. Of course, it is still early in the festival circuit so I’m sure the person who is going to hate it, and myself for making it is out there somewhere. To be honest, I would really enjoy that, art is supposed to push buttons. If people are reacting passionately, whether it’s positive or negative, I have done my job.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I am hoping this both excites and inspires new filmmakers, and women in general. I am by no means more experienced or better equipped than most of the indie filmmakers out there, and I think this project shows how much is possible with limited time and a limited budget. As long as you have a dedicated crew who is able to make up for the things you lack, anything is possible. And to all my ladies out there, I hope this reminds them how resilient and powerful they are.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Right now, this film needs distributors. Marketing is a full time job and myself and my Producer have been a little overwhelmed trying to circulate and promote it, as we are both working jobs with other projects on the go. If we could connect to other filmmakers or other platforms for sharing work, we would be truly grateful.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I hope this film sparks a conversation. Whether people enjoy it or not, whether they agree with it or not, I would love for it to be a catalyst to a debate on the still very real issue of sexism in modern society.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Is sexism still as much of an issue today as it was 30 years ago? Is the progress we’ve made comparable to how far we still have to go?
Would you like to add anything else?
I want to thank the amazing staff and students at Vancouver Film School for their constant support. They were encouraging when I doubted myself, harsh when I needed it, and always kept the integrity of the message in mind throughout the entire process. This film would never have been what it is without my incredibly dedicated crew and mentors – I am forever grateful for their guidance.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
For those who were able to stay in Canada, we are all working and continuing to build our portfolios through passion projects. For those who had to relocate after our schooling was complete, they are applying for Vissa and hopefully we will be reunited soon.
Interview: February 2017
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Sorry, We’re Closed
You Eat What You Are.
Director: Alexis Makepeace
Producer: Bradley Chernyk
Writer: Alexis Makepeace
About the writer, director and producer:
Writer/Director (Alexis Makepeace)
Alexis is a new filmmaker currently residing in Vancouver, BC. A recent graduate of Vancouver Film School, she is eager to continue working on indie projects.
Producer (Bradley Chernyk)
Bradley is a recent graduate of Vancouver Film School, currently residing in Vancouver, BC. He’s eager to start working on bigger projects as he continues to grow as a filmmaker.
Charlotte: Jennifer Kaleta
John: Chris Cope
Max: Evan Gilmore
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Seeking buyers/distributors/film festival directors
Curtis Ithica Steeksma
Made in association with: Vancouver Film School
Where can I see it in the next month?
It is playing at the Direct Short Online Film Festival, and we will hear back from many others this month so hopefully there will be many opportunities to see it!