Interview with Filmmaker Parker Alexander Meyers (AND-1139)

AND-1139 played to rave reviews at the April 2020 LGBT Feedback Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Parker Alexander Meyers: I really wanted to tell an emotional story that would show a different side of technology. We always see the negative sides of what could be, but I wanted to ask the audience the question of “is this a good alternative for someone who isn’t able to connect with other people in the future?” I also really wanted to present a male character in a emotionally vulnerable place, because I feel like that is something we don’t get to see a lot in movies, so I wanted people to see the vulnerability of men, in a realistic way.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

From original script all the way to finished, the film took about 1 year and a half to make.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Subtle, Romantic

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Getting the script where I wanted it to be, I didn’t sleep for 3 weeks because I was up all-night doing rewrites (I work full-time outside of college, which I attend full-time as well). It became a joke with my teachers and classmates, how before my teachers could look at the draft I had sent them, a new one would appear. With less than 2 months to make the movie and switching genres all together, while also working on other films and going to my job, it was a challenge to make sure that the script was where I wanted it to be with enough time to spend going over it with the actors.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I kept waiting to hear a negative review or a critique on the film, but kept hearing such wonderful things. It really made me feel good and warmed my heart that so many people really loved the film.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

I was in my sophomore screenwriting class at Ringling College of Art and Design and I was trying to think of story ideas to create as my Junior film project, and I happened to stumble upon George Lucas’ thesis short film, THX 1138, which had me inspired to create something sci-fi. So, I started thinking of how I could do a sci-fi film, without the ability to have super futuristic production design. I had originally written the script as a thriller, in the style of a Black Mirror episode, but after some feedback from my teachers about two months before production was to begin, I decided to switch to a quieter romantic drama. I knew that I wanted something that would be emotional and would tell the story through Lucca’s eyes, because I had the image of Black from Moonlight in my head, and how he said no much with his eyes, and that was something I really wanted to try and implement into this film.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

This is a tough question because there’s quite a few movies I have watched countless times in my life, so I’ll list the few that are most likely the answer: Spider-Man 2 (2004), Titanic (1998), The Phantom of the Opera (2004), The Mummy Returns (2001), and the Star Wars Saga (originals and prequels). As a kid I would pick one of these movies and watch them over and over again, and I still watch them pretty regularly.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are your feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

So far, I have enjoyed using FilmFreeway, there’s no other services currently reaching as many festivals, and I had joined WithoutABox right before they closed, so I never really used their platform. I find FilmFreeway easy to navigate and use, it’s what I would recommend to any filmmaker that is looking for a submission service.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

This is a lot harder than the movie answer, but if I had to guess which song I’ve listened to most in my life, I would say it is “Your Guardian Angel” by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. I used to play it on repeat every single night for probably a few months, it was my favorite song for a really long time. It could also be something from The Phantom of the Opera, since I both listened to the music (both Broadway and film) and watched the film from the day I was born (for the Broadway version, I saw the film in theaters when it came out).

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I’m graduating college with my BFA in Film on May 9th, 2020, and I’ll be sending out my next film to festivals, as long as there are festivals to be had in our current climate. This next film of mine is called Red Light and is about a high-end escort that is conflicted about telling her favorite client that she’s leaving the business. As of right now, April 26, 2020, we are really close to being finished with post-production on the project, so hopefully we’ll be hitting the festival circuit soon! I want to begin writing the feature version of AND-1139, because it’s a story I really want to revisit and develop further as I feel there is so much to explore within that world.

and-1139_movie_poster

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