Interview with Filmmaker Alex Wroten (ENDANGERED)

ENDANGERED played to rave reviews at the April 2021 FANTASY/SCI-FI Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I wanted to make a movie that represented my perspective in the (unfortunately) evergreen space of women’s rights. But I also didn’t want the movie to be preachy or overtly political. American politics have become so polarized and tribal that we cease to be able to keep our eyes on the nuances of issues affecting real people. So, I thought that a gender-flopped monster movie might be a nice way to divorce the argument from specific trigger words and gendered connotations and let it exist as something that could be political or could just be a weird little monster movie.

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

I wrote the first draft of the script in November 2018, and the post production was completed in February 2020.

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

Satirical Horror (?)

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

Shooting in Los Angeles with a minimal budget. More money on this film went to locations than any other aspect, and most of the time location rates (and definitely permit rates) are no different for non-student films with $1000 and those with $1MM. More money on locations means less money is available to pay people fairly for their work.

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

“Uh oh, am I ready for this?” — I received the email with the video while I was in the middle of something, and I totally dropped what I was doing and strapped in. Fortunately, it was all refreshingly positive and seemed that the reviewers really connected with the film!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

There was a lot of anxiety in the air (on all sides) during the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation trial, especially around women’s rights and the spectral makeup of the court. That jogged the idea for me.

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

I’ve probably seen Empire Strikes Back the most, though Brazil is a close second.

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

There are truly a daunting number of festivals, and it’s hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. Every festival has its own way of operating, with its own rules, regulations, and details — but it’s not wise to get emotionally invested in acceptance. Statistically, you probably won’t get in! Sometimes, it feels like a minefield more than an exciting prospect for your film.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Tacos.

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

I always have another project (or 2-3) in some state of development, but COVID-19 has slowed the momentum for me a bit. We’re working on a documentary, a feature, a cartoon. Stuff to keep the mind busy 🙂

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