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Check Out Alexa Polar’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexa Polar.

Hi Alexa, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I have always been a fan of literature and storytelling. When I was in high school, one of my most favorite subjects was English. Outside of school, I enjoyed watching great television shows and films. My Aunt Nancy Visco introduced me to the classics and horror films. I have six brothers, each played a role in my passion for film and life. They are all artistic in their own right. Although my passion for film is shared with my brother Dennis. After I graduated High School, I focused mainly on writing. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but knew it was in the creative. I tittered between the creative and law. I felt I needed a fallback in case the creative didn’t pan out. But my heart remains in the creative. I took a year off of school when I joined the United States Army Reserve. It was short-lived. I kept returning to academia. After I graduated, I worked for 12 years in a law firm that specialized in immigration visas. When I wasn’t working at the law firm, I was writing and filming documentaries. Things took a turn in 2011, and I had to restart my life. I was granted a second chance and went back to school while I found my footing again. Finding how to trust and be trusted. Being scammed in public view and made to look like something else changes your perspective in life. Changes relationships and careers. This time around, I focused more so on the creative. I took a leap and went deep. It was a blessing and the nudge I needed. Now I write, direct and when I’m not doing that I work as a 1st Assistant Director. And due to what I went through, I was inspired to start a nonprofit to assist other female filmmakers to provide them with support, empowering other women and pushing for diversity, equality, inclusion, and a safe workplace. I founded Female Filmmakers Fuse.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Transitioning from a 9-5 with a legal background office to a search for gigs while trying to sell your stories and not having any concrete source of income wasn’t the easiest. When the work does come in, it’s rewarding. When I’m filming one of my own projects, it’s even more rewarding. The challenge I provide myself now is how to make it work within an industry that needs change. My productions will not go past the 10th hour. The pandemic has taught me that. This industry is difficult as it is, add the inconsistencies and long grueling work hours; make for truly an unhealthy career. There is no reason why productions should take over 10 hours. This is what I struggle with. I value my time. The time I spend with others and letting them know they are worth my time. This is the reason why I’m committed to having feasible realistic hours on my sets. I can’t control the sets I work on as a 1st AD, but I am proud to say that often most of the sets I work on as a 1st AD, we finish early. To circle back to your question, there is no smooth road, or else it wouldn’t be as rewarding. The struggles have been challenging to say the least and have led me to have better goals for myself and my sets. As for the nonprofit, every year it’s a challenge. Every year it’s beautiful to see how it’s grown and more are appreciative of what I’m setting out to do. Encouraging change that will benefit us all.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
When I write, I write. I want to tell compelling stories if not at least entertaining ones. When I direct, I hope to do something that my cast and crew can be proud of. It’s not just about what I’m doing but what we’re doing. I want to do things differently and have started already. Focused on a safe and happy set. Rewarding all those involved and developing long-lasting relationships. So far, it’s been great and I wouldn’t change the circle of friends and colleagues I’ve been fortunate enough to have in my life. When I work as a 1st Assistant Director, it’s my job to make sure we’re on time. I also add making sure the set is safe and with my legal background, the set is legally sound. I’m proud of every project I’m involved in. I’m also proud of the nonprofit, Female Filmmakers Fuse. We host an annual film festival. Due to COVID, we were unable to host our annual festival last year. We didn’t want it to be virtual. We pushed it to this year and will make it larger this year since we are combining two years into one! It’s also a celebration as the nonprofit will celebrate its 5th year! I’m beyond proud of Female Filmmakers Fuse. Whatever sets me apart from others would be thanks to how my parents raised me. I can’t pinpoint what it is, but I just hope to make them proud and leave my mark.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
What I like best about our city is the diversity and how you can sample the world. How you can have the ocean and mountains. How you can have the city and nature. All within a few hours’ drive. What I dislike is how expensive the cost of living is. How it lead to a large spike in displacement. We are all seeing it but not enough is being done.

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Image Credits:

Photos by Julia Zambianco Polar

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