Private Project


The film opens on a pair of hands opening a wooden box, slowly revealing the doll inside. Then the hand comes from above and blocks everything.
The bedroom is quiet and dark except for the faint glow of an aquarium. Hazel sits motionless by the bed. Just then, Ivy walks in and turns on the light. She ignores Hazel’s presence, throwing things down while lying down on the bed. Suddenly, the light behind Ivy begins to flicker. Ivy walks to the aquarium to check the batteries of the light. The battery falls on the floor and rolls into the bottom of the bed, leading Ivy to find an old and ragged doll with many scratches.
The next day, Ivy and Hazel come to a store to repair the broken doll. The weird lady owner takes the doll and tells Ivy to wait here.
After a while, Ivy looks at the time, and she walks to a room, looking for the owner. The furnishings in the room are simple, even a little shabby, with only a tall cupboard and a couch. As she passes the couch, she notices the broken doll sitting on it. Then horrible things happen one after another. In the successive shock, Ivy is half scared to death. She hides behind the couch, but Hazel suddenly appears sitting on the couch instead of the doll. Hazel then stands up with a pair of scissors, coming after Ivy. Hazel kills Ivy. This is her revenge.

  • Jiaxun Xie
  • Jiaxun Xie
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 46 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    25,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Boston University
Director Biography - Jiaxun Xie

Jiaxun was born on December 28, 1998 in Yangzhou, China. In 2017, Jiaxun moved to the Unites States to pursue a degree both in Psychology and Film. Now she is senior attending Boston University, where she falls in love with storytelling and film production. She is devoted to speak the unspoken and express through expressions.

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Director Statement

I wrote this story, Alter Ego, based on a dream of mine where a girl kills another girl. For a long time, I have repeatedly thought about why I had such a dream, whether it was a subconscious dissatisfaction projected on the people around me or just an extension of some outlandish story, or perhaps both. Everyone has some degree of character flaws, which may cause trouble to others or may put themselves in a desperate situation, so I think that character determines one's fate to some extent. Meanwhile, people have consciousness, and consciousness is powerful. The awakening of consciousness prompts people to make changes, changes that may be in their inner character or in their outer behavior. Just like Hazel in the film, the moment she decides to take revenge is the moment her consciousness awakens, which changes her fate, as well as the fate of Ivy.
The dream itself gives me a tremendous psychological impact, and the content is dark, so I decided to present it in a short film with a horror theme. Creating this film helped me deal with the confusion and anxiety I experienced from the dream. It just so happened that I was studying personality psychology at the time, so I used the characteristics of pleasing personality and ego type personality in the character setting. The doll element is my own "Valley of Terror," and I think awakening a doll's consciousness is also more interesting. The doll is inanimate, so she has no consciousness, but what if she does? The doll is silent, submissive, so we naturally will not treat her like our kind. This subconscious default, "character" on the prerequisite, decides the position of the two at the beginning. However, the position of the two reverses after the awakening of Hazel's consciousness. The ending also shows the theme I want to convey to others.