Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Xochi Blymyer

By Catherine Woo

Please join us in welcoming new NYWIFT member Xochi Blymyer!

Xochi was exposed to film from a young age by her parents. Her mother, Ginger Sugar Blymyer, was a movie hairstylist who spent 17 years as Natalie Wood’s hairdresser. Her step-dad, Pat Blymyer, was a gaffer for over 40 years. As a child, she and her family traveled the world depending on which parent had a feature on location.

Two years after graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a mathematics degree, she returned to Hollywood. Xochi found her first job with her dad, Pat, as a stand-in. From there, she worked up the ranks of the Assistant Director department. She has been 1st AD for Animal Kingdom, Black Monday, and All American, to name a few. Her 2022 short film, Hey Alexa, won an Award of Merit at the Best Shorts Competition and Best Short Film at the New York International Film Awards.

Xochi told us about her life in film and tv, inspiration from her family, and her new documentary Red Dog & Bates.

NYWIFT member Xochi Blymyer


Describe yourself. Give us your elevator pitch!

My motto is “Love this Life.” I love making movies and spending time on set with talented groups of filmmakers creating entertainment!


What brings you to NYWIFT?

Although I live in California, during the pandemic I joined some of the amazing events that NYWIFT offered. Recently, I was able to be part of a networking zoom and met many cool, talented people through the breakout rooms. I wanted to join and be part of what’s to come here!


Xochi Blymyer on set


What is the best and worst advice you’ve ever received?

Best advice: My dad said, “Keep a list of all the best, talented, and loyal people you work with so that the day you become a producer, you can put together the finest crew.”

Worst advice: “You need to be more aggressive on the set or the crew won’t listen.”



You’ve worked on a variety of TV shows and feature films, including Terminator 2, The X Files, Grey’s Anatomy, and more. Which projects have resonated most with you & why?

Every project has its own personality, be it the cast and crew I work with to the locations and stories we get to tell. That’s not meant to be a vague answer but a true statement. 

Terminator 2 was a once in a lifetime experience. We worked for seven months, watched some of the most amazing VFX being created…. The FX, makeup, stunts – just everything was top shelf talent and skill.

George of the Jungle was such a fun film, my first comedy. Having Brendan Fraser as George, working with Thai the elephant, going on location to Hawaii. All great!

Animal Kingdom – worked with the most cohesive crew, an amazing creator, mixed with the hard work of shooting all over Los Angeles and Oceanside, another unique experience.

My first feature, Red Heat – learning on the set as a production assistant, being taken to Hungary and Austria to complete the movie… all experiences that can’t be duplicated. I also got to work with my dad! And Walter Hill as director!

So many more, I could go on and on.

Xochi Blymyer on set


Red Dog & Bates follows two men walking 2,300 miles through Mexico in 1958. How did you first hear this story? What about it resonated with you?

I first heard of this story when my stepbrother called me and said, “Do you want to go meet the man who walked with Dad to Mexico?” I had not known that my biological dad had done this journey and at this point he was gone. So I met William Tynan who brought with him on this first meeting a photo album filled with photos of he and William Bates and photos of Mexico and the Mexican people from so long ago. When we started to tell stories of their walk, it sounded like it could be an amazing feature film, scripted!

But in the meantime, I got to know Tynan, asked if I could make this documentary and he agreed. I did get him on film for a few interviews but unfortunately, he died later that year. I continued, and needed to finish it for him and the Mexican people. It resonated with me when Tynan spoke of the Mexican people who, no matter how poor or rich, were kind to them throughout their walk, whether it was offering a place to sleep, a meal, or whatever they needed. They would not have finished their trip, had this not been the case.

[Watch the trailer here!]


Xochi Blymyer at the DGA Awards


While making your documentary, were there any memories or moments that didn’t make the final cut of the project but you wish you could have included?

Well, I have been in post for many years, unfortunately, and the movie is not yet completed. I wish I had had more time with Tynan to learn more about the trip after I went to Mexico to film. Due to the age of the story and all the people involved, many have passed on during the making. So I have been piecing together the story with what I have.



How is your approach to fictional storytelling different from your approach to documentary storytelling?

I knew documentary storytelling would be challenging but had no idea how challenging! With a fictional story, you have a script to follow, and the cast and sets follow that script, so later it can be put together in a logical order. Documentary subjects don’t always answer the questions you ask! Being my first documentary, I definitely learned what I need to be more prepared for if there is a next time.



What’s next for you? Are there any upcoming projects that you’re excited about?

I don’t have a specific project in the works. I have a couple scripts I would love to get into development! My short film that I wrote and produced, Hey Alexa, has done quite well in the festival circuit, so that has been something new for me.

Until any of those projects take off and my documentary is completed, I will continue to work as a 1st AD.


You can keep up with Xochi’s work on Facebook and Instagram, her history website xochiblymyer.com, her production company, her production company gottagrinpictures.com, and her documentary website reddogandbatesthemovie.com.


Catherine Woo

Catherine Woo Catherine Woo is an intern at NYWIFT and an aspiring screenwriter. She will graduate from NYU Tisch with a BFA in Dramatic Writing in 2024. She has interned at Rattlestick Theater and Protozoa Pictures. She has done production photography for PrideFest 2023 at The Tank and Broke People Spring 2023 Play Festival at NYU.

View all posts by Catherine Woo

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