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Tyler Hynes Talks Chimera 

Tyler Hynes Talks Chimera

One of the things we love about our Hallmarkies family is that doing those films on such a short turnaround affords them the luxury of working on onscreen and offscreen passion projects between gigs. Family and fan favorite Tyler Hynes has a new Hallmark romance coming at you next Saturday night, co-starring opposite Rhiannon Fish in A Picture of Her.

I’ll have a full preview and exclusive interview about the film next week, but first, Hynes and I caught up to chat about his limited run online multi-part short film, Chimera, which premiered to a frenzied fandom this month, ran for 12 days, and then vanished into the ether, leaving behind a very grateful, if not exhausted multi hyphenate filmmaker.

The short series was a labor of love for Hynes and his friend, Ash Thorp, a creative visionary who’s had a hand in major motion pictures. When Thorp found himself at a personal and professional crossroads, Hynes floated the idea for the pair to team up and do something for themselves.


“Anthony Scott Burns, a really talented director and composer [whose] music name is Pilot Priest, and who did the score that you hear at the end of this thing, brought Ash and me together for a project that we were doing called Reign of Solus. It was a Star Wars-type thing,” he explains.

“Ash was at the top of his field in terms of creative directors in Hollywood. He’s worked on the biggest movies with the best directors. He designed the Batmobile from the last Batman movie. And he’s an artist like no other. He became a friend of mine and at a certain point felt a little bit disheartened.”

“I said, ‘You took on an absolutely monumental undertaking right before a pandemic. And as your friend, I want you to not have any regrets in your life. So why don’t you and I, because we can control this, go and make something together. And if at the end of that process or anywhere throughout that process, you [change your mind], then it’s no problem. All we will have lost is some time and some money. But I will have known that I did my friend a service allowing him to explore himself creatively before he moves on to the next thing.’”

“We cooked up this idea and we went and made it. And through every part of the process, it was him and I together shaping and building this thing at a granular level to co-editing it and the sound design with people that I had brought on. And it’s been a big learning curve for him and for both of us. And we just shaped this thing. The whole thing probably took about two years.”


Hynes is proud to be testing out a medium and genre amid a wildly variable array of content, and sees Chimera finding a sweet spot amidst those many viewing choices. As Daniel Kwan shared in his Oscar speech this weekend for the Best Picture-winning Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, it took a very long time to come to fruition, filming before the pandemic in 2020, and he acknowledged that it’s a strange beast when the Internet is moving at the rate of milliseconds.” 

“We have films like Everything Everywhere, All at Once, which are profoundly crafted over years. And you’ll have movies like Hallmark [which shoot in 16 days] and you’ll have content on the Internet and YouTube, which is something that happens daily, and then maybe [Chimera] might be somewhere in between all those,” Hynes says.

“The way I released it and where I see the possible future of it is making high-quality filmmaking experiences, but piecemealing them out in such a way that gives an audience participation and elongates the experience. But then it allows you to turn them around in a more frequent, drawn out way that I think will evolve itself into some other form of experience.”

The shorts are a collective mystery and mood piece reminiscent of early days David Lynch, leaving much to the viewer’s interpretation. The fleeting nature of the limited 48-hour availability was by design and to make the experience more intentional. “Essentially at its core, because the piece is so ambiguous and thoughtful in its details but not explained to the audience, I think it opens a door for what I really am interested in, which is having audiences participate,” he points out.

“Thoughtful, astute, passionate audience members who really want to immerse themselves in something. They can partake in this thing. And what I wanted to do is build a world where they can congregate with each other and use this little piece of work to start a conversation and build friendships and ideas and concepts that we can then absorb ourselves, but then close off the experience.”

“Because, to me, in this day and age, everything is so accessible and everything is so dispensable because we have access to everything all the time. And therefore, just intrinsically, it ends up leading to possibly not finding things very precious. So what I wanted to do is have a moment in time where everybody who had the time and interest to experience this thing together, this would be our moment together, like going to a concert or experiencing some kind of happening. Only we know what that felt like. And the film will not be visible to anybody [again] for the foreseeable future.”


Hynes immersed himself in every aspect, and says the response was extraordinary. “To do this kind of thing and to build a website and to have it all work was an undertaking that I was prepared for, but not to the degree that it was happening. It crashed at one point because too many people were watching it at one time. They flooded the website and we had to scramble to get that fixed.”

At its conclusion, Hynes released a streaming communal feed of everyone’s responses to the story, which will stay online. “I just posted this monument with everybody’s comments and it’s actually just a fraction of the many, many posts and ideas and predictions and opinions about it,” he says. “It’s there for them, to say thank you, and for them to see what they were a part of.”

Check back next week for more of my conversation with Hynes about A Picture of Her and the bananas response to Three Wise Men and a Baby. While you can’t watch Chimera anymore, here’s a taste of what you missed. Make sure you’re following Hynes on his social channels so you’re in the loop on whatever he does next.

[Update 4/23/23: The whole film is now available on YouTube, and Tyler and Ash did a Q&A following the world premiere. They’re embedded below.]

Photos and videos courtesy of Tyler Hynes and Chimera.

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