Talking to external swf not working

so i have main.swf which has my navigation and a content holder called container. when a button is pressed the container loads the external swf either home.swf menu.swf gallery.swf or contact.swf everything loads as it should but i cant seem to communicate with the external swf.

AS creating empty clip that loads the external swf:

var container:MovieClip = _root.contentArea.createEmptyMovieClip(“container”, 101);

then AS changing alpha of movie clip on stage in the external clip:

container.hi1_mc._alpha = 43

as i said before everyting loads and works fine except for the fact that i cant talk to the external swf. i have something very similar to this working just fine in another site i have going so i dont see why this doesnt work. i’ve even gone as far as changing it to match exactly what i have working in the other file and still nothing.

any help would be greatly appriciated.