On the nature of that thesis

I know it seems a bit odd that I kept mentioning a Master’s thesis and not in any way describe what I’m planning to do; it’s a little complicated, a little controversial, and a lot personal; I’ll briefly try to explain.

There are several ways to finish your thesis requirement at USC; one of them is to direct an advanced project, which takes the form of either a documentary or narrative fiction.  In order to direct either of these, you have to pitch one.  The documentary pitch process is basically taking an entire semester to get your pitch together, which is what I did last semester. So I pitched, and I got it, so I’ll be directing an advanced project next semester.  The reason I’m selling stuff (and now asking for donations) is, honestly, because this beast means a lot to me, and I want it to to be really good, reach a lot of people, and make bloody sense to the people who see it, and here’s why:

The thesis itself will be a short documentary, approximately 26 minutes, that goes into the personal experiences of women and men who have been on the wrong end of the abortion debate in America.  I’ve found plenty of media regarding the political and moral ramifications of abortion, but when I went through my experience, I started to realize that none of this rhetoric had anything to do with what I was going through.  The debate in America has a way of dehumanizing the people (particularly women) who go through it on both ends, pro-life, pro-choice, whatever, which to me seems a bit counterintuitive since it’s a deeply personal thing to go through, though that personal aspect seems to be the thing that people are most uncomfortable with.  I want to stress, this is NOT a political documentary; the goal is to get a wide array of experiences and capture the emotions of them, from people who are glad of their decisions to those that regret them for the rest of their lives.  I suppose if I was to put forth a goal, it would be to engender dialogue on the subject, to show how common it is, and show both people who have gone through it and those who haven’t that whatever they’re feeling is not invalid; the “what if” is a very big and scary notion to deal with.

And, of course, I’m doing this is my typical sardonic-cinematic fashion. 🙂  In terms of doc, this one will be somewhat experimental.  I’ll upload the pitch tape later on, when we have a website up and running, but that gives a pretty good idea of the pace and tone of the film.

In my last review (aside from begging for money) one might have noticed my vitriol for the pregnancy subplot.  I suppose any movie has the right to deal with the issue of unplanned pregnancy as they want, but the idea of deus ex machina-ing it away with something as cheap as “false alarm!” really irked me.  Not that it should have gone through either the social ostricization of teen pregnancy or the pain (and dangerous illegalness) of abortion, but really, why go there if you’re not gonna, ya know, go there? I know lots of people who have been pregnant; I’ve been pregnant; if you skip a period as did Rizzo, odds are pretty good it’s not going to end in “false alarm!” Woohoo.

And on that note, yes, I’m going to be in it, as well. 🙂 Here also are some pictures from the pitch tape I did, which I’ll upload to the nets soon.

I’ve had quite a few people comment on the perhaps unwise decision of putting myself out there like that, but I’ve been surprised by the positive response I’ve gotten.  I’ve had lots of people, mostly guys in fact, approach me with their own stories, and for the most part still not knowing what to do with the experience.  The way I see it, sure, some people are going to be dicks about it, and everyone’s got their own passionate opinion on the subject, but my only agenda is to show what it’s like, so whether you agree with it as a practice or not, I hope I can at least enlighten you on what it’s like to go through it, and entertain all at the same time!

So in terms of my ambition with this project, I want to get a wide array of experiences; I want to travel in order to do so, and I also want it to look good. For that we need money, hence the ebay auctions and donations. I’ve already got a badass, super-talented crew of fellow USC masters students that I’m pretty excited about. As for subjects, well, that’s a different blog entry, but that’s the state of the union, as it were.  Thanks for reading, for your interest, and for your time.  If you still want to contribute, here’s my donate link (because paypal’s button-man is, as the Internet is wont to say, made of fail.

Hehe, here I said I was going to be brief, didn’t I? Also, to the people who have already helped out, I say again, you guys are awesome.

  • Ashley

    Oh, man, this is SO a project I can get behind; if I had the money to spare right now I would toss it your way because this is such a great, important idea. Regardless of how anyone feels about the practice of abortion, it’s important to remember that there are actual people involved with real feelings; it makes me feel good that you’re creating something to humanize these people and their experiences. I’m very excited about this and I hope to watch as it progresses. Good luck!

  • I love your work, Lindsay and I’m really interested to see what you do with this. I’ve had close friends and family that have gone through this, and I understand the complicated feelings around the topic. My boyfriend goes to USC, and I may be an animation student (currently interning at Dreamworks) but if you need any extra help, please let me know. My boyfriend and I love watching your shorts and would love to help you out! Let me know if you have any interest! Good luck with everything!
    – Jessie

    • Well we do intend to use animation! Shoot me an e-mail w/ a link to a portfolio if you two are interested in maybe helping – lindsay at channelawesome dot com

  • Talk about a touchy subject. I, myself, am pro-choice, but my wife is not – which was a good thing for us in the long run. I was 16 and she was 14 when she got pregnant with our first child (who turned 10 this past December), and, while at the time it seemed like the worst thing possible, I couldn’t see my life without my children.

    However, after my daughter was born and I was going to university, my friend (who was my previous girlfriend) approached me to tell me she was pregnant (it was her boyfriend’s) and asked if I could loan her the money for the abortion. She was afraid to ask since I had told her, when we broke up, to never come to me for any help as I would turn away. Of course, I’m a nice guy/sucker, so I helped. Now as I said, I’m pro-choice, but I still felt like “Hey, if I have to deal with a child, so should you.”

    I tell you, I wasn’t directly involved but it still affected me.

    Now where was I? Oh yeah. Anything that you put that much work into and much so much of yourself into should be good. Good luck and I hope it turns out as you hope it will or better.

    • Very interesting story! Might I ask where you’re located? Hit me up at lindsay at channelawesome dot com

  • Oooh, so that’s why you were vague about it. Well! I admire your bravery tbh. It’s a tricky thing, abortion, like you said, but at the same time nobody ever really -details- the process or the emotions they feel as they go through it. I always thought Six Feet Under dealt with it pretty well– but I’d love to hear your take on it, too, especially since you’ve experienced it personally. Again, that takes some serious courage. I hope you can get enough support for this– I can’t wait to see it! (I’d pitch in myself, but as a freshman college student taking out loans.. well, you know how it goes.)

    You’re right about the Rizzo subplot. I honestly never put much thought into it before but it’s obvious they just wanted to throw in some filler drama while still playing it safe. I mean, let’s be honest here: at its heart Grease was and continues to remain a pretty idealistic view of high school, rofl. As an eighteen-year-old girl whose -own- high school experiences included knowing people I grew up with having kids by sophomore year, that suspension of disbelief you’re supposed to have gets thinner and thinner. (That said, You’re The One That I Want IS ridiculously catchy.)

  • Jeffrey Miller

    This is incredibly brave of you considering the mind blowing craziness that this subject brings out in people. As a guy, I always felt as if I didn’t have much of a say about the abortion issue. I’ve known two women who admitted to having one, but I never asked them about what they thought about their decision. I think there are so topics in which the media refuses to approach for the most part. Anyway, I’d donate if I could, and I still might, but I’m a broke ass college grad working a shitty job in this shitty economy living with my folks. Anyway, I always enjoyed your Nostalgia Chick work and I can’t wait to see your documentary!

  • This is a really great, brave project to embark on. Media representations of abortion and pregnancy in general are so distorted and totally removed from real life, as you point out, so this is so important, and if anyone can pull it off, it’s you. Best of luck with it!

  • Wow. Good luck with your project. Might I make one quite recommendation?

    If you really want to get to the heart of your subjects, you could use a technique pioneered by Werner Herzog. That technique is not telling your subjects when you start filming them or when you have finished filming them. A prime example is the Aztec mechanic from “Encounters at the End of the World.” Werner never tells him to stop talking and never gives him any indication on when he stops filming. The end result is the mechanic keeps talking. The more he talks, the more personal he gets in his commentary. And there is a brief silence where he looks around disoriented as if he is looking for direction from somebody. In that short moment, he captures the true essence of his subject.

    Just a suggestion. I’m a die hard film geek who has seen WAY too many films and documentaries (hell, I even have my own film blog). Just wanted to share some ideas that you could use.

    Then again, it’s your project. I wish you the best of luck. Just please make it available for us plebeians to watch when you are finished.

    Good luck and God bless.

    • We might not quite get that luxury, as as per school requirements we’re only allowed about 15 hours of footage, so I’m going to have to find a way to work around that. But I’ll try to find a way to make a Herzogy comprimise!

  • Bushido/The Spartan

    I wish you the absolute best of luck on what surely is to be a huge undertaking, inside and out.

    It just so happens I’m in the market for a camera. Future projects, as both ‘personas’ of mine, warrant the need for a good camera. Either way, if I don’t win the camera, I’ll be sure to drop a donation instead.

    You never cease to entertain me with your videos and reviews. I idolize your style of presentation. Like ESPN’s Jim Rome, its quick, witty, and has a lot of punch without the need to raise your voice. If I ever got a chance to say I’m a fan, this would be it.

    Anyway, I once again wish you the best on your thesis. I’m sure it’s going to be awesome.

    -Troy

  • I really Am Proud of My Generation Right now.
    For so Long We didn’t talk about things like this and now it’s getting near the point that Not Much is Taboo.
    With That Said LE as I said on Twitter (WekerOne) I respect you for This!
    Now I want To ask/Suggest Something, On this Issue I have always thought as a man, Unless I am The Father I have no right to Chime in on the issue But I do want to Ask, As Much As this IS a Woman issue(Meaning I think Your(Women) input is more important then any mans on the subject) I still Suggest you Get The Story’s of the men too.
    This does not just have an Effect On the Mother, It can hurt(emotionally) The Men too Or they can be ,Poor Choice of words, Happy about it and Even though I think my Input should not be counted I non the less Think Their Prospective is important too.
    Cause when there is talk about this they never talk about that side, I have known people that never recovered and others that Never looked back and nobody talks to them about that.
    I just think their prospective is an interesting angle that people talk about even less.

    Well I am sorry If any Part Of This Offends I just , As I said respect you and wish you the best of luck in this endeavor and again sorry For the Assholes that will Surely Pop up over this.
    Break a leg!
    -Corey M. Allen

    • I definitely intend to get the men; as much as you never hear women’s feelings on the issue in media, you REALLY never hear the man’s… except for in heart-bleeding pro-life stuff with an agenda. But still.

  • Oh yeah, and thanks for ripping Grease a new one. I HATE that movie! That pregnancy subplot always pissed me off. I remember seeing a high school adaption and how everybody applauded when they announced that it was a false alarm!

    BTW, you need to state for the record one of these days what your opinion on “Juno” is.

    • Michael Kocwin

      I feel bad for not agreeing with you about the review… The only part of the review I was all like “Hell yeah, thats what I think too!” was that Sandy was the worst song in it 🙂

  • – Holy Guaca-freakin’-mole. No matter this is such a big deal for you. This reminds me of when I was younger and there was a typical protest of an abortion clinic near my hometown – and some people were run over by a truck. Of course, Youtube would have it on (but the people weren’t seriously injured so I guess it’s OKAY to show). You know what? You wanna see it? Find it yourself – posting it here seems in bad taste now.
    – Back to topic: it does seem that whenever these stories are on TV, most of the time, we don’t follow the people themselves going through the process long-term to see how it affects them over months. The usual newsmagazines just seem to take a snapshot of one particular moment and stuff it into their scrapbook of the year and say, “Look where we went to back then!” Well, dammit, what happens to them in the future? This sounds like something Current TV would air on their Vanguard series. Now I know the purpose behind my recent donation. I’m so glad.
    – It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again: Lindsay, good luck with this. And as mentioned in the TGWTG “Good Luck” thread (or something like it), if my money goes toward a pint at the pub recovering from a hard day’s work to help you recover, it’s worth it – anything to help. Personally, I foresee a lot of long nights ahead; just PLEASE don’t lose your sense of humor. Go get ’em; your Chicklets will back you up.

    • Chicklets! I love that more than I should! 😉 Thanks so much for all the support!

      Now Nella’s fans need a punny nickname.

  • Wow, this is an awesome idea! It’s very true that there’s a story behind every abortion, as there is with every single strange thing humans do. I haven’t had any personal experiences with it, being a male of the second-most awkward sort, but I always hear stories, relayed second-hand. I live in a fairly small town, where “everyone knows everyone” and all that and the diversity in last names is disturbingly low, but that means the gossip tends to fly, and I’ve heard stories of every sort in this regard. The abortion that ostracizes, the regretted abortion, the blase repeat-abortionist (if I’m to believe my friend of a friend of a friend, there was a whole clique of them… now I’m nearly a text-book liberal, but seriously, what the hell?), the accidental pregnancy ending in suicide because she accidentally got pregnant and COULDN’T abort the pregnancy because of religious reasons but was also screwed if she kept the kid… and so forth. Of course, because of the social stigma that abortion is, it’s always in hushed tones and rumors, which is sort of a way of dehumanizing them, too. Almost never names, limited context, and the fact that these stories are being told in such a manner suggests negative connotations in and of itself.

    I’m guess I’m rambling, but what I’m trying to say is that this is definitely the sort of documentary that needs to be made, and an issue that needs to be humanized, and I wish you the best of luck with it!

    Also, your Grease review was great! Definitely lived up to my expectations! I recall my pre-teen years, never understanding why my peers all liked it so much (well, I guess the catchy tunes, but lots of things have catchy tunes, why Grease in particular?), but I assume it’s because all of the horrible implications went right over their dumb little child heads. I’ll admit even I didn’t really catch onto the pregnancy subplot back in the day, but the “becoming a whore to win my man” thing really confused and annoyed me, with my parents having dutifully informed me as I grew up that men and women are equal, even if society has trouble realizing this, and I, not really knowing what a whore was, assumed it was more a “catering to his tastes at the expense of your own” kind of thing. It was, but the greater implications were lost to my innocence. The worst part, though, is that because we were doing some dumb airband skit around one or the other of the songs, we kept watching that movie over and over and over again for, like, a month.

    I’d like to say I caught onto the pregnancy subplot and its stupidity later in life, but between my pre-teen years and your review yesterday, I made a point of forgetting Grease existed as much as possible and didn’t even remember that subplot until you brought it up, thankfully from the viewpoint of a rational human being rather than my peers at that age and primary school teachers.

    Anyhoo, I’d better quit rambling, especially since I’m just some random fan from the unknown depths of the internet. Once again, best of luck to you with this project! You never cease to impress me with your work, and it doesn’t look like that impressiveness is going to cease anytime soon!

  • Idril

    Great project ! I remember a quote by John Berger, that is “I write books to fill a silence”, and I think a great documentary is one that gives voice to those who have been ignored.
    A friend of mine has had to abort recently and she’s still dealing with her complex feelings about it, and I think she’ll like it. Too bad you live so far away, but if you ever came by France, heh 🙂
    good luck !

  • G

    Thanks for posting information about your thesis. I stand behind this and I am glad that I donated. I hope to see the end result one day. Where are you going to travel to?

  • The project sounds really interesting, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what you accomplish! If I can get some money in the next few weeks, or manage to end my unemployment sometime soon, I’ll definitely donate!!

    Good luck on your project!

  • Heidi

    A tough subject, indeed. I’m very interested in watching the end result should you decide to share it.

    I’m pro-choice, so it doesn’t matter to me what anyone else does with their body. The issue I’m having with abortion right now is whether or not I’d be able to do it myself. When I started having sex in high school, I was on the pill and my boyfriend wore condoms, but I always said that if something should happen and I ended up pregnant, I would have no problem with getting an abortion. I’m 25 now and I’m starting to feel differently. I still don’t want kids, but what if I ended up getting pregnant now? Could I do it? I can’t easily say “yes” anymore.

    Abortion is never talked about in a rational manner anywhere in this country. The only show I saw on TV that did a decent job of it was an episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation that was banned in the United States until they finally let it through a few years ago. This whole country handles the issue of abortion very poorly and I’m hoping things like your documentary will make people go from simply reacting to actually thinking about it.

    • That was more or less the same boat I was in- I had just turned 25 when it happened, and the biological clock impulse was MUCH stronger than I anticipated, and as surprisingly bad as the experience was, the aftermath was so much worse. :/

  • Creature SH

    I cannot pretend to have a very well-funded opinion on the matter, nor do I have any helpful words to share. However, I do want to say that this is a brave and necessary project, and I wish you the best of luck with it.

  • Heidi

    I just remembered something related to this: They’re trying to pass a bill in Florida that would force women to pay for an ultrasound before they get an abortion. Here’s the latest news: http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_politics/2010/06/mccollum-pressuring-crist-to-sign-abortion-ultrasound-bill.html The governor has hinted that he might veto it. I hope he does.

  • Rock

    After reading this, I’m even happier that I donated to you! You seem to have a legitimate subject which can spark some great debate.

    If you ever want to take your studies to Québec (Canada) you can reach us for some cheap hospitality!

  • FritzLang

    Wow it takes so long to prepare a pitch?:O I thought that a pitch is something like ” listen right a boy meets girl they fall in love then they fight but they make up its all good oh and she’s an alien yeah it all happens in space there are loads of cool flashy CG and stuff now I’m thinking 100 mill will do the trick” Your project really sounds interesting Will you post your documentary about abortion on tgwtg or youtube?

    • The doc I will not be able to post due to USC’s copyright restrictions, but we’ll find ways around it, and either way I’ll put the pitch tape up online soon 🙂 (the pitch tape is what takes forever)

      • Could you maybe do a longer doc and just cut the 25 minutes you need for class, and post the uncut version online?

      • Even if USC controls the owns the copuright, you might be able to convince Channel Awesome to license it. USC seems to be all over encouraging “discovery” of their students by the outside world.

      • Coffee Rocket

        Whatever you post, I’m looking forward to seeing it!

  • Berg

    I truly am proud of you for taking on this project and this subject. You will do great at it because that’s who you are. That much is evident through your other videos.

  • Laura

    This sounds like an awesome project. I’m so happy someone is working to expand the abortion dialogue and actually ask women about their experiences without dehumanizing them or shoe horning them into a political agenda. I am really, really stoked about this. Good for you, and good luck. I will donate as soon as I get a job! Yay!

  • Tony

    Just an aside here, but you might think about trying Kickstarter.com to help fund your project. No experience with the site personally, but it seems like it’s been helping out a lot of creative projects lately. Good luck!

  • Darn, Lindsay, good for you.

  • Natasha

    Wow, Lindsay. I applaud your bravery in talking about this subject! I’m pro-choice myself, so I always enjoy civil and interesting discourse about the topic. Especially if it’s coming from a smart cookie like yourself! I enjoy the hell out of your reviews, and I can’t wait for the doc.

  • Gunny

    Ballsy.

    Well, that’s it for my comment.

  • Sarah

    I’m really glad to see that you’ll be including a guy’s perspective on this. I dated someone who got his ex-girlfriend pregnant, and the struggle he went through to deal with all the ramifications was tearing him, his family, and our relationship completely apart.

    The ex, the (now)ex-boyfriend, and me all ended up talking separately to a shrink at some point, the the girl and the ex were both suicidal, and it was all just a horrible experience I hope I never have to deal with again. They couldn’t handle the consequences of their actions, and I couldn’t hang on anymore.

    Best of luck!

  • Emerald

    I admire you for taking on the subject. I’m a women’s study student and I don’t like talking about it, because people are so mindbogglingly passionate about it. Fights are inevitable.

  • aarin

    Even after all the npr I listen to, I’m still baffled by the opposition to women’s rights, including the right to contraception and ‘treatment’ during health-problematic pregnancies, or the option to abort a child conceived by rape or incest.

    You’d think this would be the easy stuff we all could agree on.

    I hope you ‘This American Life’ it up and show people the actual lives and stories, the context, of this profoundly arguable topic.

    If I had monies to donate, I would, but I’m afraid we’re in the same boat financially when it comes to art, and career, and funding.

  • rach2cmin

    Wow. That’s some hard-hitting stuff, Lindsay. And you said you have been pregnant in the past? I’m a bit saddened to hear how personal this project is – I’d hate to think that you’ve been through an unplanned pregnancy yourself, god the pain you must have gone through…

    Still, the best of luck on this film.

  • Heya~ I’m one of the actually sane dudes who is a fan of yours for… substantially less than creepy reasons. I definitely respect your opinions on a lot of things, and as a guy I definitely don’t get the girl’s perspective on life as often as I’d like- considering I’m no dating Tycoon or anything -but I’ve tried to leave each relationship with my exes with as much dignity and insight as possible, and I’d like to say that I’m a pretty sensitive and understanding guy about most stuff… at least as far as the common male stock is concerned.

    While I definitely am not particularly /for/ abortion in any way, I am a little fuzzy on some of the details of my opinions about it for the last half year or so since one of my exes approached me and confided with me that she had one with the guy she left me for, basically. While I’m certainly knowledgeable on the subject- at least enough to defend my own opinion without sounding like a douche bag right wing nut job -I appreciate you’re going into this with the angle you’ve chosen. People DO need to know the reality of these sorts of things, along with many others, and there aren’t many writers or journalists really willing to lay it out like it is.

    So while our opinions, at least from what you said, greatly differ, I absolutely encourage you in your efforts. You’re fine young talent (that coming from a nineteen year old, sorry) and at least through what you communicate here and on your show and to the web, I know that the world definitely needs more people who are like you.

    So godspeed, and best of luck to you.

  • Enssen

    This is an really important project and I hope, you will succeed with it.

    It’s an complicated topic and I guess, no one can realize, what an abortion really means, who isn’t “involved”.

    Once there was a situation, when a really good friend of mine thougt, she was pregnant and was really desperate and didn’t know, what to do: a childish, egocentric douchebag as boyfriend, one year of school to go, no support by the family etc. but she wouldn’t be able to abort. Later it emerged, that it was one of those grease-like “false alarms”, but i won’t forget it, because that was the moment, I started thinking about that topic.

    Even here in germany, where I live(a nation that is often very proud of being way more liberal than the US) it’s still a quite complicated topic for the public, despite decades of discussion.

    Unfortunately, I’m really broke at the moment, so I can’t donate at the moment. I am really sorry for that. But i pushed the bids for one of your ebay auctions a bit and i think, in one or two months, I have a bit more money, so I can donate a bit.

    good luck, lindsay !

    PS: My english isn’t the best. I apologize for that

    • Dein Englisch ist besser als meine Deutsch 😉

  • Brinny

    I’m really looking forward to watching your pitch once you post it. I haven’t had to directly deal with getting an abortion, I had to seek out EC when I was younger and that itself was stressful enough.

    I agree with you about how both sides of the abortion debate dehumanizes the women involved. The first time I saw this touched on was when I saw an old documentary about an abortion clinic. It showed the women answering a survey to show that they seeking an abortion of their own free will and all that. I remember a young girl saying the reason she wanted to abort was because she already had a baby and couldn’t afford another, that broke my heart. I wish I could remember the name of it, I’m sure you’ve already watched it while researching though.

    Anyway, I completely applaud you for focusing on this issue and hope everything goes great for you.

  • Leslie

    Oh wow. Thats a great subject to be exploring. internet blogger known as razzy did a confessional type post about having a abortion. She is quite a woman. She has a PhD in microbiology and has a balls to the wall attitude when it comes to certain subject. If you have the time to read her entry or blog this may help you out a bit. It would be interesting to be able to have her on your documentary

    http://www.razzy.org/RazzyBlog/2008/05/my-confession.html

  • Jennifer

    As a person who never liked Grease or got the hype about it much (hey, Bye Bye Birdie at least has a plot and also features horny old school teens :P), loved the review. Rizzo’s kind of the only non-noxious one in the movie when she admits to liking nookie…and hey, never noticed the timing of it before either.

    Good luck with this project, we need it out here.

  • Endless Nameless

    I think it will be awesome. As soon as I can I will donate something to help you.

    In my spare time I tend to study about subjects that most people try to hide. For example prostitution and the ideal of monogamy. My wife also likes to study about these things, and we gathered a lot of information on the subject, maybe to write something someday.

    Sometimes I imagine some subjects that I read in the eyes of some “child” men. For example, in my mind it appeared a “joke”, but I refuse to write. It would be in the lines of “omg, if you have been pregnant, it means that you are not a virgin????”, but that would be distasteful. I totally disagree with this kind of thought.

    Good luck for you on your thesis!

  • Helena

    Thank you Lindsay, for turning such a personal thing to inform people about this- I’m fifteen and had a (very brief) scare a few months ago- it turned out to be a Grease-style false alarm, but I had a few sleepless nights just thinking about whether I’d be able to have an abortion if I had to. I don’t think I could have. But you are such an inspiration for doing this.

  • There was a documentary uploaded to YouTube about when abortion was illegal. Some of the info may help you. Sadly the full thing seems to be missing. I can only find preview clips. >..<

  • mhee

    Lindsay, Have you ever heard of the film “Lake of Fire”? It’s probably the best film on abortion I’ve seen on showing both sides of the argument. It show both extreme and lighter side of life and choice but the director made it so there wasn’t any “better sides”. From the actual interview of Roe from Roe v Wade to murders of doctors. Tony Kaye (also a director of American History X) directed and wrote it. I high recommend it to anyone that wants to know about abortion in general.

  • Leah

    Lindsay, I just wanted to say what a brave thing you’re doing. It’s a topic that so many people shy away from and simply won’t talk about but it’s so important. I also love that it sounds like you’re examining it from different perspectives, way too many times it is slanted too far one way or the other. Kudos to you and good luck! i’m sure it will be brilliant

  • Martijn

    Living in the Netherlands, we consider the politics of abortion a settled issue. The political parties that are against it have 7 out of 150 seats in parliament, and we’re very proud of our liberal policies, so that’s completely different from the U.S.

    But even with that, the personal experiences aren’t talked about here either. I’ve never seen anything about it on TV, and I wouldn’t know if any of my friends have gone through it. It seems like people have a reflex that they don’t want to know about complicated things like that, because they are afraid of what _they_ might feel.

    Good luck with the project, you are very brave for doing this, and my (modest) contribution has been sent 😉

  • Jan

    I almost made a crazy bid on the bowtie, but right before bidding ended realized that, while was THE bowtie, it was just more stuff.
    It’s not as if admirers can buy some of your awesome or affection. If that were possible, all of us would probably have made you rich by now. 😉
    So I just made a rational donation and wish you luck with this important project. Rock on and stay ambitious!

  • This is an excellent subject for a thesis film, and it’s rare that you see any speaking on the abortion topic that hasn’t been reduced to soundbites or a person involved in the debate that hasn’t been reduced to a martyr. Funny that the insufferable “Grease” can contribute to this.

    If you haven’t seen this film, you must: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0841119/

    Keep on keepin’ on, lady. I cannot wait to see the finished product.

  • Alana

    Oh wow – I just wrote you about paying for an item, and thought to check your blog afterward. I now wish I’d checked before writing you, and also that I could afford to donate more toward your thesis.

    Not to pull a “cool story, bro” but…my mother was always open with me about the fact that she had an abortion prior to me being born, and that she considered terminating her pregnancy with me as well. And I don’t blame her.

    She had a good career going on Capital Hill when she got pregnant by my dad, a Washington Post reporter. She saw it as a career-ruiner, and wanted to terminate the pregnancy. He begged her to have me and just sign over the rights to him, making him a single father. She agreed, but when I was born she grew attached and has since been happy to have a daughter. I’ve grown up with both of them involved in my life.

    Recently when I had an unplanned pregnancy at 25 it was helpful to have both of their views on the subject. It was a painful enough experience without making it a gender war.

  • I’m glad that somebody is taking the time to proclaim in a public way that the issues surrounding abortion are not black and white and are–at their heart–about real people.

    All too often the argument is reduced down to a false duality: Pro-Choice or Pro-Life. Life doesn’t fit neatly into one or the other.

    Rev. Josh

  • christin

    Hey Lindsay. Great topic, and best of luck with your review.
    My personal experience with abortion has been a rather unique one. Having grown up in Bible-Belt Alabama with a father who is a minister, I was taught that abortion is definitely murder, and that getting an abortion just made you the mother of a dead baby, not “un-pregnant.” So when I was 16 and my best friend of the time (also 16) ended up pregnant, we never considered the abortion. I even talked her out of it! But now I’m in college and engaged with a bright future, and she’s a high school drop out with two kids and very little hope.
    Is her situation my fault? Could I have prevented this? That’s the burden I bear, and she does too. She doesn’t regret her children at all, and she’s a great mom, but she could have been so much more.
    With all that said, I’m sure your documentary will be fantastic, and you have all of our full support.

    Best regards.

    • Natalie

      Your experience really touched me. It probably won’t help, but I bet that she doesn’t blame you. While she lost parts of her planned future, it sounds like she is thankful to have her kids.

      It probably doesn’t matter, but I just thought I’d also say that I’m pro-choice. Though personally, I don’t think I could go through with an abortion.

      Best wishes.

      • christin

        You’re very sweet, Natalie. 🙂 Thank you for the sympathy and kind words.

  • Sick Boy

    Lindsay, I’m very glad to are being brave like you are. My best friend went through an abortion (which is illegal here), and I tried my best to support her while knowing I could never, ever understand what she was going through. People need to talk about this issue, not for politics’ sake, but for all the women all around the world who feel alone, and scared, and without anyone to turn to.

    Thank you Lindsay. I know you are going to do the topic justice.

  • Wonderful topic, Lindsey. My husband and I are both fans and when he told me about this post I had to hop over and read up. It sounds both thought-provoking and highly relevant. We will happily send a little bit your way to help you out; you obviously have a lot of passion and heart for your education and these original projects, so you deserve it. 😉

    We used to live up the street from a clinic in Pomona that saw lots of protesters from time to time. Though I’ve never had any personal experiences with pregnancy or abortion I can remember feeling so frustrated for the poor people who had to endure walking past these picketers and feeling so exposed when they tried to enter the clinic. I wonder, though you said you weren’t going to be delving into the political side of this subject, will you be including any dialogue with protesters, perhaps trying to get their thoughts on the personal/emotional struggle involved rather than the political/religious views? I suppose it would probably be difficult to divorce some of them from their personal philosophies to get some significant dialogue, and it would probably become unnecessarily frustrating….

    I really wish I had some useful skills I could offer in addition, since I’m actually not that far from USC and would love to volunteer some hours to help you, too… but alas, my background is in composition and creative writing and I’m not sure I could bring anything useful to the table for you. 😛 I’ll have to settle for saying Good Luck to you and your team, and I hope we will have the chance to see the final product!

    (I can post a link to your blog on mine and try to channel readers here, if’n you don’t mind being advertised on a blog for supernatural erotic fiction, ha ha. 😉 )

  • I forgot to add… without naming a dollar amount, would you be comfortable letting us know how you are doing budget-wise? I’d love to know if you are nearing your goal and if the film is getting the support it deserves.

  • Anna

    I did the open adoption route at 21. It’s not the way people told me it would be, and I’ve never quite gotten over how the people involved treated my then-boyfriend – like he wasn’t involved in any way, even though we were living together and had made the choices involved together. It’s something that’s always left me uncomfortable, even though our feelings about the adoption were very different.

  • Wow. This sounds like a really fantastic documentary. As a Canadian citizen and resident, I guess I’ve never been very close to the abortion issue, but by no means do I take it for granted. My stepsister and my mother have both had abortions in their lifetimes, and I feel very strongly about the debates going on in other countries. Watching news programs about these debates, I have ALWAYS wondered, “what are the people feeling right now?” in regards to both sides. Having only really heard one side, being someone who lives in Toronto, I think it would be a really fantastic and fresh way to look at the whole issue from both perspectives on a personal level.

    You should enter this film in Hot Docs once it’s finished, if you’re allowed by your university. It would almost definitely get in, and it would be a great venue to get the film to a broader audience. (If you don’t know Hot Docs, it is an annual film festival in Toronto that showcases documentaries from around the world.)
    Anyway, whatever happens with your film, I can’t wait to have the chance to see it. Good luck with your master’s program! I honestly can’t think of a better way to do your thesis than with a documentary. I hope your teacher gives you a very good grade. :3
    –Kaelan

  • Liz

    I find this an amazing idea and am behind it 100%. If you are willing/able to sell copies of it when you are done I would be glad to purchase one. I hope your thesis ends up being a fantastic success (I am working on mine – Sociology MA candidate in Family Studies). Here is hoping I can show it to a future sociology class someday.

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  • anonymous

    Is there a way for someone to contact you to offer to tell their story that doesn’t involve publishing their own contact information in the comments of a blog?

  • Nephilim

    Just donated a little something for your documentary. Wish I could have donated more but sadly I’m not rich.. Every little bit counts though 🙂 Good luck with your documentary!

  • Suffering Sappho

    Have you ever considered Kickstarter to get funds? I think it would be easy to get the word out that way, and lots of people would donate to either get some sort of incentive from the Nostalgia Chick.

    You are very brave to take on such a polarizing issue. I’m rooting for you!

  • Jack

    Back when I got a newspaper every day, I noticed that every political cartoon that deal with abortion featured a fetus inside a clear bubble thinking something pro-life against a black void. Sometimes it would be a close-up of a woman’s pregnant torso with a word balloon coming out of it. But never has there been a political cartoon that’s addressed abortion without utterly effacing women, even though the cartoon is ostensibly about a woman’s body.

    Political cartoons are probably the basest possible form of public discourse not on the internet and most of them are drawn by doddering old reactionaries (like the guy who draws Dick Tracy–go figure), but it seems like a phenomenon that might underscore some of the ideas you’re interested in here. Doesn’t really lend itself to appearance in film, but it might be worth your time to look into.

  • Jon Goff

    Hi.

    I only discovered TGWTG a week or so ago, but I’ve become a big fan of yours already, Lindsay (and not just because of that Vols shirt I saw the once).

    But more than any of your reviews, this sounds amazing… I really, really look forward to whatever the public can see of your thesis. Hearing the stories of the real people that have abortions (or don’t) and go through the aftermath of that decision is something we don’t often get, whether you’re pro-choice or not. Godspeed on this project, especially with the deeply personal matter it entails.

  • Mae

    Hey Lindsay,

    I just got into you and Dougs NC and was wondering why you had not reviewed in so long. I understand now. I really hope to see your movie. Last year I had a miscarriage (a baby girl too) and didn’t realize how badly it effected me till later. Soon afterward the baby’s father and I broke up after he damaged my car beyond repair, kept my pets and left me homeless. Thank God for my supportive boss or I would have lost my job too! I pretty much have been through hell and back. As far as the abortion debate I used to be pro-life but after having been put in the situation “Am I ready for a baby? Is he ready for a baby? What is best for this child?”. Now I am very undecided. What I do know is that we both lost our babies and its a very hard thing to deal with. Looking at my life now and the father’s life I realize that it is best thing happened the way they did and maybe God made the decision that I was too weak to make. I hope that you find peace with your decision.

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  • Edo

    I cannot tell you how much I support this project. Every time I try to articulate my feelings with something approaching intelligent commentary, I begin to fail miserably, so I think I should probably just leave it there and say good luck, and I wish I had seen this… well, you know, half a year ago.

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  • John McNally

    Hi, I’m sure you’ve already come across these sorts of things, but I figured that as you’re going to be persuing media portrayal and personal stories you might not be investigating legislation per se. In any case no offence, towards yourself as a researcher, is meant by posting these two items.

    This relates to the attribution of guilt or moral judgement on women’s decisions:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/24/america-pregnant-women-murder-charges

    This one’s a little out-of-date, but still very indicative of the view held of women’s agency within a very personal process and decision:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/24/nebraska-justifiable-homicide-abortion-bill_n_827507.html

  • John McNally

    Opps, just realised you said you’ve already put it out. Well in anycase you might find those articles interesting. Sorry.

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