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.