We've written a lot about Obvious Child over the past few weeks and with good reason. It's funny, romantic and features a wonderful performance by actress/comedian Jenny Slate. Perhaps most important, though, is the film's groundbreaking portrayal of the abortion process — a thing rarely portrayed so frankly and tenderly on screen. And now, in very exciting news, Obvious Child's writer and director Gillian Robespierre and producer Elisabeth Holm are here to answer your questions!
Gillian Robespierre is the writer and director behind several short films, including Chunk (2006) and the original Obvious Child short that was released online in 2009. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, she developed Obvious Child into a full length feature.
When the Village Voice asked Robespierre what inspired her to make the film, the director replied:
"We made the short and the feature in response to a bunch of romantic comedies that were about unplanned pregnancy and ended in childbirth. I liked Knocked Up a lot, and I liked Juno and Waitress. But they are the reason why we made this movie...I enjoyed watching them, but it didn't ring true to me.
"...Especially in movies, they never let the woman make the other choice, or even say the word 'abortion.'"
Obvious Child's main character Donna, a standup comedian who gets pregnant during a one night stand, has no problem saying the word "abortion." In fact, she and her friends talk about it at length and whether or not she goes through with the procedure isn't even the tension of the film. She knows that she's not ready to have a baby and is okay with that.
The film isn't without nuance, though. As Jenny Slate put it to the Washington Post, "We want to become comfortable with the fact that this is not simple. It is everyone's right, male or female, to have a complex experience."
Helping make the feature film happen was Brooklyn-based independent filmmaker Elisabeth Holm, who assisted on developing the Obvious Child story and took on a major behind-the-scenes role as producer. She won the 2014 Sundance Red Crown Producers Award for her work on the movie and, until recently, served as the Film Program Director at Kickstarter. Holm also produced the films Slamdance (2012) and Welcome to Pine Hill (2013) and was an associate producer on the 2011 HBO documentary Paradise Lost 3. She is currently working on an animated series called Origin of Shame with writer/director Desiree Akhavan.
You have Gillian and Elisabeth's attention. Ask them anything!
UPDATE: The Q&A is now closed. Thanks for participating, everybody!