I’ve been prepping for this announcement. I couldn’t be happier to announce that I found out earlier last week my senior thesis got chosen to be made….what does that mean, you ask? It means I’m directing a movie! So in a way, yes, I’m kind of pregnant with a film. Because, boy, is this film my baby.
The documentary is called The F-Word, which of course is about fertility and my journey with FAM. It’s meant to be an introspective journey while intertwined with other women’s stories. All updates and film info can be found on the website at thefworddoc.com.
It’s been a complete whirlwind. I’ve been knee deep in grant writing and connecting with people. Since I released the website a week ago, I’ve already made some amazing connections with women and men all over. I can tell this film is going to be a big commitment but an amazing witness in my life. I couldn’t be more thankful. And already, I’ve learned a few lessons:
1) You never know who’s watching.
Years ago, I worked at the SC Film Commission. It was my first ever internship. I was 18 years old and I had no flipping idea what I was doing. I worked with someone who’s children went to the same Catholic school I went to (I only went for like a year). We connected a little bit on the Catholic stuff, but remember, I wasn’t really a practicing Catholic until a couple years ago.
Anyways, I received an email on my doc website from a woman who’s husband knows someone who works with the very person I worked with at the film commission. They are all connected by a Catholic Program called Family Honor.
You never know who’s watching or who will play a role in your life later on.
2) Believing in yourself is crucial.
I was terrified to pitch my film. I was like “You mean I’m going to stand in front of 3 board members, all of whom have children and know both my fiance and me, and I’m going to talk about my fertility? And then I’m going to tell them why I made the counter cultural decision to not use the pill??” While I think initially surprised by the subject matter, they were intrigued by my film. Ever since I got the greenlight, I’ve been grasping with the fact, “Yes, I’m making a movie. Yes, I am a director. Yes, my personal and intimate life is going to be on display for virtually, everyone.” I have to believe in myself. If I don’t believe in myself, no one will, including my crew. And as a director, you need your crew to believe in you.
3) Don’t be afraid to reach out
I discovered a web series via my mother by Tiffany Shlain. She does content on being a modern mother, feminist, and filmmaker. I *love* her style. I’ve been watching her work from afar, wishing I was half the filmmaker she is.
Recently, I was perusing her website and saw a contact page. Low and behold, she had an email listed there. I thought, what the heck, I’ll shoot her an email anyways. I’m sure she has a million other important people to email, but maybe she’ll answer back. You know, woman filmmaker to woman filmmaker. We have to stick together, you know.
I received an email shortly after Thanksgiving break. I was floored. She even offered to take a look at any trailers or kickstarter videos. (Which are set to film this month.)
With the internet, connections are at our fingertips. Don’t be afraid to utilize that.
4) Embrace the chaos
It has been nothing but chaos since I found out about this film. Fundraising needs to begin immediately. Making movies ain’t cheap. (Neither are weddings.) Also, while we’re on the subject, let’s not talk about how crazy I am for working 2 jobs, making a movie and planning a wedding my last semester of film school.
I’ve slowly been getting braver when people ask what my film is about. My initial answer is fertility. I get that confused look of “Aaand….why does that pertain to you?” I have found single, 20-something men the most difficult to explain myself to. I realize most men know so little about contraception. They don’t understand how the hormones work with the female body. They don’t understand the menstrual cycle. In fact, they don’t really know much about us women. That’s why my movie is important.
I’ve learned that I must embrace the cause of this film. No matter how awkward some reactions are, this is my undertaking. And I can no longer shy from it.
So here we go. Here’s to making movies, to spreading fertility awareness, and women succeeding in their passions. I promise to keep everyone updated. Teasers and kickstarter videos are coming soon! In the meantime, if anyone knows any organizations that are looking for tax deductable donations to give, help a sister out and put me in connection? I’ll be more than happy to give a special thanks in the film and priority viewing to anyone that plays a role in getting this movie made.