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INDIE DOCUMENTARY FOCUSES ON BIRTH FROM THE MOM’S POV
Independent filmmakers, Rob Humphreys and Elliot Berlin, have turned to the internet and crowd funding for completion funds for their documentary film ‘Trial of Labor’.
The film centers on four women from the Los Angeles area who volunteered to share their experiences as they approached a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). ‘We conducted the first interviews with the idea that we could use them to cut a trailer and raise money for a film,’ says Humphreys. “What we hadn’t calculated was just how compelling these stories would be.’ So what started as an inquiry soon escalated into a full-blown film production. “ The women were all due within six weeks and all immediately agreed to be part of a bigger film idea and as you can’t stop nature from taking it’s course... we had no choice but to pile in there.'
The producers threw in every favor owed of them, gathered equipment and crew and followed these women through their births.
The story that has emerged is bigger than the story they were initially after. Inspired by the ban on VBACs in many hospital across the country and the rising c-section rates, the producers initially saught to make a piece that, 'weighed out the pros and cons of VBAC, it was going to be quite academic.'
According to Humphreys, what soon emerged was a far deeper story than the one on medical policy and practice. “We realized that behind it all was the very personal story about choice and the conviction to stand behind it. So while the questions of the medicalization of birth still serves as a backbone for the film the individual story of each of these women has taken the forefront and we have resorted to telling the story from their perspective. In effect this is a film is about birth told in the first person.”
So why crowd funding? ‘We exhausted personal funds in the production of the film so now we are turning to the greater community to help us complete this. Crowd funding is probably the most democratic institution to ever affect film making. You have an idea, you put it out there and if there’s enough interest., you get to do it. If not you don’t. So far we have had a great response, there is a lot of interest and we are already 20% funded in less than a week.’
Humphreys and Berlin are hoping to raise a lot more than their crowd funding goal. The more resources at hand the more they can put into the film. To learn more about the film and see the teaser, readers can visit the film’s kiskstarter pager: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1896312158/trial-of-labor OR on their home page: www.tiraloflabor.com
About Robert Humphreys: Based in the Bay Area, Rob Humphreys has been working in the film business for twenty two years. He has lensed over sixty films that have garnered awards over the world, from Sundance to SXSW, Ouagadougou to Oldenburg. Most notably he shot the e2-series for PBS (narrated by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman), the Tales of Everyday Magic and Charlotte Sometimes.