39 ½ mixes drama laced with irony, documentary, and animation to follow a single filmmaker approaching 40 who is determined to have a kid. Kara, a filmmaker and the protagonist in my autobiographical documentary Bachelorette, 34 (2009), is still unmarried at the outset of 39 1/2. Still living on the fringes, as her mother puts it, Kara wants a baby before time runs out. In 39 1/2, however, autobiographical elements are transformed into a scripted narrative with actors. The mother, also a central figure in Bachelorette, 34, has plenty to say. She comments on Kara's life choices and is liberal with pointed advice. But advice comes from many sources -- her filmmaking partner, who is alarmed at her decision; a close friend and fellow filmmaker, who makes a similar decision with striking success; a psychic; a spiritual acupuncturist; a fertility doctor; and her sisters, who seem to "have it all" but in more traditional circumstances. The story's considerable humor derives from Kara's earnest yet unconventional route to getting pregnant, her reflective commentary, and responses from supporting characters. But the humor is balanced with a serious investigative thread to the story, asking what it is like to go outside of mainstream methods for getting pregnant, and how one stays buoyed emotionally while those around them are looking askance. The supporting characters represent many different approaches to partnership, parenting, and creating family, from that of her long-married mother to that of a gay dad of 6 children he fathered through donating sperm. Overall, the work is intended to be both entertaining and deeply thought-provoking. I am currently in production, and am actively fundraising to complete both production and post-production.
A successful $20,000 Kickstarter Campaign will enable me to shoot the following scenes: [Below is a partial transcript. Attached video clips of auditions!]
- 1. Mom and Dad advise Kara’s dating life while on a road trip across the U.S.
- SAMPLE: https://vimeo.com/98986289
MOM: Why don’t you put an ad in the paper? Svelte single seeks smart scholar in San Francisco. The alliteration might attract a smart English professor.
KARA: Okay. But it has to be on my terms. How about iconoclastic, inspired, independent filmmaker
MOM: Too un-INVITING! Dad and I will write it for you.
- 2. First Visit to Sperm Bank and Sister Kelly’s Sperm Donor Advice.
- SAMPLE: https://vimeo.com/98990698
KARA : Donor 2230 donates sperm because it gives him sense of power. Donor #830's favorite TV show is Star Trek. How am I supposed to choose? They're all cute. Hitler was probably cute as a baby. What if I choose a mass murderer?
KELLY: Don’t overthink it! Just think of it like a one-night-stand, where you got really wasted and picked up some guy in a bar, but can’t really remember him.
AUGUST SHOOT SCENES
- 1. Visit to the Acupuncturist
ACUPUNCTURIST: You must visualize your future. Where will you and the child live?
KARA: Iowa maybe? Just for the first year. My family will help.
ACUPUNCTURIST: Iowa?! In your visualization, you can live wherever you like. What about Marin?
- 2 A trip to the Fertility Doctor
FERTILITY DOCTOR: A young person’s ovary looks like a chocolate chip cookie. Full of follicles. Yours (beat) is a sugar cookie.
Risks and challenges
Risks and challenges: My Kickstarter Campaign is seeking to raise $20,000, and I’m actively fundraising in other ways as well. But my 39 ½ budget is $100,000. So, it might take longer for you to receive your copy of the finished film.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)