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Hi! My name is Gillian Robespierre. I’m a writer-director and so thrilled to be attending the 2011 IFP Emerging Narrative project forum with my script Obvious Child. It’s a romantic comedy about a young woman living in Brooklyn who has just had her heart broken, and after a spontaneous one-night stand, finds that she’s pregnant. She decides to get an abortion and move on with her life. Yes, it’s a comedy!

Obvious Child was originally a short film I directed and co-wrote with Anna Bean and Karen Maine. After years of watching films that featured unplanned pregnancies ending in childbirth (Juno, Knocked Up, Waitress, etc.), we became disenchanted with the way young women’s experiences with pregnancy were being represented in the media. With Obvious Child we wanted to tell a story of a strong, funny woman who easily makes the decision to have an abortion without feeling guilty or traumatized. We saw a lot of success and positive feedback from the short, and my goal with the feature-length version is to show that this same plot can be extended and applied to thrive in the 90-minute film format. And I’m so happy that IFP wants to help make this happen!

Last month IFP held a mixer for all the Project Forum filmmakers. It was a great opportunity because I got the chance to meet fellow filmmakers, IFP’s programming staff and drink a ton of white wine. As the party was winding down I was introduced to IFP programmer, Quentin Little, and we set up a script consultation meeting for the following week. Also, there was an amazing cheese spread!

In preparation for Independent Film Week, I’ve busied myself with putting together my feature film prospectus, which is a fancy word for a “look book.” A prospectus contains all the vital info an investor needs to see in order to make an informed investment decision…My prospectus contains photos from the short, a synopsis, character breakdowns, team bios, a filmmaker’s statement, a projected budget, and an investment summary (all in 64 point. it’s 107 pages, no big deal). It was worth it because working on the prospectus has had a tremendous impact on the shaping of the script and my pitch.

I’ve been told that the verbal pitch is the most difficult part for writers, who are much more comfortable nerding-out behind their computers in sweatpants. In anticipation of my own pitch, I’m really excited and completely overwhelmed. I’m sure I’ll be great by the seventh meeting, but I feel bad for those first six people because I will no doubt speak a little gibberish and have some sort of weird acid reflux fart combo moment. So here’s to hoping the first six have no sense of smell.

I just received a list of producers, agents, and managers who want to meet with me. It’s time to put the laptop away (after I do intense Google searches on all of them) and work on my pitch. I have to go find a small hand mirror for practicing. I’ll be back mid-IFW.

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