“Pregnancy Became Integrated as a Storyline” | Alison O’Daniel, The Tuba Thieves

tuba thiefcourtesy of the Sundance Institute.

Every production faces unexpected obstacles that require creative solutions and conceptual rethinking. What was the unexpected obstacle, crisis, or simply unpredictable event that you had to deal with? And how did this event affect your film and make you rethink your film? Or just below?

As the film’s co-writer, I wholeheartedly welcome the unexpected, misunderstood, “sabotage.” When I started this project, I decided to make a movie as an ear-unbound listening girlfriend project. I am deaf impaired. I can hear it, but I constantly experience fallout from mishearing. This can be very frustrating and challenging, but when I started the project, I decided to treat it as a cinematic language. My conceptual approach to making this film was to be completely open to what came my way and how I heard and understood it. The film was formed and shaped in response to what might normally be considered a ‘problem’.

Specifically, I think one of the biggest changes from the original conception of the project was when Nisha became pregnant with her daughter, Penelope. We raised money and were ready to capitalize on what COVID felt like under control at the time (right before Delta Variant shut everything down) Nyke was hard at work on the project, but After she gave birth her schedule might not be very flexible so soon her pregnancy was integrated as a storyline. It was something. It’s a beautiful turn of events and I cherish being able to spend so much time with Nike during my third trimester of pregnancy and commemorating that with a movie.I also love that Penelope was with us.

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