ATX Festivals Reviews TV & Film

Austin Film Festival 2016: “Jeremy and Margot Make a Baby” interview

“Jeremy and Margot Make a Baby” is a hilarious, heartwarming short film. You’ll be taking on a journey with two friends who decide to make a baby, but are not in a relationship and are simply a straight woman and gay man who have made this incredible decision. If you haven’t seen the film, read my review here. We sat down with the creators of the short film, including writer and actor Clara Altimas, producer and actor, Christopher Hayes and composer, Lisa Savard-Quong.

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Lisa, Clara and Christopher

Interview questions by Catherine Gutierrez

What’s the process when making a short film and trying to create a story within a short amount of time?

Clara: It’s difficult compacting all kinds of ideas into this short piece, but Chris came to me with the idea of a gay man and straight women having sex and it being this really awkward thing. I  took it through a development program running in Toronto called Queer Ideas where we worked with some mentors and got to a final stage where we thought we were ready to shoot it.

Christopher: I think you really just need to pick and choose the things that you want to show because it’s just a tiny snippet of these two people’s relationship and you only have so much time you know to get what you want to get across.

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Do you have anything personal that made you think about the idea for this story?

Christopher: It’s something I’ve always thought about as a gay man. It’s something I’ve wondered about and I guess my thought was like getting a surrogate or an IVF is such a huge process.

What’s the process in choosing and creating a score for a short film?

Lisa: It was fun because when they had explained to me what they were thinking of and I was like I don’t think I really have anything that will work within those constraints or ideas. I went through my catalog and I was like oh this would actually kind of bring in a nice tone right off the bat and support lyrically the ideas of this beautiful relationship between these people and making the impossible suddenly seem tangible and within your grasps.

I feel like there’s tension in a sense and I thought it was more awkward than it should have been since they’re friends. Where do you think that came from?

Clara: The journey of that character is assuming that it won’t be a big deal and really wanting to keep it to herself like totally casual. As it happens, those feelings come out when you become intimate with someone who you do truly care about. And it comes to a point where you can feel in her this loss, even though she is going to be involved in this process, there’s a loss of hope of what could have been potentially.

What do you think your character Jeremy feels about the whole thing?

Chris: I think he was caught a bit off-guard, but at the end of the day, he’s in a committed relationship with somebody and they’re’ trying to have a kid together. So, I think that in the end, even though he did discover something through Margot he wasn’t expecting, he speaks to his boyfriend and it’s like he snaps right back to “oh yes this is the plan and this is what we’re doing.”

Would any of you do what Margot and Jeremy did?

Christopher: I would consider something like that for sure. Absolutely. Even if that meant three parents, that sounds easier than one or two.

What was your favorite part of making the film?

Lisa: I think seeing it for the first time, it may not have been the final cut, but it was pretty close; and knowing Chris and Clara for a really long time, I was really overwhelmed with how beautiful the movie was. I felt honored to be able to participate and add something to it. So seeing it all together was–I don’t know it’s hard to explain–it was pretty emotional.

What are you guys working on next?

Clara: I have a couple of things in development. I am working on a feature film. We’re doing a final polish on the script and we are going into production in late April with Without a Flock production company out of Toronto.

Christopher: I am producing a show in Toronto this year and working on a developing a series but it’s still at the very early stages. So I’m doing some writing and I have a movie in Canada coming out in maybe a year called “Bon Cop Bad Cop 2.”  It’s a big deal in Canada.

Lisa: I am currently collaborating with a few producing companies and trying to make more music always just writing songs about everything about my crazy life.

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