Screened-off in the belly of their mothers, three unborn babies give an account of their time within the confines of the womb. Starting from the point of conception, they chart their development, voicing delight at the discoveries that come with each new week. However, as the thirteenth week approaches the excitement for one soon vanishes. A voice formally brimming with an expectation of life out in the real world, is silenced when it meets a murderous fate, one that will ensure it never leaves the womb alive. Watch Third Born!
Third Born is an anti-abortion campaign video that I directed with a friend during my university days back in 2007. The reason for sharing this video is because the topic of abortion and teenage pregnancy recently came up in conversation amongst friends. 5 years on and with over 36,700 views on youtube, despite it being an amateur production and uploaded at a time when YouTube didn’t do HD, it still remains for me a valuable and respectful point-of-view on abortion.
Our aim for this campaign video is to dispel the myth about the status of the unborn child. We aimed to show that life begins from the point of conception and not from the twenty-four weeks as stated in law. By taking this uncompromising pro-life stance, it is our intention that this video evokes an array of emotions, whether they are anger, guilt, disgust, sadness or even embarrassment. We hope that these reactions will be strong enough to rekindle the flame of an age-old debate catapulting it back in to the social and political arena.
Our key message for this video is simple: Abortion is murder. The reasons and justifications for this gruesome act are wide and varied and though we are not lacking in sympathy for certain individuals whom through no fault of their own have found themselves in some very difficult predicaments, our position remains the same. What ever the reasons one may contemplate for having an abortion, a life is a life. Something cannot grow if it is not living.
Our target audience is primarily women aged 18-24 years old. According to statistics obtained from the Department of Health – Government for England and Wales, this age group is recorded as having the highest rate of abortion. In 2005 alone (the latest statistics available at the time of making this film), ‘194, 300’ babies were murdered through the process of abortion. Since the 1970’s until present day the rate of abortion has been consistently increasing year by year.
Approach (Style & Treatment):
We decided to take a very different approach from the standard conventions of pro-life campaigns of showing demonstrations, statistics in text form, ultra scans, and on occasion, shocking pictures of dead babies which many find very disturbing and distasteful. Our approach is to show a well-debated global issue from a unique and subtle perspective in a tone and style, which is both innovative and artistic. Moreover, we will be taking this approach, which has never been done before and therefore more likely to be imprinted on the mind of all who see it.
Our main focus is on the growing process of the unborn babies’, we decided to anchor our video by having the babies’ narrate throughout. This, we believe would be effective on two fronts. Firstly, the unborn babies who up until now have remained voiceless would now speak. Secondly, statistics and facts about their development would be given in a way that is vivid, and make for compelling viewing.
By giving the babies’ a voice, we are acknowledging them as the little people that they are, and not by the dubious distinction of the ‘fetus’ given to them by some parts of the medical establishment. It is important for our target audience to realise that even if the baby cannot be felt at an early stage of pregnancy, nevertheless, it is there, and it is growing. Therefore, our timeline is between 0-13 weeks of gestation, which statistics show is when most women have an abortion.
The narration for the babies’ voices are short and precise, and endeavour to educate the audience on how a baby develops between the above periods. For the sake of authenticity young children were used for the babies’ voices. We know that by using children our target audience will be drawn in and likely to listen more carefully. We used three women in their everyday natural surroundings to depict the mothers-to-be for these babies. The women act as the shell and medium for which our audience can hear the narration.
We ended our video on a negative point, accompanied with a statement aimed directly at our target audience. This serves to get them thinking and feeling something in relation to our key message on abortion.
Whatever the viewpoint people will have about our subject matter, one thing remains certain, and that is, everybody will have one.