A feature ﬁlm, dramatic TV series, documentaries, reality television, shorts, music videos and commercials – all of these are regulars for the Erwin Brothers, a writer/director duo of their new feature ﬁlm OCTOBER BABY. Here are MoreThanDodgeball.com’s 5 Questions with October Baby Co-director Jon Erwin
Movies have all sorts of inspirations and influences – certainly October Baby is the same. Would you share a little of the backstory to the film?
October Baby began when I heard Gianna Jessen speak. I heard her true story and it really shook me it moved me. It was amazing I didn’t know that there was such a thing called ‘abortion survivors.’ I didn’t know those two words can fit together.
The more I study the more I felt my brother and I needed to do something. So we set out to make the movie. we wanted to tell a story about a young girl named Hannah, a beautiful 19-year-old girl who discovers that she was adopted and was never told because she survived a failed abortion attempt. So she goes on a journey of discovery to find answers and ultimately finds the true power of forgiveness. We wanted to make a film that would make you laugh and make you cry and get caught up in a great love story, but most of all make you think about how beautiful and precious every life is.
I’m sure the goal wasn’t to make a pro-life film, but that is certainly how many people are characterizing it. What were your goals originally and have they changed now that people are beginning to see and respond to the film?
Our goal was to get people to talk. We felt this issue was very important to us and the more people talked about the value of life the better. we wanted to confront indifference and apathy more than anything.
I believe the film is much more than just a pro-life film. I think it’s a celebration of life. It’s about forgiveness, it’s about love, it’s about knowing who you are, it’s about a lot of different things, and most of all it’s about the power of forgiveness. But when I read about how people are experiencing the film and young girls who have decided to keep their child because of it, or women and men who have had abortions finding healing, that is really amazing to me.
So far are you pleased with the over response to the film? Any surprises in people’s reaction? Is the conversation surrounding the film what you had hoped?
We have been blown away by how people have responded to the film. Whether it’s the themes of forgiveness or the issue of the sanctity of life, people just react to the film in really deeply emotional ways. I have been surprised by the controversy and how much conversation the film has sparked. But seeing people talk about the film in the public arena and especially in the secular media I think it’s really great.
What scenes were in the original script or filmed that ended up on the cutting room floor?
All in all, we had to cut over 45 minutes of the movie. Some of those scenes I really, really love. But it’s all about making a great movie. So some of those scenes had to go. The one I was most sad about losing, was a scene that involved the character of Alana reconciling her relationship to Hannah.
In that scene she reveals that she had had an abortion and that is why she treated Hannah the way she did. It was a really powerful scene but it just didn’t flow with the rest of the movie so we had to lose it. But thank God for the DVD and all the extra features it will have!
Tell us about the resources that youth workers could use in conjunction with this film.
I’m very proud of the marketing and ministry team and everything that they’ve done to produce some great resources for the film. Lifeway has produced a great Bible Study specifically designed for youth groups. I think that the movie deals with a lot of themes that teens can relate to, and are currently dealing with. So I love the idea of getting resources into the hands of youth workers. I led the college ministry in my church for a year and I know how difficult that can be at times, and also how rewarding. So it’s amazing to create a movie that can be a useful tool and can help teens understand God’s perspective on issues they far everyday.