Jennifer Abbott - Career - Filmmaking

Filmmaking

Abbott’s first film was A Cow at My Table (1998). The film addresses the ongoing battle between animal advocates and the meat industry in hopes to educate the Western consumer. Five years in production took Abbott across Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand to meet with leading activists for the animal rights movement, as well as spokesmen from livestock industries.

In 2000, Abbott collaborated with director Mark Achbar to create Two Brides and a Scalpel: Diary of a Lesbian Marriage (2000). The documentary is a low-budget video diary of the first legally married lesbian couple in Canada. The film received multiple festival invitations, and was later broadcast on Canadian television networks.

Abbott continued her collaboration with Mark Achbar in 2003 when they co-directed the critically acclaimed documentary film, The Corporation (2003), written by Joel Bakan. The project began when Achbar and Bakan met at a funeral and realized they were both interested in globalization and its impact on society. The fact that no one had yet made a documentary on this issue shocked them both, so they decided to create one themselves. The film critically explores modern day corporations and the rise of dominant upper class institutions through the evaluation of corporate behavior towards society and the world at large. Through incorporating interviews with 40 corporate insiders and real-life case studies, Abbott hopes that the film will ultimately inspire strategies for change. During the editing process, Abbott went through over 800 pages of interview transcripts. These transcripts were digitized and narrowed down until she felt the material had narrative flow and would resonate emotionally with the audience. It was important to her that the documentary did not force ideas onto the audience, but rather to ask more questions and keep it open to interpretation. During the filming of the documentary, Bakan wrote the book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power.

Abbott became involved with the documentary I Am (2011) after director Tom Shadyac saw The Corporation (2003) and invited Abbott to work as the editor on the film. The documentary explores Shadyac’s personal journey after a 2007 bicycle accident caused him to suffer from post-concussion syndrome. Abbott had an immediate connection with the film’s subject matter, beliefs, and core philosophy. Abbott worked remotely on the film from her home in Canada for two years.

Read more about this topic:  Jennifer Abbott, Career

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