BONUS 105: VEGAS BABY Documentary

June 2, 2017

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Today’s guest is Amanda Micheli. She is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker and the director of VEGAS BABY, a documentary that follows aspiring parents on the gamble of infertility and shows the emotional, physical and financial toll it takes. As of this recording, the film is now available on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play; it will broadcast on PBS on June 27; and will become available on Netflix around July 4. We discuss her personal infertility story, the VEGAS BABY film, and so much more.

  • I understand you chose the subject of this film because of your own personal infertility story. Can you share that with us?
  • When you discovered The Sher Institute in Las Vegas held an annual contest for a free cycle of IVF, what were your initial thoughts? Did your opinion of the contest change with time?
  • Infertility is a medical issue, of course, but it’s also physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially draining. You’ve experienced this yourself and watched other people go through it while making the film. In your opinion, what in society needs to change to make infertility less taboo and therefore even the slightest bit easier on people going through it?
  • How do you think your own struggle with infertility affected how you produced and directed this film?
  • Did you have any trouble getting Dr. Sher’s clinic on board to participate? Did they have any restrictions that came along with the access?
  • I think one of the aspects that struck me the hardest while watching VEGAS BABY was a line Dr. Sher said to Ann and Brian about how they were “cutting their chances in half by only transferring one embryo.” Regular listeners of this show know my IVF twins were stillborn, and of course, so were Ann’s. During my first IVF cycle, I didn’t understand the risks involved, and today, I truly believe it’s a personal decision the patient should be making after receiving all the facts and options — unless it’s medically risky to transfer more than one beyond the “regular” risks, like in Ann’s case and my own. It seemed to me like Dr. Sher didn’t need to add negativity to a situation out of their control, and because she lost twins to premature labor in the past, perhaps he shouldn’t have been thinking about transferring two in the first place, regardless of her blood pressure. What were your thoughts about this scene?
  • Because you didn’t know who was going to win the contest or get pregnant, how did you plan out the film?
  • What was the most challenging part of making VEGAS BABY?
  • Is there any part of the filming and production process you would go back and change if you could?
  • Who are the ideal viewers of the film, and why should they take the time to watch it?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?

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Words of Hope:

My hope is people will watch, discuss, and embrace the film to understand what people like us have gone through. Click To Tweet

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Thanks for listening!

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