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Alex Kopec – 2015


Project: The Artificial Womb

One of the things I love most about documentary filmmaking is that you never know what you are really getting yourself into. Filming The Artificial Womb was hands down one of the greatest experiences of my life. I was completely immersed into the world of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, a world I was only semi-familiar with. Documentary filmmaking requires a lot of time, patiences and the ability to connect with those you are observing over those long periods of time. I made 3-4 trips a week to the The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey, documenting the lives and progress of the babies in the NICU, and I quickly became friendly with the NICU Nurses, doctors, and parents. Being able to connect with these people allowed me to approach this delicate topic with more understanding, and I quickly found myself invested in their lives.

I think one of the most incredible things about this entire process was that as I was editing The Artificial Womb together, I would have these emotional moments that would catch me off guard. I had spent countless months documenting these families and babies, becoming more familiar with their world, but the material was so powerful that there’s really no way to be desensitized by it. There was one night where I was editing a sequence of the babies together to the music my amazing composer had composed for me that I will never forget. After laying out all of the shots into the sequence, I pressed play to watch what I had. Within seconds I started to cry and I felt so in tune with the story I wanted to tell. There is no greater feeling than being emotionally connected to your work as it comes to life.