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DOC NYC Women Directors: Meet Jessica Solce – ‘No Control’

DOC NYC Women Directors: Meet Jessica Solce - 'No Control'

Jessica Solce is the founder
and director of The Collaborative, a salon and writing lab for writers,
directors, producers, and actors in NYC. Her recent credits include the second
season of the web series Dates Like This and The
at the Manhattan Theatre Source.

No Control will be playing at DOC NYC on November 15 and 19. It is her first feature film.  

W&H: Please
give us your description of the film playing.

JS: With over 300 million
firearms, the US holds the highest rate of gun ownership per capita in the
world. Meanwhile, with each gun-related tragedy, the question remains whether
to regulate or to arm. Increasing demand, illegal distribution, and emerging 3D
technologies threaten to upend the traditional debate about gun control. As discussed in
interviews from Austin to Grand Rapids, Denver to New York City, No Control
seeks to address the efficacy of gun laws and the ongoing debate between
personal freedom and public safety in a candid discussion of one of the most
complex, contentious issues in American history.

What drew
you to this story?

JS: On Memorial Day weekend in 2013, Greg Bokor shared his idea of the interactive installation Erase. I immediately visualized and was moved by his concept of memorial and
decided that it should be captured. One month later, I was
sitting with Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed, the creator of the first
open-source 3D-printed handgun. It was immediately
apparent that the passion of these two men intersecting on film was an
extraordinary portal into the debate on gun control.

What drew me to the
story was a desire to learn from and meet folks I’d never encounter
otherwise. What kept the excitement
brewing throughout was this fight of ideology and the discussion of the
efficacy of government control.

W&H: What was
the biggest challenge in making the film?

JS: I had a very short window of one week to decide to make the film. The biggest challenge was to
announce it. Once the news was out, there was no turning back.

W&H: What do
you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

JS: To ponder the systems of government within which we live, to think
of federal-versus-state efficacy, to define what control and freedom means, to
see the holes in regulations being discussed, and to be invigorated into action
and discussion.  

W&H: What
advice do you have for other female directors?

JS: The best advice given to
me was, “Get out of your head and just make it.”

W&H: What’s
the biggest misconception about you and your work?

JS: At this point, nobody has seen the film,
so I’m looking forward to showing the film publicly and opening a dialogue
about the subject and issues.

W&H: How did
you get your film funded? 

JS: No Control was
completely self-funded and is currently Kickstarting for MUCH needed help with
finishing funds.

From preliminary
concept to production was two weeks. I
went in blind and excited and built the story week by week. Every NO was a direct challenge. The majority of the NO’s came from well-known
pro- and anti-gun advocates and organizations. In the end, though, this was for the better. Greg Bokor and Cody
Wilson were the first two subjects filmed, and it was immediately apparent that
they would be the linchpins.

W&H: Name your
favorite woman-directed film and why.

JS: I’m crazy for Laura Poitras, because, “no amount of violence
can solve a math problem.”

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