|2005, 26 mins. (Carnegie Mellon)
Director: Gregory Lehane
Writer: Mary F. Unser
Producer: Shirley J. Saldamarco
Editor: Ralph Vituccio
Director of Photography: Mark Knobil
Production Designer: Cletus R. Anderson
Cast: Lissa Brennan, Daniel Krell, Stephen Schellhardt, Aimee DeShayes, Nicholas Lehane
|What if we knew that the unpleasant possibilities we prefer not to think about had a good chance of happening? That's the conundrum explored in Love Chance, written by Mary F. Unser, in which a pregnant genetic counselor and a young couple on the verge of getting married all face the unhappy potentialities inherent in their genes.
Unser, a California native about to graduate from Carnegie Mellon with a Master of Fine Arts in dramatic writing, has twice been a finalist in the Sloan screenplay-writing competition. Love Chance won the Sloan Foundation's 2005 teleplay competition, resulting in the script being made for public television in Pittsburgh.
Unser does not have any personal experience with Huntington's chorea, the disease that figures in the film, but her undergraduate degree in biology served her in the writing of the film. In addition, she worked with a genetic counselor. Most of Unser's research consisted of asking the counselor about the problems posed by her job and the responsibilities of counseling those who may turn out to be carriers of a disease.
"I think," says Unser, "that the teleplay examines whether knowing certain information about a terminal disease is worthwhile if there is no cure." Though she did not set out to examine a specific scientific problem, Unser notes that she wound up addressing, "the idea (and arguably, the fallacy) that we can control and make everything good through science."
|Genetic Ethics, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer|
Huntington's Disease, The Mayo Clinic
Cystic Fibrosis, National Human Genome Research