Avant-garde filmmaker Abigail Child began her career in San Francisco in 1977 with the experimental film Some Exterior Presence. She had been originally trained to make documentary films, but as her interests primarily lay in the technicalities of film form, she switched to the cutting edge where she became recognized for her fast-paced, whimsical short films. From 1981 through 1989, she began producing a seven-part film, Is This What You Were Born For?, a reworking of different film genres, such as film noir, pornography, and the documentary, designed to explore their underlying content and social setting. In 1987 Child created Mayhem, a film about lesbianism. She moved to New York in 1980 where in addition to filmmaking, she was also active in the avant-garde film movement: teaching, putting together public screenings, and publishing theoretical writings in several film and poetics journals across the U.S.