When you decided to make this short film, where did you start?
Ovum was my response to Carrie Fisher's call to turn your heartache into art. In 2016, I started a collective with fellow sci-fi directors and we had been writing and workshopping our short narrative scripts. Mine was on a couple grappling with not being able to afford a designer baby. Then, the 2016 election results came in and like most of NYC, I was completely shook.
I also noticed many states trying to enact heartbeat bills, TRAP laws, and even mandatory fetus burials to limit abortion access despite Roe v Wade. Reproductive rights and bodily autonomy are so fundamental to women's freedom that I could not ignore the glaring signs.
I realized then how fragile our rights were and that the future was not a guarantee of progress. Thus, I scrapped my original script and pivoted to this idea: What would happen if our current society continued on this political decline whilst VR technology advanced? From there, I wrote Ovum in one sitting and shaped it for many weeks with feedback from the collective as well as friends and writing peers. Shortly after, we began pre-production and shot the film in Fall of 2017.
What kind of hurdles do you face as a filmmaker working in short film?
With any film project, the biggest hurdles are always time and money related because you will never have enough of either. Furthermore, you have to work harder to sell your collaborators on your short because they're always passion projects. No one makes shorts for the money and most of the time, there isn't any. You have to convince your cast and crew the story is worth turning down a commercial or well paying gig for.
On Ovum, I had to call in every favor from my friends, family, and colleagues to finish the project in addition to self-financing the film. A short is a black hole for resources so my job as a filmmaker is to convince everyone around me to jump into the black hole and make that jump worthwhile. It's a miracle that shorts get made because they mean the filmmakers have willed the project into existence through sheer force and passion.
What projects are you working on next, and how can people who are interested best support or share that work?
I'm working on writing several feature projects, one of which will be my feature debut. You can follow me on the various social media channels @cidhue and sign up for my mailing list on my website. Currently, I send about one email every two years.