Interview with the filmmaker behind short film ‘The iMom’

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In ‘The iMom’, humanity has become obsessed with technology to the point that even parenting has been left in the hands of robots.

The short, from Sydney-based filmmaker Ariel Martin, will not only give you goosebumps, but also reflect on our fixation with AI.

“The iMom will change your life! Well at least that’s what the ads claim,” wrote Martin. “But when a mother leaves her kids under the supervision of the family’s iMom, an unexpected connection is formed.”

In this interview, Martin talks more about his spine-chilling film, as well as his next project involving kids climbing cranes.

How did you come up with the concept for ‘The iMom’? What was the ‘Eureka’ moment that led to this idea?

“It was only after the millionth time I saw a kid sitting obediently at a restaurant table, staring silently at their parent’s iPad, that I realised the potential in a story about how tech products have seeped into family life.

“Originally I only intended to shoot a two-minute YouTube clip of a mock-infomercial for a fictional child-rearing product. However once I edited the clip together, I started imagining a world beyond the ad. How would a family interact with Siri if she were actually walking around the home? In the end, I decided to both weave projects, the infomercial and narrative short, into one film.”

What does the film hope to tell us about our growing obsession and reliance on technology?

“I didn’t actually set out for the film to be taken too seriously as a comment on our obsession with technology – as I’m well aware how well-worn themes are. The main goal was to make an engaging narrative piece. Of course, it’s hard to separate the two.”

The ending gave us chills. What was your creative process in storytelling, especially when it comes to suspense and horror?

“The ending was really the catalyst for the entire idea. It’s the first image that came to me, and I worked the plot around it.

“In regards to directing horror, this was my first experience at it. I must admit I’m not at all a horror buff. I’ve since watched a bunch of horror films that I’ve loved, such as It Follows, mostly for their originality. I was wrapped to have Wes Craven personally choose ‘The iMom’ for the inaugural recipient of his Wes Craven Award at the Catalina film festival.”

We heard you’re working on a project in Ukraine. Care to tell us what it’s about?

“The next film is based on some kids who are skylarking around Kiev and climb a crane. It looks at a subculture of kids who climb high structures and explore urban landscapes – often it’s incredibly dangerous. But at it’s core, it’s about a girl facing her past and standing up for herself.”

You can find out more about Ariel Martin’s work here.