The Fourth Trimester

The Third film in our Sisters Of The Silver Screen CineShots is about the greatest power of women - the power to give life. Which can quite often turn into a burden no one really talks about.


Phoebe McCaughley is the single mother of this beautiful project. Here’s what she had to say about giving birth to this film:

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
She likes to move it: Phoebe McCaughley an animation graduate who tells stories through her hands.

When it comes to complexity and difficulty of producing an art work filmmaking is very close to the top. What makes the whole journey, often unpleasant, worthwhile for you?
I believe that Stop Motion; the type of film making I use is pretty high up there on the unpleasant scale. The nature of the medium means I have to be stuck in a dark room for hours on end contorting my body into uncomfortable repetitive positions to bring these puppets to life at a ridiculously slow pace. The puppets I create from their beginnings of wire skeletons then go on to come to life on screen with their own personalities, it is the most magical and satisfying feeling.

Why this film?
The birth of babies is often portrayed on television, but there’s very little about how difficult looking after a new-born can be for many parents. Through interviews and research I found the topic to be taboo, because you’re immediately supposed to have a love for your baby that is incomparable to anything else. This is not always the case. I sought to communicate the reality of the struggle that many new parents face and open a conversation to challenge the mainstream portrayal of childbirth. I thought that the medium of stop motion film would be suited to a subject which requires empathy as the technique requires care and human touch. Though touching on a sensitive and serious topic, elements of humour in the film make it more relatable and uplifting. I often reverse the roles of mother and baby to communicate feelings of vulnerability.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want…
I would love to make a comical horror film; I’m very inspired by the work of Lee Hardcastle. In terms of cast, I think I would always like to stick to the miniature lifeless puppet type but if I were to pick voice actors, that would be a privilege as I often have to convince my boyfriend to turn himself into any given character. I think Michaela Coel and David Tennant would be great in a Horror animation.

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
I’m not too sure on what specifically I’d like to do yet as I have enjoyed switching between roles of maker, mover and director. I hope that my creativity continues to grow in whatever role I take next. I enjoy telling stories which reflect the details of life that are often overlooked.

Any Instagram, Twitter or websites where your future fans can stalk you?
My Instagram is @phoebestopmotion
My Website is

Phoebe McCaughley

Phoebe McCaughley

The Fourth Simester will be screened, along with five other female-made short films, 9.7. at 19.30 at the Streatham Space Project.
Make sure you get your tickets right over HERE.