Presenting Fusion Doc Challenge top 20 finalist filmmaker Sarah Hudson, and her film “Butterfly”

December 18, 2015

What’s your Fusion Doc Challenge film about?

Butterfly follows the four day collaboration between a dancer, a musician, and a filmmaker to create a performance based on the dancer’s experience with thyroid disease.


How did you choose your subject?

We were given the genre “music” to work with. As it happened, day one of the challenge coincided with the day Rachel, the dancer and our producer, was changing her thyroid medication. We had an idea to follow her collaborating on music for a performance piece showing her experiences with her disease.

Thyroid disease is something very personal to myself and my family. Rachel and I are sisters, and I was diagnosed with the same disease almost four years ago. (Our grandmother also was diagnosed back in the 1960s.) The struggles we see Rachel working through during the film were similar to the struggles I worked through.

What was the hardest thing about the challenge?

We shot the film for four out of the five days. This meant that story was evolving as we progressed. As we made the film, we weren’t sure how the story was going to unfold – for example, we had no idea how quickly Rachel was going to react to the medication and whether it would be a positive or negative experience. At one point during day 3 we had no idea if the film was actually going to have a conclusion. You see this struggle during the film. Obviously we pulled through!


What was the best thing about the challenge?

The hardest thing about the challenge was also the best thing about the challenge. Life was unfolding as we made the film, and we got to document it and watch it happen. It was a very powerful experience.

What’s your biggest take away from the challenge?

Time management is key in a challenge like this! I spent the mornings and evenings when we weren’t filming transferring and going through footage. This was vital to the project and allowed us to dig in with the editing on the last day.

What is on the docket now for your film career/What are you working on?

Right now, we’re in post-production on a short genre film. Past this point, we’re planning on expanding the ideas of Butterfly into a feature documentary about thyroid disease. We have lots of other big and small projects on the go too. You should really just follow us on Twitter to stay up to date: @studiooptica & @rachelhproject

Anything else you want your audience to know?

Huge shout out to Matt McArthur, our musician. You can also learn more about thyroid disease at

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