Private Project


Over one disorienting evening, Rosa discovers that her daughter has developed unusual abilities that threaten the harmony of her perfect family, and the world at large.

  • Lindsey E. Gary
  • Lindsey E. Gary
  • Andrew J. Amato
  • Lindsey E. Gary
  • Tyler Nelson
  • Stella Maeve
    Key Cast
    The Runaways, The Magicians
  • Ella Grace Helton
    Key Cast
    United We Fall, Hubie Halloween
  • Chistopher Allen
    Key Cast
    Chicago Fire, Crisis
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Sci-Fi, Drama
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 59 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 11, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Sony Venice
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Lindsey E. Gary

Lindsey E. Gary is a cinematic polymath whose multi-faceted career has explored the intersection of storytelling, production, and technology, with an emphasis on supporting creative collaboration. The daughter of a studio teacher, she grew up on film sets, and embarked on her own behind-the-scenes journey at the age of 15 in the art department of JURASSIC PARK III. Since then, Lindsey has worked in art departments, visual effects, and production management on titles including PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN II & III, TROPIC THUNDER, JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE and LOVE, DEATH + ROBOTS. Most recently, she has worked in story and look development alongside director Anna Foerster, together bringing successful pitches to Sony, Paramount, and Netflix, and co-penning the feature script RAINMAKER. The short film HUMMINGBIRD starring Stella Maeve (THE MAGICIANS) and Ella Grace Helton (UNITED WE FALL) is Lindsey’s writing and directorial debut.

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Director Statement

HUMMINGBIRD is the result of flipping a sci-fi trope, filtering it through a female perspective, and grounding it in the context of a tight family drama. I’ve always been drawn to the way science fiction explores human nature by throwing a thought-provoking wrench into the status quo. This film is a study of the moment the wrench is thrown – the first ripples of a disruption that will expose ugly undercurrents that society has masked with a veneer of progress.

When developing story ideas, my speculations usually begin with an optimistic angle. For example, we often think of infection as something negative, but what if it were positive? This question merged with a reflection on feminine traits. While researching another project, I found that women are considered to be more effective spies due to stronger empathy, a heightened sensitivity to others. That advantage would be interesting to highlight. But I’m a skeptic optimist. I imagine a bright development, only to immediately find myself running through all the potentially detrimental consequences. As these concepts percolated, I was also becoming increasingly aware of microaggressions, glimpses of implicit bias and other alarming attitudes. What happens when these largely hidden flaws are put on broad display? These are the questions and ideas that informed HUMMINGBIRD, which eventually took the form of an unsettling discovery unfolding over the course of a tense family dinner.

HUMMINGBIRD was conceived and drafted in the fall of 2019, months before the COVID-19 outbreak. Once the virus had us all quarantined to our homes, the subject matter seemed a bit too close to home, so I developed another project with a larger scope and planned to wait until COVID restrictions were relaxed to begin filming. But I was pregnant, and when it became clear COVID wasn’t going anywhere, I decided it was now or never. The contained nature of HUMMINGBIRD, which could be filmed at my house, brought us back to this film.

As a performance-driven piece, I knew HUMMINGBIRD would live or die with the acting. I didn’t make it easy on myself, either, writing a nuanced role for a six-year-old girl named Maisie. Luckily, I had a connection to young Ella Grace Helton. She had plenty of on-camera experience, but it was all comedy, so I was relieved when she nailed the drama in our zoom casting session. For the role of Maisie’s mom Rosa, we were fortunate to bring on veteran actor Stella Maeve, who consistently brings honesty and subtlety to her work. The film unfolds from Rosa’s perspective, so we needed someone of Stella’s caliber to pull the audience into the story. Christopher Allen rounded out our core cast, bringing complex layers to father and husband Jake. Together, these talented actors became the picture-perfect Weidt family, slowly unraveling one riveting word at a time.

My hope is that with HUMMINGBIRD, we’ve created a mood worth revisiting – a compelling sense of mystery with a surprising reveal. Clues are woven throughout the film to reward repeat viewings. With any luck, HUMMINGBIRD will linger in the minds of the audience and start a conversation. What if you could hear it, too?