A filmmaker has started a crowdfunding project to produce a documentary looking at fertility from a man’s perspective – something that has never been done before
Essex-based Tom Webb and his wife Nicola spent a decade trying for a child. It took them ten years to qualify for NHS IVF treatment, a devastating miscarriage, two failed IVF cycles and a miracle to finally become parents; the couple now have a daughter.
It all sounds so easy when it is put into a sentence, but it was far from that for the couple. Tom says he feels ‘unbelievably lucky’ to have a daughter and doesn’t take anything for granted as things could have ended so differently.
“It was when we were going through IVF that I first thought about creating a documentary. It was when we were at the point of being potentially childless, I knew I had to do something,” Tom said.
The couple began a blog, Journey To The Far Side of the Womb, that was originally set up to help their family and friends try to understand what they were going through, but it garnered so many comments from people on a similar road, they found it quite overwhelming.
“Going through fertility treatment is an incredibly isolating experience, we knew very few people in our position but when we started the blog we received lots of lovely messages from people taking comfort from what we were writing,” Tom says, “which helped us as well.”
Tom said that he wrote a very candid blog on the first egg collection day about what it was like to give his sample.
“I had no idea what it was going to be like going into that room. But after uploading the blog, I was amazed at the response it got,” he says.
“Women wrote messages to us saying that after reading the blog, they had apologised to their husband because they had not even considered their partner or husband’s emotions or feelings – it was quite incredible.”
This was when he came up with the title of the documentary: The Easy Bit
Tom set about finding men who would be prepared to talk on camera about their experience, which has proved a deeply cathartic.
After several months of searching he found the perfect mix of six men who have all been on a unique fertility journeys but have many shared experiences.
Tom was the director of a series of short films for the Fertility Network UK project, Hidden Faces, a hugely successful campaign run last year.
This helped him to meet some of the men involved, including Richard Clothier, Gareth Down, Lee Acton and James De Souza.
“The men could see from the films I produced for FNUK how deeply I cared about the subject and a trust was formed,” Toms says.
“We wanted people to identify with at least one person, if not several. The interviews have proved incredibly powerful and I am proud of what we have achieved so far.”
The documentary has been filmed with the interviewees looking directly into the camera, making it hugely engaging and personal for anyone watching.
All interviews have been completed but now the team needs to get the project to the next level.
To get the feature length film into post production and distributed next year, Tom needs to raise about £10,000
Tom believes men need the right support to be able to fully support their partners.
He said: “There is so much pressure, family members and friends struggle to know how to talk about fertility treatment and the focus is all on the woman. If the man has good support around him, then that can only have a positive impact on the situation.
“I want this to be part of a wave of change, a spotlight on men to get more vocal about the subject.”
Tom will also appear at the Fertility Show on Saturday, November 3, along with Richard Clothier to take part in a discussion on male infertility at 12 noon.
To donate towards this worthwhile film project, click here
To follow The Easy Bit on Facebook, click here
To follow their blog, click here
Are you a man who is struggling with fertility treatment and you need someone to talk to or go to for support, get in touch with us and we can put you in touch with several men’s Facebook groups, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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