Jamie Monahan's 'LUCID' is a VR Trip That Challenges the Typical Sci-Fi Narrative

Lucid by Jamie Monahan
Lucid by Jamie Monahan /
  • Award-nominated filmmaker Jamie Monahan brings us LUCID, following a woman using VR therapy after being sexually assaulted.
  • LUCID is a sci-fi which puts a female character front and center dealing with trauma, relationships, and the idea that somewhere else can be better, all while produced by a mainly-female team.
  • LUCID was nominated for Best Pilot at the 2019 NYC Web Fest.

We've seen the stories onscreen about technology taking over humans psychologically, and Jamie Monahan's LUCID does just that—but to the very extreme. The award-nominated filmmaker wrote, directed, and stars in this beautiful sci-fi thriller, which forces you to think about how far you'd be willing to go to get over life-changing pain. Here's what it's all about:

After Charlie (Monahan) is sexually assaulted during a girls’ night out, she decides to try virtual reality therapy as a way to work through her trauma. Although what she experiences while using VR is extremely euphoric, viewers become worrisome when she ignores everything else in her real life for this one feeling. Things really take a turn for the worse at the end, when....well, I’m not going to spoil it for you.

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BEST PILOT Nomination I got teary eyed when I saw that @lucid_series is nominated for BEST PILOT! It’s certainly not the first time I’ve cried about LUCID. Creating your own work isn’t easy! There’s a reason why they say it takes “blood, sweat, and tears.” I feel like I’ve given all that and more. If you are struggling with your script, pre-production, post-production or getting into festivals I just want to send you some love. It’ll be worth it, I promise. . . . I’m so incredibly proud of everyone attached to this project. Thank you @nycwebfest for the #awardnomination. Link in bio for tickets to LUCID Saturday October 5th. #NYCwebfest #NYCWF2019 #bestpilot #director #tv #scifiwriter #femalefilmmaker #writer #syfy #indietv #producer #femaledirector #awardnominated #VR #AR #nydirector #scifi #filmfestival #indiefilmmaker #shero #strongfemalelead #diversity #awardnominee #LucidSeries #womeninfilm

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I got the chance to see a screening of LUCID at Actors Connection, which was followed by a panel with Monahan, actor Myles Clohessy, and producers Aly Bloom and Eric Emerick. There, it was stressed how significant having a female protagonist and mostly-female crew was to the story, in a time where women are continuing to change the film/TV industry. This, as was explained on the panel, made for an "emotional" and "unique" experience filming, as I'm sure it was watching the final cut as well.

This female-centric story is a game-changer for any sci-fi lover, following in the footsteps of a handful of compelling women-led sci-fi projects of the last decade, such as Alex Garland's Annihilation (starring Natalie Portman) and Denis Villeneuve's Arrival (starring Amy Adams). Women are certainly changing the narrative of this genre, Monahan included.

To learn more about LUCID and hopefully see the pilot turned into a full series, follow the Instagram page here, and Monahan's IG here.