Throughout the christmas period I had more to time to develop and enhance my film, Finding Me. During initial research and idea generation the thought of focusing on a disability is one that stuck out to me. Because of the way that Aspergers syndrome affects people on a individual basis. I also wanted to explore the concept of romance with autistic or people with Aspergers syndrome.
I had already seen a channel 4 documentary called the Undateables. This documentary follows people with a physical or a mental setback on their journey to find love. This show also details a charity called stars in the sky, a network which is dedicated to helping people with learning difficulties find dates or form friendships. The way that it was presented was interesting and generally positive, however I feel as if the comedic elements were over done, and made the show slightly distasteful. Infact even the name ‘Undateables’ is one which offended many people.
Images screen captured from http://www.studentmidwife.net/fob/c4-the-undateables.68399/
I also looked at other films in that touch on similar topics, for example The Black Balloon (2008) and Snow Cake (2006) are both love stories, including people with highly functioning autism, however they are not a part of the actual romance. The black balloon asks questions about finding yourself as I want to do with my film, but the main character doesn’t have a disability ,but instead it is his brother who is autistic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxKE-tB1ya8
The film that I would say is my intial source of inspiration, is a short film called This is vanity, about a mother pushed to the egde due to the constant bullying of her autistic daughter.
I am aware that there are other films in this genre that touch on the same topics, but the way that the people with Asperger’s and autism are portrayed are not often shown as people with mild conditons. However I want to portray a young male protagonist that looks to avoid that stereotype and push himself to the limit socially.
The story revolves around a young male protagonist, named Calum who has mild Asperger’s syndrome. Faced with a new surrounding he has the chance to recreate himself, however under constant pressure of the new people in his life his Asperger’s inhibits him from being the new person he wants to be. After finding this out the hard way he is left to reflect on his life and appreciate who he actually is.
Aspergers syndrome is often called a hidden disability because it is not visible to the naked eye. But may only become apparent when communicating with a person. Asperger’s syndrome varies from person to person for example some people with Aspergers may find it hard to understand and express feelings, however others may not have this problem. I wanted to play on the fact that everyone is different so I could create unique but believable character. My aim with the short film is to inspire and challenge the audience not to limit themselves to what you can do, as well as sending the message to be yourself and not someone that your not. However I had to then plan how I was going to send that message through my story effectively.
In a lecture last term, I learnt that there are only seven basic plot lines. To refresh my memory, and to obtain more information I read through parts of Steven Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories. He states that there are only seven basic plot-lines to most stories. I was able to structure my story close to these, however when finalising the plot, I realised that my story was becoming too cliche, and followed the Rags to riches plot-line too much. Originally my film was supposed to end with my main character Calum in an ideal relationship, surrounded by friends. But on second thought this resolution was quite predictable, and thus I begun thinking about how I would subvert this storyline so it could remain interesting and fresh to the potential audience.
Instead of allowing Calum to realise his dreams by simply making them come true, instead I have decided to go for a metaphorical approach, which allows the audience to dig deeper to interpret the true meaning of the film.
The Black Balloon (2008)
Snow Cake (2006)