The Pleasing List
Today’s post comes to us from Film maker Jonathan Carlander, who has made a short movie about Asperger’s Syndrome. The film features a student who has Asperger’s Syndrome. It has received critical acclaim from many in the Autism Community.
When I attended film school, I never planned on directing my own thesis film. I was an editing major, but on top of that, I was suffering from anxiety and depression problems that I partly blamed on my Asperger’s Syndrome. In my third year, when I took my thesis class with dozens of other seniors, these problems took control of my chances of learning and making more friends. I couldn’t stand the sensory overload or the lack of familial bonding that my fellow students seemed to have with each other. I felt greatly alienated.
Despite these problems, I became determined to walk out of school with not just a BFA, but with a thesis film that meant something dear to me or said something about me as a person. That Spring break I wrote several drafts of the script. When the new semester began, I took the risk of asking fellow students to help bring that script to life. To my surprise, several of them willingly agreed and, after endless planning and organization, we shot the film in two days in May. I was incredibly anxious inside, as all directors are I’m sure, but I managed to hide it through humor and focus. Having incredibly talented actors and a dedicated crew helped a lot, too! This is how my thesis film, “The Pleasing List”, came to be, which has had over 35,000 hits on YouTube since I posted it this past July. Many people in the Aspie community have praised the film, including Dr. Tony Attwood. I hope that my film will continue to show those inside and outside of the Aspie community what those with Asperger’s can achieve, both personally and academically.