Jump to navigation
Autistically speaking: Addressing an audience with autism
Pang, Anthony Chun-Kit
Durbin, GregMorong, DavidHall, Laura J
vii, 53 pages + video
To an individual with autism, a face is often just an ordinary object, but an ordinary object is often far from ordinary. Every ordinary object has the potential to take on extraordinary meaning, while every face has the potential to lose all its meaning. In this sense, watching a film, with all its faces, its subtext, its symbolic meaning, requires rethinking of that film experience for the individual with autism. This thesis project report and the short, experimental film it references are framed within that re-thinking. The film is designed specifically with an autistic audience in mind. The project film attempts to reconstruct the film experience as a means to entertain and to engage this unique audience. Distinct from narrative and documentary films in which autism the condition is the subject, the film Autistically Speaking, no. 1 is designed as a sensory-driven experience for an audience with autism, employing a non-narrative construction of images and sounds in an attempt to elicit responses that are unique to that particular audience. It is a project that draws on the work of avant-garde and underground experimental films, as well as the early work of the Lumiére Brothers and Georges Méliès. Although the project is informed by both early and experimental film, the idea of tailoring a film experience for an autistic way of thinking and perceiving is a concept without much direct precedent. As such, both the film and this paper draw additionally from neurology, psychology, and indirect observation to help construct an effective film experience. It is the hope of the author that this novel and distinct premise for film construction hopefully sets a precedent as a model for future work toward developing the "autistic film." Finally, autism is a developmental disorder that can have devastating consequences, affecting millions of individuals and the communities they live in. In addition, the complexity and peculiarity of the condition can be both a source of alienation and frustration from those on the outside looking in. As a result, Autistically Speaking allows the general audience a glimpse into the experience and perception of the world of individuals with autism, both by its design and how this new audience responds to the film. Out of this glimpse will hopefully come a deeper understanding of not just the condition but also the world that defines the individual with autism. The DVD of the film is available for viewing at the Media Center of Love Library.
Television, Film and New Media Production
Theatre, Television, and Film
Professional Studies and Fine Arts
San Diego State University
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2011
© 2015 SDSU Library & Information Access. All Rights Reserved.