So the premiere was an amazing success! I have never been quite so terrified in the days leading upto the event. Will people like it, will people turn up and watch it, will people want to see more, what the hell will I say for my speech, why wont Reilly sleep for more than 4 hours this week? Will Alison kill someone? I could go on.
A lot of people who couldn’t make it (thankfully they didn’t as it was fit to burst) have asked for more information about the ideology behind it all so here goes.
The short film was made to hi-light the distinct lack of support for families by the powers that be. My greatest support comes from other parents, my actually autistic friends and Reilly’s teachers/school. We have some incredible schools in the area unfortunately there are not enough places for our kids and many are shoehorned into the wrong environments. It causes massive problems. We certainly had a fight on our hands to ensure Reilly could get the education he deserves and is entitled to, we are not alone in that.
The film is a short and will be entered into short film festivals and used as a hook to try and secure funding for a feature film. The short film which you can view or download below for a very small fee (proceeds towards feature) looks at an ordinary morning with an extraordinary family. How easy a life of rigid routine can become absolute chaos when the wrong transport arrives. Transport can be a massive headache for SEN familes . Alison Stanley who plays Joanne and also wrote the play The Life of Reilly and Charlie Price who plays Reilly do such an incredible job at really making the whole scenario hit very close to home.
The feature film which is already in writing will follow Reilly from conception, well actually just after as it won’t be an 18, right the way through to young man. It will all be based on real life events and I can ensure you will be witty, entertaining, heartwarming with a little touch of heartbreaking reality I am sure many will identify with. The film will most certainly call out the problems Reilly and others like him face on a daily basis. Autistic actors, crew and consultants is a given for the feature film too.
We need this. We have a chance to reach a huge audience and squash those myths, promote inclusion and to be frank get people to stop acting like dicks around these families making all our lives a little easier. It’s about being human and education as I said on the night and I quote.
I’ve been that person rolling my eyes at the parent standing over their screaming child in the supermarket. Mine would never do that! What a fool I was. Thats what I saw a parent with no control over their child. What i didn’t see was a child overwhelmed by their surroundings – of sights, smells and sound. What I didn’t see was a parent desperate to just blend in, a parent desperate to help their child and get out of that situation. I judged because I didn’t see. I didn’t understand.
If you were there on the night you would have been lucky enough to hear a speech by Kieran Rose The Autistic Advocate. It was incredible. I hadn’t had a sneek peek at what he was going to say before hand and it really blew me away. Focus was on responsibility to ensure the narrative is right. Ill post Kieran’s transcript up in a separate blog post as it deserves its own platform. The Q & A after the film with myself, Alison, Charlie, Scott and Kieran promoted some excellent discussion and enabled many of the audience to quiz Kieran about being actually autistic and Scott’s take on being an autistic actor. Charlies answer to how was meeting the real Reilly melted by heart. He’s an incredible kid and I know for fine fact we will be seeing so much more of him.
So please support us take this to the next level. Take a look at the short film and please send me a review of your thoughts.
A massive thank you to everyone who took the time out to attend on Wednesday it means the world to us and to every single person who donated, came to Reilly’s fundraiser, gave their time to help raise funds and those who shared our posts and helped spread the word.
Alison Stanley, Charlie Price, Chrissy Rock, Andy Mills, Scott Ritchie, Stephen Woods and the whole clan from Act2Cam. Thankyou for a great experience. I look forward to many more breakfast meetings with Alison & Kelly plotting the next. Got lots of exciting things in the pipeline.
Did I ever think i’d be hosting a film premiere and listed as an Executive Producer? Hell no.
Did I think i’d be trying to make a difference for my boy? Hell yes and will continue to do so.