Friday, October 17, 2014

Autism Answer: A Little Movie I Wrote To Change The World

One of my sons, writing a song.

About ten years ago my four sons were sleeping and I sat up all night writing a movie. I wanted to make the world my boys were growing up in a better place, an intentional open minded and accepting place, and so I wrote Carhopping

I loved it! My family loved it!! I imagined scores of interviews where Jon Stewart and Ellen DeGeneres asked how it was that I could do so much with one movie. They applauded my story telling and sang praise for the new world I had encouraged with my movie! 

Then, I saved Carhopping on a flash drive and went on with my life. 

It was never forgotten because we had all experienced it. I'd written it, my family had read it, and we all had conversations and thoughts because of it. As my hero character says: 

"Once I've imagined it, for me it's real; a memory." ~The Hitchhiker

One of my sons, researching for his screenplay.

But I didn't breathe any more life into it than that. I was content. For a time.... 

Now my sons are teens and young adults, and they are pursuing dreams married with careers. So, to be an example of taking action (and, honestly, because I want to navigate the same worlds my sons do and I'd like to make as many of the mistakes for them as I can, in turn offering them advice and connections so their roads will be slightly less bumpy!) I dusted off my movie and queried producers. A few of them requested the script, and one of them (the brilliant and beautiful Alexia, of Little Studio Films) appreciated my concept so much that she offered to help me make it--well--a real script! You see, I had no idea what I was doing and so my "feature film" was 67 pages of flowery words and intriguing characters who had hardly any connection to each other. Somehow she saw through the blinding "green" of my screenwriting into the depths of my story. 

Thanks to her encouragement I've grown with my characters and deepened our stories. It's not quite there yet, I can feel an "aha" moment watching me from the peripheries, but the script is good. Soon, it'll be great!

One of my sons, writing a video game story line. 

I've learned to value connections, feedback, and friendships with volume! Though, I'll admit, I'm still shy about offering my own feedback (my sons can attest to this truth, I love sharing my thoughts and ideas but struggle to form opinions about what others might do different) however I'm more than happy to give it a try!!

I've discovered that the movie I wrote did change my world, and so it's been exactly the gift I hoped it would be, though I didn't know back then how to imagine a different world and so I gave the power to Jon Stewart and Ellen DeGeneres. This, though, this world of editing, connecting, rethinking, reworking, formatting, and enriching my own understanding has made the world my boys are growing up in a better place. So I've already reached my dreams. 

Now, I get to live them loud!! 

One of my sons, assisting on a production and learning the art of directing. 

Friends, don't forget to take action and trust that you can reach your dreams. Know that, yes, it will likely look different when you get there, but the different (as long as you're willing to see it) will be far more enriching and real. Far more uniquely you!!!!

Of course, it would still be kick-ass awesome to be interviewed by Jon Stewart!! Giggle!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)
Folks interested in reading my screenplay, or sharing one of their own, visit my profile on Stage 32!