During the summer of 2010, I had the chance to go to CalArts and attend the InnerSpark camp for filmmaking. I gained a great deal of knowledge, plus I learned to develop and appreciate my style of filmmaking. I worked on many projects, but most of my efforts went into one specific film, which was my thesis/final film. I had always been interested in children with special needs, and having a sibling with Autism, the interest was fueled even more. For my thesis film, it had started out as a small documentary about families that had children with Autism, but then changed and evolved into a portrait of two kids with Autism and their approach to art making. On the weekends, I would return home from summer camp, bringing back materials my camp generously let me borrow, then have Alejandra and Adrian experiment with them. I brought back a Super 8 camera, 16mm film, and a video camera.
I let my subjects draw, record, and shoot with all of this material. By doing this, it would add a significant layer to the simple idea of the portrait, where instead of all the artmaking being my doing, the film’s participants would contribute to the film in a whole new way. Along with this I interviewed their families to ask what they thought about whether art had an effect on their children and their children’s approach to it. What I look forward to is to have an environment where children with special needs are seen for their unique individuality and not just as kids with “Autism”, “Down’s Syndrome”, etc. With this in mind, I wanted to portray how every child is an artist or has potential to be an artist, including those with special needs. This was a project I had been intending to do, this is my first step and I hope that wherever it takes me will be good.