Autism Together film 'Meltdown' highlights the impact of autism on family life

Autism Together, in collaboration with production company, Contra, has created a campaign film to highlight the struggle many people with autism face in accessing appropriate support and care services.

Focusing on a true story of the harrowing effects autism has had on Austin and his mother Louise, the film aims to raise funds for the Future 50 appeal, a movement which looks to build a state of the art centre that specialises in providing vital inpatient care for adults with autism.

The producers at Contra met with Louise to learn the extent of the damage autism has had on family life as well as highlighting the devastating faults in Austin’s previous care. Louise explained the deterioration in Austins condition which developed into violent incidents, extensive self harm, aggression and running away from facilities due to fear and confusion.

Emma Little, producer overseeing the project, said: “In awe of Louise’s strength and after hearing her full story and how Autism Together have supported her family, we couldn’t wait to get behind the campaign.

“We found the best approach would be to subtly portray the events in a more observational manner, such as peeking through doors that had been left ajar, allowing the audience to simply observe the shocking moments in Austin’s life. We wanted to use isolation as a main theme throughout the film, so we shot on vintage anamorphic lenses to give us a much wider frame which allowed us to position our actor in various places while also capturing the empty space around him.”

Contra reached out to multiple organisations to help with the project and were supported by Arri (lending vintage anamorphic lenses) VMI (donating a Litepanel) and Wave Studios (sound design and Dolby sound mix for cinema), plus Stagecoach who sourced the acting talent, who in turn gave up their time for free.

Kate McCann, communications director at Autism Together, said: “The team at Contra held our hands through every stage of the film-making process. We’re so thankful for their friendship and support and so proud of the result – and we’re proud of Louise for being prepared to see herself featured on the big screen. I truly wish Louise and Austin’s story was unique, but it isn’t. Hopefully our film will raise the issue that, for some, autism can be supremely challenging and that our charity knows how to help.”

You can donate £5 to the Future 50 appeal by texting AUTISM to 70456.

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