Today I screened the rough cut of my first feature film Aspie Seeks Love. I was so nervous! I’ve spent much of January and February holed away in the editing room, feeling the limits of my sole judgement more and more. That old conflict: I need more eyeballs, but no! It’s not ready yet!
Thus, I was honored and relieved when Rebecca Klaw, autism counselor and professor at the University of Pittsburgh, invited me to screen my rough cut for her “Autism in Film” class. I implored Klaw’s students for their brutal honesty and scored invaluable notes (I am a firm believer in the workshop and revision process). Also, some comments made my all-work-and-no-play ethic of late feel extra worth it!
Sending out a humungous, heartfelt THANK YOU to all our friends, family, and supporters! With your help, we won a Sprout Fund Award for Aspie Seeks Love – a documentary on writer David V. Matthews, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 41. Catalyzed by this late-in-life diagnosis, David embarks on a quest to understand his condition, release his first book, and find love via the internet.
We’ve got an hour of our rough cut assembled and the award will provide our remaining post-production needs. Additionally, we’ll be collaborating with comic book artist Jim Rugg, who will design the poster for the project. Great things to come!
Pictured above is a still from our last shoot. As David would say, “Don’t let our sober facades fool you.” Behind the jpeg, we’re jumping up and down with unbounded excitement. Stay tuned – we can’t wait to deliver our documentary to you in 2014! From the bottom of our hearts: Thank you!
This is my friend David, the writer. He has Asperger’s syndrome and is looking for love. I’ve been filming a feature documentary about him for the past two years. Today our teaser was on Boing Boing and it was very encouraging.
Doing docs as a one-woman-crew can be challenging. I am grateful to the polite Pittsburgh passersby who – upon encountering a lanky, bespectacled woman clenching a walkie-talkie-style mic receiver in one armpit, sheets of wrinkled interview questions and tangled wires in the other, while balancing a handheld camera, and begging the universe for a steady-yet-dynamic finesse only garnered through years of tai chi (she only had one class, which she dropped mid-semester) – refrain from laughing loudly enough to disrupt the shoot. And oh, the strange expressions that overcome her face as revelations dawn on her in medias res: “Forget the tripod, Imma start lifting weights”, “Did I really just enlist the subjects to help me light that shot?”, and “I think I need another external hard drive/How many terabytes can I share a bedroom with before my head explodes?”
So before the terabytes attack (i.e. – editing commences) it’s extremely heartening to receive a Creative Development Grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation. The grant is brand new and part of a larger initiative called, Investing in Professional Artists, which promises to catalyze artistic activity in the region and propel Pittsburgh to another plane of consciousness (my words, not theirs). I felt well-prepped to apply after attending Flight School last year, a nine-week fellowship focused on bringing some of the diligence with which we artists approach our art to the realm of business skillz. Lesson 1) You shouldn’t substitute an s with a z, unless you want to write the best grant proposal ever! No. Don’t do that.
Just the other night, I attended the finale of this year’s Flight School, which included microbrews and micro-presentations by 16 amazing artists at the Waffle Shop (an eatery/TV production studio/social experiment) and I can’t reiterate enough: PITTSBURGH IS AWESOME! Imagine looking up from your watch as you await an infamously late bus, only to find yourself giddy, rather than bummed, beholding a mischevious creation by Pittsburgh artist and recent Flight School Fellow, Will Schlough.
Some say that Portland is out and Pittsburgh is in. All I know is that I’ve been diggin’ it for the past seven years. Expect to run into David V. Matthews and I around town this summer on our filming adventures for Aspie Seeks Love. David is a writer and artist living in Pittsburgh who was diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 40. He’s on a quest to understand his diagnosis and himself, find love, and release his first novel. This still is from our trip to the Carnegie Science Center last fall. To witness David chillin’ in the robot exhibit with the likes of Hal 9000, you’ll have to wait and see the movie.
Exciting things to come in Pittsburgh: 1) Evolver Convergence featuring Daniel Pinchbeck – June 1st-3rd 2) Pittsburgh’s own Girl Talk live on June 9th & 3) Filming of Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land – 2012 ongoing
David Matthews can’t get a date. He is a writer and artist with a great sense of humor and impeccable dry delivery. He has scored solo art shows around Pittsburgh, readings at coffee shops and acting gigs in a few short films. He’s got a nice job, house and car, and could even treat a lady to dinner. So what’s the problem?
At 41 years of age, David was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. This late-in-life diagnosis and lack of treatment in childhood has left David with a lot of catching up to do. Although David is highly intelligent, he has a major blind spot: empathy and understanding of the human, especially female, psyche.
Aspie Seeks Love follows David’s journey to understand his Asperger’s, improve as a person, writer, and artist, and find a meaningful relationship. We’ll watch David explore the world of online dating and we’ll also see his attempts to break out of his shell and connect with women in person. David’s quest for self-improvement will culminate in the Pittsburgh release party for his debut book Meltdown in the Cereal Aisle.