The brief of the project is to produce a short documentary based around a small group of individuals with Asperger’s syndrome. The film will follow the lives of these students and give the viewers an insight to their lives and how they cope with autism each and every day. This project is to give light to how they continue life as normal and how the condition does not discourage them from enjoying themselves, interacting with others, and learning.
As I have not been involved in the Hereward Project throughout I was briefed by Yasmin on what had already been filmed so I was aware of what was required of me. As I have used the Sony Z1/Z5 many times she was confident in my ability to use the camera and produce some good footage. As some of the footage that Yasmin and the rest of the Hereward team had so far wasn’t to the standard they wanted, I volunteered to help re-film some sections for them.
I met up with Yasmin early on May 11th May and took the equipment via bus to the location at the college. I helped film a variety of shots, conducted interviews and spoke with both students and teachers to gather information and enable them to feel comfortable with me pointing a camera at them. They really opened up during the course of the day, and because Yasmin knew them already, this was made easy for me.
We were able to easily interact with the students and carry out interviews, as well as film Charlie walking to his bungalow and showing us photographs with his family. We were also lucky that Andrew was available with his guide dog Wickes so we spent some time with him which was really engaging. He really opened up to explaining his life concerning autism and how it hasn’t stopped him from having a good time.
Working on this project, though just for a day, has really made me feel proud to be part of it. It really allowed me to interact with students with autism and understand their lives in dealing with it. After speaking with them I realised just how much the condition does not affect them; they are proud to say they have autism, which I find really rewarding.