effects of the drugs

The United States of Autism: Filming

Day 5 of 40 Day United States of Autism Movie Shoot

After the longest amount of rest the crew has head in over a week (6 hours), we went over to Saturday’s Market, the largest indoor flea market in Pennsylvania, to visit Liz Carotto. It was great to see all of the great members of Autism Spectrum Connections out at the stand, and we were able to get some great footage of the family visiting and people in the community getting some fantastic information on the autism community.

Afterwards, the crew went in to Elizabethtown to interview the Carotto family. Liz, Chris, the husband, and her 3 children who are all on the spectrum were there including James, Joel, and Drew. We interviewed the 3 boys outside and they all had a unique perspective on autism everyone should hear. Chris and Liz had an interesting interview and lessons to share about what it takes to be an advocate and how they manage with all their responsibilities and kids on the spectrum.

While we felt we had just gotten there, the time flied by so fast we were surprised to finish up with such tender moments with Chris, Liz, and her family almost out of the blue. It was overall a fantastic shoot, and we’re looking forward to getting it into the editing room. After finishing our 16 hour day, here are some of the pictures:

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Day 4 of 40 Day United States of Autism Movie Shoot

Day 4 of the United States of Autism shoot was one of the toughest of the filming schedule. We left the house at 4 am to catch our sunrise shots for, strangely enough, the final shots of the film. They turned out absolutely amazing in Amish country, and check out some of the pictures to see how Cassie got her unique shots. Other than Crew B getting stopped by the police and Crew A warned about a crazy cousin coming out to kick them off their property, it was a smooth ride.

We then visited the Lee and An family throughout the day. Our footage went really well at Yontai’s work, the Schreiber pediatric center, and their home. We had some challenges with our first outside interview, but things looked good on the footage itself which was great. Everyone agrees that Alex and Elvin are two of the cutest kids they’ve ever seen without a doubt. It was also incredibly inspiring for everyone to see what some of these kids go through on a daily basis to overcome their challenges.

At the end of the shoot, after putting in a 16 hour day on 2 hours of sleep, our crew was ready to call it quits for the night. Ready to regroup for tomorrow and heading out to our last Lancaster county family. Also be sure to check us out out the Pepsi Refresh blog as they update the world about our trip! Stay tuned for more…

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Day 3 of the 40 Day Autism Shoot

Today we were able to record our first family for the film – the Figueroa’s. Barbara, Cesar, Eric, Fabiola, and Alexis were great to work with on capturing their story. After all, it was an incredible story, and we got some great footage of the family at their house and around the neighborhood. The park location was rained out, but we spent some more time with the family to make up for it. The interviews were full of all the things you would expect from a family that moved thousands of miles to help their son: therapists, stories, laughter, and tears.

Because the Figueroa family didn’t speak great English yet, Sugey was able to provide translation services for Spanish. It went so well, we hardly noticed the language barrier at all!

Check out some of the photos from the shoot below and be sure to check back in tomorrow!

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Day 2 of the 40 Day Autism Shoot

Rosleny, Rene, and Cassie preparing for birthday party shoot.

Sequels are always worse than the first (except for Empire Strikes Back and Dark Night of course), mainly because they try to do the same thing over again with a few twists. For us, the crew sat down after their first day together and had a great conversation about everything that worked, and discussed a lot of things we wanted to change. Suffice to say, we had a great time adjusting our shots for Rich’s birthday party.

With a custom lighting system, Cassie set up a unique solution for a late night shoot which we can re-use over and over again. Rene went through and synced up the cameras with a unique warm color which will redefine the look of the movie. Rosleny made sure we had all the last minute equipment we could possibly need, including a last order at B&H Photo for a missing Smooth Shooter piece.

About a dozen people showed up for the party, and the footage turned out beautifully. Tomorrow morning we start interviewing our first family. Stay tuned for more!


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Day Number 1 of Shooting for Autism

US of Autism Crew

Rene, Rosleny, Cassie, and Rich

The first day of shooting for the United States of Autism began today, with over 60 minutes of footage captured on two cameras. The crew went down to Lancaster’s Central Market to capture some fantastic b-roll footage of the pride of Lancaster. Then it was off to the center of town and capturing some other parts of town. Afterwards, at 7 pm, it was off to meet Rich at the Amtrak station for some opening shots of his arrival.

The crew learned a ton about what works with their equipment, and came up with some fantastic usable footage on the first day.

“It was exciting getting out there and starting the shoot and taking the first steps,” said Rene. “There’s still definitely a long way to go, but it’s great to get out there and take the first steps.”


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