By Trevor Pacelli
There are three different film majors here at Arizona State University, and I had to choose only one. Now, this was a decision I could not take lightly, because whichever one I picked, it would define what my whole career later on will become. Here are the three film majors offered by ASU:
Film and Media Studies. This is literally the study of movies and the role that they play in our mass media. Subjects for this major would include race and gender, sex and violence, narrative structure, and screenwriting. The one thing that attracted me to this major was screenwriting, since I found that's the one aspect that really excites
Filmmaking Practices. This is the major that all film students start with, the study of the legalistic and law side of making movies. Subjects for this major would prepare for careers such as being an agent, lawyer, casting director, or any business related side of film.
Film and Media Production. This is exactly what it sounds like, the making of a movie from developing the idea to filming on set to editing everything in post. I have studied the creative process a bit more, and saw that a usual week of production lasts 12 hours a day, six days a week. This is intense, fast-paced work.
Overall, I have reached the conclusion that I want to pursue Film and Media Studies. How did I reach this conclusion? I
asked myself, "When I watch a movie, what do I see in it?" For instance, when watching The Wizard of Oz, do I sit there pondering the process the production crew went through to make a believable tornado appear onscreen? Do I think about the money that could be made off of Judy Garland's new hit wonder? Or do I look into the story and see a tale of a girl's journey to find out what home really is? Honestly, it's the last one that I see, for every movie I watch. While I may be giving up some opportunities by not doing Film and Media Production, I really do feel that I would be much happier by pursuing Film and Media Studies with a concentration in writing screenplays. That way, I can still write a story that potentially makes it to the silver screen, use my creativity skills, see my finished work right in front of my eyes as translated by another, and hopefully win an Oscar someday!
By Patty Pacelli
This is Patty, Trevor's mom. Trevor spent the two years after high school living at home and attending our local community college. He received his AA, and we all decided Trevor was ready to go away to a university and get his Bachelor's degree. In March of 2013, after creating extensive charts and mathematical rating systems to aid in his decision, he chose Arizona State University in Tempe. Thus began the preparations, like any student would make, plus a few additional concerns due to the autism factor. His dad and I spent a lot of time discussing everything we could think of with Trevor, and he was full of questions.
We knew that a single dorm room was an option at this university, because we had asked about it on our campus tour earlier that year. Trevor had also applied to ASU's Disability Resource Center (DRC) so that he could receive any accommodations needed. He was assigned a counselor and asked if he would like to attend the university's Early Start Program, which would give him more time to adjust to campus with fewer students around. We all agreed that would be a great help to him, so we booked our flights for August 1.
We stayed with family members for a few days and moved Trevor into his room on August 4. We stayed in town a few days and left on August 7. We took him out to dinner the night before we left and gave him our last bits of advice, then dropped him off at his dorm room and said goodbye. It was a little sad, and Trevor was watching me closely to see if I was going to cry. I got a little watery, but was OK.
After coming home to Seattle, his dad and I were thrilled to see photos of Trevor on Facebook, and new Facebook friends added. We talked to him about a week after he had been there, and he said he didn't really miss home because, "I just love being on my own so much." I was not surprised by this, because on the day we were helping him move in, I could tell he was very anxious for us to leave him alone in his new home.
He has been calling us once a week, and has had some loneliness, but overall is having no trouble living on his own and handling college life. He has started attending a church, taken the bus to a shopping center, tried several clubs, and eaten out with a few people. Friendships will be the most difficult thing for him, so we hope he meets some students with whom he can form a bond. It's going well so far!
Inspiration for Life with Autism
This blog has a variety of articles about people living life with autism, and topics and ideas that can help in the journey. Guest bloggers are welcome. Inspired by Trevor, a young adult film critic, photographer and college graduate on the autism spectrum.