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The Spectrum

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  • Feature The Spectrum

    Logline: A single mother enrolls her aggressive, non-verbal son into a clinical trial of a new treatment for autism. The drug produces an amazing breakthrough, but they struggle with how these dramatic changes impact their lives.

    Synopsis: What would happen if one day, a low functioning, non-verbal autistic teenager, woke up completely normal?

    That's what happens to single mother Marie's son, Charlie. He can’t speak and is increasingly aggressive. Marie enrolls him into a clinical trial of a drug that might help his condition.[at]

    They meet Dr. Kaufman, a compassionate doctor who gives Charlie the experimental medication. After several weeks, Charlie wakes up one morning and seems completely normal. Marie and Charlie’s sister, Kayleigh, are overjoyed to see him escape his autistic world. Charlie explains to them that though he couldn’t speak or respond, he was completely aware of everything that happened around him.[at]

    Charlie decides to share his story to Nina, a senior at his high school with a love for video production. During their interview sessions, Charlie describes being in a world very different from what ‘normal’ people experience. Nina and Charlie fall for each other as they work on a documentary called “The Spectrum”. However, Charlie’s cure has a flaw that will devastate everyone that is close to him.

    “The Spectrum” is a cross between Awakenings and Bridge to Terabithia. With imaginative fantasy sequences, this film will movingly illustrate what autistic children are experiencing. It will also show the amazing sacrifices that parents of special needs children make in their daily lives. [at]

    I am flexible about profit sharing and upfront fees. It is more important to me that a quality film is made. Thanks!


  • #2
    Hey! I love this! How much would you charge for us, to make this into a non-profit film. We recently started a new program to create full length features and donate them to non profits. (We are a student run film copay). Thanks!


    • #3
      Please contact me

      my email is pdh1[at]


      • #4
        Just one question, what makes this part work? I am aware there is a lot to the story I am not aware of:

        "Charlie decides to share his story to Nina, a senior at his high school..."

        How does Charlie have a high school if he has been non-verbal and low functioning?



        • #5
          He has been going to the same high school as the 'normal kids', but was in a special needs class. He was completely aware of his surroundings and understood what people were saying, but was unable to respond because of his autism. After the drug cures him, that barrier was removed. Like someone removing a gag from your mouth.


          • #6
            Watch this clip from 20/20 and you will see how this could be possible:


            • #7
              That is an incredible story and very enlightening.

              But here again, she was not in a normal school. Your character is described as unable to respond. If he is unable to respond how did he progress to high school? I am just looking for how it is that he is at a normal school, even in special needs classes, while he is unable to respond. With no feedback from him there can be no progress.

              I'm really not trying to be a jerk, I am just looking for the element that makes it work. Like I said, I know there is tons about the story I don't know.



              • #8
                He was already in high school. Most high schools, almost all public schools, have special ed classrooms for teens that have autism. So he was already there, understanding what everyone was saying, but unable to reply or react. Once that barrier is removed, he can express himself as a 'normal' kid does. After his cure, he helps out in old classroom. He gives the teacher insights into what the kids are thinking and feeling, etc.