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From spectrum to spotlight: Alex's cinematic odyssey

5 minute read

Alex has always been fascinated by the magic of movies. As a person on the autism spectrum, he saw the world through a unique lens, and his creative dreams of making short films and acting burned brightly in his heart.

At a young age, Alex landed a paid studio audience gig at Network 10. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was captivated by the behind-the-scenes of moviemaking, igniting a fire within him to pursue his passion even further. He spent countless hours researching, learning, and honing his skills in screenwriting and filmmaking. 

Alex overcame various obstacles and managed to produce multiple short films by utilising his network of connections that he established while working as a paid audience member. He cast these individuals as actors in his films, and his dedication paid off; his short films and scripts started gaining recognition, and he won multiple awards at local competitions and film festivals.

Alex’s artistic touch in short films, including The Thief, The Figure that Follows, The Figure in the Backyard, Hidden Helix and Sky Lights, can be viewed at:

https://youtube.com/@bluedoorproductions

He was encouraged by the positive feedback he received and was more determined than ever to take his passion to the next level – film production. 

However, Alex knew that he needed a stable source of income to sustain himself while pursuing his dream. Though he was freelancing as a photography assistant, he understood the practicality of securing employment, so he started searching for a job that could provide him with financial stability. However, as he grew older, he faced challenges due to his high-functioning autism, making it difficult to navigate the job market. But everything changed when he joined Asuria's Disability Employment Services (DES) program in March 2020.

At Asuria, Alex was paired with Eastern Suburbs Area Manager Glenn as his Mentor. Glenn immediately recognised Alex's potential, and they agreed that Alex needed a formal qualification to secure a job. Glenn signed Alex up for his white card and arranged meetings with potential employers, including Ventia, one of the largest essential infrastructure services providers in Australia and New Zealand.

In February 2021, Alex landed a part-time job as a cleaner at Ventia in Townhall, Sydney. He was excited to be part of a team that included 85 other individuals with disabilities. While he enjoyed his job, his passion for filmmaking remained strong. He expressed his aspirations to Mentors Glenn and Kaitlyn, who took a keen interest in helping him achieve his dreams.

Kaitlyn invested considerable time in getting to know Alex, understanding the barriers he faced and his deep love for the film industry. They worked together during their regular appointments, crafting creative resumes, including video resumes tailored for the film industry. Kaitlyn went above and beyond, dedicating her time to helping Alex make connections and find assistant production roles in film and television.

Now more than two years into employment with Ventia as a part-time cleaner and continuing to put in the hard work to achieve his dreams, Alex remains hopeful and grateful to Asuria for the assistance he has received.

“Glenn had strong communication skills, especially with people like me who are high on the spectrum, and that helped.

“Asuria helped me work on resumes and cover letters, which I am grateful for. My long-term career goal is to write, direct and assist in film productions. I write many movie scripts because my imagination is full of ideas, and I’m hoping to be able to do that,” Alex says. 

Kaitlyn reflects on her experience working with Alex, highlighting his immense ambition.

"When I first met Alex, he needed very little assistance, but as I got to know him better, I realised how big his dreams were. It inspired me to learn about a new industry and do everything I could to help him gain production experience. He's already an award-winning short film director and watching him fearlessly pursue his dreams with his unique and creative mind is the best part of working with him," she says.

Asuria continues to support Alex to fulfill his career dreams in the film and television industry, and we wish him the best of luck on this journey!

If you have a disability, injury, or health condition and would like assistance in preparing, finding and keeping a job, please check out our Disability Employment Services here to find out more! 

Written By

Asuria