Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 4, 2012.

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Help me for the final production of my film called "When I Walk", about my diagnosis with multiple sclerosis.

"...my doctors were telling me that in five years I would be in a wheelchair, possibly without eyesight..."

Please help me get this film finished!

I put my story to the screen with my first feature documentary. Help support the finish of When I Walk - all donations are tax-deductible through the non-profit 501c3 When I Walk Inc., raising MS and other disability awareness and advocacy.

About the film:

When I Walk is a feature-length, point-of-view narrative film documenting my rapid loss of mobility over a five-year period, my emotional journey, and my pursuit of a new identity.  Five years ago, after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I discovered there were few stories or personal accounts documenting the physical and emotional experience of multiple sclerosis.  While there is an array of resources written from a medical perspective, there are no documentary narratives exploring the unusual and surreal experience of watching your body rapidly deteriorate.  Given that multiple sclerosis is the most common neurological disease, I found this surprising. I wanted to understand the journey of those who had gone before me, yet there were few accounts.  My doctors were telling me that in five years I would be in a wheelchair, possibly without eyesight, and perhaps also losing the ability to use my hands.  At the time, I did not believe the doctors. Nonetheless, being a filmmaker, I decided to turn the camera on myself and begin recording.  Now after five years, some of what was foretold has come true.  I am now in a wheelchair and have lost all mobility in my legs.  Fortunately, however, I have captured the experience and created a documentary narrative chronicling this emotional and physical experience.

Having now made this journey and crossed the threshold from able-bodied to disabled, I see this film as an important work exploring concepts of aging and disability that holds great meaning for a wide audience.  As we age, everyone moves closer to various levels of disability.  Abled-bodies are temporary and ephemeral states of being.  This film turns the idea of health on its head, empowering those struggling with disease or disabilities to reform identity, and see their difference not as ‘disease’ but rather as different states of being.  We all have different struggles, but they’re more similar than we think. The civil rights movement for persons with disabilities has lagged behind other movements since its inception.  Typically miscategorized as a health or medical challenge, rather than an issue of human rights and social justice, persons with disabilities remain a highly marginalized segment of our population in the U.S. and abroad.  People are typically surprised to learn that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was only just passed in 1990.  Its primary purpose was to grant social justice and inclusion to those with disabilities.  At its twenty-year anniversary signing last year in 2010, Obama spoke and referenced its many shortcomings.  Similar legislation in various countries across the world reflects similar failures.  In the U.S. and abroad, the challenge to bring social inclusion to those with disabilities is enormous and cannot be understated.  There is a need to recreate and reignite the movement for social justice.

                 When I Walk, the film, provides an emotional narrative of the experience of becoming disabled, and reframes the disability identity.  "Nothing about us without us", we begin authoring and weaving stories told from our perspective. When I Walk provides fodder for discussion, inspiration, and new identity to those affected by multiple sclerosis and those with disabilities.  It speaks to universal experiences of aging, loss, and identity.  Most importantly, my hope is that When I Walk will create a new framework for seeing disability and disease as different states of being – rather than impoverished and lesser states of being.

How Will I Use Your Donation?

Funds raised will be used for:

  • Offline editing
  • Wrap-up production shoots
  • Feedback screening preparation
  • Sound design and audio mix

How Far Along is When I Walk?

I know…I know – it’s been going on forever! I liken the film to fine wine - it gets better with age! But honestly, I’m close! The production is almost done (85%)!  The film will be a full-length feature, and the story spans over six years.

Help me tell my story and the story of thousands living with MS - thank you.

When Will This Documentary Be Complete?

I plan to wrap it all up by the end of 2012. The feedback screenings are a critical part of the the process. A successful Kickstarter drive will make this happen.

Here's some media on the film and the process:

A New Inquiry article "When Jason Walks" by Elizabeth Greenwood

My ongoing video blog, with unseen material not in the film

Help me tell my story and the story of thousands living with MS - thank you.

FAQ

  • As many of you know, making a film is not an easy task. Especially when it's a film about yourself! Normally, I do things myself–shooting editing you name it.But because I have a degenerating body, things have gone more challenging for myself!

    Your donation will be used towards the following:

    Off-line and online editing ( this is where the film gets made - on the computer workstation, where I work with talented editors)

    - shooting any other scenes that need to be in the film.

    - new music compositions ( able-bodied or not, I've never been able to do this myself!)

    -Story writer consultation ( working with people love a good sense of story structure, allowing me to craft my story in the filmic structure)

    - Most crucial, we'll be having feedback screenings shortly–this allows the team to get a sense of what works were destined in the film.

    - Distribution and marketing

    - Outreach and public relations

    as you can see, the list goes on and on....

    Last updated:
  • Later this year or possibly January 2013–I promise!

    Last updated:
  • Big things up my sleeve–you'll see! everything is coming out of the nonprofit called When I Walk Inc. (http://www.wheniwalkinc.org) We have a mission to serve people with multiple sclerosis and other disabilities to arts, media, and technology.

    Last updated:
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    “The Gold Wheelchair” backer status – $250 or more All the above AND INCLUDING Online copies of Jason DaSilva’s previous films- “Olivia’s Puzzle”, “A Song For Daniel” and “Twins Of Mankala” - all films featured in Sundance and the Tribeca Film Festivals and seen on HBO or PBS. These can be available in March 2012, and the film "When I Walk" will be delivered later when completed and ready to ship!

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    All of the above AND INCLUDING a private screening of “When I Walk” for any of your guests, be it at institution or other venue, and a one-hour accessibility workshop for over 30 people provided by When I Walk Inc. (http://www.wheniwalkinc.org)

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Funding period

- (60 days)