In this episode, I had the honor of talking with Ben Lewin, who directed the Star Trek inspired film ‘Please Stand By’, starring Dakota Fanning.
Dakota Fanning plays Wendy, who is a brilliant autistic woman. The story follows Wendy as she leaves the only home she’s ever known to make a trek from Oakland to Paramount Studios in LA to submit her Star Trek screenplay. Her journey weaves through unexpected challenges and encounters, including a Klingon speaking Police Officer played by Patton Oswalt, while her sister (Alice Eve) and caregiver (Toni Collette) follow close behind.
Now Ben’s calm demeanor can set anyone at ease. He was extremely polite, yet very passionate about his craft.
This interview was done via phone, and as we talked we found ourselves laughing over things. He is, after all, a fun guy to talk with.
We had to dive into the conversation quickly as our time to chat was pretty limited. We could’ve talked for hours, at least I felt that way.
As shared in the interview I didn’t want to ask questions he’s already answered several times before. We figure if you’re interested in other things he’s had to say, you’d be interested in clicking those links and reading those interviews yourself. Our podcast runs around 30 minutes on average, and we want to respect your time, as well as his. Links are below.
Now personally my impression of the movie was very positive. While it can be easy to criticize a film or even the critics who wrote about it, I don’t believe that is constructive. To be honest, I wanted to see more from each character and storyline… which is a good sign to me that it’s a movie one should see.
There were a lot more questions I had listed that I wanted to dive into, but couldn’t due to the limited time we had together.
I was very glad to see several autistic individuals already in the film (Lexi Aaron and others in the group home) and I felt as though highlighting those individuals who are autistic was more important than plowing through a series of questions. It was also good to see our friend Elaine Hall who started the Miracle Project helped a lot during the course of the film, and as Ben Lewis said, she was a guiding hand throughout filming. (Kudos to Elaine!).
There was so much that Ben dove into in the conversation, we could’ve gone at least a few more hours. I’m grateful that this movie was directed by someone who is a part of the special needs community, and that is reflected in the movie.
Thank you again to Ben for taking some time, and thank you all for reading this and listening to the podcast.
Please Stand By will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD on May 1.
For more episodes of the Autisable Dads Podcast, click this link: https://autisable.com/multimedia/autisable-dads-life-with-autism-podcast/
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Here are those links of other interviews and websites we’ve come across while preparing for this podcast as mentioned in the podcast:
New York Times – https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/25/movies/please-stand-by-review-dakota-fanning.html
Den of Geek (referenced in the podcast) – http://www.denofgeek.com/us/movies/please-stand-by/270736/please-stand-by-is-a-love-letter-to-star-trek
IMDb.com – https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0506802/bio