Patrick O'Brien, aka TransFatty, is one of the few people who worked with both Karen/me in the late 1990's/early 2000's in NYC. All the work Patrick/I did was for a dotcom incubator and never saw the light of day, but Karen and Patrick were able to work on some projects that still make me LOL years after they were produced.
Patrick is a filmmaker, designer and Internet meme builder who is living with ALS. Being an artist, he knew his ALS would make a great character in a film about his life. TransFatty Lives premiered last night at the TriBeCa film festival.
And my favorite.
Now you're thinking, "that's touching and all, but how is this something that is designed for the fringe?"
The Fringe Part
TransFatty Lives is something that is designed by the fringe. Patrick is lovely and wildly inappropriate. That's one of the things that makes him amazing. It's just who he is.
- People will be interested in this film because of Patrick's feat. (e.g., I've done a lot, but I've never made a movie about my life and I don't even have ALS.)
- People will be interested in the film because it's got ALS as a character. (see also The Theory of Everything)
- People will be interested in this film because they thought about ALS long enough to do the ice bucket challenge last summer. (Yes I did one. For Patrick. Read Patrick's thoughts in Time about the ALS bucket challenge.)
But the person who will be most interested in the film is his son. Sean is the target audience.
The rest of us, the fringe audience in this case, will try desperately to understand what it's like to have ALS while we watch the film. And since someone with a "disability" made the film, we get permission to hold Patrick up as an object of our inspiration porn (e.g. "He's so inspirational. He made a move about ALS while having ALS.).
I can't wait to see the movie. I know it will be arty, funny and inappropriate. Just like Patrick.
The NEA focuses an entire issue on the arts and accessibility to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. *Swoon*
A film about sex, parenthood, ALS and the life of one man. You are not the target audience for this film.
A smart example of using technology in a way that makes sense, not just technology for technology sake.
In a recent conversation I was asked about caregivers who are kicking ass at caregiving. There are many examples of caregiving done right.
A summary of Fringe Design: Tackling Disability and Death at SXSW (with Evan Carroll).
Articles related to Designing for the Fringe.
Going beyond "let me know how I can help."
Tim LaFollette and the Often Awesome Army.
P.S. Patrick is continuing to rack up praise for his film, even winning the audience award at the TriBeCa film festival over the weekend.