Jake is a main character in the British short film Silent Things.
Director Rob Brown considered it a big responsibility to be honest about the subject. He wanted the actors to spend time with autistic people to prepare for the role, and did not want to cast people who couldn't do that. They ended up visiting a center for autistic people for a day. The "special thanks" section of the film mentions the National Autistic Society and its then-PR officer Kimi Gill.
The role of Jake was initially written for Benedict Cumberbatch, however he was working on BBC's Sherlock Holmes in the titular role and thus another actor was sought.
An earlier draft of the film contained a neurotypical social worker named Charlotte, Jake, and a 10-year-old girl. Charlotte suspects that Jake has a predatory relationship with the girl and is torn over whether or not to say something or report him.
Between the research and wanting to make sure that all involved parties with happy with the script, it took 6 months to write it.
Jake and his friend Charlotte, who is also autistic, fly a kite at the beach. The next day, Jake is approached by Amy, a 15-year-old who's run away from home. She tells a white lie to get some rowdy bystanders to back off. She explains to Jake what a white lie is, and Jake replies that he can't lie due to his Asperger's. When Charlotte joins in, Jake tells her that Amy is his new friend. Charlotte warns him that making friends is not as simple as that and that Amy might not be the right friend. When Jake doesn't listen, Charlotte walks away. He joins Amy in taking the ferry but starts getting agitated, which alerts a pair of police officers. Amy lies that she doesn't know him, that he's just some guy she met who asked her to go on the ferry with him. Eventually Jake is let off with a warning. Charlotte awaits him but he gives her a brief look and then walks past her. The next day, they are flying a kite together again.
Jake is referred to as autistic in the film's synopsis. He also describes himself as having Asperger syndrome.
- The Fastidious Fate of Things That Fly, another kite-themed short film
- closing credits
- https://directorsnotes.com/2010/07/11/dn172-silent-things-rob-brown/ 12:45
- https://directorsnotes.com/2010/07/11/dn172-silent-things-rob-brown/ 19:30
- https://directorsnotes.com/2010/07/11/dn172-silent-things-rob-brown/ 18:00
- https://directorsnotes.com/2010/07/11/dn172-silent-things-rob-brown/ 14:00
- https://directorsnotes.com/2010/07/11/dn172-silent-things-rob-brown/ 21:20
- https://directorsnotes.com/2010/07/11/dn172-silent-things-rob-brown/ 24:50
- SILENT THINGS → — WhiteLantern Film. White Lantern Film. Retrieved on 2023-08-13. “The friendship between an autistic man and woman becomes threatened when an impulsive teenage girl comes between them.”