PSA Encourages Diversity

Clinical Assistant Screenwriting Professor Paul Chitlik’s PSA Look Around, about people with disabilities, is getting a lot of play. Produced by LMU students, including Eli Portillo (PROD – M.F.A ’16) as DP and Khalilah Waajid (PROD – M.F.A ’17) as editor and an SFTV student crew (and a couple of student extras), it premiered at the WGA Theater, and continues to screen ahead of films shown there all month. It’s also featured on the WGA’s online magazine, and last month, it played at Sundance during a panel on diversity in film. The panel was hosted by RJ Mitte, an actor with mild cerebral palsy who is best known for his portrayal of Walter ‘Flynn’ White, Jr. on the AMC hit television show Breaking Bad.

Chitlik pitched the idea for Look Around to help shed light on people with disabilities – a population that is often overlooked in film – to the Writers with Disabilities Committee of the WGAW and brought Michael Doughtery on board to write a script. Chitlik then suggested producing it on the LMU campus. The purpose of the PSA, he said, is to encourage writers to consider specifying people with disabilities in some capacity in their screenplays. While there are no campus screenings planned, the PSA is available for use by LMU instructors at any time.