DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Civic Engagement: Making of the PSA for Autism Society of America


This PSA is created by Dani Bowman, an animation major at Woodbury University, who also happens to be on the Autism Spectrum.


This video was upload on Facebook March 31st, 2017, and went viral with over 20k views, 505 reactions, and 293 shares in 3 weeks. This was shown to over 4,000 AMC theaters nationwide as part of Autism Awareness Month. It was also shown at AutFest, April 22nd-23rd at AMC Orange 30 in Orange County.


Dani Bowman

Animation, Character Designs, Storyboard, Voiceover,

Music Producer


Matthew Manning



Maddison Shafer



Lauren Dair Owens

Original Song

"Better for You"


DeMarco Productions





About Autism Society of America


Autism Socitey of America is a non-profit autism organization that provides services for individual with autism, from childhood to adulthood.


1 in 68 are diagnosed  with autism

Over 5,000 individuals with autism will turn 18

90% of adults with autism are unemployed or underemployed regardless of their education and IQ level


The goal for this organization is to have individuals with autism to have a productive and successful life.


More info at:




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The Beginning of the PSA Production


Matthew Anser and Matthew Manning had ideas on doing a PSA for Autism Society of America to be shown at AMC theaters for Autism Awareness Month. The idea started in Novmeber.


At first, Matthew Manning pitched the ideas to Asner:


After I read these two ideas/suggestions from Manning, I came up an idea for the PSA. 



When I emailed my pitch to Matt Asner, this is what our email conversation looks like:


My email to Asner:


"Hi Matt,

I really like Matthew's idea 1 and 2. Attached is my take on it, but I would be happy to work on whatever you and Matthew decide.
By the way, congrats to Matthew for his marriage, and him teaching at my university. It's going to be cool to see him around campus. I really hope we have a chance to work together.

It would so cool to have him as a mentor."


Manning's reply to Asner and Me:


"Hello Matt and Dani,


Dani, I like your ideas a lot.  Thank you for the congratulations on my marriage.
Matt, One thing I forgot to ask?  The running time of the spot.  I assume it is 30 seconds.
Maybe we can all have lunch one day next week.  I am working the night shift at Buddies (5pm - 2am), so I am available to meet anyway.
Talk to you both soon,
-Matt M."


That is when the production started. :)


Manning's email:


"Hello Dani,

Here are a few things that should be done for our meeting this coming Wednesday.
-Character designs of all characters in the film.
-Story beats (the four different time periods we will see).
-First draft of story boards.
-Ideas for back grounds.
-Be sure to bring the song you want us to listen to.
We should remember that we only have 30 seconds for this short.  This might effect the music that we use depending on how quickly the lyrics are sung.
Also, for Matt Asner:  What are our deliverables? (aspect ratio, frame rate, video package, etc,)
Talk to you guys soon,
-Matthew Manning"



 This email is just to for the viewer's display. DO NOT USE/STEAL THE IDEAS FROM the owner.


Below is the Character Designs and Storyboards for the Autism Society PSA, DO NOT USE/STEAL the images without the owners approval.


Thank you.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
User-uploaded Content

Character Turnaround Sketch of the 2-year-old Alice.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

The Musical Track for the Autism Society of America PSA is avalible now!


The music is composed by the famous actress and muscian Lauren Dair Owens (Portrayed as "Young Zoey" from Fox's New Girl). This music was originally composed for Dani's second animated short, The Namazu (which premiered at San Diego Comic-Con along with Mr. Raindrop in 2012). Now it's remade for the PSA showing all through April at AMC theaters.


You can listen more of Lauren Dair's music at her soundcloud!



About the Music Production


The idea of the music 25 second PSA began when I was thought back to the song that Lauren Dair Owens previous performed from my second animated short, The Namazu (2012). The original song is called Better For You. 


The lyrics fits to the PSA because the lines like "I know it's hard, but life is too, we're just trying to make it better for you." reminds me of helping someone with autism have an independent, fullfilling, and successful life.


The music was remastered at the DeMarco Productions music studio, where Bob DeMarco (the owner of DeMarco Productions) directed the music, Lauren Dair Owens resang the lyrics.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

The PSA that I animated for Autism Society of America featured in the newsletter press release below:



Cheri Warner | Nicole Player
Weissman/Markovitz Communications


New PSA Campaign Encourages Communities Everywhere to Understand
Autism and Enhance the Lives of Those Affected And Will Be Shown
In All AMC Theaters Nationwide
LOS ANGELES, April 3, 2016 - In celebration of April as Autism Awareness month, the Autism Society has launched a public service announcement campaign to increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the autism spectrum. AMC Theaters has partnered with Autism Society and will show the PSA during the month of April in all AMC Theaters throughout the country. In addition, the Autism Society premieres AUTFEST Film Festival: From Spectrum to Screen, the first film festival celebrating the role film is now playing in autism awareness, April 22-23, in partnership with AMC Orange 30.  
The unique animated PSA was created by award winning artist Dani Bowman, herself on the spectrum and an accomplished animator.  Bowman has premiered 6 award-wining animated short films at San Diego Comic-Con each year for the past 5 years.  Her shorts feature the voices of Joe Mantegna, Tom Kenny (Sponge Bob), June Foray, and Stella Ritter in addition to other voice actors on the autism spectrum. She also worked closely on Joey Travolta's Inclusion Films. 
“Autism Society feels the importance of giving a voice to the people affected with Autism. We are honored that Dani Bowman, a supremely talented young animator who is also autistic has created this PSA reflecting our desire to help all people with autism live a life of dignity and respect.,” said Matthew Asner, Autism Society VP of Development. “We are proud of Dani and grateful for our partnership with AMC Theaters for allowing our voice to be shared.”
Nine feature-length films are slated to screen at the AUTFEST Film Festival. They include The Accountant (followed by a Q&A with honoree Ben Affleck), Asperger’s Are Us, Inside Out (followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera) and the Oscar-nominated documentary Life, Animated. The full list can be viewed at autfestasa.com

TICKETS/PASSES: Tickets, festival passes and passes to the VIP Closing Reception can be purchased at autfestasa.com
Presented by the Autism Society, AutFest International Film Festival’s mission is to further advance the wellbeing of all with an autism diagnosis, as well as to educate our nation about autism and the important need to fully respect and value each person with autism.  We wish to celebrate films that promote autism awareness and that have the power to enhance the lives of our community.  We also wish to honor and support autistic filmmakers and artists that have chosen film as their profession. For more information, visit autfestasa.com or follow AutFest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Founded in 1965, the Autism Society is the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, and exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism.  We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the autism spectrum, advocation for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education and research.  The Society maintains a strong nationwide network of affiliates to provide support and grassroots advocacy at local, state and federal levels. www.autism-society.org
AMC is the largest movie exhibition company in the U.S., Europe and the world with approximately 900 theatres and more than 10,000 screens across the globe. AMC has propelled innovation in the exhibition industry by deploying more plush power-recliner seats, delivering enhanced food and beverage choices, generating greater guest engagement through its loyalty program, web site and smart phone apps, offering premium large format experiences and playing a wide variety of content including independent programming. AMC operates among the most productive theatres in the United States’ top markets, having the #1 or #2 market share positions in 22 of the 25 largest metropolitan areas of the United States, including the top three markets (NY, LA, Chicago). Through its Odeon subsidiary, AMC operates in seven European countries and is the #1 theatre chain in the UK & Ireland, Italy and Spain. For more information, go to www.amctheatres.com.
Matt Asner • Autism Society • masner@autism-society.org
Kayleigh Millet • Autism Society • kmillet@autism-society.org
Cheri Warner • Nicole Player • Weissman/Markovitz Communications
Ken Rose • 818.999.9356 • KenRose@mac.com
Rhonda Bedikian • 818.522.3624 • rbedikian@gmail.com
Autism Society
4340 East-West Hwy, Suite 350, Bethesda, Maryland 20814
301.657.0881 or 1.800.3AUTISM
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.