Meet Spring Horton.
She’s an Autistic with a goal: Create a divergent film series about an Autistic detective, Atticus McLaren.
“The Atticus McLaren Mysteries started two years ago as a series of novellas. I’d been seeing disability representation on the rise and thought it would be nice to have a book series about an adult autistic character whose story didn’t revolve around his autism.
“So, Atticus was born.
Then Atticus turned out to be a lot like me, Spring Horton, your screenwriter and director for this series.
“He’s an archaeologist, who works in a museum, and just happens to (usually accidentally) get involved in solving crimes. It didn’t take long for me to realize that it would make a good TV show too.
“I just happened to have an MA in directing and knew a lot of actors. Not that that was the original plan.
“I thought about simply selling the script, but eventually realized that I’d rather make this show myself. So, after a lot of discussion with my colleagues, that’s exactly what we decided to do!”
Horton has reached out to the Autistic community for feedback and collaboration — and is gaining financial support for this project via a Seed & Spark campaign.
This project is so exciting, InternationalBadassActivists.org has proudly partnered with Spring Horton’s company, Divergent Productions
— and we are now officially #TeamAtticus!
Future reads, interviews with producer, actors and Spring Horton’s progress to make this series a reality will be posted on the badass site soon.
They can be found in these categories: The Creative, Special Interests and the #TeamAtticus special section.
It’s time to support Autistic filmmakers
Please join InternationalBadassActivists.org (and me, Eve Reiland!) in supporting autistic voice in filmmaking and donate or amplify news about the project.
Will you join us on #TeamAtticus?
The Atticus McLaren Mysteries is much more than an amateur detective story. It’s one of family, friendship, and one man’s journey to find his place in a world that often doesn’t understand him.
Atticus McLaren likes a quiet life. He likes gardening, photography, archaeology, and detective shows. He’s also autistic, prefers to work at his museum job after hours, and has a few personality quirks. His quiet life is turned upside down though when he runs into Freddy Spinner spying in his verge. Freddy is everything Atticus isn’t. She’s spunky, excitable, spontaneous…a lesbian. For some reason, Atticus clicks with her anyway.
When strange things begin to happen at his museum, Atticus enlists Freddy’s help to figure out what’s going on. As things escalate and the night security guard turns up dead, it’s up to him and Freddy, along with his estranged brother, Scout and Detective Sergeant Drake Mallard to solve the mystery before they end up corpses themselves. Along the way, Atticus and Scout work on their differences, Atticus learns to live outside his comfort zone, and he tries to work out why Sergeant Mallard seems so interested in him.
After a year of planning, here we are. We started our own production company, Divergence Productions, figured out when and where to film, even managed to attract some fans and actors to help us out, went through a few growing pains, and are now ready to share Atticus with you.
Representation was something that was always important to us. Many of us are autistic ourselves or have a family member who is, but many of us are part of the LGBT community too and it was just as important that this was represented in our story as well. Most of the main characters, including Atticus and his best friend Freddy Spinner are LGBT. We have a transgender character being played by a transgender actor as well as a transgender cinematographer. On top of that, all of the creative heads are either female, transgender, or non-binary. We are looking to push the envelope both on-screen and off.
One challenge has been that this story was always set in the UK. Luckily, most of the cast and crew are there as well, but some of us are in the US. This has led to some very creative management fixes and me, as producer, relying heavily on the generous work of my cast and crew to get a lot of things done for me. With funding in place, those of us in the US will be able to go to Edinburgh to scout locations and get together to finally get the ball rolling. We will be filming in the great city of Edinburgh, as well as the surrounding areas, Portobello and other beaches, and the city’s green spaces.
We really hope you decide to take Atticus’ journey with him. We’ll be posting updates (hopefully daily) that will let you get to know the cast and crew and the story or our hero!
About The Team
Though we have writing and theatre experience, filmmaking is new for much of my team.
We’re really looking forward to taking what we know and transfer it to a new kind of filmmaking. What we’re putting together is more like a collaborative family where everyone’s voices are heard and considered.
The plan is to create an atmosphere where people care more about the project than just showing up and getting paid, and hopefully, our team will want to work together again and again.
Amanda Prosser | Director of Photography
We’ve only known Amanda for a couple of months, but she’s been a huge help and inspiration already! She’s creative, funny, and always ready to help. And she also gave us our second transgender crew member!
Emma Summers | Co-Producer
Elizabeth Lockwood | Co-producer/DI Bruce Barnes
M’writing colleague convinced me that I should make the show myself. And a partnership was reborn. Plus, Bruce is our transgender character and it’s awesome to have m’coll playing him!
Francine Melcher | Production Designer/Assistant
Faithful cohort for years, Francine is my sounding board, always ready to consider my ideas and give me an honest opinion. She’s been on the business end of the entertainment world for decades.
Thomas Jennings | Atticus McLaren
A lot of consideration went into choosing who’d play our main character, but in the end, Tom won out. Even though he’s twenty years younger than the original character, he fits the personality very, very well and is easy to work with!
Rebekah Wheeler | Assistant Director/ Constable Haig
I’ve only known Rebekah for about a year and we started out by writing together. From there, things got a little crazy until now, we’re directing together and she’s even stepping into one of the roles to fulfill a dream of acting.
We’ve been lucky to attract the attention of some established actors (much to our own surprise and excited screeching!). One of them is-
Simon Kane | Humphrey Atherton
I’m sure many of you will know Simon Kane from his work with John Finnemore or Mitchell & Webb. We’ve been big fans for years and are grateful and humbled to be able to be able to work with him!
Mirren Childs | Emerald Lemmons
Mirren was someone we already knew, which meant we knew how much experience she had, how good she was, and that she’d be perfect for the part of Atticus McLaren’s spitfire former professor!
Mark Dawson | Grant Hildebrand
Another actor and friend we knew well, Mark actually read for a couple of different roles, but liked this one for…well, reasons we can’t tell you yet!
Victoria Roberts | Hair&Makeup
We’ve only just attached Victoria, so we’re still getting to know her and each other’s working styles. We hope she’ll become as devoted to Atticus as the rest of us!
And for the other big name actor we’ve attached (in fact, he was the first actor we attached to this project!) we give you-
Aaron Douglas | Cornelius Smith
You might remember Aaron as Chief Tyrol from Battlestar Galactica or more recently as Gordon Rimmer in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Getting his interest was really what started the ball rolling on this project and got us to buckle down and put everything into it!
Seed & Spark Donation Incentives
Social Media Shoutout
We’ll let the whole world know how wonderful you are on all our social media platforms, complete with your very own graphic!
Thank You Letter
A personal thank you letter from Atticus McLaren himself! Individually written for you and emailed straight to your inbox. Plus, social media shoutout.
We’ll send you the actor’s audition videos, plus exclusive access to the finished series before it airs! Plus all previous incentives.
“So, I bet you’re wondering, why all these pledges by Spring…to her own campaign?
Well, it’s because we’re in the middle of our dollar match blast.
From now through Saturday, I’m matching every donation, dollar for dollar, up to $500 total. Right now, we have $375!
That still leaves $125 to raise today and tomorrow.
So, if you’ve followed, but are thinking of donating, or have donated and are thinking of donating again, now is a great time!
Thanks for everything Team Atticus!
Set of Atticus McLaren Books
Get all 5 novellas in The Atticus McLaren Mysteries book series! Delivered as ebooks. Plus all previous incentives.
Cast Digital Art
Caricature artwork of The Atticus McLaren Mysteries cast!
Want a say in the show? At this level we’re offering to let you in online production meetings, have your name in the credits as Executive, and we’re throwing in an invite for you and a guest to the premiere party. (travel not included)