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Many of us have dreams to make our own television shows or movies, but few of us are fortunate, talented, and/or lucky/driven enough to make that happen. But thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, one terminally ill 7-year-old from the U.K. was able to do just that.
Clark Doyle from Northwest England was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy 3 years ago at the age of 4. The disease is a particular form of MD caused by a mutation in the dystrophin gene, which is involved in muscle fiber strength and connective tissue. The disease only manifests in males, though females can be carriers. There’s no cure for the disease, which causes weakness and loss of muscle mass, usually starting in the legs and pelvis, and then moving on to the arms, torso, and other areas. The disease causes muscle tissues to atrophy to the extent that most children afflicted by this condition are confined to a wheelchair by age 12, and eventually causes paralysis and death (life expectancy is approximately 25 years).
As it turns out, Clark is also a big science fiction fan—Godzilla is a particular favorite—and the U.K. Make-A-Wish Foundation gave him the opportunity to write and star in his very own movie, Dimension Zero. Charlotte Knight Productions helped Clark with the script, and then the whole family got to take a trip to London to watch the filming. Clark stars as Tiger, and his dad has a major role in the film as well. There’s even a puppet—a Hang Tongue Frog puppet, to be specific—made by the folks at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.
I love how the opening sequence is a little reminiscent of Doctor Who, and Clark just scooped Interstellar with his integration of a wormhole into the plot. Take that, Christopher Nolan. The CGI is pretty good, too. I also think pretty much all sci-fi movies would be better if the protagonist had a slight lisp and can say things like, “I’ve never been weadier.”
The experience “couldn’t have been better,” according to Clark’s mom, especially when it comes to encouraging him to continue writing stories and being creative. Last Sunday, Clark and his family arrived to the local cinema via limo for the film’s premier. I didn’t think anything could be cooler than giving a five-year-old a chance to be Batman and save an entire city, but granting Clark Doyle’s wish to become a filmmaker gives that one a run for its money. Props once again to Make A Wish.