Quinnipiac University

Film student's production company providing representation in film and television

May 04, 2022

Two girls looking at eachother standing in a school hallway. The one on the left has brown hair and headphones. The one on the right has long brown hair.

Justin Janoson ’22 had an idea — an idea that developed during the silence and separation resulting from the pandemic and subsequent quarantine that would enable him and others like him to be better represented in the media.

Janoson has ADHD, and his twin sister has autism. Growing up not seeing much representation of disabilities in films and television, Janoson set out to change that.
 
During the first round of quarantine, Janoson came up with the idea for IndEP Media, a production company established to create opportunities for disabled artists. The I, E, and P are capitalized to represent IEP, an acronym for “Individualized Education Plan,” which is a special education plan laid out to help meet a student’s needs for success.
 
“I wanted to do something different where I can be able to see myself and give kids and adults comfort in that they’re not alone,” Janoson said.
 
Most recently, IndEP Media completed a pilot episode of a series Janoson hopes to pursue called “What’s The Rule?”
 
“What’s the Rule?” is a coming-of-age dramedy.

“Chapter 1” highlights the story of twins – Samantha (Sam) Schneider, who has ADHD, and Jaclyn (Jack) Schneider, who has autism, as they navigate their first day of school.
 
Janoson’s role in “What’s The Rule?” was vital – he not only played huge parts in the written aspect, but produced, directed and edited the entire first episode.
 
“I don’t see the world the same way as everybody else and it’s often challenging, especially being a creative who's neurodivergent, there’s so many different ideas that pop into my head but it’s so hard to find the strength to finish them,” Janoson said.
 
But finish “Chapter 1” of “What’s The Rule” is exactly what he did.

A little over a month since its release, “Chapter 1: For School” has amassed more than 6,000 views on YouTube, hundreds of comments and IndEP Media has gained over 1,000 subscribers.
 
“Someone sent me an email saying “What’s The Rule” inspired their kids to want to be actors because they never saw themselves represented on screen,” Janoson said. “This isn’t a massive appeal like a Marvel movie but it’s making an impact on people’s lives in the present and I think that’s such a beautiful thing.”
 
The next moves for “What’s The Rule” aren’t slowing down anytime soon.

IndEP Media was recently recognized on Fox News, and Janoson anticipates “Chapter 1” will be released on Amazon’s Prime Video Direct sometime in the near future.
 
Janoson, a film student at Quinnipiac, explained how his courses and support system at school helped him throughout the production process of “What’s The Rule?”
 
“The Peter C. Hereld House, just being on campus, has been a huge help, and being able to take classes on editing, screenwriting and having professors and the student counseling services to talk to, taking care of my mental health, has been really helpful because if I didn’t do that than none of this would really be possible,” Janoson said.

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