I was born with an underdeveloped optic nerve and as a result I have never seen a day in my life. I review movies as the Blind Film Critic and answer questions on YouTube about what it's like to be blind. I was also a traffic reporter on the radio for over 20 years.

I'm joined by the director/editor of the videos, Ben Churchill.

You can watch our stuff here: TommyEdisonXP Our website is: BlindFilmCritic.com

Proof: http://blindfilmcritic.com/tommy-red.jpg

Update: Thanks for all the great questions! You can continue to ask them on our YouTube channel TommyEdisonXP and I may even respond through video.

Comments: 391 • Responses: 87  • Date: 

ericaspurgeon58 karma

I am the mother of a completely blind 4 year old. She has LCA. What is one piece of advice you would give me as her parent? I love your videos!

tommyedisonxp94 karma

Treat her like anyone else. That's what my mom did with me.

fishflavoursoap55 karma


Edit: Also, I love you!

tommyedisonxp65 karma

No, it doesn't. SO SHOUT AWAY!

Jaona45 karma

If you could see for one day, what would you want to see?

tommyedisonxp106 karma


Josqu34 karma

Hey Tommy, I dont want to ask anything but just say that I love your videos and admire your humorous take on being blind. Thanks for all the great videos, I hope more are to come!

tommyedisonxp26 karma


white0leander33 karma

What is something people do to try to help you that is actually offensive to you?

tommyedisonxp63 karma

When people push me the direction they think I want to go. Best advice I can offer... please ask first.

Iosefowork52 karma


Far-Aim29 karma

I can only imagine what he's thinking hearing your comment since he can't see the gif.

megalyx21 karma

I'm sure Ben will describe it, with hilarity.

tommyedisonxp38 karma

Guide dogs are amazing.

Iosefowork15 karma


tommyedisonxp25 karma

I've had two but my current situation doesn't call for one right now.

Yes_I_know_Im_short27 karma

What is a sound you absolutely can't stand to hear? Also, what is a sound you couldn't ever get tired of hearing?

tommyedisonxp62 karma

I can't stand the sound of this air conditioner next to me whirring nonstop. I enjoy the sound of birds, the ocean, and Ben reading your question.

Hougaiidesu25 karma

Tommy! I'm a big fan, you seem like such a genuinely nice, friendly guy. What is your favorite holiday? Are you able to enjoy, for example, Halloween, even though you can't see the costumes and things?

tommyedisonxp41 karma

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. As for Halloween, it doesn't do a thing for me except for the candy.

ebbv24 karma

Have you reviewed any silent films by having someone describe what's going on to you?

tommyedisonxp48 karma

I never have. I think my experience would be based on somebody else's interpretation of the film.

11doctor24 karma

Don't have a question just wanted to say thank you for all your positivity you shine!!!

tommyedisonxp21 karma

Thank you so much

ErrorlessGnome21 karma

Can I buy you a beer?

tommyedisonxp35 karma

Of course you can.

ErrorlessGnome15 karma

Das Becks I presume?

tommyedisonxp26 karma

Every time.

nurdagniriel21 karma

When did you realize that most people are not blind? How did people explain to you what vision is?

tommyedisonxp66 karma

I started to understand it around age 3 or 4. I also thought every family had a blind kid.

wtf_ffs20 karma

Hi Tommy! I love watching all of your youtube clips. I work at a library and I do a lot of work on accessibility and ADA compliance for our web presence. Your videos about how you use accessibility features on your iPhone are wonderful. What kind of accessible functions in regards to everyday tools / gadgets would you like to see implemented in the future?

tommyedisonxp37 karma

I would like to see accessible cable and satellite boxes. I never know what's on and I would love to use the DVR.

iAnonymousGuy20 karma

on a side note, if your full name is thomas I'll be very disappointed you didn't study electrical engineering

tommyedisonxp33 karma

Get ready to be disappointed.

snapps19 karma

Did you always have this sense of humor about your situation or did you learn to accept it over time?

tommyedisonxp52 karma

I've always had a sense of humor about being blind, but I didn't accept it right away... for like 20 something years.

dustybibles19 karma

here's a not-so-serious question: how do you know when you're done wiping? (someone's gotta ask it) and as an unrelated follow-up: would you ever consider doing beer review videos?

tommyedisonxp94 karma

A ton of toilet paper. Like half of a redwood tree.

BritPiggy18 karma

When I heard you were going to be doing an AMA, the first question I wanted to ask was:

How are you reading the comments on here? Is it on your phone like you've shown in previous videos?

tommyedisonxp37 karma

In the interest of time, we're cheating today. Ben Churchill, who makes the videos, is reading and typing.

Trueogre18 karma

Just like to say, thank you Ben Churchill for your videos, they are brilliant

tommyedisonxp23 karma

Thank you -Ben

magtataho17 karma

If it was possible to sacrifice something to gain sight, what would you give up in exchange?

tommyedisonxp44 karma


TJ_Box17 karma

Hi Tommy! If I'm climbing stairs and don't see when they finish, I get that horrible jolt in my stomach when I expect there to be another stair and there isn't. Do you get this a lot or are you just more careful than me?

tommyedisonxp23 karma

Not often. The banister can be your friend.

RainbowStorm16 karma

I've seen people on your videos describing colours, from their descriptions what would you say your favourite colour is?

tommyedisonxp55 karma

Purple. One reason: Prince.

tsoukaholic15 karma

have you ever tried any psychadelic drugs? i've read online that if a blind person were to take acid or mushrooms they can still get many of the "visuals" that sighted people get, would be fascinated to hear a real life story! understandable if you dont want to post your college drug life on reddit for the world to see, but message me! love to hear about it!

on a more legal note, have you ever had a seeing eye dog? i've been very interested in training service dogs and was wondering how much of a help they really are!

tommyedisonxp19 karma

Service dogs are amazing. They are a huge help. I've been blind since birth so I can't enjoy visual hallucinations.

Trueogre15 karma

Do you think you are at an advantage since you only judge people based on how they speak to you, unlike sighted people who use unconcious bias and judge at the first look?

tommyedisonxp14 karma

No, I think we're about the same.

Blue_Element11 karma

Do you enjoy listening to music a lot?

tommyedisonxp19 karma

Very much so. It's my first love.

Trueogre11 karma

If your house/apartment was on fire, what would be the first thing you'd save (apart from yourself)?

tommyedisonxp21 karma

The hard drives.

HitlerJackedMyStyle10 karma

What was the first movie you ever watched. And how did you react to it?

tommyedisonxp15 karma

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. I loved it. My mom had read me the book first.

mandy31410 karma


tommyedisonxp12 karma

I don't listen many audiobooks. I love music.

magtataho10 karma

What is something/someone that you are most curious of seeing how it looks like?

tommyedisonxp28 karma

I would like to see something vast like the ocean or the sky.

NolaSam10 karma

What software do you use to read websites to you? I am sighted, but it would be great to be able to listen to wikipedia while I work.

tommyedisonxp20 karma

I use the built-in Accessibility option called VoiceOver on the Mac and iPhone. You can probably find it here on the phone for example: Settings > General > Accessibility > Turn on VoiceOver.

lamintak9 karma

What did you do before the iPhone?

tommyedisonxp16 karma

I had a Nokia 6620 with Talks software which read caller ID, allowed me to text, and keep a contacts list.

racasper10 karma

Does it bother you when nearsighted people say "I'm blind without my glasses."?

tommyedisonxp24 karma

No, because they are.

Trueogre9 karma

Do you like rollercoaters?

tommyedisonxp29 karma

I love rollercoasters. I like rollercoaters, too.

lamintak8 karma

I think it's safe to assume that you're probably familiar with a feature of images in HTML called the "alt" attribute, though you may not know that feature by its name. It's what allows text to be associated with an image.

My question is do you find this feature super useful or only somewhat useful? Does it bother you when an image doesn't have an "alt" attribute or when its text is something undescriptive?

tommyedisonxp16 karma

Yes, I find it very useful. It's frustrating when they're not labeled because I don't know what my choices are.

Chris_4578 karma


tommyedisonxp17 karma

No way.

palinouros8 karma

I'm getting a degree in education and I'm pretty curious about your experience as a child. What were some of the subjects you really had a hard time grasping and what do you think would've made things easier for you to understand?

tommyedisonxp16 karma

I had a hard time with math and writing out the whole equation, like long division.

Sychic7 karma

Do you believe in God?

tommyedisonxp22 karma

I believe in something, but I don't know what it is.

seanseanseanh7 karma

Hey Tommy, this maybe a bit of a dumb question, but since you've been blind since birth, can you picture fairly well what people, or humans for that matter, look like when people describe them to you?

tommyedisonxp27 karma

No, I don't think about what people look like. I can't.

NewFarm7 karma

Have you been overseas? And if not, would that interest you?

As an example, I know of one blind lady who travels for the food experiences around Europe with a small group of friends.

tommyedisonxp11 karma

No, I'm dying to go to Europe.

Iosefowork7 karma


tommyedisonxp12 karma

I've worked in radio for most of my life. As far as other opportunities for blind people, I don't know.

latticusnon7 karma

Who is your favorite composer, and why?

tommyedisonxp21 karma

If I had to pick one. Claude Debussy. Thanks to The Art of Noise.

gamorade7 karma

First I'd like to say I love your videos, been watching you for a while.

What is one thing you've always wondered about sight. Not like colors or something, like specifically what something looks like, or how things work.

tommyedisonxp15 karma

How it works. I wish I had a better answer for you, but that's the one. I have no idea what it would be like to have all this additional data pouring in through a fifth sense.

Iosefowork7 karma


tommyedisonxp15 karma

I've always had tremors since I was a kid and it only affects my every day life when I take instagrams.

steffifv6 karma

Have you and Ben known each other for a long time? How did you two meet? You seem to have a great friendship :D

tommyedisonxp10 karma

We are great friends and have known each other for over 15 years. We met in radio.

Hebbardage6 karma

Hey there, massive fan of your videos

Just wanted to know what made you want to review films to begin with? and where did your love of films/cinema originate?

tommyedisonxp20 karma

As a kid I loved stories and so naturally I gravitated toward film. Then one day I thought I should try to review one and post the video online. I never thought people would enjoy them as much as they do.

ijustwannavoice5 karma

Have you ever listened to old timey radio shows? Do you find them easier to follow along than movies?

Do you find exposition, which normally critics hate, to be useful?

Have you ever seen Cast Away? Did you have trouble understanding?

tommyedisonxp9 karma

I do find old timey radio shows easier than some movies.

Jamesedjac5 karma

How often do you use TapTapSee in your day to day life?

tommyedisonxp7 karma

Not often, but when I need it, it never lets me down.

Trueogre5 karma

I did ask this on Twitter but with the limited space it was hard to convey. With DVD & Blu Ray do you use the narrative voiceover feature if the dvd has the feature?

tommyedisonxp13 karma

Not often, but when I do it's great. For certain movies, it really helps. For example, The Matrix.

NolaSam4 karma

Do you have any interest in sports?

tommyedisonxp22 karma

Absolutely. Baseball is my favorite. I like hockey and basketball while I'm waiting for baseball to come back.

b494 karma


tommyedisonxp8 karma

I like pizza plain.

omgthrowaway123454 karma


tommyedisonxp6 karma

Currently, any of the Seth MacFarlane shows.

fannypacker934 karma

Hey Tommy! I am about to graduate from college and become a teacher. What is one thing that your teachers did that helped you get involved in the class and made learning fun? What is one thing that you wish your teachers did to get you more involved and make learning fun?

tommyedisonxp7 karma

I always heard that I was the first blind student they had so I don't think they knew how to work with me right away. I wish mine had known more about students with disabilities.

phoenix-down3 karma

Hey Tommy, I just want to ask what the concept of day/night is like to you. Do you just sleep when you're tired and work when you're not or do you actually follow the clock?

tommyedisonxp7 karma

I follow the clock. I like being up when things are happening. When stores are open.

bob0000000055553 karma

Have you ever considered reviewing other forms of media?

tommyedisonxp6 karma

Perhaps music, but I never gave it a shot.

Hypomanic_Poet3 karma

Favorite smell? All-time favorite movie? Favorite song?

tommyedisonxp16 karma

A spring afternoon. Goodfellas. At the moment, Kings of Leon's "Supersoaker".

ScreaminMime3 karma

Hey, you should post a quick vid reminding people you're on Reddit for the moment.

tommyedisonxp5 karma

Thanks. We posted a message.

Rerbun3 karma

Hello Tommy! I have always enjoyed your videos a lot!

Your video about colours made a question come up to me. You said in one of your videos you sometimes can see if it's day.

I was wondering if you can see the difference between black (darkness) and white (brightness) and could that possibly make it easier to imagine colours? Like grey which would probably be in the middle.

tommyedisonxp8 karma

I have never seen color so I don't know what any of them are. To me, black doesn't mean dark and white doesn't mean bright.

WarriorkingNL3 karma

has being blind ever helped you in your life? What's being blind like?

tommyedisonxp18 karma

Sometimes I get to ride the train for free. Being blind is my normal so it's all I know.

millerswiller3 karma

Thank you for taking the time to do this. I follow you on Instagram (love your photos) and just found out about your AMA via your photo!

Do you have a favorite movie?

How did you end up working as a film critic?


tommyedisonxp7 karma

My favorite movie is probably Goodfellas. I thought one day it would be fun to review a movie from my point of view so I tried it and posted it on You Tube.

lamintak3 karma

Are trampolines very enjoyable for you?

tommyedisonxp7 karma

Yeah! They're great fun, but I'm afraid of falling off.

magtataho3 karma

Have you been to other countries? What country would you like to visit?

tommyedisonxp10 karma

I've been to Canada, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. I can't wait to visit the UK one day.

MASTERLUKE7553 karma

What's your favorite thing to read?

Love your videos by the way!

tommyedisonxp10 karma

Your comments on social media.

KittenSnuggs3 karma

What every day tasks have you still not found a good workaround for?

tommyedisonxp7 karma

Using the cable box.

vebben3 karma

Hey Tommy! Love your videos!

What is the best thing about being blind? Do you feel like you have a better sense of hearing/feeling than other people?

Thanks from Norway!

tommyedisonxp9 karma

What up, Norway! Best thing: Not losing my car at the mall. I don't think that my senses are better than anyone else's. I just depend on the others more than sighted people do.

Nolanoscopy3 karma

I've asked you this a few times on your videos, but it's worth trying again here!

Most of the time, sighted people are the ones asking you questions. What are some questions you have for people with vision?

Also, as reddit is in "pirate speak mode" today, does your text-to-voice translator sound funny?

Lastly, thank you for this AMA, I'm a big fan. :)

tommyedisonxp8 karma

Yes! We saw your comment on You Tube and will be posting a video soon about questions for sighted people from a blind person. Here's one for now: How do you keep track of all those different colors?

izzydisney3 karma

HEYYY!!!! You are such a charming dude! My question to you is how has being blind affected you in a way that most people wouldnt expect / might be to embarresed to ask? also, is your full name really thomas edison? You just get cooler!

tommyedisonxp9 karma

It makes me have to trust people. For example, when I pay cash for something and get change.

ziggypwner3 karma

Hey, I saw you at Vidcon! What's your favorite food that most people wouldn't try because of its looks? Tongue? Sweet breads?

tommyedisonxp10 karma

There isn't one. If you're afraid to look at it, then I'm afraid to try it.

PresidentRaggy3 karma

Do you travel often now that you are famous? Do people recognize you from your videos or your infectious laugh? What is it like being in a big crowd? I would imagine it is scary...

Thank you!

tommyedisonxp9 karma

It's difficult to walk through a crowd of people with a sighted person. I have to be very careful that we don't get separated.

theworstusernamehere3 karma

"Was" a traffic reporter? Does that mean you retired and are living off proceeds from YouTube??

tommyedisonxp14 karma

You guessed it!

ItsDare3 karma

A lot of people find 3d distracts from the story that a film portrays. What are your thoughts on the matter?

tommyedisonxp5 karma

Great point. I couldn't agree more.

e-em-jay3 karma

I'm a big fan! You're such a cool guy. I'd love to watch a baseball game with you.

This question seems so formal but after studying this in college, I'm curious of your opinion. How do you feel about people first language? Blind person vs. a person who is blind.

tommyedisonxp4 karma

Either is fine with me.

SilentStarryNight3 karma

Because it is kind of a tradition to ask in this subreddit, which would you rather fight, 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck?

tommyedisonxp7 karma

One horse-sized duck. It's a numbers game.

neko3usagi3 karma


tommyedisonxp5 karma

It means the world to me that you watch and like the videos, so thank you. As a former program director taught me... 1. Have fun. 2. Don't lose the license. 3. Answer the phones when they ring because it might be me telling you that you did a great break.

magtataho3 karma

In your videos, you always seem like a jolly type of guy. When was the last time you've been sad or depressed?

tommyedisonxp29 karma

Yesterday. Between 2:30 and 2:45 pm. The internet was down.

TheAprone2 karma

Hello Tommy, long time youtube subscriber here. I wanted to know what audio games (if any) that you play. I think that very few people in the sighted world know about their existence, and drawing attention to them would be very cool!

tommyedisonxp4 karma

I don't play any audio games.

SilentStarryNight2 karma

Tommy and Ben, thanks for all your great videos, been keeping up with them for quite a while. It is always fun to see that there is a new video out, and I like learning from them too. I like your sense of humor too. Tommy, congratulations on your new "hardware install" (left hand), and to both of you, keep being nifty!

tommyedisonxp3 karma

Thank you

sexymafratelli2 karma

Hey, Tommy. Really enjoy the videos and the Instagram. When you're on instagram, do you ever feel the objects in frame to get a sense of what you are going to shoot? What's the process?

tommyedisonxp5 karma

Sometimes, yes. I point the camera in the direction of what I'm shooting with one hand and try and line up the shot with the other by stretching out my hand and putting the camera near my wrist and the object at my finger tips.

Parabrocat2 karma

If you could choose between being born seeing or being born blind and then after lets say 15 years cured of your blindness ( fully cured ) which of the 2 would you choose?

A few random questions.

Best food you have had?

Most beautiful sound you have heard?

What are things you pay attention to that seeing people dont?

tommyedisonxp3 karma

I'll take the 15 years option. Steak. Your question. I pay attention to voices.

megalyx2 karma

Hi Tommy! Love your videos (TommyEdisonXP and BlindFilmCritic) and the insight you give. I was listening to a radio show about the CNIB (I'm Canadian) and the debate on whether or not blindness is a disability. One person on the show stated it is because they are not able to see. The other person said it isn't because they are able to do most things a sighted person can do. What is your opinion?

tommyedisonxp10 karma

I think blindness is a disability.

ezuF2 karma

What is your perception on space?

tommyedisonxp10 karma

A teacher once told me: Imagine this wall is the universe. If I make one dot with a pencil, that represents our solar system.

eyerishangel2 karma

What happened to your traffic reporting gig?

tommyedisonxp5 karma

I left to pursue other opportunities.

buckyboy281 karma

Have you ever read Playboy in braille?


tommyedisonxp4 karma


Doctorpat1 karma

How would you describe being blind? And what motivated you to review movies?

tommyedisonxp2 karma

Being blind is the only thing I've ever known. I thought it would be fun to show people my point of view.

bucaar1 karma

Hey Tommy! It is my 18th birthday today! just thought I'd let ya know.

although its not important to your communication, do you know sign language?

tommyedisonxp7 karma

Happy Birthday! No, I don't know sign language, but I do nod my head.

mistamoronic1 karma

How did you start making YouTube videos?

tommyedisonxp2 karma

My first video was a review of Scream 4. Then people started asking questions about how I live my life.