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Spec Labs’ newest film, “The Odd Taste,” has landed!


Our five-minute buddy comedy is co-written by star, Matthew Von Der Ahe (Instagram: @mondays_with_matt), director, Jason Weissbrod, and Abe Farelly (Instagram: @abefarelly) and is our submission to the 2024 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge! Our Spec Labs crew put this amusing short together in just five short days for the challenge. The film stars Domonique Brown and Von Der Ahe as two friends who wake up one day and find their tastes are…quite different. Shenanigans and whipped cream burgers ensue as our two friends come to term with their differences and what it means for their friendship.


This Saturday, the film was released to the public and is now available to watch on the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge social pages! Right now, we are in the middle of the Awareness Campaign for all the films submitted to the Disability Film Challenge. The campaign goes until April 21st, so make sure to comment, like, and share the “odd” love around to everyone you can! We want as many people to see this awesome film as possible! Head to this link or watch the video below to see the film for yourself!



When you’re making a film as “odd” as this one, you’re bound to have some fun on set. Laughter was constant between and after takes. Our two filming days consisted of lots of funky wardrobe changes, choreographed burger dances, and a ton of good vibes. Check out some of these behind-the-scenes moments to catch a glimpse at the making of this off-the-wall comedy!





In our first screening of the film to cast & crew last week, Von Der Ahe got to experience double the excitement as he took in the film for the first time as both writer and star. He posted a sweet tribute to the moment on Instagram, sharing his live reactions to watching the film for the first time. He writes, “I’m so proud of the film I got to work on for @disabilityfilmchallenge. Not only did I co-write, but I got to act in it too! It’s always been a dream of mine to see one of my scripts on the big screen!🎥”



This is our third year participating in the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. For the past three years, we have created three 5-minute films in 5 days for the challenge, including “Spectrum League”, “Hands”, and now, “The Odd Taste”! We are so proud of all the films we’ve produced for this challenge and can’t wait for you all to see our newest creation! It’s an honor to participate in this awesome opportunity that Nic Novicki, creator of the Disability Film Challenge, and his team provide for our communities.



Make sure to watch, share, and show some love to “The Odd Taste”! Available here: https://youtu.be/abXR19a5Ur0?si=2Txru8khcJOw8IST.


We hope you have as much fun watching the film as we did making it!


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Happy February everyone! Time is flying, and we’re already a month into 2024. Spec Labs has started the year off on a high note with our Music and Voiceover classes, which began this January. Now February is here, and we’re ready to get our Film & Acting classes up to bat!


Our 2024 Film & Acting department classes begin this month with selections in Short Film Production, On-Camera Acting, and Improv and Sketch Comedy!


Our Short Film Production class will be the first to start up again with the intro session taking place on February 20th. Enroll today if you’d like to help make amazing films like “The Benchwarm-Nerds!” and “Hands” with Spec Labs!



A new trailer for our geeky comedy short, “The Benchwarm-Nerds!”, which follows three outsiders as they find acceptance and friendship amongst themselves, is now available on YouTube! Get a glimpse of what our favorite nerds are getting up to in the trailer below. And watch the whole film on Spec Labs’ YouTube page at this link.



Our other short film, “Hands,” which we created in five days for the 2023 EasterSeals Disability Film Challenge, follows the complicated romance between two hands who meet and fall in love. This January 31st, “Hands” was screened at the HollyShorts Film Festival. The event was held at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood and was attended by several Spec Labs students, along with co-founder and “Hands” director, Jason Weissbrod. Check out some of the pictures and clips from the screening below!





And watch “Hands” for yourself on YouTube!



We’re so excited about all the accomplishments of our two films, and hope there are many more to come. We can’t wait to make more amazing films with our students this year!


Help us create our next masterpiece and hone your creative skills in one of our fun-filled Film & Acting classes. Classes are filling up fast, so enroll now at speclabs.org to secure your spot!


We can’t wait to see you all back in class!

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Mark your calendars! This Friday night, December 22nd, Spec Labs’ brand-new short film, “The Benchwarm-Nerds!” makes its grand premiere! The live streaming event will be taking place on YouTube at 8 pm. Join the virtual screening and be one of the first to see this hilarious short!



“The Benchwarm-Nerds!” follows three outsiders, Max, Zeek, and Sophia, as they struggle to find acceptance amongst their peers for their “nerdy” traits. But when the three of them find each other, everything seems to fall into place. The film combines live action with colorful animation–courtesy of Spec Labs’ Head of Art & Design, Amos Stillwell–to create a funny, endearing film with characters you can’t help but root for.


A few weeks ago, we held a cast and crew screening of the film which was met with raucous laughter and applause. All of us on “The Benchwarm-Nerds!” team have been on the edge of our seats waiting for the film to be released to the public, and now the time is finally here!



Celebrate your nerdy side with us at this Friday's live premiere event! You can join the virtual screening here or by clicking the link at the top of the page. You can also access the screening on your Smart TV using the YouTube app. Head on over to Spec Labs' YouTube Channel and you will find the premiere video link under our Featured Videos playlist. The link to the film won't be available until the night of the screening, so don't worry if you can't access the link before then. The film and the link go live at 8 pm Friday--have your laptops and Smart Tvs ready!


If you haven't already, please consider donating to Spec Labs' 2023 Giving Campaign! With your help, we can continue to make inspiring films like this one with our talented autistic and neurodivergent artists!


Hope to “see” you Friday night!



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