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This weekend on Saturday May 4th and Sunday May 5th, Spec Labs will be acting as an Educational Partner/Patron for the 6th annual ReelAbilities Film Festival!


The event is hosted by the City of Los Angeles Department on Disability, in partnership with Grand Performances, and will be taking place in Downtown Los Angeles at the California Plaza. The ReelAbilities Film Festival is “a two-day festival dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with disabilities.” The festival features a selection of new and classic films, panel conversations, and programming that focus on the diversity of our shared human experience.


Tickets to the event are FREE and available to reserve at this link!


Spec Labs co-founder, Jason Weissbrod, will be present at the festival as a speaker on the panel for “Removing Barriers, Tropes, and Stigmas: Discussing the Steps to Build an Inclusive Future in Film.” You can catch the lively conversation on Saturday, May 4th at 6 pm.



Spec Labs’ artists, Domonique Brown, Spencer Griffin, and Bryan Bateman will be performing a live music performance at the festival’s Family Fun Day on Sunday, May 5th. The Family Fun Day will be taking place from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, with our Spec Labs performers rocking out around 1 pm.



Following Sunday’s Family Fun Day events, the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge will be announcing the finalists for the 2024 submission cycle. We are so proud of “The Odd Taste,” our short film submission to this year’s challenge, and are crossing our fingers extra tight that we are part of the finalist announcement! Please continue watching, sharing, and showing love to “The Odd Taste,” which is available to watch on the Easterseals Disability Challenge YouTube page.



We are so excited to be part of the ReelAbilities Film Festival to help celebrate disability inclusion in film and to support all the amazing contributions autistic, neurodiverse, and disabled artists create to make the world a better place.


You can learn more about the details of this awesome event at ReelAbilities LA | Film Festival and on the ReelAbilities social pages.



We hope you’ll join us at the festival this weekend to support the Spec Labs community and beyond!


Reserve your tickets now!

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Spec Labs’ Improv & Sketch Comedy troupe will be hitting the stage on April 29th at the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Theatre in Hollywood! (https://ucbcomedy.com/)


In celebration of Autism Acceptance Month, UCB is hosting its first Neurodiversity Community Night with Spec Labs where we can laugh, play, and connect! The event will feature an improv performance, a panel discussion, and one big JAM session with UCB performers and the Spec Labs Improv Players. Join us for lots of “Yes, and's", some side-splitting comedy, and a celebration of inclusion within the comedic arts!



The Upright Citizens Brigade is a comedy institution and training center famous for its live comedy showcases which have cultivated a space for established comedians and emerging talents to share their humor with the world. Spec Labs is honored to partner with UCB and demonstrate the comedic talent of our autistic and neurodivergent performers. This is a dream come true for Spec Labs Co-Founder and Improv Teacher, Jason Weissbrod. "When I first started our improv comedy class, this is what I dreamed of! Partnering with UCB, the improv training school I am an alumni of, makes my heart sing and am so excited to see where this partnership takes us!" Spec Labs is also going to be leading training workshops for UCB to educate their teachers on how to best advocate and support Neurodiverse students in the UCB classrooms. This is just the beginning of a very awesome collaboration between Spec Labs and UCB.


The Spec Labs Players rehearsing a sketch for their upcoming performance.


The show takes place on Monday, April 29th at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre located at 1925 N Bronson Ave Los Angeles, CA 90068. The fun kicks off at 6 pm! Make sure to grab a friend (or two, or four, or more!) and secure your spots for this hysterical and enlightening night of comedy and inclusion!


Tickets are $10 and available for purchase now at Shows - Upright Citizens Brigade (ucbcomedy.com).


We can’t wait to make you laugh with us!



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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!🎥”



Recently, we sat down with Von Der Ahe and his co-star, Brown, to discuss their experiences working on "The Odd Taste." Check out what they had to say in the videos below!




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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